Apple Watch Leads Smartwatch Pack, Consumer Reports Finds

The Apple Watch beat competitor models from Samsung, Pebble, and Martian in spot-testing conducted by Consumer Reports.
10 Apple Watch Apps For Business, Productivity
10 Apple Watch Apps For Business, Productivity
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If you're in the market for a smartwatch, Apple Watch might be your best bet.

Consumer Reports has announced the findings of its smartwatch spot-testing, which put Apple's stainless-steel wearable on top of the market. Apple Watch Sport tied with the LG G Watch R for second place. Other competitors including Pebble Steel, Moto 360, and Asus ZenWatch trailed behind, reports ZDNet.

The long-awaited Apple Watch made its public debut on April 24, when it was delivered to the eager customers who placed orders as the clock struck midnight on April 10. Now, about 22% of the 1.7 million who preordered the Watch actually have one. The other 639,000 are still waiting.

[See it for yourself: My Apple Watch in-store demo.]

The number is poised to escalate even further, despite mixed reviews. Apple Watch was placed ahead of competitor smartwatches in their second and third generations. Consumer Reports wrote that its "ease of pairing and ease of interaction," along with its durability and water resistance, earned it top marks.

Over the course of several weeks, Consumer Reports tested 11 smartwatches, counting the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watches as distinct models. Testers evaluated the devices for durability, health functionality, readability in both low and bright lighting, and ease of use and interaction.

Water resistance testing was conducted in a chamber that can be pressurized to simulate depths up to 230 feet, wrote Consumer Reports. Apple claims that its products align with IPX7 under IEC standard 60529, officials explained, meaning the Watch should be able to function after 30 minutes in 3.3 feet of water.

The stainless steel Apple Watch was fine after its first test, which involved submersion according to each manufacturer's limits, a post-submersion functionality check, and another check after one day. The first Sport showed problems after 24 hours, but later samples proved fine so it was also granted a pass.

Devices were evaluated for durability with scratch-resistance tests. The sapphire crystal face of the stainless steel Watch proved a winner in this, withstanding a pick scratch just below diamond hardness. The Ion-X glass Sport scored slightly lower, as did other devices with Gorilla Glass faces.

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Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing