Product: Baseus Milanese Loop Strap – 42mm
Price: $75.49 (£59.99)
Compatibility: Apple Watch
Date: Nov. 15, 2015
The Apple Watch, for many of us, is all about the bands. Fortunately, a large (and growing) selection of third-party bands have hit the market in recent months, offering Apple Watch owners either brand new designs or lesser-priced versions of some of Cupertino’s own straps (although I’m hesitant to use the word “knock off,” this is what we’re dealing with here). Yet, in truth, looking to purchase a so-called knock-off band is no bad thing; after all, with each one of Apple’s mid-tier bands retailing for somewhere in the region of $145 (or more), it’d cost a pretty penny to kit out your wearable with each one of Cupertino’s own band designs.
As such, this is where Baseus’s Milanese Loop band for Apple Watch comes in. Based heavily on Apple’s own Milanese Loop band for the smart watch, Baseus’s accessory aims to offer owners of the device a high class band for a fraction of the cost. You’re looking, roughly speaking, at around half the price of Apple’s own Milanese Loop when you consider Baseus’s option, but does this mean you’re dealing with something only half the quality? Let’s find out.
It’s worth saying right from the start that Baseus’s Milanese Loop isn’t a band which perfectly replicates Apple’s own, though it does replicate many of its features. For starters, it allows owners to easily adjust the length of the strap using a magnetic join; in Baseus’s band, this snaps onto the mesh of the Milanese Loop magnetically, though as with Apple’s band, this magnetic connector does have a habit of sliding down the Loop and lengthening the strap. You’ll find with Baseus’s band that certain wrist movements will lengthen the band in this way, and as such you’ll likely need to regularly re-adjust Baseus’s Milanese Loop, which is something of an annoyance.
Baseus’s Milanese Loop is comfortable to wear, and at a distance, it does look nice. When you get a little closer, you’ll notice small blemishes along the stainless steel mesh or along its magnetic closure which betray the band’s lesser quality. It was disappointing to see that, in places, the mesh isn’t uniformly silver; this is the price you pay, though, when opting for a product like this one.
The band’s connectors to the Apple Watch are something of a concern, too. I said in my HyperLink review that this was one of the biggest issues many of us have had when opting for a third-party band; the fear, of course, is that your Apple Watch could disconnect from the band during use. Baseus’s Milanese Loop’s connectors aren’t as solid as I’d have hoped, and the Apple Watch kind of rocks to one side when connected up.
All in all, Baseus’s Milanese Loop isn’t a replacement for the real thing. But if the real thing isn’t an option for you, this could offer Apple Watch owners the next best thing. It’s a Milanese Loop design for the Apple Watch that costs half the price of Cupertino’s own, though if you’re hoping for something as beautiful and reliable as Apple’s Milanese Loop, Baseus’s accessory will disappoint you. Our advice would be to save the cash and buy the real deal; Apple’s Milanese Loop indeed costs $149, but I think customers will appreciate the extra quality that comes with Cupertino’s more expensive band.
- Magnetic clasp for easy adjustment.
- Half the price of Apple’s own Milanese Loop.
- It’s a lesser-quality band.
- Connection to the Apple Watch isn’t solid.
Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★☆☆
Wow Factor: ★★☆☆☆
Build Quality: ★★☆☆☆
Buy now: $75.49 (£59.99) from MobileFun