Above Avalon’s Neil Cybart, who read every review he could find to the end, begs to differ.
“Out of 21 reviews, 14 were pretty much glowing recommendations while 3 were on the fence… and 4 had more concerns than positives.”
The reviewers, he concluded, obliged to balance pros and cons, were grading on a curve.
The Macalope, Macworld’s resident media critic, agrees.
“Witness The Verge, which said the Apple Watch was ‘easily the nicest smartwatch available’, except they gave it a 7 after having given the Motorola 360 an 8.1. Is there a better example of grading on a curve than that?”
For me, the second wave of reviews — the ones that got past the learning curve to the heart of the thing — began Tuesday, with Horace Dediu’s The Watch.
“It feels like a watch in the physical sense,” he writes, having used one for a few days, “However it does not feel like a watch conceptually.”
I find myself drawn into a conversation by its vocabulary of vibrations. I find myself talking to it. I find myself listening to it. I find myself glancing at information about faraway places. I find myself paying for things with it. I find myself checking into flights with it. I order transportation, listen to news, check live data streams and get myself nagged to exercise. It tells me where I am. It tells me where to go. It tells me when to leave.
Nothing ever worn on a wrist, or anywhere else for that matter, has done any of these things before. Not only are these things mesmerizing but they are done in a productive way on a wristwatch. In other words they are done in a mindful way.
Cynics may say it does too little. Philistines may say it does too much. But for me it does just what I want it to do when I want it done. The things which are not done stay out of the way…
Even more remarkably, this tasteful minder is offered not to a fortunate few but to millions of people of average means. In the true sense of technological democratization, Apple Watch is a phenomenon for mass consumption.
Its launch needs to be understood as a watershed event… The product speaks plainly of itself and its success is therefore guaranteed.
No one is going to accuse Horace Dediu of grading on a curve.