Posted by Mishal Quadri on 15th Sep 2015
After having spent one week with the Apple Watch (38mm Sport version) I have come to the following conclusion: this is a luxury you can certainly grow used to and appreciate, but is by no means a 'must-have' at any level. The utility of this watch will vary greatly from individual to individual and I can highlight the main points I found particularly useful -
* I hardly need to take my phone out of my pocket now or feel the need to incessantly check it for new mails or messages. This is particularly useful when out and about in noisy environments and even at home where you can leave your phone on your side table and be anywhere (it seamlessly switches from Bluetooth to WIFI provides your phone is connected to that network) without worrying you'll miss important notifications. Apple Watch's ability to gently tap you to inform you that someone has messaged you or is calling is a feature one can grow very used to.
* Battery life is for all practical purposes phenomenal. And when I say 'phenomenal' I mean it will last you a whole day and well late into the night (~18 hrs), but you definitely need to charge once it before you go to sleep.
* Impact on battery life of the iPhone itself initially seemed high but after a software upgrade now appears to be minimal. Having said that I use an iPhone 6 Plus which already has a great battery life so can't say whether the experience will be the same on iPhones 6 and below.
* A variety of watch faces from the simple and elegant to multi information displays are available. From the ability to fine tune what complications you want to add/delete to the precise color of the seconds hand provides a fair degree of personalization. Third party watch faces are not yet available and Apple isn't allowing them either which is a real pity. The display is otherwise gorgeous and crisp and it is recommended you reduce the font size to smallest as it is still very readable and you can see more text on your watch face than with the regular size font. Under watchOS 2 third party complications will be allowed which will greatly enhance the variety of information available on the watch face.
* Taking calls: this is useful only in the following situations - a) taking a short call in a quiet environment like in your car as the speaker is not quite as loud as you'd like, b) canceling a call without having to take out your phone from your pocket.
* This watch is water resistant enough to meet most of your needs. I don't take it off doing wuzu as tests conducted on this watch and posted online show that this watch is far more water resistant than Apple itself claims. DO NOT however expose this watch to sea water as salt is highly corrosive.
* The activities app looks pretty useful and allows you to set personal daily goals of how much you should stand, walk, and exercise. It should appeal to fitness freaks.
* My regret is buying the 38mm version instead of the 42mm version. If you're planning to buy one, don't skimp on this. You can go for the cheapest version with a rubber strap as higher end straps are horrendously expensive ($500+!!!) so I am waiting for cheaper third party straps to hit the market to move onto a metal bracelet.
* If asked what are the areas of improvement I can think of a couple: they need to come up with a display that is 'always on' as sometimes you want to be able to discreetly look at the time without having to physically turn your wrist or without having to tap the face of the watch to turn on the display; secondly they need to make the next version completely water proof so you can actually take it into the sea or swimming in a pool; thirdly, notifications needs to be super customizable - for example I would like to receive my work email notifications only after 6 pm in the evening and not before - right now I can either only have it on or off and the constant buzzing gets insane during working hours so I have to keep it off.
* Third Party Apps: now having said all of the above, I frankly have not found a single third party app worth installing and am using the stock apps only. And I am equally perplexed as to what developers will be able to come up with to enhance the utility of this watch. It is now up to their imagination to come up with ideas that propel this product forward.