It’s the Apple Watch’s time to shine. Or is it?

In Wearables by Revu Team1 Comment

It’s time, according to Apple. It may be a bit late to the party, but the American tech giant has nonetheless given the green light to its first attempt at a smartwatch.

The Apple Watch has a premium design to go with its premium price, with the base model starting at $349 (roughly P15,500) and the 18-karat edition selling for as high as $17,000 (approximately P750,000), or the price of a brand-new compact sedan. For comparison’s sake, most smartwatches — at least those that are getting a lot of media attention — are priced between $200 and $250 (around P9,000 to P11,000).

And just like Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the Watch can run apps to check your email, track your movement, tell you to stand up, keep up with WeChat conversations, call an Uber driver, like Instagram posts, and pay for groceries. It can also let you answer calls and view and reply to text messages when paired with an iPhone.

Bored? The wearable device comes with a variety of watch faces to choose from, including a few animated ones.

As for battery life, Apple claims up to 18 hours of use on a single charge, provided you only spend 45 minutes a day on apps. Thankfully, charging the Watch is as easy as connecting the back of the device to a magnetic charger.

To summarize, what you’re paying for here — besides a luxurious timepiece, obviously — is the convenience of doing smartphone stuff without whipping out your handset every so often. Whether that’s worth at least $349 is completely up to you.

The Apple Watch gets shipped to select countries beginning April 24. Pre-orders start April 10th. More info here. (RL)

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ALORA UY GUERRERO’S TAKE: Some people would probably say I worship at the altar of Steve Jobs — my main handset is an iPhone; my tablet, an iPad; and my laptop, a Mac. So why am I not excited about the Apple Watch?

Yes, if there were a beauty contest for smartwatches, Apple’s wearable would likely take the crown. Yes, if I were to buy a smartwatch now, I’d likely go for an Apple. Yes, I am confident that many of you will lap up the Apple Watch. Some of you would probably forgo buying a car to get the ridiculously priced 18-karat edition. We all have our priorities, and I won’t judge yours.

But until the smartwatch can stop being the phone’s sidekick, consider me uninterested. The category is currently just a mere extension of all things handset. Take calls? Track all the ways you move? Those sound familiar. The smartwatch should offer something that the smartphone can’t. Otherwise, it will be relegated to the sidelines; you have it, but after some time, it becomes just that — an accessory. What that “something” is, I don’t know. Companies should figure it out.

Apple, my apologies if I’m not excited about the Watch. It’s not you; it’s the category.

So Apple, my apologies if I’m not excited about the Watch. It’s not you; it’s the category.

RAMON LOPEZ’S TAKE: First, a little history: I’ve tried several smartwatches running Android Wear over the past few months, and I’ve had the opportunity to strap a number of watch-slash-phones from China to my wrist before that. I think I’d be fine skipping the Apple Watch, or at least its first iteration.

What Apple showed off during its recent keynote in San Francisco doesn’t change the reality of modern high-tech watches; they’re still largely extensions of smartphones, which isn’t something I’d happily purchase. And let’s not forget about that 18-hour battery life. Apple’s estimated runtime is obviously a best-case scenario. But, hey, at least your iPhone will have some company near your wall socket.

That is not to say, though, that the Apple Watch won’t be a sales success. It will. I believe that it will sell in the millions, thanks in large part to the growing number of iPhone owners. I also believe that, to a certain extent, it can help you lead a healthier and more productive life.

My ideal smartwatch has a round face and delivers at least 2 days of mixed usage between charges.

My smartwatch should have a round face and deliver at least 2 days of mixed usage between charges, in addition to a metal body that allows wireless charging. The Moto 360 and LG G Watch R don’t fit the bill (I’ve tried them both), so I’m hoping the recently unveiled Huawei Watch does when it becomes available in the Philippines.

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Alora Uy Guerrero and Ramon 'Monch' Lopez have a combined 38 years of experience in the publishing industry, having worked at Yahoo, T3 / Techie, TV5, Mega, GadgetMatch, and Gadgets. This website is their passion project.