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Apple isn’t just selling some wrist-worn computer, it’s selling good looks and coolness, too

April 8, 2015 8:04 a.m. ET

There’s a reason we don’t wear the same clothes two days in a row, try to avoid the temptations of McDonald’s and Ben & Jerry’s, keep a regular hair appointment and make it to the gym as often as possible. It’s the same reason we’d consider buying an Apple Watch: We like to look our best.

After over a week of living with Apple’s latest gadget on my wrist, I realized the company isn’t just selling some wrist-worn computer, it’s selling good looks and coolness, with some bonus computer features. Too many features that are too hard to find, if you ask me.

Like many Apple products of the past decade, the watch is a status symbol, a sign of wealth and taste. But unlike a MacBook or an iPhone, this Apple product works to help you look—and feel—good.

There are so many things the watch can do, so many menus and features you must spend time figuring out, that for better or worse, you end up shaping your own experience. Some may find usefulness in hailing Ubers with a tap on the wrist, or transmitting a heartbeat to a beloved. My colleague Geoffrey Fowler explored the Apple Watch as a gateway to the iPhone

for many quick activities. I sought a simpler experience, turning it into a stylish watch to keep me on schedule and a workout companion to keep me moving.

I know what you’re thinking: Can’t I just buy a $150 fitness tracker for that? Sure, but it might end up in a drawer. The Apple Watch succeeds where the fitness trackers have failed. Not only does it provide more accurate data and a platform with big promise, but it’s an accessory I love to wear all day long.


With a pair of Bluetooth earbuds, you can go running with the Apple Watch and leave the iPhone behind. Photo: Jarrard Cole/The Wall Street Journal

The Workout

On Sunday morning, I went for a 2-mile run. But instead of looking like a marionette with an iPhone in hand and earbuds hanging from my head, I ran with just the stainless-steel, 38-millimeter watch, attached via a $50 blue sport band to my wrist.

The downside of leaving the iPhone at home is that the watch’s Exercise app doesn’t track distance as accurately and third-party running apps rely on the phone’s GPS. You also have to use Apple’s Music app since Spotify, Rdio and others aren’t yet on the watch. (Warning: You must use iTunes to sync the playlist, which can be detrimental to your well-being.)

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