Apple Watch Reviews.


5.0 out of 5 stars:

Convenient addition to the iPhone experience By SpaceEd854 on July 3, 2015

Color: Silver Aluminium, White Sport Band

Originally, I was disappointed by the high prices of these watches. I didn't want to drop $700 on a watch when I wasn't sure I would even use a watch. However, I ended up being very happy with the Sport, and I'm convinced it's what I would have chosen even if my funds allowed me other choices-- at least, that's what I tell myself. :) My mom, who also likes to have the latest gadget, got the Watch version, meaning I have a pretty good basis of comparison, so I'll start with that. COMPARISON: Apple Watch vs Apple Watch Sport The materials are different between the two watches, with the Sport being a nice matte aluminum with shatterproof Ion-X glass, and the Watch being shiny and kind of flashy stainless steel with scratch-resistant sapphire glass. Sapphire glass is what you really want on a watch face, according to my dad who likes watches, but after a month of regular wear and normal bumps, my Ion-X face looks as good as when it came out of the box; that is, completely scratch free. To be honest, I haven't been babying the watch at all; it's been accidentally bumped against doors and scratched it on zippers and the like. I mean, it's on your wrist, so if you're even a little clumsy, you'll inevitably bump it on things. But the Ion-X glass holds up really great against daily use. It's not a cheap-o material that's going to scratch way more than the sapphire glass or anything. It's a great alternative to sapphire glass, which is an expensive material and probably the main reason the Watch is so much pricier. Hands down, the biggest perk to the Sport is that it's incredibly lightweight. I barely notice I'm wearing it. That's ideal, since I'm a 20-something who rarely wore watches before getting this one. I've tried on my mom's Watch several times, and while it isn't obscenely heavy or anything, it's heavier enough than my Sport that I'm constantly aware of it on my wrist. It would be annoying to wear every day, especially making the transition from never wearing watches to wearing a heavy Apple Watch. Having the basis of comparison really convinced me that the Sport was the right choice for me, and after a month of wear, I'm convinced that even at the lowest price point, this is still a very high-quality product. I don't need my watch to look like jewelry, so it does its job perfectly for me. I have the white silicone band, which is very comfortable, durable, and again, lightweight. You could put a fancier band on it if you wanted to, and there are knockoff bands all over Amazon if you don't want Apple's ridiculously overpriced luxury bands. It's still $350 for a watch, but hey, this is Apple. PHONE INTEGRATION So, I'm sure everyone who is considering buying an Apple Watch really wants to know how it changes things with the iPhone. Why should you get an Apple Watch? To be perfectly honest, it's not going to change your life. But it does make things a lot more convenient. You won't have to have your phone immediately on your person at all times; you can leave it in the other room to charge or deep in the depths of your purse without fear of missing a call or text. You know how some people keep their phone on the table during meetings, at meals, or in class? You won't have to be that person, and you'll still stay connected. You can answer calls on it; they sound as good as regular speaker phone, and the volume is adjustable. It's a good hands-free option for driving, and I don't feel like I have to speak directly into the watch. The texting response options are pretty good; you'll get "Yes," "No," and "Maybe" if the person asks a question, as well as "Talk later?" "Sorry, I can't talk right now," "Ok," and "Thanks" for other casual situations. I think I've even seen "I'm on my way" in response to a text involving the word "where." Pretty smart stuff, and it's likely to get smarter as the technology advances. The speech recognition is great if you want to say something else. It works so well that you'd better hope you're not around some prankster, because if they say something before you hit "done," it will add it word for word. However, it doesn't integrate Emojis beyond the basic smiley face, so I often take out my phone to type out my Emoji-ridded regular texts. Also, you have to add punctuation, same as with Siri. So I'll be like "Where are you question mark." It'd probably be funny if I did it in public, so I don't. Another big feature (for me) is the ability to ping your phone. I can't really lose the watch, since it's attached to me, but I constantly lose my phone between couch cushions or maybe just leaving it in another room without realizing. Now, I don't even have to go to the trouble of looking for my phone; swipe up on the watch, tap a button, and the phone makes a locator noise, even if it's on silent! It's ridiculously convenient. You can also decide how much you want it to notify you; if you want it to ping when you get an e-mail, it will. If not, it won't. If you want it to remind you to stand every hour or move around more to meet your daily calorie-burning goal, it will, but you can turn it off if it bugs you. The customizable alerts let you decide how much you want to be distracted by your technology while ensuring that you get the alerts you think are most important. So this can definitely allow you to break free of your iPhone, if that's what you want it to do. APPS You're obviously not going to use the Watch for browsing the way you use your regular phone, and Apple was cognizant of that and re-designed a lot of apps to optimize them for the small watch face. You can choose which apps from your phone get put on your watch and re-arrange their order from the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, so