Runner "downgrading" from SS to Sport

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by pedregosa, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. pedregosa macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2010
    I'm returning my SS in favor of a Sport. I found the screen on the SS to be too reflective in bright sunlight -- and literally unreadable when wearing my prescription sunglasses in direct sunlight. Some reports suggest the Sports screen is less reflective.

    The other problem I had with the SS for outdoor sports use is that the touch screen didn't work very well in sweaty conditions. That may not change much with the Sport. We'll see.

    I'm not convinced that even the Sports version will prove all that good for running. I'm not too hard core of a runner -- I run several half marathons a year, but my weekly total isn't usually more than 15 miles. But even as a recreational runner, I find the built-in workout app very limited in terms of its metrics. And, at least until native 3rd-party apps arrive, the other running apps don't get you use of the heart monitor. They are literally just remote controls over the apps running on the phone.

    Still, I want to like the Apple Watch -- so I'm going to give it a another try. Personally, I prefer Runkeeper out of the running apps.

    Garmin has just announced a new GPS watch -- the Forerunner 225 -- with wrist-based heart monitoring (developed by Mio) for $299. It's shipping later this month. That looks like being a far more capable running watch (and it also doubles as an activity tracker with step counting, etc.). But it's not as suitable for everyday wear and, obviously, it doesn't have all the other features of the Apple Watch.

    Anyway, the main point of this post is to suggest that runners and the like think twice before going with the sapphire screen.
  2. HippieMagic macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    Why not just get an anti-glare screen protector?

    Capacitive touch screens aren't going to work very well if you're sweating all over them regardless of the glass.
  3. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    I've used the SS in direct sunlight today and could read it on medium brightness
  4. Julien macrumors G4


    Jun 30, 2007
    I doubt the screen will make much difference. Oddly one of the reasons I opted for the Sport was the SS frame is too reflective. Was concerned it would reflect in my eyes with arm swing, even when not looking at it.
  5. srshaw macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    In my view the workout app is worthless for any kind of serious training (unless of course I'm missing something). I have found the strava app to produce much better information (GPS track assuming phone was carried). Unfortunately it cannot access the built in Heart rate monitor. I solved this by using a polar heart rate stap that I had which uses bluetooth. This can combination now produces useful information similar to I get with my Garmin watches.

    To be honest though I have several Garmin Devices which just work so will use these for running. For me the Apple watch and apps aren't quite there yet (but do have potential......)
  6. eoblaed macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I know other runners that have the sapphire screen and use it without issue.

    I'm still waiting for my black SS and will be doing lots of running with it when I get it. I'm not concerned with the native fitness apps being limited for the time being, I know it won't be too terribly long before other apps are digging into the HealthKit API, sensors, etc, and delivering the variety of data we're looking for.

    Given the flexibility of software upgrades and app releases, I know it's only a matter of time before the Apple Watch will have more features and more integration than my Garmin.

    In the meantime, I'll keep doing what I do now, which is to also use one or two other pieces of equipment to track what I want to track.
  7. perezr10 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2014
    Monroe, Louisiana
    I run 5 days a week and I hate the Workout App. I also like the RunKeeper app a lot better. I just run both apps and double click to see my heart rate and double click to get back to the Runkeeper preview screen.

    My Garmin 205 was better for use with sweaty hands due to the incorporation of physical buttons. But when I'm running I don't like to fiddle with gadgets so this was no big deal for me. Plus, Siri works pretty good for me to open apps and such. Have you tried it? And you can always double tap to get back to the old app.

    I find I prefer my Apple Watch since it also brings notifications and music. And I love being able to text just using Siri. None of which my Garmin could do.
  8. PatrickNSF macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2011
    Having viewed both the Sport and SS side-by-side in bright sunlight, neither has great visibility while running. I've needed to turn brightness way up, and set the font to bold. The only running app with decent visibility in bright sunlight is the Nike+ app, but I find it unreliable. I couldn't discern any reflectivity difference between the two, although I did see the report stating otherwise.

    My ideal situation would be to keep using my Garmin for day-to-day running and training, since it's a much superior running watch, and have that activity transfer to the Apple Watch via the Health app.
  9. ifarlow macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2015
    You will find the Sport to be equally difficult to read in direct sunlight.

    The Sport won't work any better.

    Trackers from Garmin, Suunto, Polar, etc. are far better for sports tracking, to be sure, but as you noted they aren't great for much else. The Apple Watch has them beat for other functions.

    Why? For all intents and purposes, the two screens are going to behave the same, so one watch isn't any better than the other in this regard.
  10. JackANSI macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2011
    I must admit I'm finding the weight of the SS 42mm to be my primary dislike. I know it is there at all times. I'm not sure how much difference 10 grams will make there anyway. I'm used to running without anything, no headphones, no phone, nothing. So I might just be still in that "getting used to it" phase.

    I don't really feel any body worn device will be accurate for distance metrics without GPS so I never had that expectation either. I've taken my phone out the first 10 or so times and left it behind since and it doesn't seem to be any more/less accurate that it was with the phone. I see a variability of about 10-15% in distance each time, but I don't really set out to run the same any two times. I go till I feel I'm tired, then I turn around. Sometimes that ends up being in similar places. I don't feel my runs would be any better worrying about distance, calories, or anything else except heart rate.

    I definitely notice the glare difference when my watch is next to my phone, but I usually don't notice it with the watch alone. Also no issues with the touch screen, but I don't think I've encountered enough moisture (sweat or rain) to really be able to compare with you.
  11. Nodger macrumors member

    Mar 25, 2011
    I compared the weights of the SS and sport without any straps in an Apple Store at the weekend. I was surprised at how noticeably heavier the SS was in comparison. It has a reassuring heft which makes it feel it's worth the extra ££s but I think the Sport would be more comfortable for running and for, erm, sport.
  12. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I'm a runner averaging about 15 miles a week. I ordered the space grey sport with black sport band and I'm delighted with it. This weekend I ran a 10k and used runkeeper to track my pace. That's my biggest problem, starting out at some insane 8ish minute pace and walking by mile 3. Saturday I forgot to start runkeeper because I was distracted at the start but I started it about 50 yards in and set the watch to "last app used on wrist raise" using the apple watch app on my iPhone 6. I could glance down at my wrist and see my time, average pace per mile and distance all without no stinking touchscreen nuthin'. Just raising my wrist.

    I don't mind the glare but I have Transitions lens glasses so that may help with glare anyway. I was pouring water over my head at miles 4 and 5 and didn't so much as think about my Apple Watch getting wet. It performed flawlessly. I started and stopped the run from my phone and relied on the watch merely as a convenient display. Ever try to take out an iPhone in a driving rain to check your pace during a run? I did a few weeks ago, before my AW arrived and it was no fun at all. And that's why I shelled out $400 for this watch and it's working well for me so far. A Garmin is certainly a good alternative but I don't get my texts or any weather reports on a Garmin. I don't get stock reports or email. My friend's Garmin watch failed to find gps until 1/3 into a 4.5 mile run in an area with a lot of trees the other night. It's an older watch but I'm just sayin' there's nothing wrong with Apple watch paired with runkeeper, mapmyrun or strava for workouts. If you're a runner, why would you waste a whole second thinking about using some built in fitness app when there are such excellent choices either free or paid in the app store. BTW, I have not paid a penny for runkeeper (yet) but I just might decide to do it before my half marathon in late June.

Share This Page

11 June 1, 2015