6+ month review AW 4 LTE

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by alongdingdong, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. alongdingdong, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019

    alongdingdong macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2014
    So after more then 6 Months having my AW4 LTE, i thought i give a short feedback on my takes on the watch.

    1: LTE works fantastic as a standalone phone, i used my apple watch mainly like this as my primary phone/watch combination, no issues with coverage (Hong Kong) or battery drain (i have a very limited call requirement) I really recommend anyone to try it out! it works great.

    2: Its very barebone and lackluster out of the box.
    The watch has very little to offer, most apps run off the iphone having the watch just act as a notification screen on your wrist, even with LTE there is wayyyyy too little 3th party development for standalone apps that can run off your LTE internet or offline without connected to your watch (hiking/sporting or other places you prefer to just wear your watch only)

    You are taking a toilet break without the phone and have either LTE/ WIFI access, well forget doing little things on your watch as browsing 9gag for some funny memes or some youtube, yes the screen is tiny! but still throw us some bones (watching internet is possible but you have to message yourself the url and then open it like that, very daft!)

    Even a good working but albeit basic calendar + calculator would be some nice to haves. Just more native basic apps found directly on the watch instead of the notification stuff.
    (personal opinion) i was shocked how minimal the apple watch app store actually is, very few and limited dedicated apps for the AW. Apple definitely should have put more effords into it to get 3d party to publish more.

    3: its buggy, sometimes it does not ring when someone call you when only having the watch on you via LTE, you never know someone called you (happens occationally), you have your iphone on you, you get a call but your watch does not respond and show a message for a active incoming call.

    Sometimes it automatically opens a screen like my contacts or something like that.

    4: with a simple screen protecter you dont have to flush out extra money for sapphire glass, i have zero scratches and i skate in the skatepark, i run and hike actively and work in IT under desks. Mine is holding up just fine without a scratch on the alloy body and screen.

    5: it made me much more aware of my activity and i use it daily to stay in movement, its a fantastic device that visualizes your movements (still super simplistic in my opinion, but its a good motivator for me)

    In the end is LTE worth it, a big FAT no if you keep it paired with your phone all the time anyway, if you like me use it mostly without a phone.. its works fine but you must be like me and not call often at all, but even then for the money its really barebone despite having full internet access (3d party at fault here not apple) *Spotify is a big let down for me.

    I am sticking with the AW for sure, this one will surely serve me for the next 2.5 more years at least. Or just give it to my fam and get a new one till everyone has a apple watch, but my next one will be a wifi version no more LTE, that is something i already decided upon now.

    ff to charge for 2 hours a day. i sleep with the watch and it wakes me up as well! (airplane mode + theater mode enabled) Its always on my wrist, and the daily charge does not bother me at all. Battery last me easy 2 days if i really want to including monitoring of my running etc.

    7: I use a custom watch face, that is a all black background with green text for the numbers and letters. (Modular watch face) it simple contains 3 shortcuts, phone, activity and sms, it shows the date, time and my excersize stats. Its the only watch face i like of the few options we have..

    I use green with white so it looks like a dos text box (IT nerd)

    8: distance between watch and iphone is quite limited, i was hoping bluetooth gave me more radius, often i wear my watch, i dont get whats-app notification when my watch is on my desk charging, i am like 7 to 10 meters away from phone, it its below my expectations honestly.

    I do love it though for the health aspect of it, way more nice then my old fitbit.
  2. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    The watch is not designed to be independent of iPhone, at least in the next couple of years. LTE is there mainly for runners, activities near water like sea or lake, quickly doing errand, or in places where the phone is prohibited. I’m using LTE like an hour or so a day mainly for listening to Music or Podcasts while running, checking in places along the way of my running route and Siri. Luckily my monthly LTE is quite cheap so it’s worht it.
  3. alongdingdong thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2014
    I know, but for me it works perfectly as a wrist phone, there is only a very small handfull of apps that allows you to use LTE independently on your AW without your iphone paired nearby. From that latter perspective i think its not worth the money, not perse apples fault but a lack of 3rth party interest in setting aside investments/resources to bring such native apps to the apple watch.
  4. Freakonomics101 macrumors 68000


