In 2010, Apple released the revolutionary original Apple Watch to a great deal of fanfare, and for many years, it has dominated Apple’s product portfolio.
However, the larger health and fitness market has taken a greater priority over the last couple of years, with several competitors releasing smartwatches to do all sorts of really nice things.
This has gone to the detriment of the Apple Watch (even a basic version without any screen, for example), as watch makers who don’t want to compromise functionality by adding a screen or a heart rate monitor.
A third-party smartwatch can do a lot of the activities that the Apple Watch can do, and there have been various new versions and products on the market.
Let’s look at the current range of smartwatches available, beginning with the Apple Watch Series 3.
The Apple Watch Series 3
Reminder: The first watch to tell the time.
Multi-sport: Focuses on more sporting activities.
4G: Contactless payments without a phone.
Better battery life: Excellent stamina.
Full battery backup: Steals your charge.
Notifications on the Apple Watch cannot be ignored.
Steve Jobs said, “The watch is a timepiece. The iPod, iPod Nano, and iPhone are not. They’re portable media players.”
With that comment he launched the App Store, which over the past decade has added more than a thousand apps and millions of users. The App Store gives developers the freedom to build apps for the iPhone, and around the world developers create the apps that users take with them wherever they go.
The current Apple Watch relies on the iPhone to do many things, but it doesn’t run apps. That’s why there is no default notification function, and you need to control the Watch and choose which notifications you want to receive.
Meanwhile, the health and fitness market has exploded. Fitbit, the market leader, has evolved from a product that was primarily about personal fitness and health tracking to one that now includes health-based functionality. And that is not an easy transition.
The Apple Watch is not really a sports watch, but as a fitness band that offers metrics, it is really only as good as the wrist measurements you have. But the Apple Watch is not a fitness band because it does not track heart rate.
The current smartwatch line up offers basic health and fitness functions, including the ability to measure steps taken.
There are nearly 200,000 apps available for the Apple Watch, and the number of third-party apps has risen rapidly since the Apple Watch launched. However, Apple has been too slow in letting people view third-party apps.
Apple Watch Series 4
Wrist-based heart rate monitors (2).
An ingenious hand-strap system that allows you to freely move your wrist and hand.
No reliance on a computer or smartphone to run apps.
Reliable power delivery: Cons:
Wrist-based heart rate monitors can be a bit finicky.