Read this before buying an Apple watch

by patrick

Bought an Apple Watch with the help from an Australian friend and have played with it around 1 month. To be honest, my feel is that if you set very high expectation then you probably will be disappointed. Unlike iPhone, Apple Watch isn’t a product for everyone, it’s for someone who needs it. Here I will share with you the details based on my one month hand-on experience.

Which one to buy?

Apple Watch offered three models (sport, standard watch and Edition) and each model comes with more SKUs, such as different size (38mm/42mm), different color and different band. The design is far better than Android watches, more elegant and stunning design, but for some people the rectangle design may feel bit strange as most of the watches today are circular shaped. I tried most of the sports ones as well as the standard ones in Apple Store before buying one, standard Apple Watch has better look and feel, the shining stainless steel won’t make the watch feel cheap. But from product refresh perspective, I would suggest to get a sports one as it’s more cheaper, and you won’t feel heartache when upgrade to next gens.

Does it change my life?

To me Apple Watch is very helpful. Time, notification, quick phone answering, and activity tracking are the most useful features to me. Apple watch offered the freedom to change the watch face, you can customize the face and put additional information such as calendar, weather, battery life on the face, but very limited watch face offerings compares with Android ones or Pebble. The notification experience is awesome, when a new notification comes in it always can notify me immediately using vibrations. I don’t necessarily need to grab my phone from the pocket or turn it on to check notifications. It helped me to use iPhone less than before as it’s easier for me to decide whether to response just at a glance.

The phone answering feature is a bit weird actually, I’m not used to answer phone calls on a watch but it turns very helpful when I leave my phone in the bedroom when staying somewhere in the living room or kitchen. I can answer it quickly and no need to pick up the phone. Activity tracking feature provides better experience to monitor my workout and daily activities thanks to the AMOLED display, much easier than checking on a phone. The algorithm seems more accurate than Jawbone, and it can measure heart beat with LEDs on the rear side, more accurate on calories. As for apps, I installed around 20 apps on the watch, but I don’t use that very much. The screen is too small, text input isn’t perfect, and Siri doesn’t work in noisy environment.

Battery life?

My experience that it can last for about 14 hours in average, I didn’t try the power saving mode, it says under this mode the watch can run for 1~2 days but just can do time checking, all other features will be disabled. You need to charge it daily, that’s not a problem for me since lots of devices need to be charged daily, adding a watch doesn’t bother me too much, normally I charge it when I sleep in the night and next day I can get a full charged watch.

Recommendation?

If you feel those four features can meet your needs, Apple Watch won’t disappoint you. Or if you purely want to buy a digital watch with nice design, Apple Watch also is the best choice. But if you buy it just because it’s a new product, then you probably will regret buying it.

– This is an article I wrote in Oct.2015, originally was posted on the old pat.pm