The Apple Watch has no shortage of fans and detractors. But, of course, it will all come down to what people actually think of it. Here’s a round up of the main reviews, and what people are thinking.
The New York Times loves it, but hated figuring out how to actually use it:
Though it looks quite smart…the Apple Watch works like a first-generation device, with all the limitations and flaws you’d expect of brand-new technology. Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices. It is designed for people who are inundated with notifications coming in through their phones, and for those who care to think about, and want to try to manage, the way the digital world intrudes on their lives.
The Verge loves the potential of the Apple Watch, but isn’t a fan of the execution:
Let’s just get this out of the way: the Apple Watch, as I reviewed it for the past week and a half, is kind of slow. There’s no getting around it, no way to talk about all of its interface ideas and obvious potential and hints of genius without noting that sometimes it stutters loading notifications.
CNET similarly sees the potential, but thinks the day-to-day drawbacks might be a little too much for the casual user:
Re/Code’s main concern is that it’s not really going to endure:
But Apple Watch is not a cure-all, and it’s likely not a timepiece you will pass down to your grandkids. It is a well-designed piece of technology that will go through a series of software updates, until one day, years from now, when the lithium ion battery can no longer hold much of a charge and it won’t seem as valuable to you.
While the Wall Street Journal makes it clear that it’s for notification junkies:
Smartphones gave us the wondrous ability to take the Internet anywhere. But they’re not always productive. In fact, they’ve become like cigarettes, leaving us itching for the latest affirmation from Instagram or Twitter. I found I spend 4.3 hours each day looking at my phone—good grief, even on vacation. …And if you can tolerate single-day battery life, half-baked apps and inevitable obsolescence, you can now wear the future on your wrist.
Finally, the Telegraph thinks it’s just too early to call:
The main drawbacks here appear to be technical. The battery only lasts a day and will need to be recharged overnight; you’ll need an iPhone 5 at the very least to use it; and Apple is still hashing out some technical bugs and interface problems, although that’s honestly to be expected with a first-generation product.
The overall theme of this is that the Apple Watch is great if you’re a notification junkie; instead of pulling out your phone every time it buzzes, you can just check your wrist and see if it’s important. But to be honest, speaking as a reformed notification junkie myself, I didn’t solve that problem by buying a watch that starts at $350. I solved it by going into my notification settings and shutting them off for any app that I didn’t absolutely need to pay attention to.
The consensus here and elsewhere seems to be that the Apple Watch is a slick piece of hardware, but it’s also very much an accessory. Your decision to buy or not should really depend not on how cool you think it is, but by how often you check your phone and how seriously you’ll use its features.