Apple Watch – Apple’s first smart watch is an evolution
DIMENSIONS: 42 x 35.9 x 10.5 mm (1.65 x 1.41 x 0.41 in)
WEIGHT: 50 g body (2.82 oz)
SCREEN: AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors - 1.65 inches
RESOLUTION: 390 x 312 pixels (~303 ppi pixel density)
PROCESSOR: Apple S1 - 520 MHz
RAM: 512 MB
MEMORY: 8 GB
SOFTWARE: watchOS 1.0, upgradable to v2.2
BATTERY: Non-removable Li-Ion 250 mAh battery (0.94 Wh)
* Stand-by: Up to 22 h (mixed usage)
* Talk time: Up to 3 h 40 min
The company’s first smartwatch is an evolution of sorts of the iPod Nano that could strap to your wrist. But Apple Watch is far more advanced than that. It’s a device that can act as a wrist companion for all sorts of things: fitness tracking, communication, phone calls, Apple Pay, wireless music playback, and a lot more. But for most of those functions, right now, you need an iPhone nearby that it can pair to.
The Apple Watch comes in four collections (Sport, Apple Watch, Edition, and Hermès) and features two case sizes: 38 mm (1.5 in) and 42 mm (1.7 in). The case of the watch includes a mechanism to enable the straps to be interchangeable. For input, the watch includes a “digital crown”, which can be turned to scroll or zoom and pressed to return to the home screen, and a touchscreen that features Force Touch technology, which makes it pressure-sensitive and capable of distinguishing between a tap and a press. The watch also has a side button which can be used to display a list of contacts, or access Apple Pay. Apple rates the device’s battery for 18 hours of mixed usage. The Watch is charged by means of inductive charging, using a cable similar to the MagSafe cable from Apple’s MacBook family of laptops. If the watch’s battery depletes to less than 10 percent, the user is alerted and offered to enable a “power reserve” mode, which allows the user to continue to read the time for an additional 72 hours. The watch then reverts to its original mode when recharged.
Behind the Ion-X or sapphire glass of the Apple Watch sits a bright and colourful OLED. It’s sharper than other smart watches, most notably the pixelated LCD of the Moto 360.
It’s the right screen technology for smartwatches, as OLED displays draw much less battery when showing a darker screen. With OLED only the pixels used are turned on, and fewer pixels equals less battery drain
That’s why most of the watch faces are surrounded by deep black background. It also helps the colourful app icons and watch face element pop.
The 38mm Watch resolution is 272 x 340, while a 42mm version is 312 x 390. The bigger display’s necessary extra power is offset by a larger Apple Watch battery.
Apple was able to design a sharp-looking flexible OLED display for the Watch, but it didn’t go as far as creating a circular screen for a truly classic watch look.
Last year’s Moto 360 did exactly that to the envy of iPhone owners who weren’t able to get in on the modern smartwatch craze outside of the first two Pebble watches.
Apple Watch uses the S1 system-on-chip. It does not have a built-in GPS chip. It uses a linear actuator called the “Taptic Engine” to provide haptic feedback when an alert or a notification is received, and is used for other purposes by certain apps. The watch is equipped with a built-in heart rate sensor, which uses both infrared and visible-light LEDs and photo diodes. All versions of the Watch have 8 GB of storage; the operating system allows the user to store up to 2 GB of music and 75 MB of photos. When the Apple Watch is paired with an iPhone, all music on that iPhone is also available from the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch models are divided into four “collections”; Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Hermès and Apple Watch Edition. They are differentiated by the materials each use; Sport features aluminium, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Hermès uses stainless steel, and Apple Watch Edition uses 18-karat gold. Each model has versions with 38 and 42 mm bodies; the 42 mm models have a slightly larger screen and battery. Each model has various color and band options. Featured bands include colored Sport bands, the Milanese Loop, Classic Buckle, Leather Loop, Modern Buckle, Link Bracelet, and Woven Nylon.
Apple Watch Hermès is the newest collection of Apple Watch, available with Single Tour, Double Tour and Cuff bands, with Hermès brand engraved stainless steel. The Single Tour with the 38 mm stainless steel case comes in fauve Barenia leather, noir box leather and capucine Swift leather, while the Single Tour with 42 mm stainless steel case comes in fauve Barenia leather and noir box leather. The Double Tour pairs with the 38 mm stainless steel case and is available in fauve Barenia leather and blue jean, capucine and etain Swift leather. The Cuff pairs with the 42 mm stainless steel case and is available in fauve Barenia leather only.
Battery Life & Clever Charging
Apple Watch is supposed to have 18 hours of battery life, which would translate into a full day if I were to ever keep to a normal sleeping schedule.
I was able to lengthen the uptime of my watch to a full 24 hours on days in which I didn’t make battery-taxing phone calls with it, or use the half-as-power-hungry heart rate monitor.
Apple Watch depletes the battery in three hours if used for non-stop phone calls. Working out with the heart rate monitor or listening to music does the same in six hours. Conversely, just checking the time every so often boosts it to 48 hours.
But you’ll also need to think about the future here. Like Nokia’s old attempts at smartphones, the battery life on the Watch is good because you don’t find yourself wanting to play with it a lot because, well, it doesn’t do a whole lot right now.
Apple Watch’s inductive magnetic charger takes cues from the company’s popular MagSafe chargers, which come with all MacBook Air and MacBook Procomputers (but not the New MacBook).
It combines a MagSafe magnet with an inductive charger for a wire-free solution. It helps when you’re in the dark or in tight situations, like a coach seat on an airplane, and need to simply clip on a charger and be done with it. Magnets, boss.