Thinking about getting one

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by xWhiplash, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. xWhiplash macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    I have a few questions. The most important one is, what happens when you forget your phone and go for a walk? Does it have to be close to the phone at all times?

    Compared to a Fitbit (their wristband was irritating my wrist, so that is why I am looking at an Apple Watch), how does the tracking hold up?

    Are there any plans for a newer one? Will it be worth it to wait?

    I am thinking of getting the standard watch with the Milanese Loop. Is it worth it getting the bigger one?

  2. jjk454ss macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    It will track your walk without the phone, having the phone with just improves accuracy.

    I like it much better than my Fitbit, primarily because my Fitbit tracked steps. This tracks exercise, so to get my goal of exercise I can't just slowly walk, I have to move at at least a faster walk. I also like the Standing Hours tracking, although I haven't got it to count an hour of standing unless I walk around during that hour. I stand at my desk but it doesn't count it, even if I hold my arm down at my side.

    But I miss the competitions of the Fitbit, I'm hoping Apple makes an official app or something where you can compete with others.
  3. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    So I should still have my phone with me when I go for a run or something?
  4. jjk454ss macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    It only improves accuracy, you don't need it with. The way I understand it too is if you have your phone with some of the time it improves the accuracy for the times you don't have the phone with. By figuring out your stride based on past runs.
  5. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    And in terms of accuracy, does it under-estimate without the phone, or does it over-estimate? I would rather have it under-estimate and run for a few minutes longer.

    Oh and one more thing, is there any kind of sleep tracking / silent alarms to wake you up?
  6. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    Apple has not released anything about if and when a new version is coming. So, if you like it, you might as well get it and enjoy it.
    It is not really a question of over-estimating or under-estimating-- that will be unique to the runner and it will also not likely be related to running with or without the phone. The question is just accuracy and precision in general.

    When you run with the phone, it is calibrating. Apple has not said how and when it uses the calibration, whether it ever finishes calibrating, and how running dynamics changes override prior calibration. For example, if you run and it observes a 1.05m stride length during the calibration, does it apply that factor in the current run or does it apply to the next run? Apple does not say.

    I have run about a dozen times with the phone and a few times without over a total of about 100 miles. So, I do not have a lot of data. What I have found is that my watch consistently under-reports mileage by about 2%-- it is 0.1 miles short on a known 5.07 mile run. By contrast, Garmin and Timex GPS watches are accurate to within 0.01 miles (the standard deviation is under 0.01 miles) on the same run. I get the same level of performance between devices on an 8.25 mile run I do regularly.

    Today I ran without my phone, and I was working on increasing cadence by about 5 steps/minute. The Garmin measured 5.07 miles-- exactly on, and the watch reported 5.37 miles. Normally, the watch will report around 4.95 to 4.96, so the cadence drills probably threw it off.
    No sleep tracking or intelligent silent alarms yet.
  7. BlueMoon63, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015

    BlueMoon63 macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2015
    The only thing it doesn't do for sleep is wake you in a window. I wear my watch to bed every night and the silent alarm wakes me without fail. Just like other bands that use vibration to wake you. Also, when you wear it at night, it tracks your heart rate every ten minutes and there is a sleep tracking app that very well (Sleep Pulse) and graphs your sleep and heart rate which is much better than looking at your health app heart rate all night.
  8. Mac2me macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2015
    Hubby, a non-Watch user, just borrowed mine to do an outdoor walk. He asked and wants to try it out. I didn't give him my phone and called him saying maybe I should have given it to him but he's able to look at his statics without it directly on the watch. So no it doesn't need to be by the phone. I think he likes it and will see the benefit of using it when he hikes on the weekend. Only afraid he won't want to give my watch back.
  9. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    It depends on your stride. From what I can tell it essentially dials in an average stride length for different paces. So as long as (on average) you use a similar stride length for a given pace then the Watch will be pretty accurate.

