Alderman (wethouder) Joost van Keulen reviews the Apple Watch

First of all I have a confession to make: I am a moderate gadgetfreak. I love to try new technology and I find it quite important to stay up to date, on the other side I refuse to pay for it. Or as I say: Ons bint zuunig, aren’t we? When Joshua asked me if I wanted to walk around with an Apple Watch in exchange for a review, it was a no brainer.

The most important question for me was: “to buy or not to buy?” I have been taught that if you want to captivate readers, you give the answer on your question at the end. Otherwise readers drop out. So….

Design

As with basically all the Apple products, there is a lot of attention paid to the design of the watch. And that’s noticeable! Nice roundings, fine workmanship and solid materials. This only applies to the casing, which to my taste is quite thick.

The black, plastic wristband cannot tempt me. Oh sorry, it’s the sport strap specially developed high-grade fluoroelastomer with pin buckle (cost € 59, don’t do it). Biggest problem: it’s not very comfortable and it creates perspiration in places you never knew you had pores. Perhaps that is the reason why Apple calls it a sport band. Of course I know that you can buy different watch straps, but even then: it’s not okay.

What I find quite funny is that you can easily switch between various digital watch faces. From a dancing Mickey Mouse to a rotating globe. If that is not enough, you can also switch watch faces and add date, change color and see the weather temperature. Everything is possible. The screen itself is too small to be really practical (or my fingers are too thick). Therefore, it’s quite a challenge to open the right app.

Technique

Paring the watch with my ‘provided by the government’ iPhone 5s was very simple. Joshua did that for me. Furthermore, I really have no idea what kind of technical stuff is in it or how it works, so just ask Joshua. It strikes me that the distance to your phone has to be no more than a few meters, otherwise your smartwatch becomes just an ordinary watch. That’s not a problem, but you have to take that into account if you don’t want to miss any of your notifications.

Use

Tsja. Setting up the notifications to your own taste is quite easy to do and the iPhone app is like we are used to from Apple: clear, easy to use and stable. The notifications are quick and clear, you will feel a slight vibration when you receive a message, tweet, email or phone call. And you can read the messages quite good. Personally, it gave me some rest. You don’t always grab your phone, where you face all sorts of distractions. Telegram groups, or Facebook for example.

You can interact in many ways with the Apple Watch. I was mainly using Siri. However, voice control on the watch works very slow, almost too slow to be practical. Moreover, it is still not socially accepted to talk to your wrist, even though we know this phenomenon since Knight Rider. The quality of the text is good: you rarely catch Siri on making mistakes. The core problem of the watch is really the lack of speed. I am used to use a normal watch. That also means that I am used to see in a split second what time it is. The watch needs more than a split second to show you the watch face, whereby an act of suddenly nothing seems to be a complete ritual. That’s how it feels. Sending a message through voice control instinctively takes an eternity.

Conclusion

To buy or not to buy, that is the question. The answer: no. I will keep waiting until version two or three of the Apple Watch.

P.S. Joshua, I’ve  just read that version two is expected before the summer. I’m assuming you will contact me!

* We translated the text from Dutch into English

Geschreven door

lorem

Tjarda Polderman

Marketing Communication Manager

20 Nov 2015