Is Apple Watch Worth it in 2017?
Apple Watch is legendary for their secrecy. Nothing indicates this character more so than the Apple Watch sales numbers. Since the much anticipated smartwatch launched in April 2015, the company has been completely mum about sales figures. Various analysts estimated that it started out fairly well with 2 to 5 million units being sold by the end of the year. Despite sales falling to an estimated 1.6 million units in 2016, Apple Watch received a huge surge in the holiday season and has held fast to the lion’s share of the smartwatch market. As the launch of the second generation Apple Watch draws closer, is Apple Watch worth it in 2017?
It is 2017 and the smartwatch market has hit something of a boom. Everyone from Samsung to HTC is rushing to cash in on the new tech craze. It is also without doubt that a lot has improved over the years. The Smartwatches we saw in 2013 cannot even compare to the amazing pieces of hardware being released in 2017.
Just look at Samsung’s sleek Gear series or Huawei’s stunning display smartwatch. Even Garmin, known traditionally for its fitness-focused timepieces, has veered into the non-sports smartwatch market. To say that Apple Watch is facing some competition is to understate it. So, is the late entrant from Cupertino worth it at a time when consumers have so many great choices?
Price when reviewed: $399
Where Apple Watch Does Great
Apple Watch packs plenty of features, a good number of them quite useful. With the September 2015 WatchOS 2 update, even more great features were added. Here is a rundown of features that make the Apple Watch worth considering
- Apple Pay – While other companies, including Google, struggled to sell the concept of contactless payment, Apple swooped in with the winning formula. It made things even easier with the inclusion of Apple Pay in its smartwatch. The best part is that you do not even have to carry your iPhone with you to make contactless payments using the smartwatch.
- Native apps – with WatchOS 2, Apple allowed third party apps to run natively on the watch without having to connect to the phone. With time, Apple Watch has gained more and more independence from the iPhone, making it an actually useful smartwatch that can prove helpful even with your phone at home. One are this has been hugely beneficial is fitness tracking. Some Apple Watch fitness apps now allow you to track your run without having to carry the bulky phone with you.
- Notifications – Apple Watch does well in the notification arena, delivering everything you need right to your wrist. This includes messages, mail and app notifications.
- Customization – WatchOS 2 came with a slew of new faces and access to third party complications that allow you to further customize what you see on the watch face.
Where Apple Watch Fails
While Apple is generally known for its attention to detail and its passion for finesse, the Apple Watch was not a 5 Star success in design. This was is even more apparent when you put it up against Samsung Gear S2 and S3. With the circular design and the rotating bezel, Samsung’s gear series is a design marvel.
Away from the look, there are a few other areas the Apple Watch could improve on:
- For one, Siri has much reduced capability on the watch and speech recognition is below par.
- Secondly, replying to incoming communication is just plain frustrating. Quick replies help a bit but there is so much more that the watch could improve on. If the aim is to disconnect you from your iPhone, then you should be able to painlessly type in email and text replies. At the very least, they should get the text-to-speech feature to work well.
- Finally, the lack of GPS is plain annoying. It is unbelievable that Apple did not even add GPS to its Apple Watch Sport. But this is expected to change when Apple Watch 2 comes later this year.
Is Apple Watch Worth it in 2017?
There are plenty of Smartwatches to tempt customers away from Apple Watch. Samsung recently released Gear S3 (see video here) and the reviews are good. Garmin has the Fenix Chronos and the much cheaper Forerunner 35. Motorola and Huawei have their own cheaper alternatives with appealing features.
Apple Watch is not an excellent smartwatch but it is a good one. Currently, it still tops out all other Smartwatches in the market. Its appeal is heightened by the availability of apps, something other Smartwatches are suffering from a lack of.
If Apple Watch 2 was not coming, we would be skeptical of Apple’s ability to dominate the market with its first generation smartwatch. For now however, Apple Watch is still worth it and we expect an even better smartwatch at the September 27 event.
Do you think Apple Watch is worth it in 2017? Leave your comment below.
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