Apple Watch Review


Back in 2007, the smartphone world was turned upside down with the introduction of the original iPhone. In just a matter of a couple of hours, it undoubtedly pushed things forward into new heights that hadn’t been obtained before – seemingly putting all other smartphones before it in the dust; outdating them in the process. That, of course, was a monumental moment in our technologically driven society.

Since then, we’ve seen Apple move into other new areas that led them to become yet again the dominant force. Take the iPad as an example. Even now, with competition ranging the gamut, it’s still widely regarded as the premier tablet for its impeccable design and tablet-centric apps ecosystem. Conquering that market, Apple is eying its focus on yet another budding segment that demands meticulous overseeing in order to prove to consumers that there’s a viable place for its presence. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s none other than the smartwatch market.

Enter the Apple Watch, the company’s ambitious take on the modern smartwatch, which has yet to see a champion that rises above all others. Indeed, we can mention a few models from the Android Wear camp that have piqued our interest, but for the most part, there’s still not a single, dominant one that can transform the smartwatch’s reputation from a want, to a necessity. Can the Watch achieve that? Knowing Apple’s track record, we’re confident that it’s plausible, but at the end of the day, it’ll need to prove to all of us that it can.

Our package contains:

  • Apple Watch
  • Wall charger
  • Black sports band
  • Magnetic conductive charging disc
  • User's guide


A humble looking design that covers the gamut, it’s far more customizable than most smartwatches.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s first explain the various models that are available with the Apple Watch – Sport, Watch, and Edition, which are offered in either 38mm or 42mm casing options. In terms of pricing, the base 38mm Sport aluminum model starts at $349 (42mm is $399); the middle-ground stainless steel one goes for $549 for the 38mm case, and $599 for the 42mm one; and finally, there's the luxurious Edition version with 18-karat gold body that starts from $10,000 for the 38mm case and $12,000 for the 42mm case. For our review, we have the 38mm Sport model that comes with a standard black fluoroelastomer band.

While the Apple Watch isn't an 'instantly mind-blowing design' type of thing, it’s one of the more favorable looking smartwatches we’ve seen – boasting a concoction of simplicity, modernism, and premium into one. Constructed from what Apple refers to as 7000 Series Aluminum, with our unit sporting the Space Gray color (there’s also a Silver option) and a matching black fluoroelastomer band, it certainly has a pleasant uniform look, but of course, a higher contrast can be achieved by picking up any of the handful of colored bands that Apple sells.

Versus other smartwatch designs, this one is an undeniably favorable one with its sturdy feel, but at the same time, it’s not something we’d classify as class-leading. It could be attributed to its square shaped watch face style, which we don’t feel as stylish as some of the round faced designs we've seen.

Worn on our wrist, the 38mm Apple Watch Sport might look a little small for most men, but it’s something that many women feel to be better sized for them. Of course, the 42mm model is more proportionally correct for those with bigger wrists, but frankly speaking, it’s a nice looking watch either way. That’s partly due to how the edges of the Apple Watch are rounded, offering a uniform look – while the glossy front helps to contrast the aluminum casing. And then there’s the fluoroelastomer band, which is rubbery in texture and offers great fidelity with physical activities thanks to its water resistant properties. Adjusting the strap is a cinch too, as all that’s needed is to find the correct cutout.

While the Watch Sport model targets active individuals, the Watch and Edition models exude a higher degree of premium with the Watch’s stainless steel case – and the 18-karat rose or yellow gold casings with the Edition. Add in the various straps that Apple sells, like the link bracelet, modern buckle, Milanese loop, classic buckle, and much more, there’s significantly more personalization achieved by the Apple Watch than anything else around. Depending on which one you go with, obviously, the final price of the Apple Watch can jump significantly – so bear that one in mind.

Along the right side of the Apple Watch, there’s the so-called Digital Crown - that’s a modern twist on a classical feature. Much like what you find on a standard watch with a crown, it can be rotated and pressed – where the former function allows us to scroll through certain lists or zoom, while the latter is used to turn it on, move between the homescreen and apps tray, and act as the ‘back’ function. Honestly, it’s pretty smooth and responsive, and we’re really impressed by how precise it is with its movement.

