It’s time: Apple’s Watch reviewed

Catch three: price

Price is the final hurdle for the Apple Watch, and it is perhaps the biggest one to come to grips with.

Customisation you can deal with, and the battery life is more or less on par with the other competitors, but the price is something different altogether.

With a starting price of $499 and a maximum of $24,000 possible, Apple’s Watch is not a cheap product, not by a long shot.


We’ll break this down so it makes sense, because there’s a lot of confusion over what is being offered, and that’s because with the exception of the sizes — 38mm and 42mm — every Apple Watch is technically the same.

They all have the same Apple S1 processor inside, the same sapphire crystal screen protection, a similar Retina display underneath with 272×340 on the 38mm (290ppi) and 312×390 on the 42mm (302ppi), the same heart-rate tracking with the same ceramic back, the same support for 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, the same speaker and microphone, the same two buttons with the Digital Crown, and the same support for bands in each of the respective sizes.

Beyond the differences in size, where things change is at the material choices.

Feel like a more premium option closer to the cost of a cheap car? The gold Apple Watch (Watch Edition) is what you’re after.

Do you want it in aluminium, stainless steel, or gold?

Each of those options carries a different price, with the bands for each of those options being reflected with larger pricing.

For instance, you could get the $579 42mm aluminium with a basic white silicone sport band, but decide later on that the metal Milanese loop used on our review model suits an evening event better, and spend the $229 for that. Likewise, you could grab a $24,000 18-Carat yellow gold model with a red leather modern buckle and decide the $79 silicone band is also worth having.

If you choose aluminium, you’ll find a plastic back with Ion-X hardened glass, but if you go for stainless steel or gold, the back is made of ceramic while the front gets sapphire crystal. Choices, choices.

The Watch Sport is practically identical to the regular Watch and Watch Edition, except it’s made from aluminium and plastic, rather than metal and ceramic.

So you have lots of options, and in comparison to other high quality watches, the pricing isn’t terrible.

But then again, this isn’t a Rolex, or an Omega, or a Mont Blanc. This is an Apple Watch, and its battery life isn’t as long lasting, plus it’s a first-generation product.

And against other smartwatches, even the budget model — the $499-579 aluminium version — is pretty expensive.

In comparison, the LG G Watch R, which is aluminium and circular, fetches a price tag closer to the $350 mark.

Granted, the bands made for the LG G Watch R — and every other Android Wear watch — aren’t quite as special as the straps used in the Apple Watch, which feel premium, rely on magnets, and generally complete the package as opposed to feeling useful, but that’s still a lot to pay for when the average person is eyeing a new watch.

Apple’s Watch is the closest a smartwatch has gotten to feeling like a proper watch.



Apple’s take on the smartwatch was always going to be totally different from the crowd, and it sure is one device worth taking a look at, especially if you’ve been eyeing the ads and stories on the subject.

But do we think it’s worth it?

Honestly, we’re not sure. Even at the $500-600 mark, the inexpensive option is still quite pricey, and a lot to pay for a gadget that is basically an accessory for a phone you’re probably going to use more often.


Then there’s the issue of the Apple Watch being a first-generation product, and this area will only improve, with a next-gen model likely to boast better battery life and more features.

That’s always the issue with first-gen products, mind you, and that’s a gamble you take with every tech purchase you grab, but we can’t help but feel like the Apple Watch will see that more aggressively, with customers feeling the pinch more so due to that high price of entry.

Android owners don’t really get a say in the matter, though, and if you’re using a Samsung, an HTC, or a Sony, LG, Huawei, ZTE, Oppo, or really anything that doesn’t greet you with an Apple logo on the back, you can’t even try it out, so don’t bother. This is strictly an Apple-only affair, and owner phone owners need not bother, not unless you’re happy to buy a new phone with the Watch.

Talking into your watch is still a little silly, no matter how fashionable the Apple Watch makes it.
Talking into your watch is still a little silly, no matter how fashionable the Apple Watch makes it.

But at least Apple owners now have a watch to call their own, they just need to work out whether it’s the sort of thing they would wear and use all the time, and while we can tell you if it’s good or not — it is, up to a point — that Apple demo session will really clinch the deal for you.

If you’re currently a watch-wearer and you own an iPhone, we’d eye the Apple Watch if only to see whether this makes sense for you. If you like the feeling, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you want to be notified on your wrist when a message comes in? Do you want control of your music? Do you like the idea of communicating using your arm and leaving the phone aside?

And do you mind spending a small fortune for this privilege?

If the answers are yes to most of these, chances are you’ll be good for the first-generation Apple Watch. If not, however, wait around, because this is just the beginning, and smartwatch makers are just getting warmed up.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Well designed; Bands feel like part of the package, not a cheap addition; “Taptic” feedback feels like a poke, less a vibration, with a more human feel than the typical vibrating haptic motor; Easy to control; Watches your health and heartbeat;
Expensive… very expensive; Battery could be a little better; Apps can fail too easily;