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My product of the year for 2018

By Kenny Yeo - on 31 Dec 2018, 11:52am

2018 was a relatively good year for tech. We have been blessed with some truly awesome phones; we have seen some crazy powerful notebooks; we have lust-worthy headphones. But my favorite product of the year isn’t a phone or a notebook or a headphone. It’s a smartwatch - the Apple Watch Series 4.

Why do I like it so much? The Apple Watch Series 4 is both smart-looking and functional - arguably the two most important considerations when shopping for a watch. I get it, looks are a subjective matter, but as I mentioned numerous times before in my reviews, I really dig the design of the Apple Watch. Some insist that a watch should be round, but really, a square display is the most ideal for displaying text. Besides, some of the world’s most iconic watches - Cartier Santos, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, Patek Philippe Nautilus, just to name a few - are not round, but I digress. More importantly, the redesigned case and larger display have a large impact on how this new watch wears. The changes are subtle on paper, but on the wrist, the new Series 4 Apple Watch wears closer to wrist and looks sleeker - more like a well-designed watch and less like a geeky tech tool.

And then there’s the bewildering array of straps available for it. Unless you are a dyed-in-the-wool watch enthusiast, you might dismiss this as a money-grabbing move on Apple's part, but the fact is that straps have a profound effect on the way a watch wears, looks, and feels. A simple black leather strap instantly dresses a watch up and makes it classier, whereas a brown leather strap makes that watch more casual.

New Series 4 on the right, older Series 3 on the left. The proportions of the former are more, for lack of a better word, "right.".

I also like that it is highly functional and can do so many things. Let me just list some of them now:

  • Automatically syncs itself to atomic time
  • Shows time in multiple time zones
  • Tells the weather
  • Shows your altitude
  • Times events
  • Tracks activity and workout
  • Answers and makes calls
  • Receives and sends text messages
  • Finds direction
  • Hails rides
  • Measures your heart rate
  • Streams music to your wireless headphone
  • Generate ECG reports

How many watches can you name that can even do half the things that I've listed here? It's the Swiss army knife of watches.

It took Apple a few years but they seemed to have finally nailed down the design and purpose of the Apple Watch. Above all, it is a health tool that is aimed that helping you keep track of your well-being. It tells you if you are too inactive and it warns you if your heart rate isn’t what it should be. But it is also a tool that complements all your other Apple devices. It unlocks your Macs and helps you find your iPhone, amongst many other things.

To sum up, it is an invaluable tool for anyone who is concerned about his or her health and handily one of the most well thought out and polished product of 2018.

Kenny Yeo

Kenny Yeo / Associate Editor

Specifications are not everything. It's what you do with what you have that matters.