Apple Watch Series 1: Part III – The First Days

Go Back to Part II

After reading and watching extensive reviews about how not great the battery life was, I left the watch on the charger right up until I left at 0830. I have small hands and dainty wrists so the 38 mm was a perfect fit, and the watch face was very unobtrusive. I sent a text using the Scribble feature, but unless you have really small fingers or a stylus where you can easy smush 5+ letters on the Scribble pad at a time, sending longer texts isn’t something I would recommend.

1100: after an hour of yoga, my battery was at 95%. I’m assuming because yoga isn’t exactly a high-intensity sport (despite how sore my muscles were the next day) because it didn’t register the activity. There’s also only about 5 categories including Cycling, Running and  “Other” and that’s about it, so that was kind of disappointing.

1300: A delicious brunch and about a dozen received emails later, my battery was at 91%.

1700: Started work with a battery of 84%.

1825: I work in an environment that can sometimes be considered high stress, plus dealing with some other incredibly stressful personal issues, so I guess the Breathe app could tell that my heart rate was running a little high and it encouraged me to take a few minutes towards mindfulness; which oddly was the exact thing that I needed at that moment. Guided visuals and vibrations from the watch aid in helping you to literally just breathe. It sounds kind of gimmicky, but with the type of personality I have where I can get stressed out really easily, I really enjoy this feature.

2000-0000: The battery was around 71% and seemed to just hemorrhage juice around midnight when it was at 57%. Considering I was mostly receiving email notifications and sent a couple texts, this was surprising. I ended up working almost 2 hours of overtime that night and used the watch to make a call and preview some emails that came in. Finally made it home and went to bed around 0100 and had 50% battery left after just under 18 hours of use.

Since the first couple days, I’ve easily gotten more that 24 hours out of my Watch and probably around 36-40 hours out of it. Sure, there other devices or other activity trackers can go weeks or months without being charged, but the Watch does have a full colour screen and does give me the option to do a lot more in terms of staying connected to my phone so I don’t really have a problem with the limited battery life, especially because I still have to charge my phone every night anyway. I would say that much like your smartphone, your battery life depends on how much you actually use your device. The more time you spend with the screen on, whatever you’re doing, your battery is just going to drain faster. As long as I make sure I charge it before I’m about to head out, I haven’t find myself constantly carrying around my charger.


THE VERDICT

Pros

  • Full compatibility with the iPhone
  • Call quality is pretty decent considering how tiny the speaker is (can’t use in noisy spaces though)
  • Battery life is better than reported (24-40 as compared to 18)
  • Design is minimalist and unobtrusive

Cons

  • Apple Watch apps are limited and the 3rd party apps that are available can be pretty crappy; also can’t remove stock apps
  • Activity Tracking is non-existent for low-intensity activities (you would have to remember set up the Watch to track before you start)
  • Can only make it about 30 feet away from your iPhone before you lose connectivity (which means if you want to get notifications on the go, you still need to carry your phone with you)
  • Higher price than activity trackers or just dumb watches
  • Limited customizability in the Faces menu
  • Limited detail in notifications

So do you buy the Apple Watch? I’m gonna be honest with you – if you’re just looking for an activity tracker, you’re definitely better off spending less money on something the Garmin VivoFit or the Jawbone Up. If you don’t even want a screen then something like the Misfit would be perfect. Here I am, about a month later and I’m still not overly thrilled with the Watch, if anything I have decided to keep it more because of the compatibility issues with other smartwatches. But, if you love Apple products, the idea of continuity through all your devices, and have the money to spend, then go for it.

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