Apple Watch: First impressions

About two years ago, when Apple released their first smartwatch, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get it any time soon. I had recently been burnt by Android Wear and didn’t think Apple’s competitor could be that much better justifying the big price difference.

Then, in September or October I started too look into smartwatches again. The concept was still very appealing to me since I’m on a bike basically every day and having a notification and navigation interface available without having to get my phone out at every corner was great with Android Wear. What drove me away from that was mostly quality concerns on every level. The hardware was mediocre as was the software.

So I read up about the new newer Pebble Watches (also does that had just completed the latest Kickstarter at that time) and Apple Watches. And it would have been quite a hard decision were the new Pebble Time 2 available now. I had also seen the Series 1 Apple Watch thanks to a friend and therefore knew mostly what I was getting myself into and for that and a handful of other reasons opted to go with Apple’s product.

A little over a week ago I finally got my Apple Watch Series 2. Naively, I opted to install all the apps I had on my phone also onto my watch. That made for a really bad first impression as while the watch kept running for at least 18 hours, it drained my phone within 6 hours (which normally lasts for 2 days). I hadn’t thought about that but once I had removed all the apps that I didn’t want on the watch anyway, thinks improved significantly.

Now, the watch’s battery lasts for about 4 days and doesn’t affect the phone at all anymore. After 2-3 days I also finally started to understand the activity meters and am really enjoying them. They kind of feel like a more wholistic approach to the step-counter by Fitbit I’ve been carrying around for the last couple of years. There are some articles out there that try to explain the differences but for me it simply boils down to “stand up” meaning standing up and moving about 😉

Weirdly enough, I haven’t used the Overcast remote app all the much so far, but it’s pretty much what I wanted so far. That’s also a nice summary of the watch so far. It is extremely well-made on the hardware side while the software is good. There are some things I’d have liked to be handled differently mostly related to the mail app, but only minor things.

In general, though, I’m very happy with it. A rugged version would be awesome, though 😉 I thought about getting one of the cases available but none are optimised for the Series 2 so water all of a sudden becomes an issue again. Well, perhaps next year 😊

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