that's pretty nice-- no fiddling with settings on a tiny watch screen. You can also choose which apps are shown in "Glances," which is the "swipe up" I mentioned before. These are things you can see and access without going to the watch's home screen. Basically, you get an abbreviated version of the app on the Glances, and if you want more information, you tap the screen and it takes you to the full app. You can set as few or as many apps as you want to show in Glances, and it should probably be things you use a lot. So with the Weather app, it shows you the current local temperature and weather, and if you tap it, it takes you to the full day's forecast. You can have it show the battery life in Glances, or have the Heart Rate app in glances so that you can take your pulse at any given moment, or control your music with play/pause, skip, and volume control. This is really nice, because you never even need to bother with going to the home screen if you use the shortcuts here. Most Apple apps, like Exercise and the texting app, are very well-integrated into the watch experience, as is the New York Times app, which shows abbreviated versions of the top stories that you can then send to your iPhone app if you want to read the full story. The music capabilities are nice; you can select music and it'll play through your phone, even on third-party apps like Pandora, Spotify, and 8tracks. It's kind of a drag if you need to, say, scroll through all your music to find a specific artist, but stuff like that is to be expected with such a small screen, and the Watch isn't really designed for scrolling through music libraries. You can put small playlists from your iTunes library on the Watch for exercising and the Watch itself will play the music through its speakers, but things that require wireless, like Pandora, require your phone to be on your person and usually just play from the phone. Certain apps are better left to the larger phone screen. The Mail app, for example, is pretty annoying to work with, but what do you really expect with such a small screen? There's also an Instagram app, but I honestly don't see the point of scrolling through long feeds on the Watch, so I don't use it much. Third-party apps like that will probably have a learning curve as they optimize the experience for the Watch. Besides that, I think the Watch makes a great smaller companion for the iPhone. EXERCISING The biggest thing they advertise is the heart rate capabilities and the workout apps, right? So I figured I'd comment on that. It tracks your motion throughout the day, as well as when you're standing, so if you want it to tell you to stand up every hour, it will, and you can also set motion and exercise goals that go up or down based on whether you reached them that week. I have no idea how it knows whether you're standing, but it's always been accurate. For workouts, the official Exercise app is easy to use; you can select your exercise type (options include walk, run, and cycle, either indoor for on exercise machines or outdoor, plus popular things like elliptical, rowing, or stair stepping) and it reads your heart rate and distance to measure the calories you burn. So that's a great feature for anyone who likes cardio, since the current alternative that tracks heart rate is either a chest strap or those FitBit watches. For something like weight lifting or dancing you can select "other" and it tracks your heart rate and then assumes you're burning calories at a brisk walking pace when the motion sensor can't pick up whatever you're doing. There are doubtless third-party weightlifting apps that probably do the job better that hopefully will gain access to the heart rate sensor in the next WatchOS, and other third-party apps like Strava are available for more specific needs (that one is for running and cycling), as well as FitStarYoga, a yoga app that walks you through the poses. Bottom line: is owning the Watch going to make you more in shape? No. Only you can do that. But if you want it to, it can make you more aware of how much you move around and burn in a day. It can tap you to tell you to move more if you haven't reached your calorie goal for the day. It can track your heart rate and location during a run and let you know how much you burned. In the end, it does what any piece of technology can do-- it can help you motivate yourself, and it can help you track your exercise habits. There are so few things I dislike about the Watch. The Stand notifications got annoying when I went on a road trip recently, but I didn't know at the time that I could have switched them off. The tiny home screen bugged me for awhile, but I found out online that there's a setting to make the icons bigger-- Reduce Motion makes the icons stay their maximum size rather than shrinking as they get further from the center of the screen; it looks less pretty, but it makes the home screen SO much less of a pain. Passcodes are hard to fiddle with on such a small screen, and I personally don't use them because of that, but I'm not really sure there's a solution to that issue; it's just a small screen. The battery works all day even if I play with the watch a lot, which is exactly what it claimed it would be; I usually have 20-40% charge left at the end of the day when I put it on the charger, depending on how much I played with it throughout the day. You can set it to Battery Reserve (basically, watch mode) for a longer lifespan if you only want to use it during workouts or something; it just won't track your heart rate and do the other battery-draining things it usually does. The Apple Watch Sport a really well-designed product with high-quality materials, as most Apple products are, and it works very seamlessly with the iPhone. Do you absolutely need it? Probably not. But it's a great little gadget that makes life with an iPhone more convenient.

