Design & Build Quality
Apple Watch review: Design
After spending four months with the Apple Watch, the male half of the Macworld team debated whether it is a great or terrible product. In our opinion, the Apple Watch is beautifully designed and engineered, with a sleek and modern look. Its rounded body is reminiscent of the original iPhone, giving it a stylish and satisfying feel. Additionally, the Apple Watch is comfortable to wear on the wrist.
Unlike other fitness trackers and smartwatches, the Apple Watch stands out with its fashion appeal. Most fitness trackers lack the design elements that appeal to fashion-conscious individuals. Similarly, many smartwatches are designed with a masculine touch, making it uncomfortable for people with smaller wrists.
Apple Watch review: Dimensions
The Apple Watch comes in two sizes: the 38mm model measures 38.6 x 33.3 x 10.5mm, while the 42mm model measures 42.0 x 35.9 x 10.5mm. Both sizes have a thickness of 10.5mm.
- 38mm model: 38.6 x 33.3 x 10.5mm
- 42mm model: 42.0 x 35.9 x 10.5mm
Apple Watch review: Build quality
The Apple Watch comes in different materials: aluminium for the Watch Sport, stainless steel for the Watch, and 18-carat gold for the Watch Edition. The Watch and Watch Edition feature sapphire screens, while the Sport version has an ion-x glass.
The Apple Watch has a robust and scratch-resistant body, and after almost a year of use, there have been no visible scratches. However, Apple advises against submerging the first-generation Apple Watch in water, although it is described as “splash- and water-resistant.” To be safe, it is best to avoid swimming with the watch.
Fortunately, many users have tested the watch’s water resistance and have not reported any damage. While it is not officially labeled as waterproof, the Apple Watch seems to handle water exposure well.
Apple Watch review: Straps
Choosing the right strap to complement your Apple Watch is essential. The Apple Watch offers a wide range of strap options, such as the Link Bracelet, Sport Band, Leather Loop, Classic Buckle, Modern Buckle, Milanese Loop, Nylon band, and Hermes straps.
The Leather Loop, Classic Buckle, Leather Loop, Modern Buckle, Woven Nylon, and Sport Band come in various color options, while the Milanese Loop and Link Bracelet are available in only two colors. The Sport Band, in particular, offers an extensive range of colors to suit your style.
Apple Watch review: Screen
The Apple Watch features a high-quality Retina screen that offers sharp and vibrant colors. The 38mm Apple Watch has a screen resolution of 272×340, while the 42mm model has a resolution of 312×390. Both models provide a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch (ppi).
The touchscreen is highly responsive and works smoothly. While there is an option to navigate using the Digital Crown, we found it more convenient to swipe and tap on the screen. However, quitting apps using the side button may not be immediately intuitive.
Apple Watch review: User interface
Apart from its stylish design, the Apple Watch stands out for its user interface. Unlike other smartwatches, the Apple Watch utilizes the Digital Crown as a means of navigation. This solves the problem of having to use tiny visual elements on a small screen with your fingers.
The Apple Watch screen is highly interactive, allowing you to scroll, select items, and access different elements of the operating system using various gestures and Force Touch technology. It takes some time to get used to, but with practice, you’ll find it intuitive and user-friendly.
Apple Watch review: Speed/performance
The Apple Watch’s speed may vary depending on usage and running apps. Some reviewers have experienced a delay in certain actions, while others have found it to be relatively smooth. Third-party apps can be slower to start up compared to native Apple apps.
It is worth mentioning that this review is based on the original Apple Watch, not the Series 1 or 2, which feature a faster processor. Performance may differ with these later models.
Apple Watch review: Battery life
The Apple Watch offers approximately 18 hours of battery life with typical usage. However, this means that you will need to charge it every night. Using fitness features, playing music, or using third-party apps may drain the battery faster. It is advisable to charge the watch nightly to ensure uninterrupted usage.
Pricing and Availability
Apple Watch review: Apple Watch UK price
The pricing of the Apple Watch varies depending on the model and strap selection. The starting price for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport with a plastic band is £259, while the 42mm version starts at £299. The stainless steel Apple Watch starts at £479, and the Apple Watch Hermes starts at £1000. The 18-carat gold Apple Watch Edition is priced at £8,000.
The Apple Watch may not be the first smartwatch on the market, but it offers a stylish design and exceptional user interface. While there are similar products available, the Apple Watch stands out with its sleek design and intuitive navigation. With continued use, it becomes more user-friendly.