Apple Watch (iWatch): Specs, Features, Battery Life, Price

Apple Watch collections
Apple Watch collections

Apple unveiled its first wearable device – Apple Watch – (not iWatch) at the Apple Keynote on September 9, 2014. The smartwatch will be available in early 2015. Is it worth to buy? Let’s check out the design, specs, features and price.

Design

Apple Watch is square shape with rounded corners. The case has no sharp edge, it is smooth and round at every edge.

Apple Watch has a dial, which you found on traditional watch pieces. Apple named it “Digital Crown”. It is used to scroll, zoom and navigate. The dial button also serve as the Home button and easy access to Siri.

Beside the Digital Crown is a side button to bring out list of your favorite contacts.

At the back of Apple Watch, you will find a sensor that uses infrared and LED and photodiodes to detect your heartbeat rate.

Apple Watch collections

Apple Watch is available in 2 different case sizes – 38mm and 42mm – and 6 kind of straps:

Apple Watch straps
Apple Watch straps
  1. Sport band – fluoroelastomer, light and soft, wide chemical resistance
  2. Classic buckle
  3. Milanese loop – flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh
  4. Modern buckle – it closes with a solid metal clasp
  5. Leather loop – soft, quilted leather that conceals magnets for quick fastening and adjustment
  6. Stainless steel link bracelet

Apple Watch has 3 collections – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch edition. Each has different case and straps.

Apple Watch cases and colors
Apple Watch cases and colors

Apple Watch – stainless steel case (polished or space black). Sapphire crystal display. Available in all 6 strap designs.

Apple Watch Sport – aluminum case (space gray or silver). Ion-X glass display. Available in 5 different colors sport band.

Apple Watch Edition – 18K gold case (yellow or rose gold). Sapphire crystal display. Digital Crown dial color is matching with strap color. Available in modern buckle (bright red, rose gray), sport band (white, black) and midnight blue classic buckle.

Apple Watch strap is easily swappable. You can buy extra straps when available.

Specs and Features

The smart watch comes with 11 watch faces with customisable options, such as upcoming events, moon phases, your activity level.

Apple Watch is powered by Apple’s own S1 chipset. For connectivity, Apple Watch supports Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 for pairing your iPhone. Inside has a Taptic Engine and build-in speaker allows you to hear and feel alerts and notifications.

Apple Watch’s Retina display features Force Touch that senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing new app access controls.

With GPS data from iPhone, Apple Watch continually checks against global time standard. It will automatically adjusts if you move to other time zones, including auto daylight saving time adjustments.

Charging Apple Watch
Charging Apple Watch

It uses a charging system that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging to snap and charge, free of exposed contacts.

Apple Watch can answer calls to your iPhone and replies message with templates or dictation, plus custom animated emoticons. Digital Touch allows you to send a sketch, tap, audio message, or even your own heartbeat.

With Handoff, you can start a message on Apple Watch then continue typing your message on your iPhone. Swipe up from the watch face will show Glances with apps information like your current location, stocks or your next meeting.

Fitness and Health

Apple Watch's Activity app and Workout app
Apple Watch’s Activity app and Workout app

Apple Watch includes Activity app and Workout app. The smartwatch uses the accelerometer, build-in heart rate sensor, GPS and WiFi from your iPhone to track your daily activity.

Activity app tracks calories burned, brisk activity and your stand up time during the day. Workout app provides goal-setting and pacing during workouts, such as running and cycling.

The Fitness app on iPhone collects your activity data and display in historical chart. Apple Watch will use the his tory to suggest personal realistic goals and reward you on fitness milestones to keep you motivated.

Apple Watch also supports Passbook (boarding passes, tickets, loyalty cards) and Maps’ turn-by-turn navigation. You can use Apple Watch to control music on your iPhone, control Apple TV and iTunes, and double as a remote for iPhone’s camera with live preview. Only in US, you can use Apple Watch to make payment with Apple Pay.

Apple provides WatchKit, a set of new tools and APIs, for developers to create WatchKit apps with actionable notifications and Glances. Native apps for Apple Watch will be available in later 2015.

Battery Life

Generally, smartwatches do not have good battery life, mostly up to 1 day. I would like to have a smartwatch with battery life last for at least a week.

Apple did not mention single word about Apple Watch’s “battery” during keynote and its website. Sources say Apple Watch is “around a day”.  Not good enough, Apple.

Price and Availability

Apple Watch collections (Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Edition) will be available in early 2015. The price is starting at USD$349 (~RM1115). It is compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.

Thought

Apple Watch is beautiful. With all kind of straps, Apple Watch is a fashion piece you are willing to wear everyday. It looks very much like traditional time pieces with a dial and many elegant watch straps.

People who dislike bulky smartwatch will like the smaller size of Apple Watch. 2 different size Apple Watch also hints that it is a luxury gadget gift for iPhone couple.

Apple Watch functions do not excite me. It does mostly what other smartwatches already doing.

Personally, I do not have the budget to buy a RM1000 smartwatch for myself or my wife. I predict that Apple Watch Edition which crafted from 18K gold will be selling like hot cake in China, and I bet that you will see 18K gold strap for Apple Watch soon. :)

➤ Apple

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