Gadgets Apple Watch

Published on May 3rd, 2015 | by Yasser Masood

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First Impressions of the Apple Watch in the Middle East

The iPhone, iPad, and Macs have always improved with each update cycle. It has driven people to buy them with every release. Is it too soon to add the Apple Watch to the same category?

Though it’s only been recently launched in 9 markets, it’s not yet even available in the Middle East in official capacity. Although grey market imports have been selling them at higher premiums, there is still no confirmation of official availability and pricing for the Middle East region.

Thanks to W Doha, we got to spend some quality time with the Apple Watch. Does it live up to its hype and purpose?

Initial Setup

The setup process was quite straightforward for us. All you need one of the supported iPhone models (5 or higher) running iOS 8.3, as it comes with the Apple Watch companion app.

What caught our eye is how the pairing is done between both devices. The Apple Watch generates a kaleidoscope-like pattern on its screen, which has to be scanned using your phone camera via the companion app. We don’t know if it’s unique, but it’s similar to a Mac screensaver. After that, you’d pick your wrist preference and then choose to install apps on it. You can also add your Apple ID and Messages account as well.

If you’re doubtful of the configuration process, you can even watch our video walkthrough below.

Apple Watch close-up

Holding it in my hand, I realised that my finger easily covered about half the display area. I don’t think that the 38mm model would be good for people with big fingers like mine. It’s probably the reason why Apple decided to release the Apple Watch in 2 sizes for people to select.

It nicely merges a fitness band with the basic timekeeping functionality of the conventional watch. You’d probably think that having a fitness band on one arm and your sports watch on the other would have been a great idea. Why bother having 2 separate devices on different arms, when the Apple Watch unifies it in one device?

 

The aluminium body is almost similar to the MacBook Pro chassis, but feels even smoother since it’ll be worn by people. Changing the wrist straps adds a good amount of individual customisation, and it won’t be long till we see third-party bands being made just like iPhone cases.

The Apple Watch can easily replace your Bluetooth remote – it acts as a remote shutter and viewfinder. It can come in handy at times, especially when a view is out of reach. The microphone and mini-speaker on the side helps to add audible feedback, while also helping you answer phone calls from your iPhone and accepting voice commands.

We’ve also taken the Apple Watch for a spin with SPG Keyless, as it allows you to unlock your hotel room.

Verdict

As a first-generation product of a new smartwatch, I can relate to its rollout similar to when the iPad was unveiled in 2010. Apple has taken its design acumen and merged it with the best technology. The Apple Watch can become the next goldmine for the wearables product segment.

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About the Author

Who am I? Some say I’m a walking breathing Wikipedia in Qatar, knowing anything from the obscure to the mainstream. I’m just a tech-savvy gadget loving and dissecting geek, juggling a day job with some community passion work. You can follow me on Twitter: @YasserM86



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