Apple Watch 5/24/15

How is the new Apple watch being received?

People who preordered an Apple Watch started getting their deliveries. Prices start at $350 and go up to $10,000 or more for the gold edition. While you can try on the watches at the Apple store, they are only being sold online. Consumer Reports has gotten six of the eight it purchased and immediately began testing. Here are the initial results.

The Apple Watch comes in a variety of styles. The Sport is made of lightweight aluminum with hardened glass. The stainless steel version has a sapphire crystal. They face the same Consumer Reports’ tests that all smartwatches face.

Durability is important for a smartwatch. You can protect a smartphone with a case. But a smartwatch is on your wrist where it’s going to be out and exposed to the elements. And it’s going to get banged up.

One test checks how hard a scratch it can endure. Most smartwatches are scratched by the equivalent of a steel nail. The Apple Sport proved tougher and the sapphire crystal on the steel watch is even better, with the scratch-resistance of a luxury watch.

Both versions were also dunked in a pressurized tank for 30 minutes to check Apple’s water resistance claim. The watches survived the initial test but they won’t officially pass until testers make sure they still work 24 hours later.

One of the Apple Watch’s key functions is a fitness device. A test assessed its accuracy in measuring your heart rate while you’re moving. Still other panelists are checking usability. How easy is it to do various functions, how intuitive and what’s the learning curve?

Consumer Reports’ final ratings on the Apple Watch are expected in early May.
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