Does Apple Watch have a camera? No, and I don’t think it ever will. The Apple Watch is a literal supercomputer, but it is also small. A small watch means a small battery, so even with everything it currently does, an average charge only lasts about 18 hours. It just wouldn’t make sense to add a battery-draining camera until we have more advanced technology. Luckily, Wristcam saves the day by bringing not one but two cameras to your Apple Watch!
Who Am I? I’m an Apple Watch Expert!
I have been using Wristcam for a month, and I have lots to share with you! Why should you listen to me? I work full time as a Feature Writer for iPhone Life Magazine, and I wrote the Apple Watch Guide, which you can read for free as an iPhone Life Insider Subscriber ($7.99/month.)
What is Wristcam?
Wristcam is capable of:
- 8MP World-Facing + 2MP Self-Facing
- 1080P HD Video
- 3840X2160 High-Resolution Photo
- Underwater videos and photos, it is IP68 tested for up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
- All-day battery life
- Magnetic charging
- Bright LEDs to make it clear when you are recording
It has 8GB of internal storage, which meant it holds 2000 photos or one hour of video footage. It also offers multi-network connectivity, including WiFi (2.4+5 GHz) and Bluetooth (5.0) so that you can connect it to your iPhone quickly anytime, anywhere. Plus, it is super compact at just 23 grams, under 1/2 inch in size. I can even wear it while typing on a laptop, which I am doing as we speak!
Wristcam was founded by an ex-Apple engineer and Silicon Valley and Start-up Nation serial entrepreneurs! So these people know what they are doing… especially since its parent company focuses on camera-powered software experiences. The Wristcam is essentially an Apple Watch band with two built-in cameras: one that faces the world and one for selfies.
My Review of Wristcam
You can read all the technical details about Wristcam on their website. But I’d like to share my first-hand experience!
What I Love About Wristcam
I can take my Wristcam anywhere. Roller coaster ride? Check! Ziplining? Mountain climbing? Cliff-jumping? Check, check, check! Even if you can’t bring your phone or GoPro, or you simply prefer to have both hands free, Wristcam has you covered. I love bringing it with me on my wrist and not worrying about water, mud, or even accidental sunscreen spills (been there, done that.)
Although I recommend taking better care of your Wristcam if you buy one, I can reassure you that I’ve put mine through the wringer, and it has held up better than expected. I only noticed an issue when I jumped off a 12-foot cliff, and it stopped recording when it hit the water, but maybe the impact pushed the button. At a lower altitude jump, it kept filming underwater!
I also love that it charges quickly. Sometimes my adventures are spontaneous, and I only have a 15-minute notice before leaving the house. When plugged into a proper outlet, it can charge fully in half an hour, if not quicker. In a car, it charges slower, but it still gets me enough to record the most exciting moments of my adventures, in or out of the water!
Finally, I love that it has so much internal storage and that using it doesn’t drain my Apple Watch. I can operate it exclusively through the buttons without even opening the app on my watch. If I want to see what I’m recording, I can use the app. It is super simple to use, and it comes with Siri shortcuts that you can add with a click of a button. The entire setup was a lot smoother than I expected.
What I Don’t Love About Wristcam
As much as I love my Wristcam, I have plenty of complaints. First, it can be complicated to turn it off. If you hold the button in the wrong way, it will start recording or taking photos. There doesn’t seem to be a Siri command or app button to turn it off – this would be super useful to save that precious battery life.
Speaking of battery life, it’s not great. When I’m recording videos, it doesn’t last long at all. Then again, this is to be expected of such a tiny but powerful camera… I like to compare it to a drone. Drones only have about 15 minutes of battery life in them, during which they can capture amazing footage. The exact same thing can be said about Wristcam.
The video quality on the Wristcam is impressive, except in low lighting. I’ve been spoiled by my iPhone 12 Pro Max and the insane night mode which the Wristcam just can’t compare to. Also, the audio is not great. Maybe I need to clean out my case better and make sure it’s positioned right, but I had to enhance it in my videos to hear my voice. Interestingly enough, even though voices appear to be quiet, it does capture underwater sounds surprisingly well.
I’m hesitant to mention this next complaint because I am not sure the Wristcam is to blame. I like to use my Apple Watch as a remote to my iPhone camera. I even wrote an article on how to use it to take the perfect selfie! Sometimes, the screen will appear black, even though I can still successfully take a photo. This happens on Wristcam, too, although it isn’t common.
When the Wristcam app shows a black screen or is frozen or lagging, it can be hard to figure out which camera is recording and what is on camera. Turning it off and back on usually fixes this issue, and sometimes just restarting the app helps. Once again, this could be an Apple Watch glitch and have nothing to do with the Wristcam as it happens with the regular Camera app too.
Finally, I am frustrated with the lack of color options. The actual Wristcam can be removed from the band so that you can clean it and change the color of your band. At the moment there are only two colors available: black and gray.
You can use half of another color band if you want a splash of color, but I hope that the company comes out with a rainbow of colors soon… and if they do, I WILL BUY THEM ALL and store them in my favorite Apple Watch band case for $17.99.
Is Wristcam Worth It?
Let’s cut to the chase. The $299 Wristcam isn’t cheap… it costs more than an Apple Watch SE, for crying out loud. I can’t think of anyone in the world who actively needs one in their life. But I can think of many people who want it and would find it a fun and functional accessory – like me! I honestly bring it with me on all my adventures.
Remember my drone analogy? Drones are expensive gadgets that only work in certain places and have particular purposes. They also have a short battery lifespan, during which they can capture ridiculously awesome footage, so you need to make sure to use them sparingly to record just the special moments. Unlike a drone, if you run out of battery, it’s not inconvenient to keep it on your wrist just like you would a regular Apple Watch band.
What Can You Do With Wristcam?
- Take photos and videos hands-free to keep your hands available to climb mountains, ski, swim, etc.
- Record videos where phones and GoPros are not allowed, like amusement park rides.
- Capture your favorite moments when your phone isn’t accessible or safe to bring – like on a surf or paddleboard.
Although I haven’t quite figured it out, there is also a video chat function that seems complicated in its beta stage. I honestly haven’t tried too hard to do it because I am perfectly happy doing audio-only FaceTime on my Apple Watch when necessary. I’m a millennial, so I avoid talking on the phone like the plague anyway.
I love my Wristcam and can honestly say that it has benefited my life as a YouTuber/person obsessed with capturing every moment. Although I understand that it’s not a gadget for everyone, I feel that anyone excited by the idea of a camera on their wrist should bite the bullet and buy a Wristcam (#affiliate.) Especially if you are into photos or videos, you’ll love this fun accessory!
If you are one of those people who wants to wait until the Apple Watch gets a camera, I may need to burst your bubble. With all my experience with Apple products, I highly doubt that we’ll see a built-in camera in our lifetimes, if ever. It isn’t practical enough, and it would force the watch to be bigger, have less battery life, and come at the cost of more urgently needed features like blood-alcohol monitors. Speaking of cost… it would cost WAY more than $299 on top of the base price since just adding LTE-support costs $100.
Also, there is no need for Apple to create an Apple Watch with a camera because Wristcam already offers the perfect solution. You wear the band when you need it and leave it at home when you don’t. It doesn’t drain your watch’s battery life or use its limited storage. Plus, you can get it fixed if you break a camera without having your entire watch out of commission.
Anyway, I’m not here to convince you that you need a Wristcam. In fact, I am certain you don’t. But if you are like me and want one, you can buy it on Amazon for $299! Check out my Wristcam unboxing and testing video, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for regular footage on my many adventures in Maui, Hawaii, and around the world!