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4.0 out of 5 stars

Call Me Easy: I Love my Apple Watch By slothinker on June 10, 2015

Color: Space Grey Aluminum Case/Black Band

Coming on the heel of a pretty negative review in the NYTimes (Unbuttoned: Why I'm Breaking Up With the Apple Watch, Vanessa Friedman), I guess I'll title this review in the same spirit. I'm posting a "first impression" since I've seen a number of articles implying that there is a pretty high learning curve associated with the Apple Watch. After reading these I have to admit that my expectations for the watch I ordered about a month ago were pretty low by the time it showed up. Anyway, it came yesterday, a 42 mm metal version sporting the Milanese band. It cost about $700. First, this thing is an incredible piece of technology. Steve Jobs would not be unhappy. The first thing I did was set up an initial (inter)face to display the following information each time I look at my wrist: time (yes, still want that), timer set (3-minute egg, that sort of thing), weekday and date (take that Rolex!), temperature at the current location, my exercise stats for the day and the %-age of life left in the battery. The screen is amazing. I'm pushing 70 and can easily read the screen in its default font size (your results may vary). The next thing I did was head out for a jog on the beach. Normally what this entails, since I do a run-walk-run routine, is setting my iPhone at 2- or 3-minute interval. It took me a couple of tries to figure out that these timings can be set through the watch by Siri. I don't know if I look more like a dope setting my Smartphone or talking to my watch but personally I'm happy to leave my phone in my pocket. The built-in pulse meter worked well. It was very handy to test my pulse at the end of my run and apparently some number of readings are retaining, even nicer. I was impressed by the immediate, hyper-close integration of the watch with my iPhone 5S. Most settings can be done via the iPhone including rearranging the app icons. That interface BTW took 45 seconds to get used to. It's different, yes, but very intuitive. If you want to use the watch to buy stuff, etc. you need to have the passcode activated. However, if you have your iPhone with you, once you sign on to the iPhone (via a code or fingerprint) the watch drops its sign-on requirement. And once you are wearing the watch, you don't need to login again, even if you get separated from your iPhone for some reason. I think Apple was very smart to allow users to change the color of the watch screen because that gets one used to the so-called Digital Crown scrolling system. It definitely will take some time to figure out the best way to get at all the information stored in the watch. As someone who once spent an inflation-adjusted $7,000 for a 10 megabyte hardd isk, I can tell you that $300-$700 for a 6 gigabyte device with a screen and entry mechanism and weighing perhaps 1/200th as much strikes me as a deal. I very much like the charging system which is electro-magnetic inference rather than some kind of micro-mini plug. Again, call me easy, charging an electric device for a few hours a day does not strike me as onerous. That said, I can imagine that Apple would love to have the device charge through ambient lighting. The one negative I've noticed so far -- and I plan on updating this review if Amazon allows -- is that I wish there was a super easy way to keep the display lit. To circle back, I thought Apple's initial TV advertisements focused rather directly at young women. I wondered if this meant that Apple thought this was a natural customer group or if they were particularly concerned that women would be hesitant to embrace (there I go again) the technology. I don't know the answer to that but I do think deciding to call this computer-on-your-wrist a watch was probably a tough call. Oh, almost forgot, here's my wish list of things for the Apple watch to do, all of which can easily be accomplished with the current version of the product: garage door has opened / closed, set Nest thermostat, notify or confirm stock buys or sells, re-display video from baby or security monitor; provide a "911" or "I fell" option so a relative, friend or neighbor could be alerted that you need help; track sleeping patterns ; translate from one language to another (short phrases). I'll ad to this list as time and Amazon allows.
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4.0 out of 5 stars

Had no choice but to get one with my iPhone 6 Plus... By Berma589 a TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 1, 2015

