Review: Apple Watch is beautiful, but rough around the edges

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  • Reply 21 of 146
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    tokenuser wrote: »
    From the review, it sounds that the biggest issues were not hardware related, but software related ... and largely 3rd party software where the developers would have had little experience with the actual device, and relied purely upon the Xcode simulators. That is an easy fix.

    People keep calling this a 1.0 devices. Is it really? There is nothing new in the watch. All the tech involved has been done before to greater and lesser degrees. Even the SoC used to power the watch appears to be a variant of an earlier generation A chip. It might be 1.0 but Apple had time to observe the releases of other SmartWatch makers and make sure they didn't have the same issues. So yes, it is an Apple 1.0 device, but that already puts it a generation or two ahead of the competition.

    For Apple this is an evolutionary device, not a revolutionary one. Take the best of whats out there, pull it apart improve it substantially, and wrap it in a desirable industrial design.

    (Review written with my original Pebble sitting on my wrist, while I patiently wait for my aWatch to ship ...)

    How can you say this is not a 1.0 device? 1.0 doesn't mean revolutionary. 1.0 means first stab at something new. To me in some ways the Watch is a bigger deal than the iPad. iPad really was just a bigger iPhone/iPod touch whereas Watch has technologies that weren't previously in any other Apple product. And to say the SOC is just a variant of an old A-series chip really trivializes what Apple has done. The Watch is a marvel of engineering, not just "desirable industrial design".
  • Reply 22 of 146
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Great review. Clearly written from (and aimed at) an Apple fan's perspective but still thoughtful and fair.


     


    Quote:



    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    That's interesting. Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show that Siri worked flawlessly on the watch, much better than it does on his iPhone.

     

    I've found there to be an annoying lag, to the point where I think that Siri has failed to pick up what I've said. I then repeat the message and both attempts appear on the screen at once!

  • Reply 23 of 146
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Some people just have issues with Siri. Personally she works almost flawlessly for me on the phone, though Hey Siri is a weak point (too often she won't make the noise, so I have no idea if she activated).

    Wasn't widely announced but Apple has completely rebuilt the backend of Siri, using new tech like JARVIS, (Not kidding) which explains the performance improvements as of late.

    I have issues with dictation on my iPad. Often times I'll say something and it spins for 15-20 seconds before it starts typing out what I said. Sometimes it never stops spinning. I have much better luck with my iPhone.
  • Reply 24 of 146
    Churlish, shallow review. Most of the negatives listed are minor quibbles, fixed with software updates.

    These sorts of silly assessments have become the norm at AI lately (witness the utterly dumb article we saw recently on the new MacBook).

    My own assessment of the Watch after four days with it (38-SS-ML)? 5.0 for ambition, 5.0 for hardware, 4.8 for thoughtfulness in design, 4.5 for Apple software, 3.0 for third-party software (all of which I have got rid of). Overall score: 4.5 out of 5.0.
  • Reply 25 of 146
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member

    SOFTWARE:

    Apple will most likely have to design the interface from the ground up again. The flow just isn't coherent enough, which is very un-Apple like. [My judgement is based on the Apple watch video tutorials.]

     

    HARDWARE:

    I can see the Milanese loop concept being applied with other materials. What a great design that is.

  • Reply 26 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Wow a gen 1 product is rough around the edges. What a revelation.



    If it had been a negative review, would the comment have been "But it's a first generation product!" as a defense?

  • Reply 27 of 146
    gregqgregq Posts: 62member
    Nice review, thanks guys.

    One comment though: "We would prefer a more resilient material than slightly better visibility in sunlight.". Personally, given the sports is as tough as an iPhone screen, I'd personally prefer being able to view in sunlight easier, unless I had a manual job (e.g. building etc).
  • Reply 28 of 146
    schlackschlack Posts: 699member
    i want to buy one but i can't come up with any real benefit. it would just be to experience the latest product category from apple. but that's worth $400 to me.
  • Reply 29 of 146
    xixoxixo Posts: 422member
    tl; dr: new tech takes time to evolve

    Great review. A year from now when the watch is thinner, the 3rd party and native apps have their bugs worked out and the battery lasts 3x longer, sales should really take off.

    I waited until the 3GS to buy an iPhone, then returned it because it didn't cut the mustard for me.

    I bought an iPhone 5 which was a great pocket computer but a pretty crappy phone.

    The iPhone 6+ is the best phone I've ever used and I love it.

