First look: Going hands-on with the Apple Watch at an Apple retail store

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited April 2015
With Apple Watch try-ons now available at Apple retail stores around the world, AppleInsider offers a closer look at the sampling process for the wrist-worn accessory, set to launch in just two weeks.




Apple Watch trials come with a 15-minute time limit, and it's advised that customers make an appointment in advance to ensure they will be able to try it out. During the 15 minutes, shoppers are free to try on as many different band styles as they please, to see what works best for them.

The unit self cannot pair with the user's phone, as the hardware is running in a demo mode that loops a set movie. There are, however, fixture mounted Apple Watch units on display in stores that users can play and interact with, as seen in the video below.





In our experience, the Apple Store had many more stainless steel Apple Watch models in stock for try-on than the cheaper aluminum Sport model.

The watches are held in trays within drawers on the display tables, where Apple specialists can grab them and provide them for a shopper to try. Specialists unlock and open the drawer by holding their iPhone pay terminal up to the top right corner of the drawer.

We asked one Apple employee if we were allowed to come back later and try out the Watch again, and they said repeat visits were welcome.




There were no restrictions on photography while trying out the Apple Watch. We even put it on next to a 36-millimeter Explorer watch to compare the two side by side.

While at the store, we also asked the "Genius" employees whether they have any information about the data port found inside the Apple Watch's strap lug. The employees said they were unaware of its capabilities.

Apple Watch try-on appointments can be made at a local Apple Store through the company's website, or the official Apple Store application available for free on the iOS App Store.

The Apple Watch will become available on April 24, though initial orders are already sold out.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 99
    waterrocketswaterrockets Posts: 1,231member

    Nice. Those bands look like very high quality.

  • Reply 2 of 99
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 652member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Saw it live.  The SS version looks much nicer than the sport.  And the Edition versions are works of art.

     

    My original plan was to buy a sport version but I might buy the SS now.

     

    I did not like the look of the Space Grey sport.  Looks too much like a generic digital watch.  The white Sport was the nicest plastic band.

     

    SS with bracelet is very nice.  Leather bands are also beautiful too.  IMO Apple nailed the look big time.  The watches are really the perfect size too. 




    How would you say does the 38 mm look on an average man (180 cm, 80 kg)? Is it too small?

     

    Which size do you prefer?

  • Reply 3 of 99
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    Looks like a nice watch overall, but to my taste its to bulky and isn't aesthetically pleasing when the screen is black (which is the case most of he time I guess).
    Using the crown to zoom doesn't seem natural all the time, adding 'pinch to zoom' is maybe a good idea.
    I wonder how good the screen is under full daylight. I suspect this will be difficult, since all iPhones I know of perform poorly in bright daylight.
  • Reply 4 of 99
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    knowitall wrote: »
    Looks like a nice watch overall, but to my taste its to bulky and isn't aesthetically pleasing when the screen is black (which is the case most of he time I guess).
    Using the crown to zoom doesn't seem natural all the time, adding 'pinch to zoom' is maybe a good idea.
    I wonder how good the screen is under full daylight. I suspect this will be difficult, since all iPhones I know of perform poorly in bright daylight.

    Pinch to zoom on a display that small? Seems like a UX nightmare to me.
  • Reply 5 of 99
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Saw it live.  The SS version looks much nicer than the sport.  And the Edition versions are works of art.

    My original plan was to buy a sport version but I might buy the SS now.

    I did not like the look of the Space Grey sport.  Looks too much like a generic digital watch.  The white Sport was the nicest plastic band.

    SS with bracelet is very nice.  Leather bands are also beautiful too.  IMO Apple nailed the look big time.  The watches are really the perfect size too. 

    Someone on Twitter said an Apple store employee told them "a lot" of people who pre-ordered the sport were upgrading to the SS model. Who knows how much "a lot" is but I found it interesting.
  • Reply 6 of 99
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,062member

    Sog35, thanks for the close-up and personal perspective, I feel better about this now.  I'm back to looking forward to getting one after initial demand levels out.

  • Reply 7 of 99
    peteopeteo Posts: 402member

    "While at the store, we also asked the "Genius" employees whether they have any information about the data port found inside the Apple Watch's strap lug. The employees said they were unaware of its capabilities."

     

    Interesting that your photos show the port revealed. Grubbers shot of his review model had it covered. I wonder if it will be covered on the consumer models.

  • Reply 8 of 99
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Saw it live.  The SS version looks much nicer than the sport.  And the Edition versions are works of art.

     

    My original plan was to buy a sport version but I might buy the SS now.

     

    I did not like the look of the Space Grey sport.  Looks too much like a generic digital watch.  The white Sport was the nicest plastic band.

     

    SS with bracelet is very nice.  Leather bands are also beautiful too.  IMO Apple nailed the look big time.  The watches are really the perfect size too. 


