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Apple Makes 'the Best Smartwatch,' Not for Everyone


A woman holds the Apple Watch Edition during a demo following an Apple event Monday, March 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

A woman holds the Apple Watch Edition during a demo following an Apple event Monday, March 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


After several days of using the new Apple Watch, many reviewers called it “the best smart watch” but others wondered if the watch is for everyone.

David Pogue is a technology writer at Yahoo Tech and a long-time fan of Apple products. Mr. Pogue wrote, “The Apple Watch is light-years better than any of the feeble, clunky efforts that have come before it. The screen is nicer, the software is refined and bug-free, the body is real jewelry.”

But he ended the review with, “You don’t need one. Nobody needs a smartwatch. After all, it’s something else to buy, care for, charge every night. It’s another cable to pack and track. Your phone already serves most of its purposes. With the battery-life situation as it is, technology is just barely in place to make such a device usable at all.”

After spending a week with the watch, Lauren Goode of Re/code observed, “Smartwatches can sometimes feel like a solution in search of a problem.”

Many Apple products are known for being easy to use. But technology experts say it will take some time for users to learn the new wearable device. Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times wrote, “It took three days – three long, often confusing and frustrating days – for me to fall for the Apple Watch. But once I fell, I fell hard.”

Scott Stein of CNET magazine said he felt lost when using the watch. He wrote, “There are so many ways to interact: swiping, touching, pressing harder into the display, a button and a clickable digital crown-wheel. Plus, there's Siri. Do I swipe, or click, or force touch or speak? Sometimes I didn't know where an app menu was. Or, I'd find getting back to an app I just had open would require an annoying series of crown clicks, swiping through apps, then opening the app again.”

Like many first-generation products, the reviewers are disappointed with some features of the watch, like poor quality speaker on the watch and limited capability of third-party apps. And users need to have one of the latest iPhones to be able to use the watch.

Geoffrey A. Fowler of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “if you can tolerate single-day battery life, half-baked apps and inevitable obsolescence, you can now wear the future on your wrist.”

Despite the negative reviews, many of the smartwatch reviewers agreed that Apple will still sell many watches to Apple fans. Joshua Toplsky of Bloomberg Business wrote, “Apple will sell millions of these devices, and many people will love and obsess over them.”

An e-commerce website with a vendor selling the "Apple Smart Watch Bluetooth Bracelet" starting from 288 yuan (US$45) is displayed on a computer screen in Beijing, China, March 12, 2015.

An e-commerce website with a vendor selling the "Apple Smart Watch Bluetooth Bracelet" starting from 288 yuan (US$45) is displayed on a computer screen in Beijing, China, March 12, 2015.

The watch will be available for pre-order online on Friday, April 10 at 3:01 a.m. EST for people in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, Australia, Hong Kong, China and Japan.

Customers will have to pay at least $349 for the least expensive model or as much as $17,000 for the Apple Watch Edition of “18-karat Rose Gold Case with Rose Gray Modern Buckle.”

For those who cannot wait or cannot afford an Apple watch, the Chinese website Alibaba is already selling the knockoff – or fake – Ai Watch, which looks very similar to an Apple Watch, for about $50.

I’m Jim Tedder.

Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor

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Words in This Story

solution – n. something that solves a problem

feebleadj. not good enough : not successful or effective

light years – n. (informal) a long distance or great amount

frustrating adj. causing feelings of anger and annoyance

first-generation – adj. designating the first version of something made available

half-baked – adj. (informal) not fully thought through

obsolescence – n. the condition of no longer being used or useful

knockoffn. a copy of something, especially of an expensive or designer product.

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