A straight up guide to the Apple Watch for women

What broads need to know about Apple's first smartwatch
An Apple Watch guide for women

The Apple Watch is the first smartwatch the women in my life - the ones who aren't in tech - have asked me about.

Some noticed the sly Apple Watch app appear on their iPhone homescreen. Some saw adverts and fashion editorials in the Sunday Times Style and American Vogue. Some read tech blogs but just haven't been convinced a smartwatch could fit into their life until now.

Others just saw Beyoncé wearing a 18-carat gold Edition Watch at Coachella and thought 'HELLS YEAH, I want one of those'.

Read this: The full, in-depth Apple Watch review with video

Most of the reviews (written by men, for men) of the Apple Watch (designed by men) will have made some assumptions. Everyone has the same sized wrist and the muscles to lug around the same weight of Watch all day, everyone has pockets which allow them to feel their smartphone's vibrations when they get a WhatsApp, no-one can enjoy a smartwatch if it doesn't have a killer app, specs matter most.

Oh my, what a dainty wrist

Image: The Sunday Times Style

Well. I have a smaller wrist than pretty much all male tech reviewers. And Pebble aside, every single smartwatch I've worn so far has looked - and felt - a bit too big. Even the Moto 360 which I had a real soft spot for. I don't have the smallest wrists in tech - that prize goes to Kashfia Kabir at What Hi-Fi? who I hereby challenge to post a pic of her wearing the 42mm Watch on Twitter.

The Apple Watch feels lovely to wear.

I can move my wrist about without feeling constricted or shackled to tech. It's light but doesn't feel cheap. It's well made. The display is crisp, colourful and the pixels look very close to the glass. The precision of the finishing of the Digital Crown is impressive, even on the lesser models. Even just moving your finger over the smooth, curved screen to swipe through Glances feels nice. It's that Cupertino sheen that specheads pretend doesn't exist.

The Apple Watch Sport with a lime green band looks okay aesthetically, in my opinion. I've been wearing the 38mm model and it's had a bit of a Casio vibe about it. It's small, it's neat and it's geeky but in a socially acceptable, Urban Outfitters kind of way.

That said, it's nothing to swoon about - I'd love to wear an Apple Watch with a Milanese loop band. Actually, that rose gold Edition one really is the loveliest but let's not get silly, that costs about $12,000. Depending on what kind of wardrobe - and budget - you have, the Watch can look seriously fancy. Though if you're splashing out, wait for version two or three which will then hopefully last for years.

One more practical point - the clasps. I spend a stupid number of hours a day typing on a MacBook Air and almost every wearable gets me worried I'm going to scratch it up - even the Misfit Swarovski Shine. The silicon Sport band tucks in for worry-free wrist resting though the same can't be said for the swankier bands.

Your life might not include pockets

If you are a woman who wears jeans (or trousers, or city shorts) every single day without fail, skip this section. I wear dresses and they don't always have pockets in. This is just a sad fact but truth is, it's just not always practical to put a pocket in.

So to all those people who say - what's the point of a device which shows you messages and Twitter notifications on your wrist when your phone is in your pocket? I say - my phone isn't in my pocket because I don't have a pocket.

When I'm not wearing a wearable I have my phone either glued to my hand (impractical, easy to mug), in an easy access bag slung across my body (so-so) or on the surface in front of me. That gets rude if I'm having dinner in a fancy French restaurant and all the cutlery is already making the table cluttered.

Read this: Every single Apple Watch design in one place

When it comes to discreet notifications, the Taptic Engine puts other smartwatches to shame by its sheer elegance – the vibration when you get an alert is forceful enough that you notice but so subtle next to rivals. And unlike Samsung and LG watches, the Apple Watch doesn't light up with an alert regardless, only if you turn the device to have a look. When you're out in the evening, this is the kind of feature that makes it wearable.

It boils down to this: if you live the sort of life where you'd love to outsource checking travel and remembering appointments to gadgets, the Apple Watch will slot in nicely. That might be because you're a high powered city chick who zips across town in Ubers, jumps onto British Airways flights to meetings and literally doesn't have the time to be constantly opening up the right app to get the information you need right now. Or it might be that you're more like me - scatter brained and terrible at life admin – either way, the Apple Watch serves your needs better than its rivals.

Read this: Our updated Android Wear review

Having used Android Wear, I did miss Google Now for exactly this reason while using the Apple Watch. Again, Google Now will suit certain personalities who are happy to be presented with what the smarter and smarter system thinks you'll need.

It shows you location, calendar and search based info and it's the closest thing to having an actual assistant on your wrist. Google has added Apple Watch support for its News & Weather app but as James, our senior editor pointed out, some of Apple's services such as Maps just can't compete with Google.

Work it, girl (or don't)

Apple Watch review

Discussions over the health and fitness features have been done to death on the internet. So I'm just going to add a few points that I hope are relevant to most women without offending anyone.

As other, wiser women have pointed out we are the gender most likely to quantify ourselves, so wearables that tap into this could be huge. We have reproductive cycles which have needed monitoring for various reasons for a Very Long Time. Apple Health tracks bizarre metrics like copper intake but not periods. Naughty, please get on this Apple.

Another sad fact - most of us can't eat as many calories as men while staying healthy so food tracking is perhaps more popular or important.

