Review for those on the fence

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Gregintosh, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I bought the stainless steel Apple watch. After one full day of use, I've come to the conclusion it's essentially a beta product. I like it overall and I think it'll be awesome when it's done, maybe in the fall/winter or with version 2.

    Why do I call it a beta? Because betas are incomplete products that typically lack key or essential functionality (due to being works in progress). Apple Watch has a few such omissions:


    1. Can't change months in calendar app. Who makes a calendar app that doesn't let you view any months except the one you're in? Apple apparently. Clearly, the calendar app needs improvement. Maybe next year they'll tout "view any month you want" as a key feature.


    2. Can't control podcast app. Music controls work great, but no podcast controls exist for Apples own app. If you're a podcast listener you'll need a 3rd party app. The downside is with a 3rd party app you won't be able to use Siri to control it (for now).


    3. Can't reply to emails. This is luckily getting fixed in watchOS 2, where they do indeed tout replying to emails as an innovative feature. How a company releases an email client without reply functionality is mind boggling. But at least it's coming!


    While those are some omissions here are a few other problems that I feel make this more of a beta product or one not quite ready for mass market.


    1. Battery life. After 12 hours of use I'm down to 7%. It wasn't super heavy use. I did walk a lot and that puts the sensors on. But Apple only gives you two choices: use sensors every minute during exercise or never at all. How about reduced power mode where it does it from time to time? Would be more reasonable.

    At this time I feel with the battery life that I would hate to RELY on the watch. It really needs about 25% to 30% more. This is huge. And I'm not saying it shouldn't be charged nightly, but one shouldn't have to think about the battery life and actively manage it. It should be making my life easier not giving me another thing to worry about.

    Also, the watch should be helping me save my phone battery. Right now I feel my phone drained as much if not more so while tethered.


    2. Lack of Waterproofing. I know some people take them for a swim already but it's officially not supported or encouraged. Apple really needs to make sure that next gen hardware is waterproof. Being able to do useful things in the pool will be amazing for swimmers. I could see myself using it to play music/podcasts with waterproof Bluetooth headphones and of course measuring and logging the exercise going on.


    3. Disorganized. It seems like there's all kinds of panes, menus, and options to be accessed. There's no app for taking your pulse but there's a pane in a glance, for example. It makes you wonder what's where. Not intuitive at all.

    There's also no hints or "design language" anywhere. Some things have forced touch and some don't, some things are scrollable with the crown some aren't. There's no clues or indications when any of those might be available and no rhyme or reason why one method is used versus the other.

    An iPhone was a device I could give to my parents and with a short time they got a hang of it. Things make sense there. At least the essentials they'd ever want to use do. I feel the watch is a product I could never give to my parents. They might end up calling me asking me how to check the time!


    That's not to say Apple got it all wrong. Some things are amazing about the watch. Namely:

    1. Finally no longer missing notifications while my phone is in my pocket or charging in another room. This ALONE is worth the price of admission to me. I would bet it'd be worth it to anyone else who relies on their phone for their business.

    2. Look and feel is gorgeous. It can make you look sharp. Unlike other smart watches, this is one I'd have no shame wearing to a black tie event.

    3. Siri is amazing on the watch. They need it's level of accuracy everywhere. I can't get over how well it works in this device. Bravo!


    Conclusion

    While a promising product, the Apple watch in its current form leaves a lot to be desired. My watch will most likely be going back in a week or so within the return period.

    I'll consider rebuying in the fall/winter once watch OS 2 comes out and some killer 3rd party apps make their way.... Especially when refurbs become available at lower prices. This is because most of the issues or shortcomings are software.

    Or I might just wait until Watch 2 next spring, which hopefully addresses some of the hardware issues.

    If there's anything I haven't considered or killer apps or use cases you feel I should consider or try, please let me know! :) I hope this review is helpful for those on the fence.
     
  2. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #2
    I agree with some of your comments. I'm surprised that you're getting such poor battery life, though. I use my watch a lot, and I always have at least 30% left at the end of the day. But many of your complaints are addressable in software. Since WatchOS 2.0 is just around the corner, why not wait instead of selling your watch at a loss and seeing what the next generation is like?
     
  3. Mtmspa, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015

    Mtmspa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    #3
    I wear it all day, use it a lot and end up with about 30 percent battery at night. And it takes a very short time to charge.

