New Apple Watch unveiled, but may not be worth the hype

Dom Lopez

(Photo illustration by Kevin Olson)
(Photo illustration by Kevin Olson)

During Apple’s “Spring Forward” event March 9, the tech giant unveiled the Apple Watch. The device is intended to create another link between users and their smartphones, but is it a necessary one?

The new Apple Watch comes in three variants: the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition (what edition?). The prices start at $349, and the Edition sports a tag of “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

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Apple’s website touts the watch as a highly accurate, accessible device with high levels of personalization. But people already have a device that does all that — their smartphones. And unless you have a smartphone older than the original iPhone, your current device probably does everything the watch does, and better. And what’s more, the watch has a battery life of 18 hours.

There are some cool factors to the device, however. You can use Apple Pay with the watch, which is an interesting feature that will make impulse buying even easier. It also has the health-monitoring apps other smart watches have, which count calories and steps taken. These can help you maintain an active lifestyle — or if you’re like me, you could just shake the watch so you feel better about yourself. However, according to a Cnet article, the watch’s battery life sharply drops to six hours when it’s being used for fitness purposes.

While fans of the watch may say that having a smart device on your wrist makes it more convenient to check emails, answer a call or get other various updates, how true is this really?

Beyond the idea that we may have become too lazy to stick our hands in our pockets, think about where your hands are 90 percent of the time. That’s right, by your waist. Which is right next to your pants pockets. Where your phone is. So how much harder is it to maneuver your wrist a couple inches to grab your superior phone and look at it? And if your hands are somewhere else, I’m going to hazard a guess that they’re attached to your laptop or tablet, which already has the time on the screen and even greater capabilities than your watch.

While the idea of a smart device that makes getting updates easier and gives us more of a connection to friends and the online realm is appealing, I just believe that there are better, more interesting ways to approach it. If you crave having constant updates with total convenience, then Google Glass is probably something you’ll want — however, that comes with the risk of looking like a tool and people thinking you’re stealthily creeping on them.

Of course, anything with the Apple logo on it is practically guaranteed to sell millions worldwide, with the company being one of the most profitable in the entire world. Maybe I’m just out of touch, but until I can shoot lasers or a grappling hook from my watch, I’m going to have to pass.

Collegian A&E Geek Beat Writer Dom Lopez can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @DominiqueLopez.