Review

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by shawnjcullen, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. shawnjcullen, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015

    shawnjcullen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    South Wales
    #1
    I wanted, if I may, to give my view on Apple Watch having been interested in the concept since the reveal, and having taken delivery on launch day. I'm a fan of Apple products which I freely admit...

    I was extremely excited about the reveal film. I remember watching the keynote and loved the look of the watch, the different variations, the different straps. Indeed I was somewhat annoyed (if that is the word) that the reveal took place only to be told the watch would be coming "early 2015". What? How dare you show me something that I think I would like, to then have the carpet pulled from underneath me.

    Bastards.

    Anyway, move forward to the second keynote. More expectations. More excitement. An actual date for release! An actual date for pre-orders! And this, I personally felt, was handled incorrectly. Announced a pre-order time and date, and THEN allow hands-on experiences AFTER the pre-order. This made no sense to me. Surely the answer would have been to announce hands-on experiences, then a week later start the pre-order. That is commonsense. This would allow potential purchasers to check out the product, then prepare to pre-order later. That said, from what I had seen, I knew I wanted to try the product and I wanted to try the product on launch day. So, at 8:01am UK time I placed an order. Not for the watch I wanted - I WANTED the Sports Space Grey with black strap. However I had an inclination that this watch would be popular so, in order to try and guarantee launch day availability, I ordered the 42mm Sports version with white strap. I'm glad I did because from what I have read, I may still be waiting for the Sports Space Grey! My watch arrived on launch day, at 1.20pm.

    Before receiving the product I read the watch guide that Apple published on line, I watched their tutorial videos: I felt I knew the watch before I had it in my hands (or at least around my wrist). Unboxing (as with all Apple products) was special. Lovely box, lovely case, and, dare I say it, lovely watch. I actually now like the white strap and the Sport non-Space Grey version. I have ordered a black strap but that is still processing (and I ordered this at the same time as the watch itself). The black strap I think will go well if I am out on a night.

    So I paired the watch (very easy) and set about setting up the face / complications / app layout etc. I spent a good two to three hours playing around with the product.

    The screen is amazing. As clear to me as my 6. As bright and vivid. The 42mm version (which is the one I have) is the perfect size for my wrist. Everything feels intuitive (especially having read through the instructions manual and watched the videos). It took me about 10 minutes to feel absolutely comfortable.

    There were a few reasons for me wanting the watch: it's an Apple product (apologies for those who get annoyed with this and from what I have read on this forum, there are quite a few of them); it looks smart, the fitness app and built in pedometer, the ability to play music from the watch without having your phone with you, the glances. I work from home and for example this morning I have not looked at my phone yet. I have had a few messages which I have read and responded to by dictation (not sure if it is my accent but dictation to me is 98% correct). I have had a few notifications from twitter which I was able to read and either dismiss or "like". I have had nothing from Facebook yet so no need to look at phone - I find I look at my phone now in small explosions of time. I will check full twitter time line or Facebook timeline twice a day. The rest of the time I only look if notified. Before the watch, I used to lift the phone and skim timelines, perhaps two to three times an hour. Not any more. Of course, this means I have more time to do other things, but also saves the battery life on my 6 - I think the worst case scenario I have had since launch day is the phone going down to 50%. Before, it would be down to about 15% - that shows you how heavy a user of the phone I was.

    And, because I am only looking at glances when they notify me on the watch (and they DO notify very reliably) the watch is getting down to about 40% before it goes on charge at night. I am usually up at 7am and usually in bed by 12am. The battery life is pretty splendid considering that time also includes at least a 30 to 40 minutes workout on the treadmill (listening to music via the watch to my bt headphones) as well as taking the dog for an hour/hour and a half walk each day.

    The fitness app for me is perfect. I am not an athlete. I do not need GPS on the watch. I know where I have walked so do not need a map and do not need to know my time to the nearest second. I just want to know roughly how far I have walked and for how long and how many steps I have taken. Having the watch on me since launch day has seen me walk / exercise on average 6 miles a day - indeed yesterday I got up to 7.45 miles. Those bloody fitness rings! But my word they work. They are so tempting to fill. The distance too appears to be accurate (accurate enough for me). My wife has a Garmin GPS Forerunner watch and we walk together with the dog. We are looking at a variation of around 1-2%. Even when I am not taking the phone with me my steps are working out very accurate.

    So, the watch is changing me. Making me fitter. Making me look at my phone less. It is also very comfortable, light and, personally, I think it looks cool. But that is the Apple fan boy talking there. Design is a case of "each to their own". I watched a comparison video the other day between the watch and the moto 360 where the reviewer thought the 360 was much better in terms of design. I disagree but I acknowledge his personal view. Sometimes I wish folk on the forums would take that stance!

    So, for me, the watch works.

    The bad / annoying things?

