The Apple Watch Reviewed, 1 Year Later
Last Christmas, I was lucky enough to get the Apple Watch, Series 2. This is the iteration that could go swimming, and was fully waterproof—and the GPS worked independent of the phone. Cool. I was also working with the Aspire Racing team at the time and was connected to my phone 24/7, especially on race weekends, and the idea of having a watch so I could leave my phone in my backpack while still responding to messages was awesome. I loved it immediately. A year later, though, I wanted to look at how I wore it, what I use it for now, and some general pros and cons about it.
Great for travel and busy work days
I wasn’t wrong about this reason for wanting it. In fact, it was a lifesaver a few times during the season, since it allowed me to be running around the course shooting photos and doing various things, while staying easily connected and able to respond to Jeremy or the mechanics when needed, without rummaging in my bag. I’m not one for pockets, since I wear leggings most of the time, and it was nice to not have to keep reaching for my phone. Given that my New Year’s One-Word Resolution last year was ‘COLLECTED,’ I felt like this watch actually really helped with that vibe.
Ideal for a writer on a ride or run
I get my best ideas when I’m on rides and runs. That’s when I come up with plot lines, outlines or ideas for articles, and solutions to problems I’ve been having. With the Apple Watch, I could get it to record reminders, which auto-sync to my ToDoist app, so I’d have my ideas waiting for me when I got home. It has been awesome for that and it’s saved me from stopping trailside and wrecking my flow a bunch of times. (Truth: this worked about 70 percent of the time. The other 30 it failed due to bad signal, since you need data to do it, or because it wasn’t understanding my voice. Bite me, Siri.)
Weirdly good in airports
Hear me out: I dress like a high school soccer player in airports when I have overnight flights coming up. Big sweatshirt (ok, I’ve upgraded to a sweater but the concept is similar) plus leggings or sweats (leggings are for shorter flights, sweats mean serious coziness), and gross ponytail and comfy shoes. A lot of the time, this has led to general snotty treatment from TSA or airline employees. (Again, bite me.) Now, I’ve upgraded my clothes a bit—and the short hair helps as well, since it always looks decent—but the biggest change was adding the watch to my otherwise juvenile ‘uniform.’ It weirdly seemed to change people’s attitudes about me. Which is, obviously, highly offensive and hella classist and ridiculous, but I’m just pointing out an observation. Because most people know that it’s not a cheap watch, it has a certain status associated with it. Joke’s on them, it was a present and I can’t afford that $hit.
Unplugging was tough
I’m not the best at unplugging at the best of times. (I did go a whopping 24 hours without a phone last year… but it was on New Year’s Eve when I knew no work stuff would come in…) So, having this thing attached to my wrist? Great—except now unplugging was completely impossible. Last year, when the racing season was over and we finished coaching a camp, the watch came off, and stayed off. I put it back on for training
Now… It’s mainly a great fitness watch
As I said in the last point, I shifted to primarily using it as a fitness watch last year. Now, it’s fine as a fitness watch. I can still wear it when I run or ride, record my ideas, use Strava and admittedly, respond to texts or even take calls when they come in and my phone is stashed in my bag or pocket. The cons to this include the fact that when the GPS is working separately from the phone, it kills the battery, fast. And the worst was that while it can monitor swimming distance and speed, which is rad, it sticks that info in the native app and there’s no way to export it. So I had to manually enter info into Training Peaks anyway.
It is a great non-workout fitness tracker
I did like that it recorded steps throughout the day, much more accurately than the iPhone’s native app does. That info was really valuable and interesting, since we don’t really track when we do walks or hikes.
It is also a terrible sleep tracker
Because the battery isn’t great and they want you to wear it all day, the idea is that you charge it at night. That’s fine, but it means you can’t really use it as a sleep tracker.
So…Would I buy it again?
Honestly, probably not. But that’s only partially because of its limits. Mostly, it’s because I realized after a few months of wearing it that I don’t always want to be so connected. I mean, how many articles have you read about the importance of disconnecting lately? It’s a cool watch, and I do enjoy having it on certain occasions, like busy on-the-go workdays and for runs and swims. But for everyday life in Collingwood? I don’t need to know the second my mom texts me: I can just check my phone every once in a while. And I find that it’s stressful to have a watch buzz with every notification (even though the only ones I have on are calls and texts) throughout the day. It really throws off your stride when you’re trying to work! Moral of the story: Really nifty in theory, great at times, but for daily use, I’m not a massive fan.
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