Don’t buy the Apple Watch
If you’re a casual tech consumer and you buy the Apple Watch this year, I’m going to laugh at you. Sure, it’s undeniably sexy, and the Apple marketing machine has totally succeeded in making the watch the next gotta-have-it gadget to complete your technologically sophisticated setup, but it’s an unwise expenditure for anyone looking for a long term reliable smartwatch.
There are three reasons to steer clear of Apple’s latest miracle gadget (for now). It’s overpriced, the battery is underpowered, and you already know that the company will release a better one in only a year — just as it always has with its devices.
Don’t buy it yet. Just don’t.
The inflated price
Depending on which options you spring for, this little wrist accessory will cost you somewhere between $349 and a whopping $17,000. A quick Amazon search shows that similar wrist-mounted devices that pair with your phone will go for far less. That insane markup is what you pay for the Apple name and design attached to such a sexy-looking piece of technology. There are other watches that will also pair with an iPhone to do cool stuff. They simply won’t be called the Apple Watch, and thus they fall into the shadow of the tech giant.
This is Apple’s move — to catch the biggest fish with the deepest pockets first, then slowly win over the late adopters by releasing a newer, better version of the same thing every year. The company makes such changes based on user feedback and design improvements, and there’s historically been a bit of angst when a new and improved device is released at the same price as last year’s model.
As flashy and appealing as it is, the watch you buy today will be old and “not as good” next year.
That weak little battery
With 24 hours in a day, it’s disappointing that this watch’s battery is only good for 18.
If you use the watch heavily, it will last even shorter still. The best technology is that which easily falls into the rhythms of your own life and is unobtrusive. But a battery that can’t even hack it until the morning the next day is a pain. You’re either charging on the go (which is annoying, and not an acceptable solution when other watches have much better batteries) or dealing with a dead device attached to your body. Useless.
This problem is a function of device size. A smaller device strapped to your wrist means there’s less space within it for hiding a battery. Look for Apple to find some unique solutions to increase battery size or otherwise improve battery technology between now and Apple Watch 2.0.
A company called Pebble released its own smart watch in 2012, and because it opted to use an e-paper screen with incredibly low power demand (it’s the same type of screen used for Amazon’s Kindle e-readers), it will last several days at a time. You have options.
There’s a better one on the way soon
For as long as Apple has been releasing iPhones, iPods, and iPads, it’s been releasing better versions of the same thing the following year that are lightly tweaked and redesigned. I have historically declined to buy the first version of anything, and it’s saved me money by waiting until a company releases something I actually want and will actually use.
Apple is not a perfect company and it doesn’t design perfect products. You only need to look as far back as last year, with the infamous #bendgate issues attached to the iPhone 6 Plus. This is not to suggest that the Apple Watch will be riddled with problems, but only to suggest that the next version of the watch will be way better.