    Sometimes the apps can be slow. 3rd party especially (myfitnesspal takes a while to update), trainline.com is slow but when it works is very useful, BBC news is quite slow but again when it works is useful. That said, apps such as Evernote are great for making lists for when I go shopping (I know there are no reminders on the phone but I assume these will be coming - in the meantime Evernote works fine for the list making / ticking off).

    Not being able to respond to email is slightly annoying (although I understand there are 3rd party apps to allow this). However if I am responding to an email I would rather do this on the phone / mac. It will almost always be to a client and so it needs to be more professional and usually more lengthy. That said, I suspect replies will come in software updates in case I do need to make a quick response.

    I would like more watch faces but I assume these will be coming. That said, my favourite "normal" watch has one face which I like. And I wouldn't change that. So I have to ask myself why I want a whole collection of alternatives for the Apple Watch?

    A native calculator app would be nice and can be done (I have a 3rd party version which is just like the old Casio Calculator Watches and the buttons are very easy to press). A native app would be good (I can also use Siri for calculations but sometimes that isn't polite especially in a coffee shop or in company).

    UK has no Apple Pay at the moment. I hope that is sorted sooner rather than later.

    Not waterproof. Actually, I simply don't care that the watch is not waterproof. Water resistant is enough for me. I never shower in my "normal watch" which IS waterproof. In addition I don't sleep in my normal watch and I would not wish to sleep in my Apple Watch. Means when I go to bed is the perfect time to charge the watch. I do not need sleep tracking and do not need a silent alarm to wake me.

    There are a number of emails that can't be read on the watch. However the sender and title can be read and in most cases, they are not emails I need to read anyway so I simply dismiss the message. If a work email comes in that I need to read and it is not possible (usually they are because they are from known mailboxes), then I flip to my phone. Every now and then. It's no hardship.

    So to sum up (and you've probably guessed) I like the watch. Really like it. It is very useful. Sometimes I am not convinced I can explain HOW useful it is to someone else. To me it is a case of just using it and see. Maybe it won't be useful to other people (I see a lot of "I can just take my phone out of my pocket" why do I need a watch?") which I get. But actually having the watch on my wrist just makes my life easier.

    The Watch isn't for everybody. And that's fine. But it is for me. And is now a part of me. And I for one am grateful for that.

    Shawn
     
  2. profmatt macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    How did you get thetrainline app to work?!?!?!?
     
  3. shawnjcullen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    South Wales
    #3
    When I go into the app after a short delay it shows my nearest train station and the progress of the next train. For example looking at it now I am told that the next train at Sarn Station is currently at Maesteg Station, and is on time. I think that is all the app does but it is useful as a glance.

    Shaw
     
  4. profmatt macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    When I go into the app I get a blank screen. After a short delay I continue to get a blank screen. I've deleted and reinstalled the app countless times. I've restarted the watch and my iPhone, too.

    :(
     
  5. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    #5
    Reviews are mostly pointless at this early stage. A few months of having the watch should be sufficient time to review based on how it actually works for you. Right now you are reviewing it based on it being a new feature in your life. If you are still wearing it consistently after a few months and haven't grown tired of its notifications or think the fitness app is more than acceptable, it will be more telling. Plus, it will give the watch time (no pun intended) to show you its bugs or that it has none.

    Most reviews are based on short term use and so don't go far enough.
     
  6. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a

    ggibson913

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    #6
    Thanks for the review. I am still thinking about it even as I haven't received it yet. Not sure it would be as useful to me.
     
  7. shawnjcullen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    South Wales
    #7
    I agree with this, just wanted to give me initial view after nearly a week's ownership. Hey, if the Verge can do it, so can I! :)
     
  8. PLamarine macrumors 6502

    PLamarine

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Central MA
    #8
    Nice review...I have the identical watch and feel the same.
     
  9. techspin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    #9
    Glad you like it! But with that essay we need some proof, such as a photo of the watch on your wrist with your wife and dog in the background. :p
     
  10. shawnjcullen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2015
    Location:
    South Wales
    #10
    Watch this space!
     
  11. CaptHook macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    #11
    I found this to be very useful. Much more so than the "professional" reviews of a few weeks ago. It's an account of real world usage.
     
  12. DannyBres macrumors 65816

    DannyBres

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I have an app, Departure Board, with similar functionality, but the UI is much better imo :)D).

    Check it out: App Store or Website.
     
  13. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    #13
    Yes, but for the purpose of researching something you want to buy based on how much it costs and how much use you will get out of it, a review would need to be of a longer period of time. Watches typically don't need that but this isn't merely a watch. It's a computer with a new OS and hardware that hasn't proven itself yet. So, early reviews will only give you an understanding of first impressions and a bit more. It can't tell enough about durability or stability. This isn't the same as a new version of the iPhone either as they are a proven category for Apple so there is far less risk for the buyer.

    Just my two cents anyway.
     

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