    Ironically, the Mac 128k worked more or less perfectly for me right out of the box. That was a rare example of total attention to detail - they had to, they were betting the company.

    If you bought a BMW and the steering wheel didn't really work right, you'd be upset and rightly so.

    For some reason, with personal tech many people just shrug their shoulders and accept that software has bugs because "tech is hard".

    For tech companies, it's a beta or a hobby, until it finally just works or they go out of business.
  • Reply 30 of 146
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,044member
    Seems like the rating is pretty low (3.5) compared to what you actually wrote. The cons also seem really minor and picky. I would think the final rating would have been 4.5 or 4.
  • Reply 31 of 146
    xixo wrote: »
    tl; dr: new tech takes time to evolve

    Great review. A year from now when the watch is thinner, the 3rd party and native apps have their bugs worked out and the battery lasts 3x longer, sales should really take off.

    I waited until the 3GS to buy an iPhone, then returned it because it didn't cut the mustard for me.

    I bought an iPhone 5 which was a great pocket computer but a pretty crappy phone.

    The iPhone 6+ is the best phone I've ever used and I love it.

    Ironically, the Mac 128k worked more or less perfectly for me right out of the box. That was a rare example of total attention to detail - they had to, they were betting the company.

    If you bought a BMW and the steering wheel didn't really work right, you'd be upset and rightly so.

    For some reason, with personal tech many people just shrug their shoulders and accept that software has bugs because "tech is hard".

    For tech companies, it's a beta or a hobby, until it finally just works or they go out of business.

    The 128k worked kinda sorta. It needed more RAM. Even Steve's demo used what became the 512k.
  • Reply 32 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    How can you say this is not a 1.0 device? 1.0 doesn't mean revolutionary. 1.0 means first stab at something new. To me in some ways the Watch is a bigger deal than the iPad. iPad really was just a bigger iPhone/iPod touch whereas Watch has technologies that weren't previously in any other Apple product. And to say the SOC is just a variant of an old A-series chip really trivializes what Apple has done. The Watch is a marvel of engineering, not just "desirable industrial design".



    Where is the "new" in the Apple Watch? What I am saying is that there is nothing new in the watch, and it is all proven technology from other devices. And did you read the part where I said that Apple's 1.0 is already a generation or two ahead of the competition?? The SoC is a great chip, but it is based on an earlier Ax variant (A5?). There is more going on there than the A5 had, and the improved manufacturing process (scale) is a leap forward ... that further proves my point that this is not a 1.0 device. Stop drinking the koolaid and look at it objectively. I am looking forward to my 42mm SS arriving within the next month, but I am not seeing it as a 1.0 device like much of the media. 

  • Reply 33 of 146
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,642member
    I think I am going to have an issue with the watch being on all the time while I drive, that is a real issue Apple will need to deal with soon than later.

    They probably would have find this if they allowed people to use them in every day activities but since they kept them lock behind closed doors as they do with all new things it never seen anyone driving. You would have thought that between Sept and now the engineers would have been allowed to take them into the wild and use them and see this kind of issue.
  • Reply 34 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by schlack View Post



    i want to buy one but i can't come up with any real benefit. it would just be to experience the latest product category from apple. but that's worth $400 to me.



    That's part of my thinking too, plus I'm a watch wearer and have been putting off buying a new watch for more than a year now as I wait for something like this to come to market. Being invested in the Apple system makes the decision easier for this particular device, and beyond horologe functionality there are some benefits, but probably not enough alone to justify a purchase. That said, it's a lovely piece of tech I think this marks a milestone in tech devices (wearables) - as you say experiencing this from the beginning has real value. We may not have the features/functionality of wearables figured out perfectly with v1, but we'll get there and being there through the whole journey definitely could be a fun ride and that alone for tech enthusiasts can be reason enough to justify the expense.

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post



    Seems like the rating is pretty low (3.5) compared to what you actually wrote. The cons also seem really minor and picky. I would think the final rating would have been 4.5 or 4.



    That was my reaction, I was a bit surprised at the end of the article after reading it to see that low a score, but that's the same score the MacBook got recently and I felt that device definitely didn't deserve such a low score.

  • Reply 35 of 146
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 509member

    Is this author joking? He needs a new device to keep his children from the other devices. It's either an unwillingly truthful testimony of our time, or simply insane. Or an example of incompetent parenting (before the merciful advent of the Apple Watch).