Below the Digital crown is yet another button, one that’s flatter and oval in shape, which acts to turn on the display and cycle between the watch face homescreen and favorite contacts when it’s pressed – while long pressing gives us the option to lock the watch, power off, or place it in power reserve mode. Over on the left edge, the only two things there are the internal speaker and microphone. For Dick Tracy fans out there, they’ll be especially pleased to know that the Apple Watch can be used to make and receive phone calls – plus, there’s also Siri access as well.

On its underside, the circular sized mid-section juts out from the casing, which packs the Apple Watch’s new, custom heart rate sensor, to gently rest over our wrist. By just a cursory inspection, one might presume that this design choice might make for an awkward fit, but that’s hardly the case. Finally, another two buttons flank the heart rate sensor – their purpose is to release the strap from the case – it’s a simple and effortless procedure, which makes installing various straps a breeze.

Designated with an IPX7 certification, it means that the Apple Watch is water resistant – not waterproof. Essentially, it can withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes at the maximum. However, you should know that not all of the bands are resistant to water either, so you’ll need to be aware about that. Even though it’s safeguarded against sweaty workouts, washing our hands, and even being caught in the rain, it’s not meant to be used prolonged for activities like showering or swimming.

All told, while it’s not the most unique looking smartwatch on the market, Apple treads the course cautiously by designing a very practical looking watch – one that’s precisely crafted and embodies the qualities of Apple’s meticulous approach to design. It’s not cheap looking or feeling, thankfully, but it also doesn't tend to be exorbitantly eye-catchy either.


Impressively, it’s one of the best looking displays on a smartwatch – and it goes the extra step with Force Touch technology.

The centerpiece of the 38mm Apple Watch Sport is its 1.32-inch 272 x 340 OLED display, which is the first time we’ve seen the company dive into the world of OLED screens. And boy does it make a compelling splash! Interestingly, Apple classifies the screen’s pixel density figure of 272 ppi as being a Retina Display. Regardless, while we certainly have no qualms about its detail and sharpness, the 42mm variant gets treated to a slightly larger, 1.5” display panel with better resolution - 312 x 390 pixels.

We won’t deny that the screen is utterly beautiful, arguably one of the best we’ve seen in a smartwatch thus far – meeting and maybe eclipsing the LG G Watch R’s screen in the process. Impressively enough, the screen pops magnificently and gracefully with its potent brightness and vibrant colors. Topping it off, too, is the fact that the Sport edition is safeguarded by a layer of Ion-X strengthened scratch resistant glass, which is similarly employed by the iPhone 6. Meanwhile, the Watch stainless steel and Edition version are protected by the even tougher sapphire glass. From various angles and lighting conditions, we’re astounded by the screen’s ability to maintain its clarity – so colors don’t distort, nor is there much glare.

Already employed in its new Macbook line, Force Touch technology makes its presence known in the Apple Watch – where the screen is capable of differentiating a tap from a press. While it’s only supported by a few apps at the moment, it’s remarkable at how well it works. For example, if we want to change the homescreen clock face, we can gently press into the display for it to ‘minimize’ the panel, and from there, scroll to the watch face we want to use. Normally, something like this would be done by just doing a long press on the screen, but Force Touch works exquisitely to differentiate a tap from a press.



1. osbert

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

so... meh

12. dirtydirty00

Posts: 428; Member since: Jan 21, 2011

please stop using the word 'retina'... i tune out the rest of the words once i see this word. by retina 'standards' my 1955 panasonic tv is almost up to snuff. its a useless coined apple phrase that sounds as dumb as it is.

14. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

It is all about the branding with Apple and it works too since no one in the AppleFandom knows what any of the terms actually stand for. For example, they keep calling the bands fluoroelastomer bands instead of colorful rubber. They called the iPhone 5c casing polycarbonate instead of plastic. For Samsung et al. they will call it by its generic name to discredit it. Oh well, what can you do, the Apple ban hammer is feared by all media outlets.

17. IT-Engineer

Posts: 579; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

As soon as i read John V is the reviewer, didn't want to continue reading, this guy doesn't write neutral reviews as a reviewer should, if it is apple product then it is good enough for him.

18. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Right? Like when he rated the Galaxy S 6 higher than the iPhone 6, and when he rated the G4 higher than the iPhone 6 before all the Samsung fans complained that it was too high...

28. IT-Engineer

Posts: 579; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Im not a Samsung fan or any brand fan, i buy what fulfills my needs.

50. epdm2be

Posts: 827; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

... and that is nowadays becoming a problem. Because NONE of the current smartphones, no matter how powerful they are or how big their screen resolution or screen-sizes are, fulfills my need. The odd thing is that my needs aren't that extravagant at all. They just include some things that I have become accustomed to with the great feature-phones of years past. And that I EXPECT that a new device should do ALL the things the older one does but BETTER and perhaps even more! But all I see around me are compromises :-(

55. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Haaaaaave you tried Windows Phone?

24. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Apple makes some of the best products. Don't buy them if you don't like them.

29. IT-Engineer

Posts: 579; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

I already told you before, stop being biased, in every article you always say apple's product is better, just like this one. I don't like the cheap antennas in apple products, but i like their Sandboxing for the apps even though IOS lacks behind android, but that is the price one has to say for over simplicity.I hated samsung plastic, and so on, be OPEN minded.

37. ohplease

Posts: 40; Member since: May 12, 2015

While Apple makes really good products, I can't say they are the best, nothing is the best for everyone. And never forget about personal preference please.

40. osbert

Posts: 125; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

I didn't.

63. Simona unregistered

u see and ppl eating it to them bcos they ar stupid they know how to shepherd

64. Simona unregistered

2. gaming64 unregistered

Fair review. 8 is what the Watch deserves. The recipe lacks some ingredients. Hope the 2nd gen Apple Watch would be better.

3. bucky

Posts: 3795; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

exactly what im thinking.

4. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

Even the verge gave it a 7. The applelove is strong in phonearena. So dissapointing. It's slow it doesn't stay on it has no standalone apps...

5. gaming64 unregistered

Lel the Verge is also Apple biased.

7. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

Exactly. He's saying even the Verge scored it lower than standard.

6. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

I was hoping someone said about the Verge, haha. Plus devs can't even make their own watch faces, the battery life doesn't come close to Android Wear anymore, the design of the watch itself is still questionable... Off topic a little. Has anyone noticed two day battery life with the recent updates? I'm getting two and a half - three days now on my LG G Watch, which is weird but wonderful.

11. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015 Just some proof, it's delightul!

34. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

ALSO. To beat this dead horse a little bit more. The Apple Watch messaging features only works with the buggy iMessage, it doesn't work with Whatsapp and FB. Plus the Maps feature has been iffy when walking, it takes you on the same route as cars, when you can only use the Watch while walking, I witnessed this one and we walked in the one route direction of the road instead of just turning around. I just don't understand how this is on par with the Android Wear watches, when all of this works, plus more. I can't think of anything that isn't good about Wear, besides not talking calls which is pretty awesome when you're working. Fair enough this is Apple users only choice, but it is a terrible choice if everyone could buy anyone. Anyway, enough ranting :P (I'm forwarding these problems from my mate who had the Watch, he's returned it already before it was too late)

26. Feanor

Posts: 1420; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

But at least Phonearena gave (correctly) a slightly higher note to the G Watch R. This is rather fair. Other reviewers, after complaining about pretty much everything on a Watch, they named it somehow magically the top smartwatch (looking at you Techradar).

8. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

As much i hate to admit it, and contrary to my initial thoughts on the Apple watch, i do believe it is the best smartwatch on the market atm. I still think it should've been cheaper, with better battery life and simpler UI like what iOS is on iPhones.

19. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

There is no need to hate anything :) Respect for having balls to admit that your opinion change after testing, most people here even if they liked this Watch they wouldn't admit, ininstead they would just bash Apple for some stupid reasons.

22. xperian

Posts: 421; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

It may be the best smartwatch, but still not worth 8

9. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I guess 8 is fair seems the apple watch offers one or two things most smartwatchs don't have.

27. Feanor

Posts: 1420; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

It also doesn't offer many things that other smartwatches do, though... Like Google Now predictive notifications, flick to scroll, always on display, downloadable watchfaces etc...

35. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

yeah but its ios so what did you expect lol.

10. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

That flexing on the arm tho lol

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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