Photo Courtesy of Forbes.com
If you have read any of my articles in the past, you know by now that I am addicted to gadgets. I want them as soon as they are available. However, when it came to the Apple Watch I was not as enthusiastic as I had been about other products.
That all changed when Justin McClung came into my office and showed me his. It was much more complete than I expected, from the function to features. More on that later.
I have had a Pebble smart watch for over a year. It is a fine device. Price was right (Under $100), it is water resistant and has a seven-day battery. However, the face is a bit large (I have small wrists so it really feels big) and it is not real fancy looking. Black on black with a digital screen. Since they came out with the Pebble, they now have the version 2 with color, which will be available soon and is also available in steel.
While the Pebble has a complete app store and lots of additional features, it came down to using the watch for alerts. The most valuable of these alerts are:
- Phone ringing (Watch vibrating) - Many times I could not feel the phone vibrating in my pocket.
- Caller ID
- Texts (Shows both notifications and what the text was).
- Email. However, the low resolution was hard to read many times.
My Apple Watch came a couple of weeks ago and due to being so busy, I didn’t spend much time up front to figure out how to use it. Unboxing the watch was the typical enjoyable experience that all Apple products have. The watch has a great design and is very simple. While I had seen the watch that Justin had, I didn’t have much chance to really get the full experience. I first noticed how light and thin the watch was. It is also well finished and has a classy look.
Pairing the watch was simple and it took a matter of minutes to get it set up. The first couple of days I didn’t really use it for much. My alerts were not set up right and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I did spend some time with my son, Caden, who really, really wants one (No, I am not spending $350 for a 12 year old to have a watch, yet he now owns a preowned Pebble) and he showed me the cool stuff. One of the best features is you can take calls on it. Now let me be clear, you have to have the phone within Bluetooth range and I use this feature mostly in the car. While driving, my phone is in my pocket. I can see and hear my watch ring, answer from the touch screen and talk and hear from the watch. If I take my phone out, it automatically transfers the call to the phone. Really cool. If I had Bluetooth in my car, this wouldn’t be all that important.
The display is amazing on the Apple Watch. Easy to see, even in direct sunlight and the touch is great. I thought the small screen would be a problem, but it isn’t, especially with turn dial on the side and a single button.
One thing that shocked me was the amount of choices in selecting the watch. Prices range from $350 to more than $10,000 for the gold version. I purchased the sport watch with black band and finish for $350. I don’t normally buy optional warranties, however, the Apple Care for $50 seemed like a good deal, so I spent a total of $400. I did buy the small screen size (Reference the small wrists above) and thought that might be a mistake, but I am happy with it.
I will post an update once I have had more time with my Apple Watch. Right now the only thing I wished it would do is show weather radar. It has a weather app, just no radar!