Color: Space Grey Aluminum Case/Black Band

I finally had to upgrade my old iPhone 5 that was draining battery by day (as I had to with iPhone 4), and my husband convinced me to get the bigger iPhone 6 plus since I read a lot through my phone. What I quickly found was that iPhone 6 Plus was difficult to operate for this 5'5" lady with one hand. Yes the big phone is easier to read for my aging eyes, but the clunky size quickly became a major hindrance. I stopped carrying my phone in my pocket as I had with older smaller phones, and without a phone on me all the time, I was suddenly in need of a watch although I haven’t worn one for many years. My husband also started complaining about not being able to reach me, so my search for a smart watch began. Initially, I thought I could just get one of those cheaper 3rd party smart watches and get by, but my research revealed that Apple had closed off the iOS so the Apple Watch is pretty much the only game in town if you need more features than just phone answering or message notifications (even this is getting limited). Pebble watch seemed like the best contender with its week-plus battery life, but the latest iOS updates are leaving many of those 3rd party watch owners in the dark with frequent connectivity loss and loss of features. OK, Apple, smart tactics for cash flow but major disservice to customers with your anti-trust practices! I felt somewhat forced to choose the apple watch after my research, so I got the cheapest 38mm sports version in space gray on a Black Friday deal after resisting to buy one for a while. When I received the watch, I was pleasantly surprised at how sleek it looked for a smart watch, and I was very glad that I chose the smaller 38mm despite many reviews since 42mm would've looked ridiculous on my wrist. I've increased the text size to help compensate for the small display size difference. The 42mm has longer battery life with bigger battery (250mAh vs 205AH of 38mm), but the watch functions are the same across all Apple watch models. I was disappointed that Siri doesn't make any sound on the watch with only displayed responses (you could turn on the clunky Voice Over accessibility feature though), but I quickly ended up loving some of the watch proprietary features. The "Hey Siri" combined with the Wrist Raise wake allows me to be completely hands-free for making calls, initiate/respond to messages, set timer, schedule, etc. by just slightly turning my wrist. Siri is obviously not new, and it’s dumbed down on the watch, but being able to do many tasks without free/clean hands is very useful, especially while I’m cooking. The watch face is very easy to change and allows me to set a specific photo or shuffle my photo album, but I personally found the Modular face to be most useful with many customizable features including weather forecast. You can quickly mute with a palm cover over the watch face, and with the ability to silently choose one of your own messages off a responses list, a person would have a tough time falling off the grid even if in a meeting with the Haptic tap on the wrist with all alerts/sounds muted. The watch somewhat predictably offers you message response choices based on certain message context as well. The Bluetooth 4.0 could allow for up to 330 feet distance from your phone, but the shortwave UHF signal is easily disrupted by other environmental signals in reality. However, the watch communicates over your phone’s Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth connection, so I can be in my basement while my phone is upstairs within the range of my Wi-Fi network (more battery intensive) if the Bluetooth signal gets lost. The Settings Glance (swipe up, then left) shows the communicating signal, either a green cloud icon (Wi-Fi) or a green phone icon (Bluetooth). After the initial trial and getting used to the watch features, I was convinced that my husband also needs one, although he swears doesn't want one. He won't have any excuses for not responding to my calls/messages once he's cuffed to the watch! In all seriousness, my husband wouldn't intentionally not respond, but his occupation sometimes makes it difficult for me to reach him during emergencies. The watch's microphone is surprisingly powerful, and I'm able to speak in a normal voice with my wrist down in relaxed positions. However, the watch’s speaker is very underpowered which makes it difficult to hear if not in a completely quiet room with good phone reception. When my friend called me the first time, she was able to hear me clearly, but I eventually had to Handoff the call to my iPhone to hear her well. You’d literally have to place the watch right near your ear with slight ambient noise. There aren't too many apps that are compatible with the watch yet and most existing apps are very primitive, but I was able to download a new shopping list app so that I won't have to carry my huge phone around while checking off my grocery list. The major con with the watch is its battery life. I turn off location services on all my i* products unless absolutely needed but even with that, the watch needs to be charged Every Single Day. If you increase the usage of the heart rate monitor for workouts, the depletion is even quicker. The lithium ion battery will inevitably degrade quickly with the required daily charge cycles right off the bat (good for 1000 charge cycles), and I see that out-of-warranty battery service will cost at least $79 at the time of this writing. I'm sure that I'll be needing the service sooner than claimed for my already costly watch, and I wish Apple concentrates on long-term customer satisfaction than fatter revenues. The limited battery life span feels like just one of many unscrupulous planned obsolescence by manufacturers these days... I find myself endeavoring to save the battery by putting the watch in Power Reserve mode (up to 72 hrs), or Airplane mode when not actively seeking notifications. Recovering from the Power Reserve mode (with only clock function) is equally as slow as from Power Off/On at over 1 ½ minutes, so powering off is another way to improve the battery longevity, especially overnight or whenever you’re not wearing the watch. All in all, even with a bit of disenchantment, I'm glad that I got the Apple watch because of the convenient hands-off abilities and seamless integration with the iOS not currently possible with 3rd party watches. Most of all, I can leave my cumbrous iPhone Plus in my pulse while I'm out and about or working in my garden. I do hope that Apple changes mind and offer the battery replacement for free for at least a few years (one could only hope!) or reduce the service cost since it’s touted that the battery should be good for up to 3 years. I'm hoping the future versions could be designed with user serviceable battery replacement. I ultimately decided that I will wait to see how the battery fares in the long-run and wait for improved speaker volume before I finally tether my sweet husband with a gadget.

