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27 December, 2015

Apple watch review


This post has been long overdue. I bought my Apple watch on 6th November 2015- the very same day when it was launched in India. In fact, I was the first customer officially in Delhi to lay my hands on it and the showroom confirmed it and took my picture to be sent to Apple. I am a big Apple fan and loyalist. I had waited for this for almost a year. I had the opportunity to buy Fitbit etc. but I was keen to buy Apple watch only. I did not choose the sports model even though it was half the price of my steel strap one. I want to wear my watch all day long and not just during my fitness activities. The steel strap looked more elegant than the plastic one which appeared kiddish.


Apple smartwatch review: Apple has few products and each one of them has proven to be a game changer. Each one of them has taken the market by a storm. Apple watch is no different. When I first laid my hands on the packed box, it felt super neat and classic. The white box, with apple logo was very sophisticated. The attention to details in the hardware are incredible. The watch, despite its size, felt sleek. The steel strap has a magnet attached at one end. That is all it takes to loop it around your wrist. The magnet clasps securely and fits perfectly any size. No holes or pins to make size adjustments. 


The glass, at the screen curves downwards to fit into the metal case. It is rectangle with rounded edges. There is digital crown and another sleek button in the metal case. 


The base of the watch has a heart rate sensor. So unlike polar heart rate monitors, where I had to strap an extra belt around my chest to measure and calculate my heart rate, this watch is less complicated and measures the heart rate efficiently. Wherever I have worn it, people have complimented me for this watch. It is dressy, classy and suffices my fitness needs.


It is light and sleek and I wonder how much sleeker would the subsequent models be in coming years. The watch is compatible with iphone and within minutes I could pair it with my iphone. 
My battery lasts me about 12 hours and maybe little more. It gets charged very quickly. People criticise this watch for being too expensive or having less battery life. To be honest, I have no complaints. If you are one of those who would not settle for any other phone than iphone, then apple watch is also for you. 

There is a digital crown and as you press it, it first shows you time. If you swipe it down, you can see the notifications. If you swipe it upwards or if you press digital crown twice, you get Glances. Glances are all widgets of apps. You just have to touch any to open the app. Even though the app icons are tiny, it works perfectly when you touch them. You only see app icons and not their names. There are apps to check weather, know stocks, control music, read message. People complain that there is over connectivity with this watch and too many notifications. Trust me, I had no such issues. I check what and when I need. Also you can choose to integrate it with iphone or shut it by simply turning off or on the bluetooth of your mobile. Sometimes, I am sitting with friends and my mobile is in my handbag on a silent mode. Then I just switch the bluetooth on. I can see the calls coming in my watch or important message. I can answer them from my watch or reject it from there without even taking out my mobile from my bag. I do not have to check my mobile. You can customise the apps that you want to see and their layout. You can also rotate the digital crown to zoom in or zoom out.


If you tap and hold the digital crown, Siri opens. Siri works just like in iphone. If you tap the other button, your contacts open. You can call them or message them. If you double tap your screen, then also it shows time. Customising the watch face is also possible. The watch works best with iphone. Hence, if you do not use iphone, you may not be very happy buying apple watch. Also, for third party apps to work, the phone has to be there connected with bluetooth. For example, I would have preferred that when I go for my run, I do not have to carry my phone along and see my progress on Nike app through watch only. But that is not possible.
For typing messages, Siri is very helpful and there are short quick reply options like 'thank you' etc. You can also send audio messages.
The apps that have made me absolutely addicted to the watch and are most useful for me are pre-installed apps like workouts and Activity. In fact, these have made me slaves of the Apple watch. My day begins and ends with them. Throughout the day I am concerned about completing and achieving my target of given number of calories, standing and moving around for number of hours, completing my number of hours of workouts. There is no mercy. I love the stars I am getting. Activity app has 3 circles. Red circle is for movement, green for workout and blue for standing. You have to stand for few minutes every hour.
The workout app helps me to log my workouts and measure my calories. It has options like outdoor run, indoor run, outdoor cycle, indoor cycle, stepper, elliptical, rower, other. You select the workout you are doing. I wish it had more options. I wish the watch was waterproof and I could use it while swimming also. Nevertheless, it tells me the distance I run or cycle and my time, calories, etc. It lets you set your goal as time or distance or calories and sends you alerts if you are halfway through or have completed your goal.
However, the screen wakes only for 6 seconds. I wish there was a way to prolong it. For example, I cannot see the time when I am holding my plank as the screen goes blank after 6 seconds and I have to tap it again to see or else I raise the hand and the screen wakes up.



The watch comes with a charger which is super neat. You just have to place the watch on a button shaped magnet which is plugged. 


Price: This model with steel strap costed me Rs. 56,900/-. When I bought this, I had a question about this watch. Unlike other luxury watches, which last me a life time, have a vintage value and can be passed on to generations like a family heritage, this watch would need to be upgraded every two years. Then, I changed the way I perceived this watch. It is more a fashion accessory like a branded bag, expensive pair of shoes or scarf. The styles change and we upgrade. So I did not go for a gold version but a mid range steel version.

My final verdict: If you are a fitness enthusiast, love tech products, do not miss Apple watch. I am super happy user and highly recommend it. It changes life.

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