    Disorganized? It took me less than 30 minutes to figure everything out. Apps, glances, complications, etc.

    Waterproof a must? I don't need it in the shower and I don't swim. Could care less.

    I use it for my workouts, messages, deleting email, controlling the phones music, etc. And getting the fitness rings completed daily is a amazing motivator for me.

    Podcasts and calendar are your big items? Maybe you can still use your phone for a few things? Apple never said it would replace your phone.

    This is a solid gen 1 that will be more amazing in the fall. It does everything I expect well. SGS and the band is really comfortable and the AW looks great. This is not a beta and I don't need a killer app. I need 5 to 10 apps that make my life better and I have those now.

    OP says that most things will be addressed by a software upgrade and then says he might wait to get the hardware "issues" addressed. Hmmm.

    If you are unsure, buy the sport for 350 or 400 and use it daily for 13 days. OP went SS and that is a lot more money.

    I hope this helps those on the fence more.
     
  4. iBighouse, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015

    iBighouse macrumors 6502a

    iBighouse

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    #4
    In all sincerity I have to dismiss your review entirely "for those sitting on a fence"! You cannot judge the value this device brings to your daily life by "one full day of use"! Are you serious? I cannot grant any legitimate review status to a reviewer who pans the product after only one day of use. While some of your comments seem genuine and I might concur with some issues (force touch inconsistencies, disconnectedness) I have to generally disagree with your final conclusion that the watch isn't worth wearing until some future release. I'm getting hourly value from mine. Many are.

    I also don't understand how you can claim "1. Finally no longer missing notifications while my phone is in my pocket or charging in another room. This ALONE is worth the price of admission to me. I would bet it'd be worth it to anyone else who relies on their phone for their business." Worth the price of admission alone yet you will return it for all the other minor reasons you state??? Something is amiss here.

    So, for those sitting on the fence, do yourself a favor. Get off that fence. You don't need the anxiety. If you can afford it, get the watch. Don't get it if you can't easily afford it. (Rent/Mortgage, food, bills are more important!) LIVE WITH IT DAILY FOR 13 DAYS --- NOT ONE OR TWO OR THREE!!!!! And then honestly review with yourself if the many ways it enhances your daily life are worth what you paid. If your personal review for you tells you that the watch is "beta" and you don't want to put up with the first release issues it brings with it then return it to Apple. Decide for yourself, but give YOURSELF the time to allow the watch to show the benefits it brings to your day to day activities. Don't listen to anyone else with a "one day use" review, or a two or three day review.
     
  5. deadandalive, Aug 1, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015

    deadandalive macrumors member

    deadandalive

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    #5
    Maybe you got a defective battery or something. I don't even bother checking the battery percent anymore because I never got close to killing it in the first 2 months.

    Looking at my watch right now, I have 46% left after 18 hours of wearing the watch.

    Edit: 20 hours in and have 40% left
     
  6. iBighouse macrumors 6502a

    iBighouse

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    #6
    FWIW, I use my watch throughout the day- I glance at it as often as I used to glance at my mechanical watches, when I wore mechanical watches- I would say every 10-15 minutes. BUT, I no longer have to pull a phone out of my pocket to check the time. I have an iPhone 5S. I don't rely on my iPhone for messages and time telling nearly as much as I do my watch now. My watch sits in my pocket most all day long, unless I need to charge it. I get many messages and notifications throughout my day via the taptic engine. It's like a friend tapping me on my shoulder alerting me to incoming information. I can quickly glance at my watch and dismiss it- or reply. I don't have to pull my phone out of my pocket or wake it from sleep or passcode or TouchID it. It likely saves me minutes off of each day in this kind of minor seconds savers. Do a ROI on that kind of time savings and you'll quickly see how valuable the watch can be in a work environment.

    When I attach my watch to my charger each night, it typically has about 50-60% of its full charge LEFT. I put my watch on as I'm dressing for work and I take it off as I prepare for bed. I've never gone below 40% charge.

    I've never had the need to have the watch be waterproof. I don't intend to swim with it. I don't even intend to shower with it. I do wash my hands throughout the day and feel it's sufficiently waterproof enough that I don't have to remove the watch and it can handle a few splashes. Heck, if I were caught in a severe rainstorm I wouldn't even give it a second of thought about whether it would survive the storm. I wouldn't even freak out if I were wearing it and someone tossed me into a pool. I would, however, worry about the iPhone that would be in my pocket!!!

