Although it was first announced back in September, we finally got solid hands-on time with a working Apple Watch; and not a unit simply running demo software. This was a working, walking, talking wearable, straight from the Cupertino labs. It’s Apple’s first smartwatch, a device the company will be the perfect companion to the hundreds of million of iPhones on the market. But with a $349 entry price, will enough people throw down the money to jump into Apple’s wearable future?
That’s something we won’t know the answer to until we try out the Apple Watch for more than a few minutes. What we can say is that the smartwatch market is still wide open, giving Apple a big opportunity to come out in front. Whether that’ll happen remains to be seen; Android Wear devices have made a lot of progress over the last several months, and the software is only getting better. Not only that, but we should be seeing second generation Android Wear devices sooner rather than later, which means improved hardware isn’t far off.
And that’s another thing to keep an eye on. Google is reportedly working on ways to bring Android Wear support to iOS, which means iPhone owners might be able to go out and buy a Moto 360, which is cheaper than Apple’s cheapest Apple Watch. We really think the design of the Apple Watch is terrific, and battery life is better than early reports lead on. But it has to be functional for it to stand apart—at least to justify the high price.
We’ll find the answer to our questions once the apple Watch comes out at the end of next month. Based on what we know now, we’re not entirely sold on the idea of an Apple Watch—or even smartwatches as a whole. But they’re improving, and they’re definitely poised to make our lives that much better. The Apple Watch starts at $349, and goes all the way up to $17,000 for the most expensive Watch Edition.