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Makes the trolls and android users angry! June 2, 2016  By Vicky T.

Color: Black

I picked one up by pre order and didn't buy one here but what the heck it is the same thing anyways. My friends who use android have the Moto 360 and were saying how much better it is. I brought it one day to school and did a comparison. This won in functionality, speed, convenience, and even most bystanders thought the apple watch looked sexier. Because of this, they tried to use the ol' "it is way overpriced anyways" excuse. If Apple makes billions of revenue for a reason. If people thought something was overpriced, they wouldn't buy it because we comprehend logic all the time and the logical choice would be to not pay 4 billion dollars for a regular $1 bill. Obviously according to everyone, it is not overpriced. For $350 you actually get a lot. You get a flagship phone compressed into a watch, which is also a high end watch made out of the finest materials by expert crafters (source: Apple's video(s) on Apple Watch: "Aluminum", "Gold", "Steel".). The work/effort that is put into it, as well as the actual watch and profits Apple needs to make is a really good deal. Apple is smart. They know that not a lot of people will purchase the Apple watch because they are afraid of change or just don't find a use for it. So, they smartly price it so no matter what they will always have good profits. This isn't a bad thing. This is a really good thing because it helps this amazing company progress and make new products for us to enjoy. So this watch is really nice. I can tell it will last a long time and feels really solid and strong. It seems as though if you dropped it, it would not break and also Apple did us a favor and developed scratch proof metals with a complex process so scratches are out of the picture. The touch screen doesn't show finger prints and it also doesn't get rough like some do under heavy use. This comment section alone can tell me lots about the android community. I love reading the trolls, analyzing their comment, and then successfully countering their argument and just completely trashing them. It is pretty easy anyways, since there are so many good arguments for our side.I picked one up by pre order and didn't buy one here but what the heck it is the same thing anyways. My friends who use android have the Moto 360 and were saying how much better it is. I brought it one day to school and did a comparison. This won in functionality, speed, convenience, and even most bystanders thought the apple watch looked sexier. Because of this, they tried to use the ol' "it is way overpriced anyways" excuse. If Apple makes billions of revenue for a reason. If people thought something was overpriced, they wouldn't buy it because we comprehend logic all the time and the logical choice would be to not pay 4 billion dollars for a regular $1 bill. Obviously according to everyone, it is not overpriced. For $350 you actually get a lot. You get a flagship phone compressed into a watch, which is also a high end watch made out of the finest materials by expert crafters (source: Apple's video(s) on Apple Watch: "Aluminum", "Gold", "Steel".). The work/effort that is put into it, as well as the actual watch and profits Apple needs to make is a really good deal. Apple is smart. They know that not a lot of people will purchase the Apple watch because they are afraid of change or just don't find a use for it. So, they smartly price it so no matter what they will always have good profits. This isn't a bad thing. This is a really good thing because it helps this amazing company progress and make new products for us to enjoy. So this watch is really nice. I can tell it will last a long time and feels really solid and strong. It seems as though if you dropped it, it would not break and also Apple did us a favor and developed scratch proof metals with a complex process so scratches are out of the picture. The touch screen doesn't show finger prints and it also doesn't get rough like some do under heavy use. This comment section alone can tell me lots about the android community. I love reading the trolls, analyzing their comment, and then successfully countering their argument and just completely trashing them. It is pretty easy anyways, since there are so many good arguments for our side.

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