    Is this watch for YOU if you're sitting on a fence? I don't know. You'll have to find that out for yourself. And you can ONLY find that out if you try the watch for a REASONABLE amount of time. One day isn't sufficient...a week is barely sufficient. So, try it for 13 days and return into Apple within the 14 day return period if you have decided it's not for you.
     
  7. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    I will be using it this week daily while I have it, and I will update this review if I have new insights. Using it for one day is enough to see some shortcomings. Using it longer won't make the downsides any better.

    Roller, I won't be selling at a loss. I just bought it and I will return it within the 14 day period. I agree, watchOS 2 will improve some of this but it's not coming until fall (could be as early as Sept or as late as November as previous "fall" releases if my memory serves me right).

    I realize Apple didn't tout it as a phone replacement. But if I have to take my phone out of my pocket almost as often as before, then what's the point. I feel like with some better apps and OS updates I will be able to hardly ever use my phone and that will be great and worth the money.

    The reason I said I'd either rebuy it at a later time or maybe wait for the next hardware is that:

    1. If the software updates and 3rd party apps come late and are still not fully baked in the fall/early winter, I may be better off waiting 4 more months from that point and getting version 2 hardware which will be a big leap forward (as all version 2's seem to be the "big" improvements).

    2. If the new updates and software meet all my needs and are rocking by early fall, then I'll buy it at that time and not have to delay the benefits of it for the next release. This is especially if there's either a price drop, refurb discounts, or a combination of both available by fall.

    I intend to buy something that'll last a couple of years. I don't want the cheap Sports model as I prefer the look of SS and the Sapphire screen as I'm particular about scratches (and have gotten some in my 6 plus before).

    So rather than buying now and keeping it on the hope future updates will work much better, I'd rather punt the decision to the fall where I'll be able to decide if I gotta have it now and get it for less or if I'm better off waiting for version 2.
     
  8. gemnilocs macrumors 6502

    gemnilocs

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Location:
    california
    #8
    I really look forward to it being water proof so that I can just wear it in the pool when I'm swimming cause then that would mean I could possibly get rid of my Garmin 910xt or at least not have to wear every time I hit the pool
     
  9. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #9
    Only thing that might make a difference after extended use is the UI. I agree it is confusing at first and takes a while to get used to it, but after a few days, I got used to the internal logic and stopped feeling confused. So maybe if you give it a chance, you might find it less confusing after a week.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    What model watch did you buy, from what I've heard the 38mm has worse battery life. I've not done any sort of exhaustive examination on this but my initial research seems to indicate this.

    This would be a nice to have but I guess the watch is one of the most water proof smart watches out on the market. There are various exercise watches that are more water proof, designed for swimming or heavy workouts. This is not one of those type of products.

    Yes, and I'd say this issue is not specific to the watch, I think a lot of Apple's products rolling out are guilty of this, such as apple music. Tim Cook is putting his stamp on Apple making it in his vision, some of it is good, some of it is not, imo. I'm seeing less attention to the UI and its getting confusing, which is very un-apple like.
     
  11. samiznaetekto macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    #11
    Great review with a healthy dose of negativity!
     
  12. Mtmspa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    #12
    I just bought a new bike and rode it for 30 seconds. Plenty of time to find that it has issues. I mean it only has two wheels, and no lights or horn. Taking it back and will wait until they get this hardware issues resolved.

    Sound familiar OP? 1 day and you write a review. Good grief.
     
  13. Gregintosh thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #13
    I got the 42mm version. I'm fairly sure it's because I walked about 3.5 hours with it as the biggest drops happen when I'm moving. I plan to disable the heat rate stuff the rest of the week and see how well it fares (though I don't feel I should have to).

    I agree that Apple Music is poorly designed too and buggy, but that's a whole other thread. It does seem like they're dropping the ball lately in the design department though. Yes, you can learn the UI after a while but you shouldn't have to as Apple products used to be fairly intuitive (especially to those of us who grew up with tech).

    WaterProofing will be big for many people, though I can see how people who don't swim don't care. I happen to swim 2-3 times a week so for me it'd be great.

    Glad some of you enjoyed the review and as I said, I'll update briefly later in the week.
     
