I went to the Apple Store in Belfast today to have a look at the Apple Watch and to try some on with a few different straps. I was mainly interested in seeing what the non-black Sport finish and the Milanese Loop strap were like.
Each try on occurs at a separate demo station in the store. The try on watches are non functional devices that are running a demo loop. Each demo station in the store also has a functional Apple Watch mounted on a plinth that also has an iPad sized screen embedded. This screen displays info and tips about the particular mode the attached watch is currently in. This is a really good way to walk people through the functions of the watch.
Size – first off, the watch isn’t as big as I’d imagined. This is a good thing. The 38mm model is noticeably smaller than the 42mm one. Surprising what a difference the 4mm actually makes. I like the size of the 42mm model. The thickness of the watch is also less than the impression I’d taken from pictures and videos. I ordered the 42mm Sport yesterday. I’m happy with that choice.
Fit & Finish - I only looked at the Sport models to check fit & finish. As this is what I’ve ordered, and I like the silver Aluminium finish of my iPad Air 2. The Sport model in Aluminium that was available at my demo station was the 38mm model. I had a good look at the case for this one. It’s gorgeous. Really nice. I also had a look at the 42mm Sport in Black (and tried this one on, see below). It’s got a really nice finish too. But I like the silver Aluminium models a lot more. I didn’t inspect the stainless steel models.
Weight – The black 42mm Sport model with the Fluoroelastomer sport band that I tried on was very light on the wrist. It didn’t feel any different than the Casio Waveceptor watch I currently wear. So light that I probably wouldn’t be aware of wearing it. Which is what you want.
Bands – I tried two other bands in addition to the Fluoroelastomer Sports band: a Milanese Loop and a Link Bracelet. The Milanese Loop available at my demo station was a Small/Medium on a 38mm watch. It was a bit of a squeeze getting it past my knuckles, but once on it felt, and looked great. I will definitely be ordering a Milanese Loop to use most of the time with my Sport. I also tried the Link Bracelet. This looks really nice. But it’s heavy. Noticeably heavy. That’s not what I want from a watch band. I don’t want it to impinge on my consciousness. Never say never, but I won’t be getting a Link Bracelet in near future. I will also get a black Sports Band to complement the white one that will come with my Watch.
There has been some talk about each Watch having two straps in the box. A Samll/Medium and a Medium/Large one. I was told that this is not the case. Each Watch comes with three band parts which, when used in different configurations, give you the various band size options.
Faces – The faces look great. The normal watch faces with hour, minute and second hands are my favourites and what I’ll likely use.
Digital Crown – The digital Crown works as advertised. Press it and you get taken to previous app you were using. Spin it with a finger to scroll or zoom. It’s intuitive. Talking about scrolling, it’s fluid and fast in the built in apps. Photos app is like butter! You can also flick between photos on the screen.
Force Touch – This works really well to. Press and hold on the screen and you get different UI response appropriate for the App you are currently in. This’ll be great when it transitions to iPhone in future.
I can’t wait to get mine now. We are at the start of another journey. This first version of the Watch will be a good first step on the path to make computing ubiquitous.