Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A quick first-hand look at the Apple Watch - More Digital Life Stories News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

A quick first-hand look at the Apple Watch - More Digital Life Stories News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

A quick first-hand look at the Apple Watch

ST's Trevor Tan with the Apple Watch on his wrist. -- PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM RAZORTV

SAN FRANCISCO - At Apple's event on Tuesday, the tech giant's chief Tim Cook finally revealed the pricing of its Apple Watch. The highly anticipated wearable will range from $483 to beyond $13,000.

And I was itching to find out if the wearable was worth the hefty price tag.

With over 100 media personnel from all over the world squeezing into a demo area around the size of one and a half basketball court, getting my hands on the coveted Apple Watch was a challenge in itself.

I managed to only twiddle with the Apple Watch for just about five minutes before it was whisked out of my hands for the next person in line. And here are my first impressions from the little time I had with the wearable.

The Apple Watch I got to try on was the middle-ground stainless steel Watch model with the leather loop watch band. A model like that can cost more than $1,000. It has a very premium feel from the moment I put it on my wrist.

The stainless steel case feels smooth and does not seem to have any rough edges that made me uncomfortable as with some other wearables I've tried. It has a very refined ergonomic fit and is a solid timepiece. It's quite like wearing a Patek Philippe timepiece versus a Seiko watch.

There are two buttons on the watch's right side with the Digital Crown on top and the communications button below.

Tapping the Digital Crown takes me to the home screen, where I can see all the apps in circular icons. Here, turning the Digital Crown lets me zoom in and out to browse the apps. There is also an option to tap on the screen of the watch and move my finger around to see the many icons on the home screen. Tapping again on the Digital Crown get me to the centre of the home screen. A double tap gets me back to the watch face.

On the watch face, I can swipe up from the bottom of the display to access Glances, which is a quick view of my app's most important content.

I can force tap on the watch face to access customisation options. But an Apple representative told me that that I could not do this with the watch face on this particular unit.

Nonetheless, I found the apps opened really quickly and the transitions from home screen to watch face were silky smooth.

As I tried to open some apps to test them, I sensed many glaring at me, impatient for their turn with the Watch. I quickly recorded a demo video and promptly removed the Apple Watch from my wrist.

Yes, the Watch may seem expensive for some and rather hefty for what seems to be just another smart watch. But with its refined look and polished design, plus a whole slew of functions and gestures that are groundbreaking in themselves, it does seem justifiable.

Still, Singapore won't be among the first to get the Apple Watch. It'll be interesting to see the reception of the Watch from the other nine countries that will get it on April 24.


Sent from my iPhone

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