The internet brims with knockoff Apple Watch bands that are nearly as good as the real deal at a fraction of the price. Determining whether a knockoff is actually any good, however, is another story.
I’ve taken a look at one such band by Cambond, which mimics in appearance the popular Milanese loop by Apple. Retailing at $149, the Milanese is indeed pricey as are most of Apple’s bands whereas Cambond’s version is about 10 bucks.
Check out the video below to see Cambond’s band head to head against Apple’s own Milanese loop.
Mock Milanese Loop
Side to side it’s hard to spot any differences between Apple’s Milanese Loop and the $10 Cambond knockoff. The chainmail texture of Cambond’s loop looks identical to Apple’s, as does the magnetic clasp which also feels just as strong. Even the lug connectors on either side are nearly identical with the same level of polish.
Differences begin to show in the actual fit of the band’s adapters into the Apple Watch. The genuine Apple band has absolutely no play when fitted, and is completely flush. But Cambond’s offering isn’t quite as snug, and has a little bit of movement when I jiggle it side to side. It’s not going to slide straight out by any means unless I was to press in the release button, but there’s definitely more play than with the Apple’s.
The finish on the Cambond knockoff isn’t quite up to Apple’s standard, but this is a trade-off I can live with for the price.
The easiest way to spot the difference between a genuine Apple band and one of their many third-party replicas is to check for the watch size to be printed or etched onto the back of the adapter.
So is it any good? If you’re going for the Apple without the Apple price tag, low-cost options like this are a great alternative.
If you want a wide variety of bands (I have at least six), this is the way to go. There may be some trade-offs, but they’re pretty damn close.
Had I not chosen the Milanese Loop as the band to come with my Apple Watch, I wouldn’t be parting with my cash for the real deal, and would definitely get the Cambond.
If the Milanese Loop isn’t your style, but you’re on the look out for some new bands for your Apple Watch, check out our own Apple Watch store where there’s a great selection of bands.
Buy from: Amazon
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