  • Reply 36 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post



    Seems like the rating is pretty low (3.5) compared to what you actually wrote. The cons also seem really minor and picky. I would think the final rating would have been 4.5 or 4.



    I felt like the frustrations with Siri, Passbook and low quality 3rd party apps (which Apple is touting there are 3,500 of them), didn't warrant a 4 out of 5 stars. I did agonize over whether to give it a 3.5 or 4

  • Reply 37 of 146
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    maestro64 wrote: »
    I think I am going to have an issue with the watch being on all the time while I drive, that is a real issue Apple will need to deal with soon than later.

    They probably would have find this if they allowed people to use them in every day activities but since they kept them lock behind closed doors as they do with all new things it never seen anyone driving. You would have thought that between Sept and now the engineers would have been allowed to take them into the wild and use them and see this kind of issue.

    Huh? Rumors were 3,000 Apple employees were using the device. What is Apple supposed to do? Disable the device when someone is behind the wheel?
  • Reply 38 of 146
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    tokenuser wrote: »

    Where is the "new" in the Apple Watch? What I am saying is that there is nothing new in the watch, and it is all proven technology from other devices. And did you read the part where I said that Apple's 1.0 is already a generation or two ahead of the competition?? The SoC is a great chip, but it is based on an earlier Ax variant (A5?). There is more going on there than the A5 had, and the improved manufacturing process (scale) is a leap forward ... that further proves my point that this is not a 1.0 device. Stop drinking the koolaid and look at it objectively. I am looking forward to my 42mm SS arriving within the next month, but I am not seeing it as a 1.0 device like much of the media. 
    It's a 1.0 device because it's the first one Apple has shipped and we know it will get better every subsequent generation. In my world, 1.0 doesn't mean brand new technology that has never been used by any company before.
  • Reply 39 of 146

    "Rough around the edges"? "3.5"? Seriously!?

     

    I've been using the watch since Friday with almost no issues, particularly when considering its myriad functions. I picked up the UI very quickly, I've gone to work, gone to bars, I shower with it, run with it, do yoga with it, control my Apple TV, use the remote shutter, use Apple Pay, send messages, make phone calls, use Siri to great effect while driving, navigate with maps, and effortlessly switched between watch faces.. this thing is fantastic! And I have yet to get the battery below 20%. I was surprised at how well the watch anticipates my intention to look at the watch face, and turn off when I don't need it. To me this seems like a fantastic first product, and I would not call this "rough around the edges."

     

    Of course, a couple things did come up for me, but not a big deal. Maybe others have had similar issues:

    -Strangely, it took about 10 tries to pair it with my Apple TV, but after that it has worked great, and it works differently than other apps in that it stays on instead of reverting back to the watch face as other apps do, which is very convenient.

    -The photos app doesn't really work for me. I selected "Mirror iPhone" but only my "Favorites" folder synched, and screen shots do not show up on my watch, or anywhere. I have yet to contact Apple about this, so maybe there's a simple fix I'm not aware of.

    -It would be nice if the taptic engine was a bit stronger. But the "tap" is really great, much better than a typical vibration motor.

    -I agree with the description of Passbook/Starbucks in the article. But it wasn't too much of a hassle, and, for starbucks, no more effort than using my iPhone.

    -It seems like the heart rate monitor takes a bit long to register the initial heart rate, but is more fluid after that first read. On the other hand, Consumer Reports did say that it was just as accurate as their highest rated chest strap monitor. I keep the heart rate monitor glance on during yoga for fun, but also kind of as a biofeedback mechanism, to know when I need to ease up, and it works great for this.

     

    Edit/Add: Btw, this thing looks fantastic (SS, 42mm, white band) and virtually everyone I've shown it to gets excited about it and says they want to buy one.

  • Reply 40 of 146
    peteopeteo Posts: 366member
    "Passbook on the Watch is not as easily accessible. You can ask Siri to open Passbook, or tap the Digital Crown, find the Passbook app, tap that, then try to tap the card you're looking for. It would be ideal if a complication could be added to the clock face that went straight to Passbook, or if the Watch (like the iPhone) knew when you needed a pass and automatically placed a shortcut on the screen."

    100% agree with this. They should have made a glance so you could tap on the card you want without having to peck for passbook app (or better yet, have the glance use GPS/iBeacon to show the card of the store you are in). Also when the card is on the screen the watch face should not turn off.
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