It's been a few years since we first saw the original Apple Watch (review below). In that time it's been replaced by the Apple Watch Series 1, and we're now on the third iteration of the smart wearable following the launch of the Apple Watch Series 3 in September. The latter introduced 4G for the first time.
Following the release of the third-generation Watch, the Apple Watch Series 2 was discountinued - leaving just the Series 1 and Series 3 on sale. The Series 1 costs £269 from Amazon UK (or on Amazon US $$245) but doesn’t include built-in GPS or water resistance. It's still a decent watch, though, coming in as cheaper than the Series 3 but more powerful than the original.
If you really want to get your hands on the original Apple Watch, not the Series 1 update, you can do so on Amazon through third-party sellers. Ian Betteridge's original review for the Apple Watch continues below.
Reviewing first-generation Apple products is one of the trickiest things a journalist can do, and the Apple Watch is a perfect example of why. After a look at the specs, the price and the features, you end up giving it a mediocre review, because on the face of it competing products simply offer more.
Then Apple promptly sells millions of them, sets the agenda for the rest of the tech industry, and you end up looking like an idiot for missing what looks – with hindsight – perfectly obvious.
Just as the iPad Pro isn’t the first supersized tablet, the Apple Watch isn’t the first smartwatch by a long way. With the Gear S2, Samsung is already on its fifth generation of smartwatch, and plenty of other models from LG, Huawei and Sony are available to buy - many at knock-down prices.
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But just like the original iPad, the Apple Watch has waded in and set the tone, and it's already pushing on in terms of numbers sold. Although Apple is remaining tight-lipped itself about sales figures, industry experts at analysts Canalys pegged sales at more than seven million units since launch in a report issued in November 2015, while other estimates set that number at nearly 12 million.
That's a huge number: more than any other smartwatch vendor already, and especially impressive given the comparatively expensive price. I looked at the 38mm “Space Grey” Apple Watch Sport for this review, which is the cheapest version available, yet it still costs a premium price of £299. Opt for a different model, and the price ramps up even further.
Choose the larger 42mm version of the Sport, for instance, and you’ll pay £339. Go up a level to the steel Apple Watch, and it will cost you up to £949 depending on your strap. If you’re rich enough to even consider the Apple Watch Edition, you probably won’t care that it costs from £8,000 to £12,000.Apple Watch: Hardware and design
Whatever price you pay, you’re going to get roughly the same Watch. The only differences are the materials used for the case and the screen while the larger 42mm model gets a slightly bigger battery.
The Sport uses anodised aluminium for the case and scratch-resistant glass for the screen. The next models up swap to hardened stainless steel and a sapphire crystal, and the Edition takes things up a notch to a unique-to-Apple 18-karat gold.
In fact, there are now more choices than ever. During Apple’s 9 September event in 2015, alongside the iPhone 6s and iPad Pro, the company announced brand-new finishes for the Apple Watch Sport, including an anodised rose gold and a standard gold finish, and the rumours are that it's set to do the same thing at its March 21 event.
Apple has also announced a strap collaboration with the renowned fashion house, Hermès. Using brown leather, synonymous with the marque, the straps also come complete with a dedicated Hermès watch face. The cheaper Single Tour band will set you back a hefty £1,000, the Double Tour version costs £1,150 while the Hermes Cuff is even more expensive at £1,350.
In the far east, Apple also announced a special edition celebrating the Chinese New Year, all decked out in red and gold.