It’s been a full month since I bought my Apple Watch Sport. Here is my review of the watch used in the real world by a real person.
Firstly I have to say I’m very impressed by the watch and don’t regret my decision to buy it. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how it integrates in to every day life and performs above all expectations.
People tend to think the Apple Watch is a new gadget that you’ll play around with as much as a mobile phone, this isn’t remotely true. The Apple Watch is an accessory to use alongside your iPhone.
You setup the watch to send you notifications for text messages, emails, tweets, calls, Facebook messages… any kind of notification that your phone receives. The up side of this is, you receive a small tap on the wrist when you receive a notification, you can preview this on your wrist and decide whether to bother taking your phone out of your pocket or bag to reply. No more having to pull out your phone to check every beep. I have found my phone stays in my pocket 75% more than it used to. You are still completely in touch with the world but only need your phone out when you feel you have to reply.
In general, when I’m on the move I’ll receive several Whatsapp messages, snapchats and tweets before I have to go to my phone and reply. Before I had the watch, I was constantly checking my phone to see what these messages were. You can even respond to text messages directly from the watch with a standard message, emoji or dictate a reply via Siri, this actually works really well which again surprised me.
Battery life is something which had been spoken about a lot before the Apple Watch was released. I can assure you it will last a full day easily. On an average day I still have 40%-50% charge left when I take it off at the end of the day. Charging is also very quick. The watch is completely charged back up to 100% in under an hour.
The pedometer is a feature I use every day. We all know we’re supposed to do 10,000 steps a day but rarely do. Now you have a simple way to check your daily progress and get on the move to reach it. On several occasions I’ve seen how little I’ve moved during the day and taken myself on a long walk.
I can confirm the watch is waterproof (I was very hesitant to wear it in the shower at first). This is good to know when caught in the rain which happens a lot in Manchester! One thing I would advise against is wearing it to the beach. Sand got under the side button and could have caused some damage. This isn’t covered under the warranty. I ordered a cheap case off eBay to store it in for next time.
After two weeks I figured out how to screen shot.. you just press down both side buttons together and it sends a snapshot to your phone’s camera roll. Handy for sharing your daily steps when you’ve had a particularly active day (this is mine after a day walking around Boston).
I’ve worn my watch in the gym several times now and so far not bashed it or scratched it. It’s still shiny and brand new looking, I hope it stays this way. There are plastic screen covers available to buy on eBay but these do look a bit daft!
A great feature for jogging and the gym is being able to load music on to your watch. It will sync one playlist from your phone and store up to 1GB of music. I bought a pair of bluetooth headphones and they work like a dream. No more wires caught around weights and pulling your earphones out, this is a fantastic feature for all gym goers to use. Bluetooth headphones are a lot cheaper than you think too. You can buy a pair on Amazon for under £20.
I spoke about a few features in my previous Apple Watch blog (click here to read), the maps feature is fantastic. Very simple to use when driving and discreet in giving you directions via a series of taps to the wrist.
Watch faces are customisable. This is mine I normally use on the left, with the time in Boston top left (this was a great feature when I was in the USA having the time at home there), the temperature top right, battery left in the watch at the bottom and the date. You can customise each watch face to an extent, I hear in the next update there will be a lot more to choose from. I just switch between this and Mickey Mouse!
I registered a couple of my bank cards with Apple Pay on the watch and have used it to pay for lots of things now. This is really cool and works just like a contactless credit card. You simply double click the watch’s button and hold it to the card reader! A few cashiers have been very sceptical about this and didn’t have a clue what was going on. Contactless payment from mobile devices is definitely something we’ll all be using in the future. You can also have some airline’s boarding passes on the watch too, this really is the future.
You can make voice calls from the watch but the speaker isn’t very loud and I don’t think many people would use this. I’m not sure of the legalities of using it while driving, this could be one possible use for it though.
The Apple Watch has lots of cool features and lots of great gimmicks to use and show off to your friends. At the end of the day, it is a great looking watch that is customisable with different straps and watch faces. It is a piece of kit which integrates in to your life and keeps you connected to the world more subtly than before. The Apple Watch is great for me and does everything I hoped it would do. There will be newer models in years to come which might appeal to more people and will definitely have even more features. If you are thinking about buying one, I give it my seal of approval. It works in the real world and I definitely think the sport model is more than reasonably priced.
Go and try one on in the Apple store, you might just like it…