Smartwatch segment

Apple Watch: Intuitive design, with flexible features

Sapphire crystal protects the display and the heart-rate sensors at the back. To view the time or wake the display, just lift or turn your wrist.
Sapphire crystal protects the display and the heart-rate sensors at the back. To view the time or wake the display, just lift or turn your wrist.PHOTO: APPLE

The Apple Watch (stainless steel version tested here) has the most intuitive design among the smartwatches in this round-up.

On the right side of the watch is the digital crown. Turning and pressing it allows you to activate most of the smartwatch's functions, while the side button next to it is a short cut that brings up your favourite contacts. The watch can be worn such that the crown is on either side of the watch, giving users great flexibility.

Sapphire crystal protects the display and the heart-rate sensors at the back. The stainless steel case, though, will pick up some scuffs through use. To view the time or wake the display, just lift or turn your wrist.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: From $518

    CASE MATERIAL: Anodised aluminium or stainless steel or 18-karat gold

    COMPATIBILITY: iOS 8.2 or higher

    WEIGHT: From 62g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Press the digital crown to go to the home screen; zoom in and out using the crown, or tap the display to move the screen around to pick an app.

Unlike many smartwatches where a notification pops up on the display once it is received, the Apple Watch will vibrate, but its display stays blank until you move your wrist, helping you to conserve battery life.

You can make calls from the watch, but make sure to hold the watch close to your lips when speaking. The watch can read out short messages in full, which is not possible with many smartwatches. You can reply with standard options such as "OK" or "Thanks", or use Apple's voice assistant Siri to help you.

Even with the watchOS 2 that adds additional watch faces, there are still no third-party watch faces. Battery life is average, at up to two days.

Trevor Tan

  • Verdict: For iPhone users, the Apple Watch provides the most holistic experience for a smartwatch.

Smartwatch segment

Tag Heuer Carrera Connected: Best-looking luxury watch

Guess Connect: A beauty with some smart features

Huawei Watch: Traditionalists' favourite, with minimalist design

Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen): Same good looks with several refinements

Asus ZenWatch 2: Affordable price and sensitive screen

Pebble Time Steel: Display dim but superb battery life

Samsung Gear S2 Classic: Wins on looks but let down by its OS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Intuitive design, with flexible features'. Print Edition | Subscribe