Hands-On First Impressions of the New Apple Watch

Following today's media event that saw the introduction of two new iPhones and Apple's long-rumored wearable device, members of the press were invited to go hands-on with all of Apple's new products. Several sites have posted hands-on first impressions of the Apple Watch, which we've gathered up below to give an overall picture of the look, feel, and function of the device.

First of all, Jared Nelson from our sister site TouchArcade was able to get a hands-on glimpse at the Watch, and an overview from an Apple employee who walked him through several different features on the device. "We are truly living in the future," said Nelson after trying out both the Watch and the iPhone 6.


According to The Verge, the smaller Watch model felt "very solid and surprisingly light," and the wrist strap was "supple" and comfortable to wear. The site also thinks the device looks "better than most of the smartwatch competition out there," and got a look at the "Digital Crown" control.

thevergewatch

The "digital crown" that Tim Cook spent so much time enthusing about on stage did its job when an Apple representative showed it to us, but unfortunately I wasn't able to try it for myself. That said, if the model running the demo loop is any indication, the dial offers very little resistance. It didn't exactly spin around freely, but neither did I feel any clicking or other forceful feedback as I twisted it. Presumably the feeling that I wasn't getting much feedback from the dial itself is mostly a function of the fact that it wasn't doing anything on the demo unit -- and so spinning it will feel quite different when it's moving software around.

Engadget also got a chance to try out the watch, but wasn't able to test specific features as the demo units were only displaying screenshots. The site tried both the polished steel version with a leather loop strap and the aluminum Sport version, saying that both had an "impeccable" build quality.

The bands were both comfy, though I preferred the look and feel of the leather loop. The magnets inside the leather seem to do the job of clasping well, though without the same magnetic force as those accustomed to the MagSafe connectors found on Apple laptops. As for the rubber sport band, I had some trouble fitting the metal nubbin into its appropriate hole, and I got a little pinch on the underside of my wrist when tucking it into the band. We imagine we'd get the hang of fitting it quickly and painlessly eventually, but our first time strapping it on was not all pleasant.

Gizmodo's first impression of the Apple Watch is that it "could live up to its promises" and that it feels "significantly more premium" than the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. The site also praised the "digital crown," saying that "it feels like you're wearing a watch that just happens to be digital."

gizmodowatch

As for the software, I wish I could tell you more. I watched my new Apple friend demonstrate Glances, which brings up Google Now-like info cards with an upward swipe, that can be rotated through with subsequent right and left swipage. I can confirm that it works, and that it was zippy, at least on this pre-release model.

SlashGear says that the Watch's display is "bright and vivid," and that Apple's choice of materials makes the device feel "premium and solid."

slashgearwatch

What helps differentiate the Apple Watch from other smartwatch attempts is the sheer range of options and customizations possible. Other platforms perhaps allow for a couple of strap changes, and maybe two or three case colors; Apple, on the other hand, has put out a full three ranges of different options.

Different straps, different clasps, different colors of straps and clasps; metal, leather, rubber, and all in different colors and finishes. That's before you get to the variations in casing color and even material, ranging to premium 18 karat gold.

Based on the several first impressions of the device, it appears that Apple has quite a bit of work to do to perfect the software and the interface, even if the device itself appears complete hardware-wise. Apple is planning to wait until early 2015 to debut the device, which gives it plenty of time to iron out the kinks. Check out our full Apple Watch post for more details on the device.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
80 months ago
Hey guys, Google here. Today we are pleased to announce a revolutionary new product category. This amazing device was designed from the ground up be worn on your wrist. It has a magnificent circular touchscreen, the first of its kind. Truly magical. In terms of design, our goal was to create an elegant fashion accessory that wouldn't look out of place alongside premium Swiss timepieces. We're extremely proud of what we came up with, and we think that our customers are absolutely going to love it.

Introducing the Moto 360:



















































MEANWHILE AT APPLE


Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
.


I can NOT believe how cheap that thing looks.

Especially after:

1. Jony I've says: watch out Switzerland (hahaha)
2. They hire the Burberry lady

I was actually expecting a beautifully designed, iconic watch... not even close.

:rolleyes:
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
From someone who has actually seen one:

The site tried both the polished steel version with a leather loop strap and the aluminum Sport version, saying that both had an "impeccable" build quality.

...and from someone who has not.


I can NOT believe how cheap that thing looks.

Who to believe? Tough call.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago

steve jobs died again today

I hate it when people say this type of stuff. It's sensationalist, ridiculous, and insulting to his memory.

However on this occasion, I completely agree.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
This is going to be huge.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
80 months ago
This watch is so innovative that under direct sun and wearing sunglasses you probably can't see what time is it.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...