Apple Watch’s fitness features unveiled


Image courtesy of Apple.

Apple revealed its new Apple Watch at the company’s March 2015 Special Event. With features such as a built-in heart rate monitor and personalized activity suggestions, the watch is much more than just an extension of your phone.

During your day, it displays critical fitness information – calories burned, brisk activity, and how long you’ve stood up. When you’re actively working out, it also provides metrics for popular fitness activities like walking, running, and cycling. It also includes a heart rate sensor, GPS, and  accelerometer to help you make the most of your day’s activity.

What impressed me most about the Apple Watch was its customizable activity suggestions. It uses your history to suggest personalized activity goals and reward milestones.

While the Apple Watch certainly has great fitness features, users will have to rely on third party apps for extended health and wellness functionality. For instance, their release did not mention that sleep or nutrition tracking would come standard, so users will have to get added apps if they want those features.

While other devices, particularly bands that exclusively track fitness, have these capabilities standard, Apple makes up for it with the watch’s seamless integration with iPhones and with expanded non-fitness functionality.

The Apple Watch is pricey compared to its competitors. (Although can you really say competitors when they don’t manufacture devices specifically for complete iPhone integration?) Their sport version goes for $349, the Apple Watch ranges from $549 to $1,099, and their luxury version starts at $10,000.

The Apple Watch will be released April 24, with pre-orders beginning on April 10.

As for whether its the right device for you, as I usually say, that’s a personal decision. If you want the best all around health monitor and aren’t preferential to iPhone integration, you’d probably be better off with a flagship wearable from Misfit, Jawbone, or Fitbit. However, if you want your device to train you for a marathon just as easily  as it unlocks your hotel room, then this may be better option.

Finally, if you’re an Android user like me, there are plenty of new high-end smart watches coming out this year that do just as much and cost less than the Apple Watch. I recommend taking a look at the new Pebble Time while it’s still on pre-sale.


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