72 Hours with Apple Watch – What you need to know – Should you buy one?

72 Hours with Apple Watch – What you need to know – Should you buy one?

Apple Watch WeatherAt Engage Mobile we received our first Apple Watch last Friday 4-25-15 which was the day the product was released. I had the opportunity to put the Apple Watch through its paces for the last 72 hours.

You can see the unboxing here: http://www.engagemobile.com/apple-watch-released-today-engage-mobile-shows-the-unboxing/

You can see our initial observations and video here: http://www.engagemobile.com/should-you-buy-an-apple-watch-top-8-observations-and-video-of-functionality-video/

The question many people have, “Is the Apple Watch worth it and should I buy one?” – this post is meant to answer those questions.

I was fairly skeptical about version 1 of the Apple Watch – other innovative products such as Google Glass were not ready for prime-time at launch.  I was pleasantly surprised by the Apple Watch.

The Hardware is Terrific – The hardware does not look geeky or too large – it is a nice, elegant IMG_4869watch. The digital crown is a great user interface. The hardware is nice and has many of the subtle touches we have come to expect from Apple.

The Software/OS is Pretty but Not Completely Intuitive  – The software is beautiful and the interface with the digital crown is very nice – it is very easy to get around within the Apple Watch.

That being said, the user interface is not as intuitive as you would expect. Because of the limited screen size, there are not a lot of on-screen prompts. As a result, you end up fumbling around with the watch just trying things to make it work. For example, to change the watch face, you press down harder and use Apple’s new force touch technology – easy enough once you know that is the process.

I would attribute this to the Apple Watch being a new device with a new interface – the process to start a car, accelerate, turn on the windshield wipers, etc. was not necessarily intuitive the first time you sat in the driver’s seat.

The Apple Watch Fitness Tracker is State-of-the-Art – The Apple Watch allows you to track more information, more precisely than on other devices.  Users can easily set goals for exercise, calories and standing as well as set specific workout routines. Combined with the dozens of fitness tracking apps that are already available, you can track more than ever before.

Other Than Fitness Tracking, There is Nothing on the Apple Watch that is not better on the iPhone – The advantage of the watch is that it is on your wrist, but in every other way the watch is inferior to the experience on the phone.  This is partly due to the fact that the phone software has been refined for years – but has more to do with the size of the Apple Watch’s screen – the watch ends up being a support device for the phone in most cases – which isn’t bad.

Phone and Navigation are Perfect Watch Applications – The phone allows you so see who is IMG_4862calling without pulling your phone out of your pocket and the hands free calling through the watch works very well.

When driving, the navigation feature automatically activates the display and beeps before each turn – you simply have to glance at your watch instead of looking down at your phone.

Seriously – Siri is Good via the Apple Watch – I can’t believe I just wrote that – I have not been a big fan of Siri – the Android voice recognition has always been better in my opinion.  That being said, Siri via the Apple Watch works very well – I am not sure if Siri is getting better or if I just had easier commands for it in the first 3 days.

Battery Life – Was not an issue for me – I used the Apple Watch throughout the day each day and IMG_4864had no issues. Charging overnight was easy.

The Apple Watch NOT a Great Watch – the display on the Apple Watch is motion activated – by moving your wrist from your side to the typical watch viewing position the display turns on and works great – if you are sitting at a desk and glance down at your watch you have move your wrist enough to activate the screen – this is VERY inconvenient for traditional watch wearers that just want to check the time.

That being said, many people (including myself) don’t wear a watch so to check the time now I have to hit a button on my phone – so for me it is relatively convenient to check the time.

The Apple Watch Allows You to Be MORE Connected – One of the big selling points of the Apple IMG_4870Watch is that you can conveniently get your notifications on your wrist instead of having to look at your phone. Now you can get email, see who is calling, get your “you name it” notifications right on your wrist – instead of pulling out your phone you can get your notifications immediately on your watch. You will have to determine if that is a good thing.

Should you Buy One? – The Apple Watch is a remarkable piece of hardware and software.

  • If you are a big user of fitness trackers the Apple Watch is something you should definitely check out.
  • If you like being as up-to-date as possible with every email and tweet, the Apple Watch is perfect.
  • If you want to be on the cutting edge of technology the Apple Watch if for you.
  • If you have trouble with the iPhone interface you should not buy they Apple Watch – it is not nearly as intuitive as the iPhone.
  • If you are looking for a great watch you should probably wait – the motion required to activate the display could drive you crazy.

The Apple Watch is not perfect but it is a great effort for version 1 and definitely worth checking out.

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