Last updated: October 25, 2021

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Welcome to ReviewBox. Today we will talk about the Apple Watch, a gadget launched in 2015 as an exclusive Apple innovation.

Four years later, the brand already has four generations of the device. When choosing yours, besides analyzing the technical characteristics of each model, check the case material, the size (which varies from 38 to 44 mm), colour and the bracelet that comes with the product.

In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about the Apple Watch: the reasons to buy this wearable, technical specifications of each generation, some usage tips and buying suggestions.




Summary

  • The Apple Watch not only shows the time, this model has several functions, mainly related to sports practice. But be aware, the Apple Watch is a complementary device to the iPhone.
  • In the box comes a wireless charger, a wall charger (5 watts), USB cable, instruction manual and two adjustable bracelets in sizes small, medium and large.

The best Apple Watch: Our Picks

Apple's line of smart watches is made up of four generations, released annually since 2015. All models have aspects in common, but each one has its differential, for this reason we have selected one model from each, to help you choose the ideal one.

Buying guide: what you need to know about Apple

Watch For years, people heard rumours that Apple was developing a smartwatch. Only in 2015 did the company find the right moment to launch the Apple Watch, a mobile device that works as an extension of your smartphone. With four versions it gets really hard to choose between series 1 and 4. Here you'll learn everything you need to decide which Apple Watch is right for you.

Imagem de um homem mexendo em seu Apple Watch preto.

The Apple Watch lets you keep track of smartphone notifications in a discreet way. (Source: fancycrave1 / Pixabay)

What are the functions of an Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch has several functions, the most basic is to show the time and date. You can also add weather related information, all in a personalised way. This information will appear on the watch's dock, which is very similar to that of a smartphone.

To view it, you don't need to press any buttons, just raise your wrist or double-click the screen. As we mentioned, the Apple Watch is an extension of the iPhone, so you get the device's notifications on your watch.

Imagem de um Apple Watch em cima de um iPhone.

Using the Apple Watch is inextricably linked to the iPhone. (Source: ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay)

The warning is subtle: besides the vibration, the display lights up for a few seconds and the information appears briefly, only with the name of the application and a brief context. If you want to know details just access the Notification Center (drag the top bar to see it).

Then you decide if you want to access your smartphone to answer or not. The coolest thing is that you can send messages and answer calls directly from the watch.

How can I use my Apple Watch for sports?

One of the main functions of the Apple Watch is to serve as a tool for those who practice sports, whether walking, running or even swimming (the device is water resistant). The wearable analyses the heartbeats during breathing, walking, exercises, recovery throughout the day and even during the night, ideal for those who have heart problems or are undergoing some treatment.

Imagem do aplicativo de monitoramento cardíaco do Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch is an ally in the practice of sports. (Source: rawpixel.com / Pexels)

The physical monitoring apps also have an analysis of calories burned, pulse, steps taken, distances covered, pedaled and steps you climbed or descended. Models from the second generation onwards have GPS to help you locate yourself if you get lost (ideal for hikers) and provide reports on distances travelled, time, average speed and other information.

Because it's water resistant (up to 50m deep), you can use your Apple Watch to analyse and report on your swimming. To use this feature, you'll need to download an app.

What are the sensors on the Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch comes with a number of sports-oriented sensors. We will explain their respective functions and you will see a table indicating the sensors present in each model.

Imagem da parte interna de um Apple Watch.

The sensors of the Apple Watch are located inside the device. (Source: Fabian Albert / Unsplash)

The barometric altimeter is an instrument used to measure heights and altitudes and the pressure variation. The optical heart sensor uses green LEDs associated with photodiodes to analyze the amount of blood flowing through the wrist. The sensors flash hundreds of times a second to calculate the heartbeat.

The electrical heart sensor uses electrodes integrated into the crown and the back of the device to measure the electrical signals emitted by the heart. You will need to place your finger on the crown and establish a circuit between your heart and arms to enable measurement of impulses passing through your chest.

1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generation
Barometric altimeter
Water resistance
Optical heart sensor
Electric heart sensor
GPS
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor

What are the preinstalled apps on the Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch comes with preinstalled apps, these are: Bag, Mail, Calendar, Camera (the device doesn't have a camera, but can control the iPhone shutter remotely), Maps, Clock, Contacts, Messages, Phone, Photos, Reminders, Music and Weather.

The only apps that don't rely on the iPhone to upload data are: Workout and Activity, sports-oriented apps. All the others need the iPhone to work. Apple Watch doesn't have a keyboard, so if you're going to send messages use the voice transcription feature (just speak and it writes for you).

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch is a great ally in sports. As we saw, it can be connected to Apple devices such as iPad, iPhone or Apple TV. With it, you can see your notifications with the mobile phone in your pocket, and you can still answer calls and read and send messages. On the home screen you can see the time, temperature and date.

Imagem de uma mulher mexendo em seu Apple Watch branco.

Apple Watch shows date, time and weather on the home screen. (Source: fancycrave1 / Pixabay)

The advantages are many. But, even an Apple Watch has its drawbacks. The gadget doesn't work if it's not connected to an iPhone, so if you don't have that smartphone, we suggest buying it first. In addition, it's only since the third generation that the watch has started to work away from the iPhone. The price is also a negative factor, since it requires a very high investment.

Advantages
  • It is an excellent tool in the practice of sports
  • It can be connected to iPad, iPhone and Apple TV
  • It displays notifications, allows you to receive and send messages and answer calls
  • It displays date, time and weather situation
Disadvantages
  • It is an extension of the smartphone, so you need to have an iPhone
  • Only from the third generation that the Apple Watch works away from the Smartphone
  • In Brazil, this device is very expensive

How to handle the Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch has three commands: side button, which activates the friends hub, crown that is used to scroll the screen, list of applications, activate Siri (virtual assistant) and as a return button and touch screen sensitivity.