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #14
    Are you saying you walked for 3.5 hours with the Walking Workout on? If so, lasting 12 hours sounds about right. When Workout is running, it measures heart rates constantly, which depletes the battery. You are meant to use Workout only when you are actively exercising. I doubt most people exercise for 3.5 hours, unless they are running a marathon or some other long distance event.
     
  15. Roller macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #15
    In your situation and with your expectations, your plan may make sense. One important caveat, though, is that we don't know what the hardware upgrade cycle for the AW will be. It may not turn out to be a yearly release like the iPhone. For those of us who are already using our watch's productively, WatchOS 2.0 and native apps are something to look forward to. My impression is that the current WatchOS is quite stable, so I'm hoping that will be true of the next update as well.

    While I would have preferred it if the initial WatchOS release included upcoming features, I'm not sorry that I bought the AW when I did. After all, the first iPhone didn't support native third-party apps, had no cut-and-paste, and missed many other features we take for granted today. But I got one because it was useful to me as it was then.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    I workout on saturdays between 4 and 5 hours, and I run for at least an hour on sundays. ;)

    I've been known to hike for 8+ hours as well.

    I'd probably turn off the heart rate monitor (I didn't know you could do that), since my heart rate is not important to me. My splits on my runs are, or how many burpees or pushups I'm doing.
     
  17. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #17
    Which was done without disparaging Apple Watch owners, like you did most recently here.
     
  18. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #18
    Ok, so *some* people exercise that long! :p

    Turning off heart rate monitoring is one solution. Or you could recharge the watch after you exercise. The point is, when Apple said the watch will have all-day battery life, that didn't include people using it to monitor heart rates for 3-4 hours a day. I think it's somewhere in the manuals and guides that if you do that, the watch battery won't last all day.
     
  19. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #19
    Huh? :confused:
     
  20. Aniseedvan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    I'd agree with most points here; I've kept my garmin due to the fact if I do long walks I'll take that, plus also swimming. The Watch app on the phone is very inconsistent and feels like it's been written by a team that's never seen the settings app on the iPhone!
    That said actionable notifications and now Apple pay are enough for me to keep mine, given the prevalence of contactless in the UK already, this is such a convenient method to pay.
     
  21. JXShine macrumors 6502

    JXShine

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    Jun 11, 2015
    #21
    I end the day with at least 50%, what do you do...exercise 24/7?
     
  22. NotSafeForWork macrumors regular

    NotSafeForWork

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    #22
    First couple of days seem to always hammer the battery (some background activity syncing probably?) - it should get much better as the week goes by - I end with ~35% after a full day including a workout.

    I have showered many times with the Watch, no issues. Folks also swim with it:-



    UI does need to be made a little more streamlined (for example dismissing notifications can be swipe down or a swipe left or a force touch depending on the context). Glances versus apps is also a bit messy.

    The speed of app launching also needs work, however some of this is coming in WatchOS 2 (native apps, fewer crown presses to get back to the Watch face etc).

    But given this is v1.01 these are not big issues for me. I am not sure how many people tried the first iPhone with 1.0 software in 2007, it wasn't at all elegant compared to today.

    TL;DR It's a solid product, I rate 7/10 currently with improvements coming.
     
  23. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2014
    #23
    I agree with your downsides, with the exception of waterproofing (it doesn't affect me personally) and battery life. I have been pleasantly surprised with my Watch's battery. I usually wear my watch for 12 hours at a time, and I've never been able to get it to drop past 20%, even with a 2-hour exercise running. I wonder why we're getting such different results in that regard?

    Oh, and another downside that makes me angry about the watch: no dedicated Reminders app. Yes, we can receive them and have Siri create them, but there is absolutely no way to edit, manage, or check them off. The fact that Apple still isn't adding a stock Reminders app with watchOS2 absolutely blows my mind.
     
  24. NotSafeForWork macrumors regular

    NotSafeForWork

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2015
    #24
    As I am sure you know Reminders Nano is an excellent 3rd party replacement. One way to think about it is that having an App Store for 3rd parties is designed to fill the gaps Apple leaves?
     
  25. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #25
    Being waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes is plenty good enough for a first generation Apple Watch.

    The original iPhone was way more crippled with respect to features and functions compared to the Apple Watch.
     

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