The long-awaited Apple Watch will hit the market on Friday, but the torrent of reviews were unleashed today, and the verdict is in: It’s a gorgeous piece of technology for the person who already owns every other gorgeous piece of technology.
Bloomberg’s Joshua Topolsky found the watch “cool,” “beautiful,” “powerful,” and “easy to use,” but also nonessential — especially if you already have an iPhone. Though the device does make checking texts and emails during social obligations slightly less obviously rude, it also basically replicates everything your phone already does, with the addition of a fitness tracker — which most people in the market for an expensive new gadget probably already have in the form of a Jawbone or Fitbit.
The Verge’s Nilay Patel also grappled with finding uses for the watch, and discovered that it’s actually kind of slow. “If the Watch is slow, I’m going to pull out my phone,” he writes. “But if I keep pulling out my phone, I’ll never use the Watch. So I have resolved to wait it out.” Though Patel agrees with other reviewers that it’s easily the best smartwatch out there, he also thinks the “animated emojis are nightmare fuel.” The final score? 7 out of 10.
Meanwhile, Farhad Manjoo at the Times ended up adoring the Watch, though it took some time. He found the watch’s learning curve steeper than Topolsky did, but ultimately much more rewarding. “It took three days — three long, often confusing and frustrating days — for me to fall for the Apple Watch,” he writes. “But once I fell, I fell hard.” He writes that the watch soon began to feel like “a natural extension of my body,” which is either creepy or wonderful, depending on what you want out of a gadget.
The one reviewer who didn’t seem to struggle with finding a legitimate reason for buying an Apple Watch — other than “it’s cool” — is The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler. He thought everything from checking notifications to communicating emotions to taking a picture was easier on the watch than on the phone.
Still, most reviewers appear to have come to a similar consensus: the Apple Watch is for gadget geeks who want to be on the frontier of something new, and who are willing to shell out a few hundred bucks for the cheaper model and that opportunity. The good news is: Your grandma probably won’t be asking for one anytime soon.