    EDIT: To clarify... when you run/walk with the Watch AND your Phone the Watch is using the GPS from your phone to calibrate average stride lengths at different paces. That information can be used later to estimate your distance if you run/walk WITHOUT your Phone or on a treadmill.
  10. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I owned a Fitbit Flex and also had the wrist issues. Used it for maybe eight months. It was nice tracking steps, but a few months later the iPhone 5s could also track steps. I almost always had it on me, so it did well enough to count the big numbers. But obviously I missed a lot when taking a few steps at home or work.

    I find Apple's calorie counting much better. I can more easily ride a stationary bike, which doesn't help if you count steps. But if a device counts calories, you get credit for exercise. I tell the workout app that I'm starting a bike session and it tracks calories burned. That has made me ride the bike MUCH more than before. I may still not be doing it enough, but even 5 or 10 minutes total per week beats 0.

    The standing notification is also a great help. I honestly don't know all the pitfalls of not standing every hour, but I've heard it's not great to sit so much. So if I get the warning at the :50 each hour, I usually stand up for a minute. The watch basically remembers stuff so I don't have to. Working full time and going to college, I need that right now.

    I haven't used the watch for any activity away from the iPhone, so i can't help you there.

    As for which watch to get, I first recommend the stainless steel version. SS will hold up better than aluminum, and sapphire will take more of a beating than glass. Plus you mention the Milanese loop, and it matches the SS finish. I tried on one of those over the weekend and liked the leather loop better just because of the clasp likely being in the way when I rest my wrist on a desk while typing, just like the metal nub on the sport band is. The larger leather one was long enough to be out of the way. But I still love the Milanese look. As far as size, you just have to try them on. I definitely though the 38mm was too small. I might even prefer one about 46mm, but 42mm is pretty nice.
  11. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    My advice to you is buy one try it for a week and if you don't find it compelling return it for a full refund. This is the sort of device that you really need to try it to understand how it fits into your life.

    I tried it and didn't find it that compelling so I returned mine but I'm glad I did try it and I think I'll probably try the next one as well. To me it still feels like a beta product with quite a lot of bugs and annoyances. But that's my experience you'll need to try it yourself I think.

    As for the accuracy of the sensors. I found the step counter to be very accurate. I can't comment on the heart rate monitor as I didn't have another device to compare it with but it definitely read my heart rate as higher when I was exercising than when I was resting.

    The only sensor I found a bit flakey was the sit / stand system. It often told me to stand up while I was already standing and it sometimes didn't give me credit in one of the 12 hours I was awake when I was standing and it thought I was sitting. The "raise wrist" mechanism could use some work too, the screen would illuminate all the time when I was doing tasks other than wanting to look at the time. I'm sure they'll make this more accurate and faster in the next one (there is a bit of a delay when you flick your wrist in front of your face before the screen comes on).
  12. ki2594 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Carmel, IN.
    I read thatyou have to be standing/moving for I think a minute or so for it to register as a check for standing that hour
  13. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    Sometimes I was going all over my house doing chores and it didn't always register. It's very hit or miss in my opinion but I was using Watch OS 1.0.1 perhaps Watch OS 2 improves this.
  14. Mac2me macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2015
    When it gives me the alert I've stood and walked in place and counted. Think I hear the You've Done it after about 30 seconds or so. Never really checked it. Also thought I read that for standing it's counting when your arms are at your side (typical standing position) not necessarily in a resting position like on a table top or laying flat like if you were in bed laying down.
  15. Mac2me, Jul 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015

    Mac2me macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2015
    Sometimes I haven't heard it give me the 10 minute beep for the hour but when I checked my Stand chart I see that it was already logged for the hour as a Stand having gotten up for something during that hour. Sometimes it's a bit harder at a glance to figure out what hour each bar represents because the double digits for 12 spread across more than one column. The hour is represented by the column under the 1 BTW.
  16. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    So when they do release a newer model, do you think it will be much better? What about a very long battery? I am just concerned about buying one now and regretting it later if the newer model will be a million times better.
  17. AreanFSL macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    Of course it will get better. How much better, we don't know. This is Apple company were talking about. They will add small updates that make you want a newer, smaller, and lighter device.
    On the flip side, your used banged up watch will still have value and demand so you can still sell your watch.
  18. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    If you like what the current model is, then I would just buy one and enjoy it.

    First, Apple has not given any hints about when the next watch will come. And second, Apple has not given any hints about what the next model will offer over the current model. So, the when and what questions are anyone's guess.

    For an external reference, wiki the iPhone and iPad models over time. Each model was an evolution, not a revolution. And, the time frames from the first models to the second models were more than 12 months. So, you could probably expect something similar with the AW.
  19. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I don't expect battery life to improve significantly any time soon. In the past, Apple has seemed to pick an ideal battery life for a device, then once they hit that ideal, they use any battery life improvements to make the device thinner and lighter instead of keeping the device the same size and giving it more battery life.

    In any case, a new gen watch is at least nine months away. If you buy now, you'll get to enjoy yours for a year before you have to worry about regretting not having the latest.
  20. Mtmspa macrumors 6502a

    May 13, 2013
    Going to buy the SGS with black band today. I plan to buy a couple third party bands to dress it up a bit.
  21. papbot macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2015
    You're going to wait quite a while for a newer model. My impression of the questions you're asking is that you're primarily interested in fitness tracking and not the other major features of the watch. There are other less expensive devices that will do that beside the Fitbit one that you were unhappy with.

    I'm very glad that the Apple watch has the health and fitness tracking features but if that were my only interest I wouldn't have paid this much for it. My wife uses hers all day at work at a hospital for communication and notifications which we consider to be its primary and, at least to us, most important functions. If you're not interested in all that save some money and get something more appropriate.

    If I'm incorrect and you actually are very interested in those features then you won't be disappointed or wasting your money.
  22. xWhiplash thread starter macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    Well the fitness stuff is the primary reason. The other stuff is nice too.
  23. exxxviii macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2015
    This is a broad spectrum... What of the things below are most important to you within the "fitness stuff?"
    • An activity tracker that counts steps and estimates calorie consumption.
    • Social features that link to others for seeing each others activity and engaging in challenges.
    • Tools to input food to manage diet against calorie burn.
    • Ability to manually enter activities and have them flow into the tracker device's metrics.
    • A web UI for looking at activity.
    • Running support with with basics like pace and HR by mile/KM splits.
    • Advanced running support with cadence, elevation changes, mapping, etc.
    • Cycling support (similar basic & advanced).
    • Precision: distance accurate within 5% sufficient, or is accuracy within <<1% needed.
    • Ability to sync in activity data from other fitness devices (such as a Garmin watch for running or swimming)
  24. papbot macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2015
    There are less expensive options that may even do a better job at those functions than the Apple watch. Had Apple not come out with this device I was following the development of Pebble. I'm not a fan of the look of their models but they have many of the functions that I wanted. That Pebble Time is quite appealing and a fair amount cheaper than Apple's with many fitness tracking functions as well.

    For me the Apple watch is perfect but I would not have paid this price if what I really wanted was a Fitbit equivalent.
  25. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2009
    The dreaded appleing. I feel your pain there. I would say they will go for the new fab size on there chip which will net them a bit more power saved so longer battery life. I would say they would add a bit more performance. The HR sensor will increase in accuracy in the next watch. I do not foresee them suddenly adding GPS. The screen and the SOC are already pretty power hungry and adding another system to the mix I would find very unlikely. So the next one will just last a touch longer and preform a bit better. I just don't see a massive bump coming. The OS2 which would normal accompany the new watch is already coming to watch 1.0 in full force this to me kinda signals that watch 2 might be a bit farther out than first of next year. The norm is to release an OS with a device not just drop a massive upgraded OS with no new device.

    I don't work for apple but knowing there track record this is more than likely what will happen. The redesigned watch 3 will have GPS i am sure. Then a few more for LTE as people clamor for it.

    The question is will they treat the watch like the apple TV update it infrequently hardware wise and update the OS. This is something only Tim knows and he sure is not spilling the beans

Share This Page