Thought it might be a good idea to take some time out on this Friday night*** and post a much-needed update to the Blog. Amazing how life gets in the way and posts end up being weeks apart… You should see the number of drafts I have queued up so it’s not like I’m not thinking about blogging!
I stopped in the Apple store a few weeks ago just to look around and all the new toys and get a hands on demo of the Apple Watch. The employee assisting us was very helpful and he did such a good job I ended up making an impulse buy of an Apple Watch Sport (and a night stand dock).
I’ll admit it, I fell for the hype and it was totally an impulse buy (happens more than I like to admit). I justified the purchase to myself as an updated FitBit that did a lot more than just track my steps. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
If you haven’t checked out the Apple Watch it’s worth it just to see the design, fit, finish, and how it looks on your wrist. It’s a beautifully designed piece of electronics (as most Apple products are). The watch/band combinations are numerous and I’m a little surprised they didn’t package the watch by itself with the bands being an add-on accessory.
There are 3 watch models (in several colors) and 2 watch sizes all with the SAME internal components. The prices are all over the map when you pair the watch with the various bands. I opted for the $399 “Sport” model in brushed gold with a dark blue band (my shopping companion quickly identified it as the Notre Dame model).
After arriving home I had to charge the watch for about an hour before I could fire it up. Initial setup takes about 20 minutes while the companion apps are loaded from your phone. It took another 24-36 hours before things are totally synced and you are able to get all the alerts you would normally get on your phone (way longer than I expected).
The idea of having a mini phone display on your wrist, instantly accessible, is a good one in theory. My biggest problem was holding my arm at the viewing angle for an extended period along with the issue of being able to focus on the small screen.
I’ll admit I’m getting older and my arms are sometimes not long enough to properly focus on things like books and menus without a little help from Foster Grant.
This was an immediate problem that I didn’t really notice during the in-store demo. I’m not going to whip out my reading glasses every time I want to look at my wrist candy (Strike 1).
Another issue I ran into is the information actually presented on the watch screen. I get hundreds of emails a day and more times than not the message was unable able to be displayed on the screen because of the format. Not to mention viewing attachments is out of the question (Strike 2).
Battery life during the first day, like with any new toy, was not impressive because I was fidgeting with my new toy all day long. It improved in the days following as I used the watch less and less. Apple advertises a full day of usage between charges and I was getting that (Ball 1).
The final issue was the fact you have to make a specific flip of your wrist to get the display to wake up. Raising your arm works 50% of the time. Other times you have to rotate your wrist in a weird way to get the watch to activate. Hard to describe but anyone who has one of these devices knows exactly what I’m talking about (Strike 3).
Apple offers a 10-day return policy on the watch and I ended up taking advantage of it 7 days into the experiment. Returning it was totally painless and when I mentioned the viewing issues to the employee processing the return she indicated it’s not an uncommon complaint (and reason for return).
So my Apple Watch experiment is over (for now) and I can honestly say I don’t miss it. I continue to enjoy my Seiko Automatic Dive Watch for its simplicity (no batteries) and I look forward to the next version of the Apple Watch that’s rumored to be announced sometime this year.
Do you have an Apple Watch? What’s your experience been like? Hit me up in the comment section below.
***While listening to The Very Best Of The Violent Femmes on Spotify