I finally received my Apple Watch about a week ago and I’ve been using in for a full week for solid business and fun uses. I have used the watch for full e-mail and calendar notifications, workout tracking and reading quick news here and there whenever I have the time. This is basically how I used to use my Pebble watch too. Today I’m going to share a bit what I think about the watch so far.
I’d like to think that I’m no stranger to the world of watches, I personally love watches and I have a small collections of my own. Therefore when I ordered the watch I had to think of comparing with the likes of Tissot and Ebel. This is why the Apple Watch that I bought was the steel version with leather loop, to me for a watch with this price range the Sapphire glass is a must. In my experience I must have scratched quite a number of non Sapphire glass watches such as my trusted Casio Edifice (it was quite cheap and reliable, but not entirely scratch proof).
So, how does the apple watch compare against quality watches of the same price range? I think the build is almost on par with those watches. Everything about the watch feels solid, none of those rickety sound or empty shell feeling. On the wrist the watch wears very well and it almost feels like other steel watches of the same price range.
The difference of course is while the Apple Watch is only water resistant the other two watches you see on the picture is completely waterproof. So, unless you wear your watch while swimming or diving then the Apple watch is perfectly good. I don’t know if the touchscreen is going to work well underwater anyway.
One of the constant worries of the early reviews and potential buyers is the battery life. Some say that it won’t last even a day and some say that you might have to recharge it in the office during midday. Well, I’m happy to report that the battery worries wasn’t realized at all. So far with full usage from 8am to 7pm I normally ended up with 65-75% of battery life, by then I wouldn’t have any need for the watch. This is as I said with full usage on emails and every single notifications that I get on my phone.
I guess if I did an all-nighter then the watch would probably last just until morning again. There is of course the power reserve mode as well. In any case I have yet to try using the watch all night. Perhaps next time we’ll see how much I can squeeze the battery into.
If we compare with normal watches, automatic watches and even the Pebble, there is definitely room for improvements for the Apple Watch. I basically have to leave it charged every night just to be sure and I don’t know if it would impact the battery life negatively.
The bottom line is though, the watch battery life is good enough for daily uses. However if you are about to go on a road trip or adventuring, then make sure to bring the charger with you or alternatively take a Tissot or a Tag Heuer.
I think the accelerometer on this watch works very well most of the time when detecting wrist movements. Almost 100% of the time the watch detect my movement properly when bringing up my hand to see the watch. The only problem is when I just want to glance at the watch, there’s really no way to do this. The only way to wake the watch without any wrist movements is by touching the screen. While this is mostly okay, when in public transport and your are holding up, it can be a bit tricky to wake the watch. I really wish there is a way to wake the watch by shaking my wrist just like the Pebble watch.
Another aspects of usability is of course the feedback mechanism. Unlike other smart watches which uses vibrations, the Apple Watch uses the Taptic Engine which produces a haptic feedback. Once I get used to this kind of feedback, I really can’t imagine myself using vibration based feedback. The taps on the wrist is just enough to tell me of any notifications yet not too much that it becomes annoying. When I used my Pebble watch, sometimes the vibrations can be a bit too much, especially when there are too many messages and notifications coming in.
I guess surprisingly this might be the shortcoming of the Apple Watch for now, at least until they release the Watch OS 2 where native standalone watch applications are supposedly accepted. At the moment, whenever I open an app, I would have to wait for quite a bit as the watch appears to load most of the app from the iPhone. The same goes with the applications, only select few of them are actually very useful and usable, others are just there for the sake of having an Apple Watch app. I dare say that the apps in the Pebble watch are more innovative, perhaps with severe limitations comes creativity!
At the time being I will reserve final judgement until the Watch OS 2 is out, we’ll see how much improvements the new OS will bring to the watch.
Ok, I’m going into the area of nitpicking here but I do pay attention about watch packaging, especially when it’s a pricey one. In this area I have to say the the Apple Watch is a winner. The packaging is very neat and has that high quality look. The case is made of thick plastic and not those flimsy cardboard paper. It’s even better than than most watches of this price range.
On that note, I have to end my short review about my experience with the Apple Watch for a full week. I think if you are looking for high quality, jewelry like smartwatch which has the looks and build that can compare to the likes of Tissot and Longines of the same price range (except of the waterproofness) then this is the only smartwatch on the market. Perhaps with the arrival of Watch OS 2 in the corner, the Apple Watch will be even more useful.
apple, apple watch, smartwatch