The Apple Watch, the ballyhooed new wrist-worn computer, comes out April 24. This morning, Apple lifted an embargo on reviews for a few news outlets that received the device early.
Here's what they had to say.
Wall Street Journal
But every time I gaze down to admire it, I start seeing how the next one will look better. You could say the same about many fashion objects, but watches should be timeless (ironically). Unlike the Cartier I got for college graduation, the original Apple Watch's beauty will soon fade. Unless you opt for the cheapest $350 sport version, you should really wait for the future.
New York Times
What's most thrilling about the Apple Watch, unlike other smartwatches I've tried, is the way it invests a user with a general sense of empowerment. If Google brought all of the world's digital information to our computers, and the iPhone brought it to us everywhere, the Watch builds the digital world directly into your skin. It takes some time getting used to, but once it clicks, this is a power you can't live without.
So Apple has succeeded in its first big task with its watch. It made something that lives up to the company's reputation as an innovator and raised the bar for a whole new class of devices. Its second task—making me feel that I need this thing on my wrist every day—well, I'm not quite sure it's there yet. It's still another screen, another distraction, another way to disconnect, as much as it is the opposite. The Apple Watch is cool, it's beautiful, it's powerful, and it's easy to use. But it's not essential. Not yet.
But Apple Watch is not a cure-all, and it's likely not a timepiece you will pass down to your grandkids. It is a well-designed piece of technology that will go through a series of software updates, until one day, years from now, when the lithium ion battery can no longer hold much of a charge and it won't seem as valuable to you.
There's no question that the Apple Watch is the most capable smartwatch available today. It is one of the most ambitious products I've ever seen; it wants to do and change so much about how we interact with technology. But that ambition robs it of focus: it can do tiny bits of everything, instead of a few things extraordinarily well. For all of its technological marvel, the Apple Watch is still a smartwatch, and it's not clear that anyone's yet figured out what smartwatches are actually for.
The Apple Watch is the most ambitious, well-constructed smartwatch ever seen, but first-gen shortfalls make it feel more like a fashionable toy than a necessary tool.
Apple Watch does as much, maybe more, than competing smartwatches, but it doesn't demand that you pay attention to it. It also succeeded in its most important task: Getting me to keep my iPhone in my pocket. That's a pretty impressive feat.
Is my life better because of it? It's too soon to tell. But what I do know is that I thoroughly enjoy wearing it.
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Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.
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