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Apple Watch: Not worth the wrist

Posted: 11 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Watch? wearable? Apple? iPhone?

Editor's note: Apple is expanding its battle for technology supremacy to the wrist with Apple Watch, four years after introducing its previous breakthrough product to the market. But taking a closer look at the $349 device, EE Times Europe's Julien Happich is unconvinced that the new Apple product will redefine what people expect from a watch.

There has been so much anticipation about an iWatch release, something that would revolutionise wearables the Apple way, only to see the Californian firm launch a smartphone-satellite watch missing the brand's iconic "i" prefixfrom a geek's perspective, without an "i" attached to it, is it an Apple product?

The Apple Watch, as they call it, requires an iPhone for Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS data, so it is clearly to be sold as a satellite to Apple products, unlike Samsung's bulkier Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch or many other Android-compatible connected watches such as the LG G Watch, the Moto 360, or the cheaper and less power-hungry Pebble (with a bi-stable e-Ink display instead of the light-emitting LCDs or OLEDs).

Regardless of its sleek design, at $349, the watch is not precisely cheap for a peripheral that'll need charging every night at best for if you wish to rely on the time it indicates (Apple remained elusive on battery life).

Considering that all of today's smartwatches require you to have a smartphone nearby (with a clock on it), they only act as secondary displays which need to be recharged about a thousand time more often than today's regular battery-operated watches or infinitely more than automatic movement watches that are wound by the wearers motion.

When you spend over $300 in a watch, you would want something not only with good craftsmanship, but that gives you time with precision and elegance, unconditionally, that is without wasting your time charging it or tethering you to yet another power cord (even a wireless charger has to plug somewhere).

That is especially true when the smartwatch's market position flirts with the jewellery side, with a variety of materials to choose from, including a premium 18-carat gold version at an even higher price-tag. So when Apple CEO Tim Cook says such a product will redefine what people expect from a watch, I look at mine, check the time (the only feature it has apart its fashion statement) and sigh, what a waste of time.

- Julien Happich
??EE Times Europe

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