The second Apple Watch event is today. I’m personally excited about the watch because I am a fanboy, I am a stock holder, and I enjoyed the wrist notifications when using the Pebble, but hated everything else about it. I will be getting one, but I have a few outstanding questions.
How waterproof/resistant is it?
One of the promises of so-called smart watches if their ability to track activity, including exercise. Most of my sports are done on the water: sailing and stand up paddleboarding. I don’t plan on swimming or diving with it, but I’m not going wear a watch that will die the first time I fall overboard.
What is the battery life?
This is one of the big questions everyone has. Seems to be “a day” use will be gotten from each charge with 5 hours of active use. That is a bit annoying, but current science and physics likely limits any more than that. I think a better question is…
How fast does it recharge?
Since the battery is small due to size constraints, perhaps it will be able to charge rapidly, i.e. the reverse of how slow the iPad charges? This would allow one to wear the watch 24 hours a day except for a short time (20 minutes?) when showering. The last rumors I heard say 2 hours. That’ll be disappointing if so, because any sleep monitoring functions or alarm functions will be useless.
Can you use any watch band on any watch?
It was implied from the unveiling that the bands were quickly and easily interchangable, leading many to assume you could buy a low end watch and a higher end band, but on Apple’s site, only certain watches appear to be available for certain levels of watches. Some have speculated that only certain bands will be available for certain watches and that you will not be able to buy the higher level bands separately. Does this mean one band cannot work on a different level watch? That seems ridiculous as you would have to have different mechanisms, increasing complexity. I’d expect this behaviour from any other company, but not Apple. Will you just not be able to buy certain bands with certain watches right from the start, but you can always buy an additional band at any level? This seems the most likely to me. Someone suggested that maybe you’d have to show your watch that you were buying the band for, in order to prove you are able to buy that level of watch. This seems ridiculous to me. Way too much manual effort and elitism involved.
This is going to be a first generation device and I assume a better one that I will want more will come out every year, so it is unlikely that I will spend much more than the minimum entry price. At this time, this means that although I will hate giving up on a sapphire face, I will get the Sport with the blue band. If money was no object, I would choose the steel with Milanese band, and then get a blue sport band for sailing (if it is more waterproof than reported). I do not think it is realistic that a Steel band with Milanese loop and extra blue sport band will be available for less than $700, so I will be out of luck.
I might be willing to go double the price of the entry level to get my primary choice, so ultimately the price question will have a lot to do with my choice. I would be willing to pay $150 more for a sapphire face, so if the Steel is $500, I might go for that. I’d be willing to pay $200 more for the Milanese loop, so if that is all it costs and you can buy it separately, I would get the Sport and blue the Milanese loop additionally for a total of $550.