    Nov 6, 2014
    I 100% respect your opinions, OP. :) everyone’s needs are definitely different. I use my Series 3 (42mm) daily and I absolutely love it. It’s great for my workouts and when I am actually working out and get a text or call so I don’t have to pick up my phone. Jogging/running while holding your phone and trying to read something is a pain lol
  5. spooklog macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2015
    New Hampshire
    Here are a few upbeat observations:

    I was initially fascinated by the AW 4 (LTE + WiFi) but having a watch collection, I didn't give it much wrist time. But due to health issues I began to have more and more doctor's appointments, and the AW has been very useful with reminders, calendar and so on. When I have a busy day with appointments I just cannot miss, I wouldn't leave the house without it.

    LTE is remarkable. Using a wrist phone is very natural and its speakers are surprisingly clear and loud. Perfect for taking calls while driving. Texting is well done on the AW, largely due to the robust voice recognition. I recall replying to a text while driving in traffic with my window rolled down. The AW handled the ambient noise perfectly and recognized everything I said on the first try.

    I should add that the heart-related software is very fine. My AW correctly identified an episode of atrial fibrillation, and this was recorded on the watch and iPhone. It was easy to create a PDF of the data and forward it to my doctor.

    As far 3rd party apps, there could be more. But I have to say, Evernote is one app that is done well and I basically need to have with me, always. The airline apps--United, Delta, etc.--look promising but I haven't tried them out yet.

    Neat thing: The camera app is basically a remote control for the iPhone's camera, allowing you to see what the iPhone sees, and to remotely trigger the shutter.
  6. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    Hmmm, not sure. Phone doesn't have to be anywhere nearby to sync, just on-line. And Apple is very much at fault with apps being reliant on iPhone to do the heavy lifting, since that is how Apple's SDK is made. E.g. I find it very annoying, that even with 16GB of flash, you cannot lookup previous workouts on the watch (Heart analyzer though can do some limited lookup, in weird order and no gps tracking).
  7. MisterSavage macrumors 6502a


    Nov 10, 2018
    I've never found a barebone and lackluster device so useful.
  8. xDKP macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2011
    I really didn’t get that part either. No it’s not a surf machine for the toilet, but it’s quite amazing piece of tech for activity, calendar, reminders, notifications and just being an amazing piece with weather etc.
  9. Tenashus1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    No big whoop for me. Sold my AW4 after trying to make it relevant to my daily life for 2 months.
  10. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    If you tried to make the Apple Watch ‘relevant’ for your lifestyle, then it was never meant for you in the first place. The Apple Watch is more of a convenience tool anything else, especially for what it offers with notifications and fitness capabilities.
  11. Trequartista macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2016
    I don´t agree here. Yes, the intention is not that it is used as a surf machine, but it does not even uses 50% of its potential. Why not design an app to use standalone from the phone? Everything seems to be there and some apps manage it to do it.
  12. breezyf808 macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    True in a sense. But in order for it to be "truly" independent, it needs a lot more capacity for it to last more than a day with LTE always on.
    As of right now it's a great add on to go along with an iPhone.
  13. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    LTE has little value to me since I'm always with my phone. OP you're from Hong Kong so you understand everybody here uses WhatsApp and WhatsApp would never support the Apple Watch. So you can only receive notifications and reply to the messages but never start a conversation. The only use case seems to be the very limited time that I'm running outside. But without the phone I just don't feel safe in such situations.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 6, 2019 ---
    The camera remote app is priceless. Extremely useful for selfies.
  14. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    This is kind of confusing what you’re saying. The Apple Watch LTE model _is_ ‘truly’ independent, it doesn’t need to rely on the iPhone to be within a certain distance. The watch is rated to 18 hours, which is actually a fairly conservative number, given it can last much longer. Obviously when you activate LTE, that rating will drop because it does require more signal. Either way, there’s only so much battery capacity Apple could include in a watch of that size.
  15. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    Definitely not conservative on the 40mm. I can burn through its battery in two hours. If playing music with Apple Music subscription (might have streamed on LTE though I didn’t want that) and have workout running. In general it is annoying always have to make sure it is close to full charge. The 44mm has bit better battery life.
  16. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    I think 18 hours is conservative depending your usage. Obviously if you’re using it for certain things that are more intensive on the battery, then it’s naturally going to drain. But you can easily verge the Apple Watch well over 18 hours with the appropriate adjustment in settings by making tweaks with the brightness, haptic sensation, disabling ‘Hey Siri’, etc. it really depends on the user, but I can easily achieve well over 24 hours on my Apple Watch, but I also have a mastered it to the point where I know exactly how I’m going to use it.
  17. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    18hours is also insanely poor battery life and making it through a full day depends way to much on planning, since charging is also slow. I consider a second one to switch between, but like to wait for next release if I can control myself And then I guess only one can have active LTE.
  18. breezyf808, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019

