My first week with the Apple Watch

 Published On June 04, 2015

The obligatory unboxing shot


After ordering my Apple Watch from the Hong Kong online store, waiting, and then waiting a little more - it finally got here about a week ago! Here is my take on what’s great about it, what is lacking, and how to maximize its potential.

You have to go all in
The Apple Watch doesn’t lend itself to being a watch in your collection that you rotate through. To extract value from it, it has to be the watch that you use day in day out.

User interface & Design
It took me less than half a day to get used to the interface. If you’ve used a smart phone before, the interface is fairly intuitive - just accept the digital crown as an additional navigation tool. From a physical design perspective, the watch is not heavy but it’s not too light either. It is a very comfortable watch to wear through the day.

Great for notifications
Once you’ve started using the watch, it very quickly becomes part of your life. It gives you snippets of information through the day, taps your wrist when you have a call or email or text, allows you to set timers, and you can answer calls directly from the watch (which is useful when you’re carrying a toddler!). The Activity app helped me realize just how unhealthy my lifestyle is. Also, I found myself not checking my phone every 15-20mins as I usually do.

The best part of the notifications are that they are very subtle and give you just enough information to decide whether to deal with the event right now or defer it to later. You have to be judicious with the notifications though. For example, if (like me) you get a couple of hundred work emails a day, getting all those notifications on the watch will quick turn you off it.

Amazing battery life
The battery life of the watch has been so amazing that I had to call it out separately. I bought an additional charging cable for the watch thinking that I will have to charge it during the day at work. However, after an overnight full charge, I am able to use it for 3 days without the battery running out. Granted I don’t play music on it but it was still very impressive!

Apps & User community
The watch is a first generation device and it’s apparent from the limited choice of apps for the watch. Also, I am the only person I know with the Apple Watch. As such, I have not been able to explore the peer-peer communication functionality of the watch. With time, as more people get the watch, I am sure it’ll add a new dimension to how I communicate with friends and family.

It will dent the traditional watch market
Given that you have to go all in with a smart watch and how quickly the Apple Watch became a part of my life - without a doubt, it will put a dent in the traditional watch market. What remains to be seen is how big that dent will be. For the mechanical watch puritans out there - I was one of you! I haven’t owned a battery operated watch in as long as I can remember. However, after a week with the Apple Watch, I am looking to sell my Explorer II and Seamaster.

The default utility watch face


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© 2015 - Manav Prabhakar. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
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