    You still haven't ordered one? See you in 3rd quarter. I actually order 38mm white Sport and will get black band. 

  • Reply 9 of 99
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Someone on Twitter said an Apple store employee told them "a lot" of people who pre-ordered the sport were upgrading to the SS model. Who knows how much "a lot" is but I found it interesting.

    Analyst Tavis McCourt already said nobody will be buying that AppleWatch and promptly downgraded the stock.  He seems to know more about AppleWatch sales than Tim Cook.  Apparently "out of stock" meant Apple never had any AppleWatch inventory in stock, at least for sale.

    /s

  • Reply 10 of 99
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by knowitall View Post



    Looks like a nice watch overall, but to my taste its to bulky and isn't aesthetically pleasing when the screen is black (which is the case most of he time I guess).

    Using the crown to zoom doesn't seem natural all the time, adding 'pinch to zoom' is maybe a good idea.

    I wonder how good the screen is under full daylight. I suspect this will be difficult, since all iPhones I know of perform poorly in bright daylight.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Pinch to zoom on a display that small? Seems like a UX nightmare to me.

    How about pinch to zoom on the edge of the watch? That big side bezel is doing nothing. Instead, make it touch sensitive for scrolling and pinch to zoom. That would be the winner. I personally don't like the digital crown because I think it hinders the user experience a little bit. Maybe, we all need to learn to adapt.

  • Reply 11 of 99
    rp2011rp2011 Posts: 159member
    How hokey does the traditional watch look next to the Apple watch? I think we have turned the corner. Today's watches are now just a novelty, ...expensive or otherwise.

    Really smart of Apple to expose the watches by they themselves at their own stores rather than a retailer who could care less if the sold a Pebble or Moto 360 or a Timex, and be knowledgeable of none.
  • Reply 12 of 99
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    I have not.  I was dead set on ordering the space gray sport this morning.  But I woke up late so I decided just to check them out at the store first.  Now I'm not sure if I'm getting the sport or SS.  

     

    My plan was the 38mm sport but after seeing it today I think its way too small for me.


    Space grey Sport is very selective on bands (grey/black or Milanese only), not like the silver Sport which looks nice on every color band including black.

    I ordered 38mm for my wife but may end up using it if she doesn't like it. Again. I'll try one on sometimes this week and decide if 42mm is okay.

  • Reply 13 of 99
    Wtf. Buy one, pair it, and then post a video. If I wanted to see how a demo version works, I'll go to the store. Fail.
  • Reply 14 of 99
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Did you see it live?  Its not bulky at all.  It is flatout beautiful in SS or Gold.  And no way can anyone say the 38mm is bulky unless they are a 80 lb women.  

    But The Verge found someone who said the gold watch experience didn't feel luxury at all. /s
  • Reply 15 of 99
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,167member

    I saw and tried many models today. They are all beautiful. The Sport is really light in weight. The SS looks and feel elegant. Going with the 42mm SS with black sport band then getting a leather band. My wife is getting the 42 SS as well even though she liked the modern buckle.. too bad it only fits the 38. The Apple Store employee told us there will be third party bands in the future and maybe something similar will be offered.

  • Reply 16 of 99
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    The crown is actually a really nice feature. Easy to use and adds a great deal of control/precision. Also, the photos don't always do the size justice. It seems shockingly small in person, especially the 38. Bulk shouldn't be an issue.
  • Reply 17 of 99
    pistispistis Posts: 247member

    I ordered mine last night delivery by May14th.

  • Reply 18 of 99
    pistispistis Posts: 247member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Did you see it live?  Its not bulky at all.  It is flatout beautiful in SS or Gold.  And no way can anyone say the 38mm is bulky unless they are a 80 lb women.  




    It was never  bulky, it just looked that way in the terrible photos, most of us already knew that except of course the Android morons who don't have more than 2 brain cells among them.

  • Reply 19 of 99
    eugeeuge Posts: 19member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflagel View Post

     



    How would you say does the 38 mm look on an average man (180 cm, 80 kg)? Is it too small?

     

    Which size do you prefer?




    I have a pretty small frame and small wrists. I was surprised that the 42mm didn't look bad at all. I realized for me there was no wrong decision. It truly was a matter of preference. In the end I chose the 38. For my wrist size, the 42 would be for people who prefer a larger watch, and the 38 is more subtle. But the 42 by no means looked too big or awkward.

     

    I also took pics and they don't do it justice. For some reason the Apple Watch looks bigger and bulkier in pictures than in person.

  • Reply 20 of 99
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 652member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Pinch to zoom on a display that small? Seems like a UX nightmare to me.

    Agree. But having a crown that sometimes scrolls, and sometimes zooms, is not that much better. The beauty of the iPhone, is that the same gesture always does the same thing.

    A lot of people on these videos intuitively scroll using the screen. Which means that the thing for the crown, would've been just to zoom. But that was probably not deemed noble enough for such a prominent device.
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