The Apple Watch doesn’t even exist on the consumer market yet, there are probably a handful of prototypes reserved for top Apple employees, yet the firestorm it has created is huge. A lot of the vocalization is coming from fans of Apple’s competitor, Android Wear (Google’s smartwatch OS) most of whom are unsurprisingly unimpressed.
The bottom line is we have no Apple Watch to really compare head to head with any of the Android Wear offerings. All we have is a Keynote presentation and a short demo of a working unit, neither of which is enough to make a unbiased comparison. Right now (depending on where on the web you go) you’re going to hear an echo chamber of hate against the Apple Watch or an echo chamber of oozing love for the Apple Watch. You’re not going to find either in this article. Asking people to wait until an actual product is out on the market to make an educated comparison is never going to happen on the internet. After all, someone has to make all the memes.
That all aside, let me talk briefly about what I think of the Apple Watch, this will be short because we don’t have a review unit.
I have always appreciated Apple design, I think it’s some of the best designed hardware in the tech world. I also appreciate that Apple has given users lots of options to customize their Apple Watch with various bands and colors. The bands that are offered, to my eye, were pretty hideous. Save the gun metal grey band. The watch itself is thoughtful, smooth lines and rounded edges, too pill shaped and pudgy for my liking. Right now, from pictures, I like the Moto 360 hardware design better (that may change once I can actually hold them both). I do like that Apple thought of offering two sizes for consumers, I think some females (or males) might appreciate a smaller watch on their smaller wrists.
The Apple Watch seems to do most of what the Android Wear counterparts do with a few exceptions. First is NFC and mobile payment capability. If the Apple Watch was available now that feature alone would set it apart from its Android Wear competition. But since it’s not available until next year, that gives Android Wear manufacturers time to build that feature into their version 2’s and 3’s. The second exception is the Digital Crown, which many Android Wear fans seem content on mocking. I actually think this is good design. Most old fashioned time pieces have this on them and it is indeed called the Crown. I like that Apple was thoughtful enough to add something old but make it functional into the technology. I also like that they thought about your fingers obstruct the screen and navigating with the crown helps solve that.
Basically what I said to begin with. We have no way of testing an Apple Watch against any Android Wear watches. All we can go by are pictures and a demo. My advice to would be smartwatch buyers is: If the Apple Watch intrigued you, wait for it and check it out for yourself. If you like the way Android Wear watches look better, then I would wait as well because their next versions will certainly be much improved with more functionality. As a serious buyer who really doesn’t have a loyalty to either Apple or Android, you should tune out the echo chambers and try and make an informed choice. Apple fans and Android fans have already made up their minds and their jobs are to try and sway you to one side or the other. Be strong though and ignore the haters.