My household has become an Apple household. We have Macbook pros. We use iPhones. We have iPads. And there is even an iPod Nano in active use around here. So, believe me when I say we have been ecstatic about the Apple Watch for about two years now, ever since we heard it was a real thing that was happening.
And yesterday, my fiance and I showed up at an Apple Store for an appointment to actually look at the new Apple Watch.
Spoiler alert: this post is mostly a list of complaints about it. So, let me just get this out of the way: The Apple Watch is pretty. It’s well-designed like pretty much everything Apple makes. I was worried it would be too thick, but it’s not. It’s light, sleek, and comfortable.
Here’s what I don’t like about the Watch and didn’t like about the experience.
The price is too high.
For all that is good about the Apple Watch, the price is still too high. I get that Apple is trying to go luxury and fashion, but this is still primarily a consumer electronic and there are some good smartphones that don’t cost as much as this gadget. The tiniest one with the aluminum case costs $350. The larger (which is more the style these days for men and women in watches) is $400. If you bump up to the Watch Watch then you’re up in the $600+ range.
The names are confusing.
First of all, calling it The Watch is dumb because the thing is a watch. Can you imagine if the iPhone were simply called the “Apple Phone?” You would have the same stupid conversations I keep having now about The Watch where I’m not sure if I’m saying watch or Watch. AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. (See what I did there?)
Secondly, the different levels of The Watch are confusing. There’s the Apple Sport Watch, the Apple Watch Watch, and the Apple Kanye Watch. And just as with Kanye West, I do not care about that last one at all because it is ridiculous and obnoxious.
The bands aren’t interchangeable.
Actually, you can interchange the bands, but Sport bands won’t go on the Watch Watch and the Watch Watch bands won’t go on the Sport Watch. This means that if you, like me, were imagining wearing The Watch to the gym with a brightly-colored, fancy rubber (fluoroelastomer) band and then swapping the band out for something classy and metal or leather for the office… well, you can’t do that.
Also, Apple really wanted to stick it to you and gave each level of Watch a different finish. The Sport Watch is matte and the Watch Watch is shiny. Not that it matters because the friggin’ bands aren’t interchangeable between the two.
I find this extra, extra annoying because part of Apple’s messaging is about how you can mix and match and configure the watch in so many ways that it becomes a personal expression. Maybe that’s true of the screen, but it isn’t really true of the hardware.
I still don’t know what it’s like to use it.
If you go to the store like I did on an appointment in order to get a hands-on experience with the watch, you won’t actually get to USE the watch. The screen just plays this demo video loop that shows you what the different things are. It also does the shaky “taptic” thing so you can feel that. But you can’t scroll, touch, press, or anything like that. It’s just a non-responsive video loop.
The non-responsive video loop is nice and really shows off the display, but Apple has bragged about how they created a whole new interface with the digital crown and the force touch thing. And you can’t really get a sense of what it’s like to use these new inventions.
The iHelper didn’t know everything about it.
I know. It’s not fair to expect them to know everything about the new gadget two days after it arrives in stores.
But this is Apple, so yes, it is.
There were all sorts of little questions I had that she just didn’t know about. I happened to know the answers because I’d heard/read things about them, but I wanted confirmation from a first-hand authority. She was very sweet, but she couldn’t tell me what I wanted to know.
The price is too high.
I know I mentioned this already, but seriously. The price is kind of ridiculous for what it is. The Watch is expensive. The bands are expensive. It’s expensive.
And you know there will be a new one next year and the year after that.
So, I think I’m going to hold off on this. As nice as it seems to be, I just can’t wrap my head around paying so much for so little.