Slow apps, low battery life limit appeal of Apple Watch: reviewers

Wed Apr 8, 2015 12:28pm EDT
 
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By Devika Krishna Kumar and Subrat Patnaik

(Reuters) - Apple Inc's (AAPL.O: Quote) "beautiful" and "stylish" smartwatch could make life easier for people on the move, reviewers say, but the gadget gets poor marks for battery life and slow-loading apps.

The watch, the first new product to be launched by Apple under Chief Executive Tim Cook, will hit stores on April 24.

"For now, the Apple Watch is for pioneers," the Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey Fowler wrote. "I won't pay the $1,000 it would cost for the model I tested, only to see a significant improvement roll in before too long."

Reviews published on Wednesday made much of the device's relatively poor battery life - up to 18 hours, according to Apple - and said its apps will need upgrades to load more quickly.

"There's virtually nothing I can't do faster or better with access to a laptop or a phone except perhaps check the time," said Nilay Patel, who reviewed the watch for theverge.com.

Loading an app required the watch to pull tremendous amounts of data from iPhones, Patel said, adding that Apple had told him upcoming software updates would address performance issues.

"The maps app, surely the answer to wandering pedestrians' dreams, is so slow it makes me want to pull out my paper Rand McNally," the Journal's Fowler said.

Re/Code's Lauren Goode said the watch's battery life was not nearly as long-lasting as some other wearable devices. CNET's Scott Stein said the battery's recharge time was slow.   Continued...

 
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Apple Watch during an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith