Apple Watch is a game changer! Random thoughts after 3 days of use

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by docprego, May 2, 2015.

  1. docprego, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

    docprego macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Of course I pre-ordered my Apple Watch immediately upon the widow opening, I always buy every new product they introduce. I purchased the 42mm Sport in silver with white band. I had no expectations going in, just thought it would be fun to get a new Apple product. It's worth mentioning that I've never worn a watch before in my life. In the last 3 days wearing the watch I have grown to really appreciate what it does and can't imaging going back to communicating without it. What follows are my random and lengthy thoughts and opinions in no particular order other than praise first, criticism second.


    -The number 1 most signifiant aspect that I appreciate: the number of times I take my phone out of my pocket has dropped dramatically, a good estimate would be 80%.

    -I'm impressed with Siri, she gets my commands and text right on the watch almost every time. That's far better than Siri on my iPhone 6 Plus.

    -The taptic engine is terrific! I never miss a notification now. And it's not that buzzing we have become so accustomed to with our phones. It's a subtle but definitely noticeable tap on my wrist. When using maps on my Watch for navigation yesterday, it gave me 2 different types of taps depending on the direction I was turning. Once familiar with the different taptic notifications I won't even need to look at the watch.

    -The screen is magnificent! I expected it to be grainy like every other smartwatch I had seen previously. In fact it's super sharp and I just love looking at it.

    -It's great that pulling down the notification panel and swiping up to reveal glances works from anywhere on the screen. When I first got the watch I assumed that the notification panel had to be pulled down from the top and the glances up from the bottom. That made it difficult to do until I realized that it's about the direction you swipe, not from where. I tried it everywhere on the screen and it works just about everywhere, even the extreme opposite corners. NICE!

    -The battery life has been terrific! I took it off the charger the first day I used it at 6 AM. When I got home that night at 8 PM I had 50% battery left. And I did not use it sparingly. I sent every text that day from it and played around with many of the functions. I also navigated for 30 minutes that day too! For the record I was at 2/3 brightness (default setting).

    -It's very responsive and snappy. Some of the first reviews that came out complained about it being sluggish. NEVER once have I had this happen to me. 3rd party apps do have a loading time, but that is not a critique of the fluidity of the device's OS specifically. Once apps are native to the device this loading time will be history. In overall use it's a seamless pleasure.

    -The reviews also criticized the activate on wrist raise feature saying that it worked sporadically. I can't agree. In my experience it works more than 99% of the time, consistently delighting me with this clever function. I have had 2 occasions where I raised it and it came on and immediately turned off. But that was out of 100's of raises that worked flawlessly.

    -Charging works flawlessly as well. The magnetic charging piece snaps securely on the back of the watch. I would prefer if it didn't spin but I think they allowed that on purpose for maximum convenience in charging. I definitely see this as the charging method for future Apple devices.

    A few minor criticisms:

    -There really is a shortage of watch faces at the moment. I'm hoping they open this up to developers which will provide an essentially unlimited selection. Also there are no analog watch faces that seem to be designed for a rectangular watch, they all have a circular appearance. This will all be solved when third party developers get their chance to develop faces.

    -The box my 42mm Sport came in seemed overwhelmingly large. I literally couldn't believe how heavy the box was when I received it. When you dive in and see the watch's packaging it becomes clear why. It's beautifully packaged as always but seems unnecessarily large.

    -Where's the notes app? I literally couldn't believe this was omitted! I want to tell Siri to create a note, this would be so convenient. It's probably going to be in a future software update.

    -Where did the wallpaper option go to set my own photo as the background? Probably dropped at the last minute as a battery saving measure.

    So those are my opinions. The positives massively outweigh the negatives. Really it's more like 95% positive and all the negatives I listed make up 5% negative. Most of my negatives are fixable by software anyway, so they won't be around for long.

    If you stayed around this long, thank you for reading. I hope this helps someone on the fence about the Watch, it's worth every penny!
  2. Fireball Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Fireball Dragon

    Nov 26, 2012
    Chigwell, England
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I recently got the Garmin fenix 3, and whilst it is no Apple Watch, definitely helps with the notifications. Having never used a 'smart watch' before, I am impressed.

    For example, whilst driving I got a notification on my watch (text), allowing me to safely view it on my wrist, meaning I could make an important phone call through my hands free. Anyhow, I digress.

    Cannot wait to receive my watch!
  3. HelloMikee macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2009
    San Diego
    I agree 100%. It works so well. Also, I don't feel it lags at all..

    Also agree 100% that the screen is just top notch.

    And yes! Definitely need top open up the watch faces to developers. I'm more in the modular camp side of things and I can see really food designers coming up with amazing faces. Would also love to use my own photos or wallpapers.
  4. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    I forgot to include this in my thoughts, it's definitely a criticism! I know this feature was there before release and got cut in the final hours. I updated my original post to include this, thanks for reminding me.
  5. savagewatts macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver, BC
    Great Review

    Top notch review. Much closer to my experience than a lot of other user reviews.
  6. cai4651 macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2015
    Good review, besides that almost any smartwatch out there could do this things. The screen is beautiful , agree on that!
  7. pollos macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2014
    Agree it is a game changer, but it will be a while before people realise this. I've had a lot of people show an interest in my watch, but seem slightly confused as to why they need it. Until you have used one for a few days you don't really appreciate the benefits it brings. I would now be at a loss without it!
  8. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    My Omegas and Tag Heuers have similar large boxes...
  9. dexterbell macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2015
    Its not a game changer, its a fashion accessory to an iPhone and thats all it will ever be until its capable of being fully independent of the iPhone and offers the same full features of the iPhone. Neither is happening anytime soon.
  10. Armen macrumors 604


    Apr 30, 2013
    Not sure you understand. The Apple watch Sport comes in a ridiculous box like this:


    The Stainless Steel watch comes in a box more like our Omegas.

  11. TallManNY macrumors 601


    Nov 5, 2007
    Why do you think the watch basically duplicating the iPhone would be the game changer? It would still have a small screen and you would still want to carry a smartphone for the bigger screen.

    I can think of lots of things the watch can do now that are game changers. But you seem to think that it must replace the iPhone to be useful.
  12. telefono macrumors 6502


    Dec 17, 2007
    I don't have my watch yet but enjoy reading reviews and thank you very much for your review.

    I don't read media reviews anymore, prefer REAL reviews like this one from end users that actually know what they want and paid for the watch.

    Thanks again :)
  13. AbeFrohman macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2011
    I'm assuming Apple wants (as always) tight controls on how their products are portrayed - especially so with their flagship jewelry tech product. The last thing they want is a naked picture as a watch face.
  14. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    I agree. It's definitely a game changer. After using a Pebble for the last two years which has limited capabilities compared to the :apple:Watch but still useful I really appreciate the added sophistication of the latter even though it is not perfect and does have room for improvement.

    Personally I think these people who want or expect a device which is independent of the phone and does everything it does are missing the point of smart watches like the :apple:Watch. Either that or they have a misconception and no real understanding of the point of having a device which is meant to be and is an extension of the phone. As such it works great and makes life much easier with respects to how one uses a phone and how much more convenient the watch makes it.

    Those under the impression that a watch that will replicate the functionality of a phone 100% will ever be released are obviously living in cloud cuckoo land as it will never happen due to practical and technological reasons.
  15. respectabilia macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2010
    I agree the Apple Watch is great for its purpose, but only for those who understand its purpose (ie not a mini iPhone but a supplement to the iPhone workflow).

    Nevertheless, it still feels to me like a generation 1 product, one that you don't need but will enjoy having and benefitting from in small ways day to day.

    I found myself using it:

    messaging with my wife a lot while on the move
    quick access to info like weather and calendar appointments
    Controlling music and podcasts
    Receiving notifications for turn by turn games eg Lords of Waterdeep)
    listening to Instapaper
    Working out

    Of course, this is only Day One (haven't had it for three days yet!).

    In terms of improvements:

    third part apps are excruciatingly slow and sluggish, almost unusable sometimes.
    the watch is thicker than I would've liked. I think when it comes to Air level, will be very nice.
    Is it killing my iPhone battery?

    In summary, the watch is like an upgrade from an iPod/Nano. It's a supplement to the iPhone/iPad workflow with some new additions to enhance your day to day life in little ways that add up.
  16. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Thank you for showing the box. It is unbelievably large relative to the product inside. The versions other than the sport come in a more traditionally sized box.

    It doesn't simply duplicate the phone. Instead it provides an extremely convenient and useful extension to it. I often miss notifications on my phone, I haven't missed any because of the Watch.

    You're welcome, glad you found it useful. The media reviews were very misleading. I'm glad I didn't let them persuade me, I might not have ordered the device if I trusted their opinions alone.

    You could say the same thing about the iPhone, yet we've had this functionality from the beginning.
  17. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    Best review yet. Cant wait for my apple watch and hopefully when it comes, all those not so good points will be fixed
  18. AdonisSMU, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

    AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    Thanks for the thoughtful review of the AppleWatch.

    I think the reason there is no wallpaper is because it would require more battery to power a background that has a different background other than black. So it is a tradeoff and the negatives are greater than the benefit provided to the end user.

    Additionally, we will never get around the issue of 3rd party apps "loading slowly" because they are hitting an API from somewhere else. That isn't something being native will resolve. Reviewers need to do a better job explaining these things to the public if they want to be taken seriously.

    I think the reviewers are more interested in generating hits than actually doing a thoughtful review. What good is the app in theory loading fast if there is no data with it? What if the app is loading fast but the data is not? Then what? I don't think the reviewers really thought through the implications of what they were putting out to the general public.

    The data coming back from the API is what is slow not necessarily the app itself. Now if you put a cellular chip in an Apple Watch then you have a use case in which an app being native might have a marginal benefit vs what we have now. What are the drawbacks (ie... battery life) given the current technology? It's the reason these reviewers are journalists and not the engineers building the technology in the first place. They are just journalists who are not fully explaining the implications of what they are asking for means for the end user.

    Now if they wanted to make the argument that no watch is a better solution than what we have right now then fine. However, The Verge rated other watches higher than the Apple Watch despite those watches having crappy displays and in many cases are downright ugly and they do even less than the Apple Watch functionally speaking. Saying the Apple Watch is the best one on the market is not an interesting story at this point. That is the goal of the reviewers. Their goal isn't to inform the users of the technology. Their goal is to write an interesting story for people to read/watch.
  19. jdecosta macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2012
    I have the Garmin Fenix 3 also, it make that watch feel like it's from 1990. Glad I bought it from REI, 1 year return policy. I am on the fence, the Garmin might go back to the store. The only draw back is some swimming features and the lack of waterproofing.
  20. dexterbell macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2015
    Being able to activate a forwarding feature to get calls, texts or emails and respond to them if you accidentally leave your phone in the car while in a store or leave it at home while at work, that would be useful. Needing to carry your iPhone with it everywhere just for it to be functional is completely useless and just makes it a fashion accessory
  21. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    This is a bummer... it's also a bummer that it's missing the _Reminders_ app! I can't believe they left it off... would have been so nice to be able to check off tasks as I do them throughout the day. Huge oversight!


    As long as the watch and phone can reach each other on Wifi then they're good to go.

    For instance: if you work in a place that has wifi everywhere you can leave your phone in your office and just take your watch with you. I plan on doing this some on my school campus...

    This also works really well at the gym...
  22. adamk77 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2008
    Yup, I agree with your review.

    It didn't wow or blow me out the water, but it's grown on me more and more with each day.

    I rarely use my phone anymore. Siri works beautifully (I never used it on my iPhone).

    One thing that really surprised me -- I didn't think I would use it for phone calls. But I've been using the watch for phone calls and not my iPhone most of the time. Just the convenience of having it on my wrist completely changed my behavior.
  23. Karma*Police, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

    Karma*Police macrumors 68000

    Jul 15, 2012
    I agree, the Apple Watch is a game changer, but in subtle ways. It's the little conveniences that make it so. For example, I never have to worry about where I left my iPhone in the house... in a way, it's always on me. I don't have to look around for my Apple remote, and unlike the iPhone app, it's far more convenient to use. It also reinforces my need to move and work out more. I never miss a notification and when I feel a tap on my wrist, I dont feel compelled to look at it right away unlike my iPhone that buzzes in my pants. There's a ton of these little niceties that add up and greatly *enhances* the iPhone experience.
  24. acosmichippo macrumors regular

    May 7, 2008

    Actually we couldn't have custom wallpapers (without jailbreaking) until iOS 3.
  25. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    I owned the sport for 3 days and sold it. Although I am waiting on a stainless steel version (due Monday or Tuesday), it is NOT a game changer.

    Will it became a game changer? Most likely.

    I agree with your review, but when I am asked 'what does it do?' I am at a loss. I can buy a much higher quality Citizen for the same or less money. True, that is not a smart watch, but not having to take your phone out of your pocket hardly makes it a game changer.

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