Read this: How we scored the Apple Watch

I said earlier that one assumption made in reviews is that specs matter. They do but different specs matter to different people. The Apple Watch doesn't have GPS so if you want an all-purpose smartwatch which can also accurately track runs, this is not it. It's IPX7 splashproof not waterproof so you can't take it swimming. And, because the 1-2 battery life means you need to charge it every night, there's no built in sleep tracking.

That said, if you get fed up of Apple's pretty but minimally useful Workout and Activity apps, there's already Watch functionality for Strava, Endomondo, Runtastic and calorie counting from Lifesum (me neither) though some popular fitness apps such as MyFitnessPal and Weight Watchers are yet to jump onboard.

The one small thing I've liked about Apple's own fitness tools is the haptic reminders to stand up throughout the day. Whether or not you'll love or hate this is such a personal matter but for me, it's a good 'un.

The one big advantage is Apple Health which gathers everything together on your iPhone, from both the phone and the Watch. It has more partners than Google Fit and although the Watch doesn't have all the big names yet, I'll take bets that it sure will within 12 months.

An early verdict for real ladies

Celebrities wearing Apple Watch

Whether it's a digital detox courtesy of Altruis smart jewellery or health and fitness tracking with a smartwatch like this one, wearables have a lot to offer women. There's even a bracelet to help when you get really hot or cold on the way in to work.

These are my early impressions of living with the Apple Watch - we've only had the smartwatch at Wareable for a few weeks now and the apps will keep coming in. I recommend everyone reads the brilliant Apple Watch review which our senior editor James Stables has put together, complete with video from Btekt's Basil Kronfli – Wareable's video partner.

The Apple Watch isn't perfect and there's plenty of work to do for version 2. But it's actually the most promising smartwatch so far in terms of appealing to women. The form factor works. The usefulness might not be worth $349+ right now but it could get there. This is one tech accessory I can see my female friends wearing.

Still, this was always going to be tricky as we are not all the same. I know women with iPhones, with handmedown phones, with tablets, with Bluetooth headphones, with sparkly cases. I know women who wear Michael Kors watches, Casio watches, women who code, women (and men) who panic at the sight of an Android homescreen.

You'll know if the Apple Watch will fit into your life within minutes of playing with one in an Apple Store. Read this sentence. You can flick through Instagram photos from your feed on the Watch. Or this one. One glance will tell you your Uber is arriving. Does that sound awesome? Or make you feel a bit sick? Or make you want to run away and just not get involved this time? Exactly.

Are you a woman wearing the Watch? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the design, specs, features, health and fitness apps of the Apple Watch - or anything else you've noticed.

9 Comments

  • terges says:

    Recieved my Watch yesterday which I ordered online having never touched one. I am not disappointed!

    Just a quick mention I have not seen much buzz about. I purchased mainly for health purposes. I am diabetic and am looking forward to what will become available to people like myself.  This morning after taking meds I lifted my wrist and told Siri to set alarm to test sugar in two hours. Done! Need I say more. Lol

  • maggieregan says:

    I am a 62 year old grandmother of 6 and I love my Apple watch!  My 11 year old grandson is so jealous!  It is comfortable to wear and easy to use. If I have a comment it is that it is annoying when the 'Handoff' comes into play. I don't want to have to fuss around in my bag to find my iphone (the reason I bought the watch) But that apart, the watch is already part of my anatomy!   Beam Me Up Scotty!

  • matscat6 says:

    Great watch, better than expected! 

    Superlight sports type, love the health app reminding me to stand every hour and heart monitor, as well as remote camera, being able to make phonecallsl from a watch! and 100s of Apps! 

  • Yo_Tweeps says:

    I was always going to have an Apple watch on launch day. I love Apple products so this was a given. I went into store and 'practiced' using it twice before mine arrived. Like you say it feels very feminine, I have the 38mm, the 42 would definitely be too big for me. The white sports strap matches my white phone and iPad mini perfectly. 

    I have added and removed apps and use Activity, Maps, Weather, Happier, Shazam, Twitter etc regularly. I love that you can check your notifications and just ignore those you don't need to deal with immediately and can pay for my Starbucks with a twist of my wrist!

    Happy lady here.

  • LivjonesNYC says:

    Awesome review! "My phone isn't in my pocket, because I don't have pockets" at work I meet with clients a lot and also do a lot of evening events - I only just got my watch but I anticipate it will solve so many problems for me. No more missing emails or texts from colleagues at an event because my phone is in the coat room OR having to carry a clutch at events. My wrists are tiny (and bony) :) and this is a very comfortable watch for me too. Thanks!

  • Linkbeak says:

    Thanks for the well thought out thorough review.  It is great to see products reviewed from a woman's point of view.  I work in the outdoor industry and so many products are conceived, designed and reviewed from the male only perspective.  Except that's not even mentioned because it's just assumed users are male.  I think the same holds true for tech products.

  • cestasol2 says:

    watch is so.... awesome

  • Cestasol22 says:

    watch so awesome......

  • jhdrury says:

    My daughter with small wrist ordered the 42mm because it has more pixels and is brighter. I have a small wrist, too, but see her point. The face of hers just barely covers my wrist, but those extra pixels are tempting. Any other small wristed women get the big one?

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