    breezyf808 macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    I think you missed my point!
    The guy I quoted earlier said that the Apple Watch (supposedly the series 4) is not using its power to its full advantage. Hence being independent from the phone. I don't think it can possibly be used to its full capacity without the proper amount of battery life....meaning eventually one would need the iPhone to be used with the watch. Overall the watch is a great companion to the iPhone, but can be sparingly used "independently."

    Hmmm... I wonder if/when you have two LTE AW, would you need two separate lines/data for them to work with your one iPhone?
    Or would you be able to swap either watches and use LTE data on one single phone line.
  19. harriska2 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2011
    My ipad, watch, and phone all get charged each night so 18 hour battery has been enough .. for me. Still waiting for a fully independent lte watch so I can ditch the phone. Hate the phone.
  20. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    To me, true independence from the phone means you don’t need to own an iPhone to use an Apple Watch.
  21. MisterSavage macrumors 6502a


    Nov 10, 2018
    I always have my phone near me so I don't need the watch to be independent. If I turn the watch off when I go to sleep I can get 2 1/2 days out of it without recharging.
  22. MasterControlOp Suspended

    Mar 28, 2019
    I wonder if they will make one that can be used apart from a phone someday soon. Maybe just needs to use a computer for update and apps. Like we used to have to do with iPods.
  23. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    We will reach a point one day where I do believe Apple Watch will replace the iPhone. The technology isn’t here yet, nor is the battery provisions, but if there was one product that Apple in there entire lineup that has the most longevityof its future, it would be the Apple Watch without contest.
  24. Tenashus1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    Now that would be something to write home about!
  25. alongdingdong, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019

    alongdingdong thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2014
    To give a few concrete examples, the date widget/ notification on my watch. If i click on the date nothing happen. Would have been nice that the apple watch 4 WIFI/LTE has at least a simple calander that can show the entire month, ideally with all public holidays marked.

    What i miss natively on the AW:
    A native audio/memo recorder.

    Able to read out your GPS location by a native app.
    (You are hiking/lost without a phone and use a public phone for example to give your cordinations/location of your whereabouts. Use imagination)

    Very little simple things like this kind of pieces off added software features on the Apple Watch would have been nice.

    Just a few bones for us, so the Apple watch is not a pure proxy for the Iphone that can display messages of your iphone or act as a remote for your iphone.

    But has something additional to stand on its own either WIFI or LTE Model.

    The selfie camera mode is dope, i use it sometimes to check on my son when he is in the other room, to play with him a bit haha, its kinda a cool spy gimmic for fun and giggles, can fee like james bond)

    I love the AW though, the fact i wear it all day long every single day, and use it extensively to track my movement, its a great device, but next time i safe myself some money on not buying LTE.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 7, 2019 ---
    Actually Line and WeChat is more populair here, but my point is not that whatsapp sends only notifications, the thing is its a bit unreliable at doing so for me in my experience. Messages dont always come through on the watch.

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