If you want to view notifications, drag your finger from top to bottom. If you want to see summaries, do the reverse way and slide your finger from bottom to top. Another feature is Force Touch technology, just press the screen a little harder for you to view hidden menus in apps and clear notifications.

Imagem de um Apple Watch.

The crown makes all the difference in how you handle the Apple Watch. (Source: Charlie0111 / Pixabay)

Most settings must be done from the iPhone. You can select your favorite contacts for Friends Hub and the apps you want to receive notifications from. While you're handling your iPhone, no notifications will arrive on the watch, but as soon as you turn off the screen, the smartwatch will start receiving notifications and updates again.

Apple Watch: Which generation to choose?

The four generations have some common features like design, Retina OLED screen, water resistance and some sensors like heart meter, accelerometer and gyroscope. The similarities stop there and each model has its differentials.

Apple Watch Series 1

Despite being the first generation, the Apple Watch Series 1 does not leave anything to be desired. The processor is S1, dual-core, developed especially for the first generation of the device. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connection.

This model turns on automatically when you raise your wrist. Battery life is up to 18 hours, which varies by use. The 1st generation Apple Watch Series is compatible with iPhone 5 and above.

Apple Watch Series 2

The Apple Watch Series 2 was released a year after the first version. This model is even better for those who use the gadget during sports practice, because it has integrated GPS. Another difference is that you no longer need to carry your iPhone everywhere, because this model works offline.

When it's reconnected to the net it uploads the updates. The water resistance has also evolved and now, the gadget works up to 50 meters deep. Another feature that has been upgraded is the battery, which can last up to two days.

Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple Watch Series 3 is even more independent from the iPhone and 70% faster than previous versions, because the processor was upgraded to a S3 with two cores. Another change is in the grid of applications, now in list format. The screen has a stronger brightness, which allows for good performance even in places where the lighting is intense.

Apple Watch Series 4

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the most current model. Finally there has been a design change, and it concerns the size: the watch cases are larger: 40 or 44 mm, and the device is thinner (10.7 mm thick). This model can also be found in the version with stainless steel case and in a new colour: gold.

Another innovation is the fall detection and 50% more powerful speakers. There has been an upgrade in the processor and it is twice as fast as the previous generation. This model comes with a second-generation optical heart sensor and also features an electrical sensor.

1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generation
Differences Waterproof Works offline, has GPS and water resistance to 50m depth It's 70% faster, apps come in list format Processor twice as fast as last version
Disadvantages Only works connected to iPhone. Includes only one wristband No design changes Again, no design changes Since this is a launch, it is the most expensive version
Watch case dimensions 38 or 42 mm and 10.5 mm thick 38 or 42 mm and 11.4 mm thick 38 or 42 mm and 11.4 mm thick 40 or 44 mm and 10.7 mm thick

Purchase criteria: Factors to compare the different Apple Watch models

Before you put one of the Apple Watch models in the Amazon virtual cart, pay attention to this last section. We are going to talk about the features that should be taken into consideration at the time of purchase. They are

  • Material
  • Colour
  • Size
  • Wristband

We will explain item by item, so that you are not left with any doubt.

Material

One of the most important criteria when choosing an Apple Watch is the material of the piece. Apple Watch Series 1 is the most basic version, so the watch case is made of aluminium and the display is made of glass. Series 2, 3 and 4 models can be made of aluminium and glass (basic model), stainless steel with sapphire display (intermediate) or made of ceramic with sapphire display (top model).

Colour

Apple Watch is available in five colour options: space grey is a great choice for those looking for a discreet yet elegant shade. Black is a classic colour and goes with different colours and styles of bands. Silver is a more eye-catching option and ideal for those seeking a model with premium design.

Gold is a very beautiful and eye-catching colour, but it does not suit everyone. Rose gold is a more discreet variation of the previous colour. Despite also being eye-catching, the shade is light and soft.

Imagem de uma Apple Watch.

You match the colour of the watch case with the bracelets. (Source: Ingo Joseph / Pexels)

Size

The Apple Watch was developed to adapt to the wrist of men and women, after all, the device is unisex (you can customize it through the bracelets that can be purchased separately). The models of generations 1, 2 and 3 are available in two different sizes: 38 or 42 mm, being that the larger version enables more information to be visualized by the display.

The 38 mm version is indicated for those who prefer smaller watches. It is also recommended for wrists between 130 and 200 mm in diameter. The 42 mm model is a little larger, so it is recommended for wrists between 140 and 210 mm in diameter. Generation 4, however, has a reformulation in the standard, and the case may be 40 or 44 mm.

This model is ideal for those looking for a more imposing watch. Because it is a wearable, it is important to choose a size that is comfortable and suitable for your wrist. So, even if you're buying online, it's worth going to the Apple shop and trying out the available models.

Imagem de uma moça usando um Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch adapts to different wrist thicknesses. (Source: Luke Chesser / Unsplash)

Wristband

The choice of wristband is a matter of personal taste not functionality. Remember to buy a model compatible with your watch (38, 40, 42 or 44 mm). The casual bracelets can be made of leather, smooth or rough, with magnetic clasp or stainless steel, in six colour options. Another option is the stainless steel alloy bracelet with magnetic clasp or butterfly style.

The sports bracelets are divided into two versions: made of resistant fluoroelastomer, with pin clasp in 9 colour options. The other model is the Sport Loop made of soft, breathable nylon, with adjustable clasp and eight colour options. (Featured image source: Florian-Media / Pixabay)

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