Apple Watch is finally available to preorder, but if you missed the mark at 12:01 a.m. you might be waiting quite a while to get your hands on one. Luckily, Apple is providing try-on appointments that will allow you to get a taste of the experience and feel one out for yourself. Recently, we took that opportunity to get our hands on a few and offer some initial impressions on the hardware and software…
In the video below, we take a look at three Apple Watch models and the widely popular Apple Watch Sport in Space Gray. Along with that we took a tour of the software available on the demo models and it was quite interesting. Apple Watch is definitely a very different product from anything we’ve seen the company offer, but along with that it brings a unique experience that no other product can match up to.
We got our hands on the 42mm Apple Watch with the Leather Loop, Milanese Loop, and Link Bracelet band styles. Each band really does bring an entirely different look, feel, and experience to the table. The Apple Watch Sport comes along with a “custom high-performance fluoroelastomer,” but don’t let the generic term “rubber” turn you away. It actually feels very nice.
Is it all worth the hype? Well, that’s somewhat subjective, but check out our hands-on and first impressions video below for a closer look at Apple Watch hardware and software:
We also took a brief look through the software UI and features with the demo models. While these demos are running loops throughout various portions of the interface, there’s still quite a bit that you can do to test out its functionality. It’s smooth overall, but we noticed a bit of lag here and there. Though the lag may have been due to WiFi/Bluetooth connection in the room. Software navigation isn’t nearly as difficult as it may seem and the Digital Crown is very helpful with this task. Check out the video above for a closer look at the software features we’ve tested.
First up we took a look at the 42mm Apple Watch with Leather Loop band. This combination is extremely comfortable. The leather used here is very similar to what you’ll find on Apple’s case accessories. With the Leather Loop, you’ll be able to rest your wrist relatively flat on a table when typing. The magnets securing the band around your wrist hold up well to shaking (and running), but you’ll probably prefer a Sport band for anything active. This band provides a classy look without being too flashy like some of the other band offerings.
Next we tried out a 42mm Apple Watch with the Link Bracelet. I’m not a huge fan of this style band, but it’s well-built overall. The Link Bracelet clasp mechanism isn’t the easiest to manage when compared to other models, but it definitely holds on tight. One thing that’s important to note is that the Link Bracelet comes in one size, so you’ll need to remove some of the links in order to make it fit. Overall, it’s a great classy option, but at $449, it may not be worth it for everyone.
Our third selection was the 42mm Space Gray Apple Watch Sport. As much as this is the “budget” option for Apple Watch models, it’s definitely has a premium build all around. I’d honestly recommend this model over any others if you’re on the fence about which one is right for you. The color is very sleek and has a matte-finished look to it. As mentioned above, the basic band that comes along with the Sport is great. This may be the cheapest Apple Watch configuration, but it’s still a solid option.
Finally, we got to check out the Milanese Loop option with the 42mm Apple Watch. Initially, I wasn’t a huge fan of this band style, but after putting it on I’ve realized that it’s a great choice. The woven stainless steel mesh feels great and the magnet clasp holds on tight. It almost feels like petting a snake with small scales. That’s probably the best way I can describe it, but at $149 for the band alone, is it worth it?
Overall, it was a great experience trying on various Apple Watch models and we’re excited to bring you our full review in the near future. Apple Watch is a very different product and every detail of this experience is proof. Like it or not, Apple Watch is here to stay and we’re excited to see this evolve over the coming years. You can read a little more about the Apple Watch Edition try-on experience here and read some FAQ regarding the Apple Watch retail process here.
Update (4/12/15): In case you were interested in seeing the 38mm and 42mm together, here’s another video (via Danny Winget) that was recently published which provides a look at both sizes: