Apple Watch: Long Term User Review 2016

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Back in April 2015, I was one of the lucky (or sad) individuals that sat there waiting with my iPhone in hand, Apple Store App running, for 08:00, to place my Pre-Order of the Apple Watch Sport. Actual launch day, my Apple Watch Sport arrived and I have found it to be much better than I ever expected.

I did write a post last year, from a sceptics point of view, but this is an update now that I have been using my Apple Watch for almost a year, but here’s the thing, I sold my Apple Watch Sport. . . and here’s why.

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I ordered the Apple Watch Sport 42mm with White Sport Band and absolutely fell in love with it when I unboxed it and set it up. It was (is) a fantastic device, which I have found to be invaluable. The Elastomer band never discoloured and the aluminium casing remained scratch free and durable. I did put a tempered glass screen protector on the Ion-X glass, as you can see in the pictures, which did get a knock or two during my time with the Apple Watch, yet no knock left a mark on the protector. It was really very impressive.

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I quickly downloaded and configured Apps which could run on the Apple Watch, my favourite third party App is Dark Skies, a super accurate ‘bad weather’ forecast App which almost always gets it right. eBay notifications, PayPal alerts, BBC News alerts, eMail notifications, text message notifications easily dealt with on the Apple Watch. Much easier than having to take your iPhone out, unlocking it, launching the App and dealing with whatever the alert or notification was. Just look at your wrist and deal with it right there. Dead simple. And quicker.

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The Sports Band, as all Apple Watch Bands do, slide effortlessly into the ends of the Watch and are securely held in place with a reassuring ‘click’ when inserted properly. The bans can be removed by pressing a small button beneath the strap on the underside of the Watch which allows the strap to slide out. Switching strap has never been this easy on any watch I have ever owned. The design and closing mechanism (the tuck under system) is comfortable and never got caught on anything, unlike virtually every other watch strap I have ever had. It really showed innovation at work, something which the watch industry has been devoid of for decades at least. Apple certainly didn’t rest on it’s laurels when it came to design. It’s clear that every aspect of wearing a watch was taken into account and every irritation (like watch straps catching on external things) was dealt with with considered engineering.

The built in heart rate monitor, and Activity App, has allowed me to actually loose some weight (yippee) as I am more aware of the calories I am actually burning and as a result, I am trying to burn more than the day before, but I am not going overboard. Small increases. My activity levels have improved because I am now more aware of sitting for too long and not moving around, thanks to taps and alerts my Apple Watch Sport gives me. It really is a very beneficial thing to have on your wrist.

Reminders, or appointments, directions, all sorts in fact can be easily dealt with just by raising your wrist and saying ‘Hey Siri’ remind me on whatever date I have the dentist/  doctor, hair dresser (basically whatever) at X time. Your Watch will remind you about your appointment. It is brilliant and very convenient. Need directions? Just ask Siri how to get to an address and she loads up the Map with directions on how to get somewhere.

The uses for the Apple Watch are virtually endless. It really has become my go to device.

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The Digital Crown, is an ingenious, yet familiar, method of interacting with your Watch, again, a very clever use of space. The feedback the user gets whilst using the Digital Crown allows for confident use. The ‘Home’ button below the Digital Crown, allows power toggling or instant access to friends/ contacts to message or a double click brings up a registered card for Apple Pay payments (contactless payments). It is fantastic and on its own is a must have facility. Yes you can make payments using compatible Touch I.D enabled iPhone, but just putting your Watch to the payment terminal is so much cooler.

The Apple Watch is a great device. So, why did I sell my Apple Watch Sport?

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To buy The Apple Watch 42mm, polished stainless steel, with milanese loop. It is an entirely different beast to the Watch Sport and I am absolutely delighted with my purchase. This is the best watch I have ever owned and it looks awesome.

Sapphire Glass, I decided, doesn’t need a screen protector and in the time I’ve had it, I have had a few minor knocks with no marking to the screen. It is a beautiful display. The overall quality is better, but don’t get me wrong, the Watch Sport is a brilliantly made device and the materials used are top notch. It is no poor relation, but the stainless steel just feels ‘nicer’ at least to me, but I’ve always been partial to brushed stainless steel watches, especially my Rolex models. More durable for daily use.

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I was slightly concerned about scratching the polished stainless surface, as I have read so many people saying hey scratched theirs within hours of unboxing it, but in the few months I’ve had mine, I haven’t scratched it at all. No cover, no protection, just properly placed on my wrist with absolutely no problem. It is gorgeous.

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The Milanese Loop is a woven stainless steel strap, which closes with a magnet, which allows flexibility in the strap throughout the day. It’s comfortable and as you can see above, I have quite hairy arms and this hasn’t caught any arm hairs yet. I absolutely love the Loop.

All the functionality I had with the Watch Sport is still there. It was easy. On first set up I restored it from a back up of my Sport model and everything just happened. In no time at all (excuse the pun) my Apple Watch was exactly as my Sport model had been.

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Twelve South HiRise for Apple Watch

At night, I simply slot my Apple Watch onto my Twelve South HiRise stand which charges the Apple Watch ready for the next day’s use, although in reality, I could probably get two days use out of a single charge on the Watch. It really is great in use.

So here we are, a year on and having been a sceptic at first, I am on my second Apple Watch model. Both have worked without issue and have become invaluable to me. Spending less time with my face in my phone has made me more productive. I’ve been able to get on and do more while dealing with everything I used to have to deal with.

I am getting fitter, loosing some weight and feel better for it, all because I have a device on my wrist which interacts with me and makes me more aware of my own health.

Smartwatches like the Apple Watch really are the future. If you’re thinking about getting on, stop thinking about it and just get one. I’d avoid the Apple Watch Edition models personally, umpteen thousand pounds is a bit extreme, but either the Watch Sport or the Watch are fantastic devices and will be a really useful addition to your day to day life.

When I pre-ordered mine, I was sceptical about how well it would fit into my day to day life. I didn’t have high expectations, but I have really embraced what it offers and am now finding it absolutely invaluable. I really couldn’t be without one now. Siri, my own virtual assistant is just way to handy to have right there for almost anything, even remembering to take things out the oven (‘Hey Siri remind me in twenty minutes to take chips out’) allows me to get on with other things while they’re cooking or for example, ‘Hey Siri, when I get to town (say the name of the town) remind me to pick up mouthwash/ dry cleaning etc. When you arrive in the town, your Watch ‘pings’ and a reminder pops up on screen saying remember to get dry cleaning or mouthwash or whatever it is.

Siri is great on the Apple Watch and really has become my own personal virtual assistant. Combined with all the other features and benefits the Apple Watch provides, I for one am delighted with my purchase and am happy to have my Apple Watch with me at all times.

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