It seems like yesterday when the first Apple Watch was introduced in September 2014 alongside the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It was a pivotal moment for Apple not only because it was the first new product since the iPad in 2010 but also because, as we now know, it was the time Jony Ive began to feel frustrated and unsatisfied. In the next years, he focused more on different projects like the Apple Park and these helped him to prolong his bond with the company created by his “Most close and loyal friend”, Steve Jobs￼￼￼.
Five years later the Apple Watch it’s basically the same product with more features and Jony left Apple￼￼. He wanted the watch to be a fashion accessory, not an iPhone’s extension linked to health features and notifications. That’s why he bet on the gold $18,000 Apple Watch Edition. Unsurprisingly a lot of those went unsold￼￼. Like all tech, a smart watch becomes obsolete after a few years. The reintroduction of the ceramic version, the debut of the titanium (which looks very similar to the aluminum), the stainless steel (the black steel version looks great) and the Hermes Editions are more than enough to satisfy the niche who fancies luxury.
The first Apple Watch was a bit unfocused, now it’s clear that it’s all about health and fitness￼￼. Fall detection, electrocardiogram, hearing health by decibel measuring, menstrual cycle track are among the functionality added. ￼The ECG in such a small device is an engineering masterpiece; it can’t replace your regular health check up but it can give a heads up.
The decibel measuring is particularly important for young people hanging out in noisy places like pubs and discotheques. You now have an objective measurement of how loud it is and you are more prone to wear earplugs to protect you from hearing loss, tinnitus and related conditions.
The Watch is also crucial for the mobile payments market: I pay taxis, supermarkets, restaurants, shops and everything I can, leaving my phone and my credit card in my pocket. And it works offline as well. This is the only single function I miss when I leave it home.
￼ The 2019 Apple Watch Series 5 has almost the same hardware as the series 4, with the only exception of a compass and a different Oled screen management to allow the always on display.
The always-on display was a feature I was looking forward to since the beginning, looking at that black screen was impractical in many situations and sad.
Now it’s a mature product and I don’t have specific wishes for the next generations, maybe I was expecting it to be faster and even more responsive.
I was hoping for a wow effect after five years but I was out of luck, the product is the same, faster and with more features but my original Apple Watch with WatchOS 4 works fine and can, slowly, help me with most of the tasks.
Aesthetically it’s less squared than the original because the radius of the angles has been smoothed but the overall shape and the bracelets’ attachment mechanism is the same, making the previous bracelets compatible with the new watch.￼ The obvious differences are the rounded corners of the screen and the reduced bezels, greatly increasing the screen area.
The back is now fully made of ceramic instead of a composite material and the shape of the heart sensor/ecg sensor looks particularly fascinating to me, it has something that reminds the aerial view of the Apple Park.
I can’t clearly see where the Watch is going, I guess it will feature more health sensors but it will remain the same product for many years to come. Let’s check it out again in 2024. Meanwhile…
The Watch is a solid choice and doesn’t have evident flaws. It’s by far the best and most successful smart watch on the market for a good reason.
What’s the most important function in a smartwatch for you? Leave a comment below