Why I Chose the Apple Watch
I know the Apple Watch has been around for over 5 years, and I've had one for almost 4, but I thought I'd share my reasons for still wearing it and why I like it.
Ever since high school, I've always been partial to wearing a watch. Even with the advent of the cell phone and smartphone, I've continued to wear a watch. In 2017, I purchased an Apple Watch Series 2 and have been happy with the purchase and the switch.
I jumped on the fitness tracker with the original Fitbit Flex back in 2013. It tracked my steps and my sleep, but didn't have a clock on it...just a few dots to indicate progress. Because of this, I ended up with 2 devices on my wrist: the Fitbit and my watch. It wasn't super ideal, but it served its purpose.
I had looked at the Apple Watch when Apple first released it, but found it a little lackluster for its price. The second generation Series 2 caused me to rethink things. The biggest addition for me was the built in GPS. The original Apple Watch could track runs and whatnot by GPS as well, but it required being tied to an iPhone. The series 2 allows you to track them independent of the iPhone. So if I don't want to bring my iPhone with me, I don't have to and I'll still know how far I ran. I run a lot, so the ability to track my runs was incredibly important to me. I ended up pulling the trigger in January 2017 and entered the smart watch era.
In 2020, while fixing my dishwasher with my Dad, I ended up cracking the screen on my Series 2 and ended up upgrading to the Series 5 which is what I'm currently using today.
What I Really Like
Basic Info At a Glance
My watch face consists of some of the info I like to be able see at a glance. I can quickly view the weather, any events coming up, my fitness stats for the day, as well as easy access to starting a workout and my todo list. I can also easily customize this if I want to bring something else to the forefront. The weather & rain are particularly useful to me right now since I'm currently on a run streak. On rainy days, it's nice to be able to see quickly when I might be able to squeeze a run in.
I've always been a big fan of tracking my fitness. For me it helps motivate me to keep trying to improve. Running is the big thing I've always liked seeing data for. When I first started running with any kind of seriousness, I used the popular app Runkeeper on my phone. I moved to Garmin when I got my Garmin GPS watch and also used Strava both with Garmin and with my Apple Watch. After Strava got into some privacy trouble, I decided to really try Apple's built-in tracking. It was perfect for me and I ended up deleting my Strava account and sticking Apple's app. The app works really well. It keeps track of my pace, distance, heart rate, gives me my mile splits, and keeps the activities private. There's no easy way to share activities, but that's fine by me...I don't think anyone needs to see all that data anyway.
Assuming you're careful with what notifications you want to see, being able to get them on your watch can be handy. I can have my phone in my pocket or somewhere around the house and still be able to check to see who messaged me or what task I'm being reminded to do.
I use Spotify as my streaming music service, but I do have music stored on my iPhone from iTunes. The Apple Watch allows me to transfer some of those songs over to my watch which is nice for runs when I don't want to carry my phone. I can connect my Bluetooth earbuds to my watch and off I go.
Changing Watch Bands
Okay, this one isn't that big of a deal, but it's nice that I can change my watch bands easily enough. People make jokes (rightfully so) about how expensive some of Apple's bands can be, but the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of third parties who make some solid bands to fit anyone's style. I tend to stick with the rubber bands since I use my watch for working out and it handles the sweat well, but it's nice to be able to switch up the colors to fit my mood.
There are some cons to the Apple Watch to be aware of.
The battery on both my Series 2 and Series 5 have both been good. I can easily get through a day without having to worry about running out of juice. And since I don't wear my watch to bed, it's easy enough to charge it while I sleep. It does mean that whenever I go on any trips, it's one extra charger I need to bring. And since the charger it uses is a variation of the wireless charging standard, you can't even use a normal charging pad. (Apple really should make the switch) This also means it's not a good option if you need to go several days without ready access to power (think backpacking trip).
Expensive Screen Repair
The reason I upgraded to the Series 5 was cost-related. $250 to repair a cracked screen on a 3 year old watch when the latest model cost $400 didn't seem like a good investment. The Series 2 was still running well, and having to see it go to waste over a screen crack was disappointing, especially from an environmental perspective. (I did give it to Apple for their recycling program)
Easy to Remain "Too Connected"
One of the things I've tried to keep tabs on is my screen time. All too often it's easy to become distracted by my iPhone. The Apple Watch can amplify that if you let it. I attacked this problem by severely limiting what notifications I receive on my watch. Right now I think the only notifications I let go through to my watch are phone calls, iMessage messages, todo reminders & calendar notifications. Limiting what the watch buzzes about helps tremendously.
Smart watches aren't for everyone and they definitely aren't always the most stylish of watches. For me though, I am glad to have it as it does exactly what I want it to.