Apple Watch Reviews
The Apple Watch is drawing some praise, but the newest product category out of Cupertino since the iPad has some noticeable flaws. Reuters

Apple Watch reviews went live on Wednesday with many reviewers calling it the “best smartwatch” on the market, which doesn’t really say all that much when you consider the low bar set for devices and fitness trackers released in the past year. And even though they’re calling it the best, that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect with Apple’s first new product category since the iPad.

Pundits praised it for its design and the potential it brings to the future of smartwatches. But beyond all that, many of its features are marred by the flaws that almost inevitably come with a first-generation product. Here’s what they had to say:

Doesn’t Work Out of the Box

One of the qualities often attributed to an Apple product by its users is “it just works.” But with the Watch that mantra may not entirely be the case, as the New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo noted in his review:

“There’s a good chance it will not work perfectly for most consumers right out of the box, because it is best after you fiddle with various software settings to personalize use. Indeed, to a degree unusual for a new Apple device, the Watch is not suited for tech novices.”

Limited Siri Functions

While Apple Watch owners will be able to use Siri to control certain functions, it’s highly dependent on a companion iPhone for everything else, as Re/Code’s Lauren Goode noted:

“For example, you can direct Siri to call up a contact, give directions, send a text message or play a song through iTunes on the smartwatch. But asking Siri specific questions on the watch often leads you right back to the iPhone.”

All-Day Battery Life? Barely

Apple’s claim that the Apple Watch will last users all day wasn’t incorrect. But at the same time, for many reviewers, by the end of the day it can often be almost entirely drained, as the Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler pointed out:

“The battery lives up it its all-day billing, but sometimes just barely. It’s often nearly drained at bedtime, especially if I’ve used the watch for exercise. There’s a power-reserve mode that can make it last a few hours longer, but then it only shows the time.”

And since you’ll need to charge it on a nightly basis, that means the Apple Watch won’t be tracking your sleep anytime soon, as Yahoo Tech’s David Pogue noted: “One of the great joys of the Up band, Fitbit, and other bands is that they track not just your steps, but also your cycles of deep and light sleep. Not the Watch. For a device so thoroughly designed to help monitor your physical well-being, that omission is a heart-breaker.”


While the Apple Watch may make it easier to keep the iPhone in the pocket, in some cases it can be more distracting and ruder in other cases, according to Bloomberg’s Joshua Topolsky:

“And to see what the Apple Watch wants and needs, you must physically move it into view. If while you’re talking to someone, you check your regular watch, it can feel as if you’re sending a not-so-subtle ‘let’s wrap this up’ message.”

Sluggish App Performance

While the Apple Watch may be able to do a number of things, the experience can be marred by intermittent slowdowns, as noted by the Verge’s Nilay Patel: “Sometimes pulling location information and data from your iPhone over Bluetooth and WiFi takes a long time.

Sometimes apps take forever to load, and sometimes third-party apps never really load at all. Sometimes it’s just unresponsive for a few seconds while it thinks and then it comes back.”

Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff encountered this especially when it came to installing apps: “I often found that new apps took forever to install, and they then worked sporadically. I installed Trivia Crack and initially couldn't get it to work. It took initiating a game on the iPhone for it to finally be available on the watch.”

You Don’t Need It

Despite much praise of the Apple Watch, to some reviewers, the need to get it is questionable at best, an opinion held by Cnet’s Scott Stein:

“You don't need an Apple Watch. In many ways, it's a toy: an amazing little do-it-all, a clever invention, a possibly time-saving companion, a wrist-worn assistant. It's also mostly a phone accessory for now.” And for others such as the Telegraph’s Matt Warman, it may be better to wait it out this time around: “It’s beautifully designed and frequently rather useful -- but history suggests version two or three will be even better.”