The uncomfortable back of the Apple Watch Sport

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Sagnet, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Sagnet macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #1
    So, I've been wearing my new AWS for a few days now. There are some things about it that I like, and other things I'm not that excited about. One of the main issues is how uncomfortable it is to wear for prolonged periods of time. I think the discomfort is caused by these three facts:
    1. The back of the watch is shaped like a curve, pointing down into your wrist.
    2. The band has to be tight enough, so that the back is in contact with the skin at all times
    3. The back is made of some kind of plastic, which creates friction between itself and the wrist
    The sum of these facts results in the curved, plastic back creating a constant pressurse on a fixed point of your wrist. Even if the pressure is light, after several hours of it every day, and no air circulation at that fixed point, the skin becomes red and feeling sore.

    I am interested in other AWS owners' experiences with this, and suggestions for solutions. The only two I can think of at the moment are:
    1. Take regular breaks from wearing the watch, letting the skin rest and breathe.
    2. Let the skin adjust to the pressure and harden up.
    For the record, I am used to wearing watches. For the last 5-6 years I've been wearing a Swiss made watch, with a flat metal casing. This watch, I could keep loose enough to let it slide up and down on my wrist when I moved my hand, so it never created any pressure like I'm experiencing with the AWS. If I try to wear the AWS equally loose as the Swiss watch, the AWS screen keeps locking up.
     
  2. MrTazz macrumors member

    MrTazz

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    #2
    I have had my watch since released and wear it at least for 16-17 hours a day everyday and hardly ever notice it's on my wrist, so I have never suffered from the things you have mentioned
     
  3. Defender2010 macrumors 68030

    Defender2010

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Me too! The watch doesn't need to be very tight against the wrist. I can still fit one finger under the strap and the sensors still work perfectly. Perhaps the OP is wearing it too tightly.
     
  4. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #4
    I occasionally get the red mark but never really sore. Just uncomfortable and that's after 13 hours or so. But 100% of the time I realize it's cause I'm wearing it too tight.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204665
     
  5. wchigo macrumors 6502

    wchigo

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    #5
    I will concur with what the others have said. The watch should be somewhat snug, but doesn't have to be too tight against your wrist.

    My daily driver is a Leather Loop and I can wear it loose enough that it slides up and down my arm a bit but it's still considered snug enough that it doesn't lock up on me. I find that, while comfortable, I can't find a notch to put it in where it feels tight enough to keep from moving too much but loose enough that it's comfortable. I usually have to have it tighter but for less time and also likely because of all the sweat.
     
  6. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
  7. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #7
    Not an issue for me. When I first started wearing a watch a couple of years ago my wrist bone (whatever that nub is called) was sore for a while but no longer an issue. With HR watches you do have to wear them a bit tighter than a regular watch if you want the HR to be remotely accurate. Perhaps that is what is locking up the AW when you wear it loose because it tries to measure your HR periodically throughout the day.

    In general though, the AW is far more comfortable for me than my previous GPS watches.
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #8
    I'm wondering if you're wearing it just a bit too snugly or if it's resting on your wristbone?

    It has to be tight enough to maintain skin contact (that's how a heart rate monitor works).

    FYI, the back is a ceramic, not plastic.
     
  9. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #9
    tight -> pain for me as well. I have a 38mm SS with sport band. wear it a bit loose and tighten one hole in the band when I use the workout app.

    but yes, it gets painful if I leave it tight for a long time... I forgot to loosen it and went to sleep, had to move it to the other arm today. ouch.

    bad design imo - back shoud not have that 'dome'.
     
  10. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #10
    Current HR monitors need to have some sort of pressure point on the wrist in order to work adequately. Apple's dome is better than the discrete points that many other manufacturers use (as far as comfort goes anyhow - doesn't seem to function as well).
     
  11. Blujelly macrumors 65816

    Blujelly

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    South East England
    #11
    Going with most comments I cant say I've noticed these problems. Wear mine for about 10-14 hours a day, goodsnug fit rarely notice its there.

    I have 2 straps the original black sports strap for gym and running, no problems with the strap being to tight even when my body temperature rises.

    Then a 3rd party link bracelet same again snug all the time, perfect fit.
     
  12. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a

    nightcap965

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    #12
    It's the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I remove at night. I recently had to move to another notch on the sport strap due to weight loss, but I haven't yet found it irritating. It sounds like the OP is wearing it too tightly. It doesn't have to squeeze like a blood pressure cuff to get your heart rate.
     
  13. Blujelly macrumors 65816

    Blujelly

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    South East England
    #13
    Congrats on the weight loss! I also had to do the same with my sport strap
     
  14. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #14
    You're wearing it too tight and should loosen it a bit. In fact, the wrist detector and heart rate monitor will still work even if it's one finger loose (in everyday use and not moving around greatly like while exercising). You can wear it looser or tighter accordingly.
     
  15. nicho macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    #15
  16. andreyirra macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Location:
    Mexico
    #16
    The Apple Watch sensors are not about pressure. They emit light and that helps them detect the pulse so it doesn't need to be tight against the skin. In fact when running in somewhat dark places you can see the green beam.
     
  17. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #17
    I have been wearing my watch for 14+ hours a day since April and have not experienced any discomfort from the watch, sometimes from the band if I have it a little too tight, but thats it. I think you may be wearing it too tight.
     
  18. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #18
    Yes, I know how they work. The point about pressure is that the shape of the watch has to be such that the sensors are pushed into your wrist. If ambient light gets between the sensors and your skin, it can't get a reading. If the watch back were completely flat, it would have a very difficult time getting a good reading.

    Many other watches have the sensors protruding in some way, and they work best when the band is tight enough that those sensors will actually leave a bit of a mark in your wrist after wearing them. [​IMG]

    Garmin's also protrude. In fact on the new 235 they abandoned the slightly protruding sensor and sealing rubber light ring in favor of a more aggressive protrusion.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #19
  20. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #20
    Perhaps for other watches, but I wear my link bracelet one finger width loose with the sensor working just fine and never get a mark.
     
  21. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #21
    I adjust my Sport band two holes tighter than usual when I exercise for a more reliable sensor reading, then loosen it afterwards. Even "loose", I don't have problems with random locking.

    It's still more comfortable than my Garmin.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1452275460.474461.jpg
     
  22. Newtons Apple macrumors P6

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #22

    Turn off the locking feature and wear it loose. There are some who can not tolerate the AW and will cause irritation. It may not be for you.
     
  23. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #23
    The AW isn't nearly as accurate or reliable as other watches that specialize in this. It may get readings from time to time worn loosely, but it can't get consistent or reliable readings. This is a comparison of the AW vs. my Garmin 225 on a couple of recent runs. Both worn similarly tightly. The AW consistently looses its ability to get a good reading. (first graph is AW, second is the Garmin - excuse the scales - Strava doesn't plot HR on the Y axis for some reason.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  24. FrisbeeK9 macrumors 6502a

    FrisbeeK9

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    #24
    I agree. I've worn my SGS since the launch and keep it loose and the watch still senses my readings.
     
  25. Sagnet thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #25
    Thanks for all replies so far. I changed from the S/M to the M/L band, and found a fit that was a bit more comfortable, while still keeping the sensors connected. So that helped a lot.

    I still wish the back was flat though. I do not use the heart rate sensors. Wouldn't it be possible to make the back capacative, and use that to detect wether the watch is on the wrist or not? That could be done with a flat back.
     

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