Can Apple Watch give established activity trackers a run for their money? Only time will tell
More than just a glorified timepiece, the Apple Watch touchscreen device is also touted as a "groundbreaking health and fitness companion." Rhoel Fernandez

CAN the newly released Apple Watch give the current crop of activity trackers, wrist-worn heart rate monitors and GPS watches a run for their money?

Only time will tell as to the reception and functionality of Apple Inc's offering to the smartwatch market.

Local retail chain Power Mac Center certainly hopes so after the official reveal at its Greenbelt 3 store on Friday of Apple Watch, the Cupertino-based tech giant's first foray into wearable technology.

More than just a glorified timepiece, the touchscreen device is also touted as a "groundbreaking health and fitness companion."

Wirelessly connected with an iPhone (5 or above), the Apple Watch will enable users to key notifications that includes call, text and email alerts with just a flick of the wrist to be able to respond anytime and anywhere.

At the push of the Digital Crown, users can ask assistance from Siri and control music by voice. Digital Touch allows multi-modes of communication via sketch, a tap or even through the rhythm of the user's heartbeat.

The Apple Watch comes in three models: the aluminum Apple Watch Sport, the stainless steel Apple Watch and the solid gold Apple Watch Edition in two sizes, 42mm and 38mm.

Pricing is based on the materials of each version and starts at P19,900 for the Apple Watch Sport to P960,000 for the high end 18-karat gold alloy Apple Watch Edition.

Product management manager Princess Laosantos said their customers have long been clamoring for their store to carry the Apple Watch soon after its worldwide launch last March.

For health and fitness buffs, one definite advantage of the Apple Watch is that it supports most iOS apps along with its integrated health and fitness feature that covers a variety of activities.

In Workout mode the watch can track gym, running, walking and cycling. Users can set goals, chart their progress and earn awards as an incentive. The device can handle water splashes but is not water resistant, however.

Accessories such as bumpers and screen protectors are available in-store.

The watch can be customized to suit the user's tastes and preferences - from traditional analog display to intricatle aninated butterflies and jellyfish to information-specific modes.

Apple also offers interchangeable straps and bands in stainless steel, leather and fluoroelastomer.

"It's a unique timepiece with innovative features perfect for any Filipino lifestyle - be it for fitness enthusiasts, working professionals and the fashion savvy," said Ivan Ambrosio, Power Mac Center assistant brand manager for Apple.


Aside from the Greenbelt 3 store the Apple Watch is also available at TriNoMa in Quezon City.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @rhoelfernandez