After one week of Apple Watch ownership, I have decided we should part ways.
Despite friends and colleagues saying I would be crazy to keep the shiny £600 object on my wrist, I really wanted to hold onto it. I'm not entirely sure why, when even the best-looking Android Wear smartwatches left me cold and I already have several other watches, including the vaguely smart Withings Activité. The Apple Watch feels special, but that isn't enough to convince me to keep it. Here are six reason why I decided to call time on Apple Watch ownership.
1. It's expensive
I'd plucked for the 42mm stainless steel Watch with black leather Classic Buckle, which is twice as expensive as the entry-level 38mm aluminium Watch Sport. For that extra £300 you get precisely no extra features or functionality, and even though the steel stretches really easily, I couldn't help but admire it every time I raised my wrist.
I almost want to say that it's worth £600 and no more, but where that price tag on a traditional watch doesn't make me wince too much, spending that on a gadget which we all know will be outdated in a year and possibly even unusable in five years, makes me uncomfortable. I could just about justify £339 for the 42mm Watch Sport, but don't get me started on the gold, £13,500 Watch Edition...
2. It doesn't tell the time until you ask for it
Which I did a lot, because there are some fundamental problems here - first of which is the watch not displaying the time when you want it to. To preserve battery life and stretch it to the 18 hours Apple says is possible from each charge, the Watch's screen is blank until you tap it, press a button, or raise your arm. A subtle glance and flick of the wrist is rarely enough to activate the screen, so you need to raise our arm way more than looks and feels natural. It's a problem shared by most smartwatches, but I hoped Apple would have fixed it.
3. It scratches really easily
The aluminium Watch Sport has the same finish as the back of the iPhone 6, which will dent and scratch if you drop it or introduce it to a pocket full of keys and coins. But the more premium Watch is made from similar stainless steel to the back of the old iPods, which means it scratches very easily.
Seven days of wearing the Watch caused a few tiny marks to appear on the shiny body. Although these can be quickly and cheaply removed with some metal polish, it's a shame that a product aimed at the luxury market - and which is priced up to £949 - can be scuffed so easily.
4. The straps aren't that great
I like the style of the leather strap with its traditional buckle, but it feels weird. I'd prefer if Apple used the harder, shinier leather favoured by most other watchmakers over this - admittedly not unique - finish. The Modern Buckle strap has a nicer finish and comes in some lovely colours, but is only available for the 38mm Watch. Although I'm certain third-party straps will be along very shortly, Apple's attempt at a traditional band fell short of the mark.
Another annoyance with this strap is that it only has one loop to keep itself in place, meaning the excess strap often comes loose and catches itself on your clothing.
5. Applications are slow
Because most of the Watch's applications draw data from your iPhone over a Bluetooth connect, they are slow to open. Although hailing a cab by tapping your watch feels like the future, in reality it takes so long to open the Uber app that it's usually easier to reach for your phone. Add this to how fiddly it is to navigate on such a tiny touch screen, and using the Watch as an input device in any way at all feels awkward. I'd rather it was a device to simply notify me, not one to interact with.
6. It's a first-generation Apple product
Look back at the first iPhone and iPad. They were expensive - the iPhone especially - and they had some significant drawbacks; the first iPhone didn't even have an App Store or 3G. Fast-forward two years and they were vastly improved with better design, more power, higher resolution screens and better functionality. Of course, this is how technology works, but Apple more than most seems to suffer from hindsight telling us to avoid new products until at least the first or second revision.
In two years' time I'll probably buy another Apple Watch - I may even buy the current Sport model if prices fall later in the year. But for now, although it's an excellent first attempt and is far better than its rivals, the Watch fails to live up to both the hype and the price.
I said in my review of the Watch that it is "a glimpse into the future we didn't know we needed," and while that remains true, I'm now more aware that the future isn't ready for us just yet. Give it a year...