Apple Watch Is Easily Best Smartwatch on Market
But reviewers don't think smartwatches are essential, yet
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2015 12:19 PM CDT
One version of the Apple Watch.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(Newser) – The reviews for the Apple Watch are in, and it's clear this is no flop. Reviewers generally agree that Apple has made the best smartwatch in existence, but they also think it will take a while before smartwatches in general become necessary gadgets. Still, it seems the Apple Watch is the first big step toward that day. Some samples:

  • Learning curve: Compared to most Apple products, this one has a learning curve, writes Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times. But he came to love it after three days, and he concludes his review with a one-sentence summary that would fit nicely on the screen: "The first Apple Watch may not be for you—but someday soon, it will change your world."
  • Don't spend a ton: The Verge gives it a solid 7 out of 10 in its review. It's easily "the most capable smartwatch available today," writes Nilay Patel. It's also incredibly ambitious, "hoping to do and change so much about how we interact with technology. But that ambition robs it of focus: it can do tiny bits of everything, instead of a few things extraordinarily well." It is, after all, a smartwatch, and it's "not clear that anyone’s yet figured out what smartwatches are actually for." If you want to take the plunge, stick with one of the lower-priced models and wait for improvements. (Prices start at $349 and go well north of $10,000.)

  • Style points: Users will tailor it to their own needs, writes Joanna Stern at the Wall Street Journal, and she turned hers "into a stylish watch to keep me on schedule and a workout companion to keep me moving." Yeah, you can buy a cheaper fitness tracker for the same purpose, but it will probably end up in a drawer. "After over a week of living with Apple’s latest gadget on my wrist, I realized the company isn’t just selling some wrist-worn computer, it’s selling good looks and coolness, with some bonus computer features." And that's OK: it's an accessory you'll want to wear.
  • Want vs. need: Apple did what Apple does so well: raised the bar "for a whole new class of devices," writes Joshua Topolsky at Bloomberg. Next step: Helping people figure out why they need to wear it. "The Apple Watch is cool, it’s beautiful, it’s powerful, and it’s easy to use. But it’s not essential. Not yet."