The Watch - First Impression

Sat 13 June 2015 by yaniv

I'm sold on it. Yeah, it might be a hasty conclusion based on less than 24 hours with it, but the Watch is here to stay. Well, probably not the exact one I used, because I passed it over to my wife, trying to get her drinking the quaalude as well.

First off, I should say that I had very low expectations. I'm not the kind of guy who's crazy about watches. I don't even know why I'm wearing one 1. I bought the Apple Watch, and did it so early, simply because I knew I will buy it eventually. After all, I can't resist Apple's incredible marketing machine. Forking the $350 now, I thought, will save me the agonizing deliberations and endless reading of equivocal reviews. And I'm happy I did, because I found it to be a beautiful, useful and humble timepiece.

Much was already written about its design, so there is no point for me to come up with more superlatives to describe its allure. Trust me, it looks just like in the pictures - a charming gadgety garment that will give your hand a bionic yet chichi and fashionable look.

Aside from design, it's surprisingly useful, exactly when you want it to. In my company we use Duo for security services. Duo has a cool feature that allows you to authenticate by responding to a push notification on your phone. As cool as this feature is, you still have to find your phone, usually scrambling to take it out of your front pocket 2. Getting and accepting the request using your watch can't be more natural and convenient.

What strikes me the most about the Watch, though, is its humbleness. Unlike other devices, it doesn't grapple my attention. I don't turn it on 150 times a day, as I'm conditioned to with my phone. It isn't swamped with red badges that cry "tap me", and it doesn't vibrate erratically whenever my mom send a WhatsApp to a family group I've been trying to mute forever. Obviously, I can make it as obnoxious as I want by fiddling with the notification settings or loading useless apps. But out of the box it's as polite as I would have expected such a close and personal companion to be. It's like, well, a watch. You look at it when you want to. And when you do, it lits gently to share the time with you. Simple. And when it does have something important to say, it does it shyly and politely, using its haptic feedback. This is one of those gems that no one pay too much attention to 3. The tactile sensation it emits is so gentle you might mistake it with a human touch.

The one thing that put me off was the learning curve I went through before getting what each of the knob and gesture do. I'm embarrassed to say that I had to skim through the short help-page that comes with it. That's not something I'm used to do with other Apple products.

But overall, I'm happy with the Watch. I think it'll be a good replacement for my current watch, and I see how it can help me break the unhealthy ties with my iPhone. Now, all I have to do is get one of my own, assuming my wife will come up with the same conclusion.

Update - She didn't. After 2 days with the watch my wife concluded that it's beautiful and humble, but not useful enough to justify the expense.


1 I wear a simple polar watch

2 If you use the silicon case you know what a hassle it is

3 TheVerge did a good job highlighting this delightful feature in its exceptional review