A late-adopter’s review of the Apple Watch

Thumbs up all the way down.

Five months after its release, I bought an Apple Watch and it’s been on my wrist for the past 5 days. Long story short, I love it and what I initially considered its greatest weakness — the fact that it needs charging every other day — has been far less annoying than I expected. My forgiveness of the battery is partly due to how wonderful everything else about the watch is, from its beautiful design to how perfectly it speaks to the giddy child inside me who’d always wanted just such a device. It’s pretty clear that Apple Watch isn’t for everybody but I’m definitely digging it so far.

How long have you wanted one of these?

One of my earliest gadget obsessions, the Nelsonic watches of the early 80’s and 90's

I’ve been wearing digital watches almost nonstop since I was 5. Very few pictures of me exist between the ages of 5 and 35 in which I’m not wearing a digital watch. My earliest obsession with watches that could do more than tell time was with the Nintendo-branded Nelsonic watches of the early 80’s and, to a much lesser degree, calculator watches. I never owned one of these wrist hogs but I knew a kid who did when I was in first grade. I’ll never forget the sense of awe and envy that I felt when I saw that little bastard parading his Mario-Brothers-themed wonder around the playground. I’m guessing he never quite achieved that same level of glory ever again.

In the early 90’s my lust for a smart watch was renewed with the release of Warren Beaty’s oddly-unsettling Dick Tracy. What was interesting about this film was that it served to merge my obsession with those of kid’s from previous generations, dating back to Dick Tracy’s introduction in the 1930’s. It wasn’t until I actually made a call using the Apple Watch that I realized I’d finally outdone Dick Tracy. Suck it, Dick!

“Can you hear me, Dick? It’s the future. Sorry, but your watch is really just a glorified walky-talky.”

As you can probably tell, there’s still a certain novelty influencing my opinion of the Apple Watch and I’m aware that it’s likely to wear off the same way that my iPhone’s novelty has. Until then, I’ll continue to glance down in complete wonder at how much thought and technology is strapped to my wrist.

What does the Apple Watch do?

Well, let’s just say that it does a lot of amazing shit that’s mild-to-moderately useful. Come to think of it, I could say the same thing about my iPhone, but that’s a different story. Apple Watch may do some things that are super useful for people but I haven’t found one yet. At this point I simply use it to tell time and view messages that are relayed from my phone. I’ve also used it to pretend I’m Ethan Hunt in the original Mission: Impossible by connecting to my iPhone’s camera and handing the phone to Jon Voight while we’re farting around in Prague.

Mission: Impossible 1 is the best Mission: Impossible. Say it.

Where’s this thing headed?

It’s eventually going to replace people’s phones. The Apple Watch currently requires an iPhone to be close by for full functionality. This is really just a stopgap before all the components within the iPhone can fit inside a watch case — a feat that’s probably possible now but too cost prohibitive. As soon as the tech becomes small enough and decent, reliable voice recognition becomes available, I see no reason to lug around a glass and metal brick in your pocket when you could just as easily wear a feather-weight Apple Watch on your wrist.

“That guy I just passed was using a hand phone! What a fucking hipster.”

Would you recommend it?

I’d say that if you’re not a life-long watch wearer with a gadget fetish, or you’re not interested in the subtle convenience of not having to reach into your pocket to see what’s vibrating or making noise, then the Apple Watch probably ain’t your jam. Also, if you’re just looking for a health tracker, there are several less-expensive options out there that’ll tell you just as much, if not more about your body than the current Apple Watch. As for me, I can’t really see myself going back to a plain old watch and I’m looking forward to what future versions of Apple Watch have in store.