Till a few months back, I was quite vocal about how Apple Watch, in its first generation didn’t work for me and I would wait at least till version 2.0 to invest INR 30,000 in a watch. Well, how I’ve eaten my word! I ordered my Apple Watch in March, a full 11 months after it was released in April 2015 (and probably, 7 months before the inevitable follow-up will be announced). Here’s why:
I needed a smartwatch and my current set-up wasn’t working
I saw the value of smartwatches after using a Pebble Classic for 5 months (in many ways, this Pebble was my test of whether smartwatches work for me and oh, boy, they do!). The fitness tracking plus the convenience of notifications on my wrist sold me on the concept. I was happy waiting till September this year to upgrade. But, after the 3.0 upgrade to its software, the Pebble started experiencing issues. It’d restart just like that, in the middle of a workout or the Misfit app on it would stop counting my steps for parts of the day, just like that. I tried working around these issues but their increasing frequency made it quite difficult to use the Pebble daily.
I tried going back to a fitness tracker and analog watch combination (Mi Band, Moov Now) but realized that I missed the convenience that a smartwatch affords, especially, when it comes to notifications. Also, Mi Band overestimates steps buy huge margins and Moov Now doesn’t give in-depth information about daily activity (still rocks when it comes to coaching, though). Plus, both of them had issues syncing with the Up app on my phone. So, I decided that it was time to go back to a smartwatch.
I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that what was on offer worked for me
But the Apple Watch was still INR 30,000 for the base model and in my mind, at that time, didn’t warrant putting down that much money for the features on offer. I thought of going for one of the newer Pebbles, but the issues I faced with Pebble Classic had soured the experience up for me. Android Wear had a few options (Moto 360, Sony SmartWatch 3) but they have very limited support for iOS, which I didn’t mind when it came to notifications and apps (I, for one, believe that smartwatches work best when they are used for ‘push’ interactions than ‘pull’), but was a deal-breaker when I realized that data from the heart-rate sensor on the Moto 360 or the GPS on Sony SmartWatch 3 couldn’t be used.
Apple Watch works seamlessly with iOS and goes beyond what any there smartwatch can do (Apple has ensured that it is that way). I realized that with other gadgets too (phone, laptop), after trying out a few of them, I’d always come back to Apple products because of how well they worked for me. So, every rupee that I spent in buying something other than the Apple Watch would be an added expense as someday, I was definitely going to buy one.
My research also pointed out to me that the current set-up of the Apple Watch worked quite well for me. The Watch looks gorgeous (I got the Space Grey one), is sleek, has better battery life than most of the competition, does activity tracking very well (the three-ring approach is a breath of fresh air and to go more in-depth with my activity data, it syncs seamlessly with Up). Yes, the apps are slow to load, but, I believe that tap-less interactions (complications, glances, notifications), not apps which require a lot of tapping on tiny screens are the future of smartwatches. GPS is one thing that the Apple Watch doesn’t have in this iteration and might add in the next and that had me on the fence but I went ahead and took the plunge because of the next pointer.
Apple announced the Apple Watch in September 2014, released it in the US in April 2015 and it came to India in November 2015, a full 7 months after its release. This always happens when it comes to Apple and India (iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2, MacBooks are the only product-line which get updates along with their USA siblings). The thought of waiting almost another year to get the next generation when I needed one right now unbearable and I decided that the Apple Watch, in all its first-gen glory, was the way to go.
So, a specific set of features that were my ‘killer-app’, the timing of my previous smartwatch giving up on me and it being the best smartwatch option for iOS (both, in terms of long-term value for money and feature-set), made me take the plunge and get a beautiful Space-Grey 42mm Apple Watch Sport and I haven’t looked back since. One of the better decisions that I’ve made.
Do you own an Apple Watch? What is your story? Do let me know in the comments. And, I’ll be writing a lot more about the Apple Watch now. So, stay tuned.