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Monday, June 28, 2021

Apple Watch Hands On and Software Overview


We’re outside the Apple Store and we’re going to go take a look at what it’s like to buy an Apple Watch, get fitted, and also take a look at the software and see what it’s all about. So let’s go and check it out.

Alright, so the Apple Watch is now available for pre-order and while these dates have been pushed back, you can go ahead and schedule your appointment to try these things on. And since this is such an expensive watch, I was really hoping that Apple was going to do something special like this. So how this whole experience works—as you walk into the Apple Store, you speak with one of the representatives about your appointment. When it’s your time to go in, they’ll come and get you and bring you over to a table and ask you things like: “Which arm are you planning to wear it on?” and “Which watches do you want to try on?”

Our Apple employee was very accommodating to our more than usual trial since we all wanted to shoot this on video. A huge shout out to Danny Winget for helping me out with the camera work as well as some wrist modeling.

Now my first overall impressions of the Apple Watch is really the size and how small they are. At first, I had a 42mm watch put on my wrist and I seriously asked the question: “So this must be a 38mm” but it wasn’t. And I actually did try a 38mm watch and I immediately asked for it to be removed off my wrist. 

These things are absolutely tiny, especially when compared to any of the Android Wear smartwatches. But the fit and finish of the watch, like the aluminum casing on the Sport and the stainless steel casing on the Watch were both topnotch.

Moving on to the bands—one of my favorite bands happens to be the leather loop, which is also the one I preordered for myself. Another favorite is the stealth black space gray Sport on black Sport band, which is also one that I pre-ordered. Now I was really skeptical on this bracelet—the Milanese metal loop but it was actually pretty neat stuff. The magnet is really freaking strong and it doesn’t pull on any of your arm hair. 

But it does look really feminine but then again it’s really kind of interesting as well. Now this one, the one that I initially wanted when the Apple Watch was debuted. But then I quickly didn’t want it because of the price tag of $1100—is the space black on black stainless steel band. But man oh man, this thing is dope. Simple as that.

One thing that I noticed on both of these stainless steel metal band is that they do pull on your arm hair but no more than your typical links steel bracelets. But a really interesting thing with the Apple steel bracelets is that you can size them right at home with the buttons built in and you have five links on each side.

I think that’s really consumer friendly. Lastly, if you want to swap these bands out, it’s super easy to do that as well. You can just push the buttons on the inside of the band and slide them out.

The next thing that surprised me was the display. It’s literally the best watch display I’ve seen. It’s bright, it’s super dense and just looks more saturated, more colorful, and just plain better than any of the Android Wear smartwatches I’ve seen.

Okay so after we got fitted for our watches, we walked over to the hands-on area to check out all the software and the user interface. First off, we have the touchscreen. We also have a button on the right side of the watch and a new invention called the digital crown right above it, which works very similarly to your finger.

One thing I noticed right off the bat is how smooth the digital crown was and almost felt too smooth—like it wasn’t in tight enough. But that meant really good scrolling feedback. It knew exactly how fast I wanted to move but it can also be as accurate as ever when you want it to.

The Apple Watch basically runs this interesting software but has independent full application stream from your iPhone. They will show up here in this circular springboard type of place. You can move around, use digital crown to zoom in or zoom out. And you can either tap on the icon or zoom all the way in your digital crown to open one of these applications. Now you also have applications like Apple Maps and somehow it works. 

But I’m not exactly sure how useful it will be. You can zoom in and zoom out with the crown, you can also speak in destinations and how to give you turn by turn navigation. We’ll definitely have to wait and see how it works in the real world when we get our unit shipped to us.

Apple has also included Force Touch on the new Apple Watch and a good example of how that works is in the Apple Watch face. 

If you force touch on the Apple Watch face or basically press a little more firmly, you enter the watch face selector or you can also edit your watch face with different colors and different pieces of information. You’re also notified of the force touch with the best haptic engine I’ve ever felt on a smartwatch.

Back at the watch face, you can swipe down to go into notifications and see all your missed notifications. And if you have any messages, you can either reply to them or simply dismiss them like you would do on your iPhone. If you swipe up from the watch face, you go into Glances, which gives you a whole host of options. 

You can see Glances from your loaded applications and you can also see settings and battery saver modes. This all works very similarly to Android Wear but they really had an Apple feel to them.

Now a lot of people are going to want to know what its’ like to use the Apple Watch to respond to people’s text messages. Actually, pretty darn well. When you get a message you want to respond to the message, you are greeted with preloaded responses or you can simply speak into Siri. And somehow, it works surprisingly well in a very, very loud environment such as an Apple Store.

After you speak your response, you are given the option of either sending it as a text message or you can send them the complete audio message like you can do on iOS 8. Apple also introduced a few new methods of communication. 

Now this will use the button on the side and when you press the side button, it will take you to your list of favorite people. You can click on one of these people. For example, we clicked on Chrissy here and call them, message them. Or this new third option called digital touch. This will open up a blackboard where you can draw things to your friends by simply drawing on the display.

You can also tap on the screen to send haptic feedback taps to the other person and if you’re seriously interested in that person you want to take them on a date, you can put your two fingers on the screen and send them your current heartbeat. This is interesting, to say the least.

If you happen to click on just the plain text message, again you can either speak your entry or use one of their preloaded messages or now you can send these new emojis where you can adjust their expressions by using the digital crown. 

This is where it gets somewhat fun but also really creepy really fast. One quick note for the Apple Watch is that if you double press the button here, you will enter Apple Pay. Now I think that’s a super simple and very easy way to do that.

Overall, I’m really impressed by the Apple Watch. But it does seem a little too complex and more complex than Apple typically is with the products. But then again, I cannot say definitively until I get one of these things on my wrist for a few days. The screen’s great, the buying experience is excellent and the software, for the most part, is really good. 

The hardware though is on a completely different play field. And in my opinion, that’s really why the Apple Watch can get so pricey. The stainless steel in sapphire display is a luxury timepiece but I still think the Apple Watch Sport is a fantastic option. I just have a little uncertainty over the durability about Ion-X glass. 

But I definitely like to know what you guys think about the buying experience, the fitting experience and also the hardware and software. Make sure to leave your comments below and make sure to subscribe and give this video a thumbs up.

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