I ordered our 38mm Sport edition at 1:10am on April 10th. That’s just after midnight Pacific Time, when pre-orders began. We received it ahead of schedule on May 6th, what a nice surprise! I made this unboxing video as I experienced this game-changing device for the very first time. All of us at the shop took turns trying it on, pairing it with our personal devices, and testing different features for the last two weeks. Here is a brief review and first impressions:
Although I got the smaller of the two sizes, it still felt big on my tiny wrist. Since I don’t normally wear a watch, it did take some getting used to. I think I would prefer the more fitted Milano bracelet band as opposed to the rubbery Sport band, but didn’t want to spend the $150 for it. We had a Goldilocks scenario. For Allan it was too small, and for Steve it was just right. So it all depends on your size and taste. I recommend going to an Apple Store for a fitting before deciding which one to buy.
– Hands-free functionality for tasks like getting directions, listening to music, receiving texts and calls, and utilizing Siri. It is freeing to not have to fumble through your pocket or purse to grab a phone call or check the time. The turn by turn directions on Maps sends you a tiny pulse when a turn is coming up so you know when to pay attention. Receiving a text or phone call is also a subtle vibration so you can be alerted without disturbing others around you.
– Force touch: I enjoyed using the force touch to change watch faces. You can customize your watch face to your personal preferences. I like the animated Motion faces, while Steve preferred Mickey Mouse. It comes on when you raise your wrist, which is a nice way to conserve battery and is kind of magical.
– Camera app: Using the Watch as a remote for taking pictures is extremely beneficial. Just set up your iPhone to take the shot, then tap your watch when you want to take the picture. Easy peasy.
– I like the Activity App for monitoring certain health functions and it is always on you, so it is more accurate than the iPhone health app, which is not necessarily attached to you at all times.
– Digital Crown: Sometimes in a digital world, it’s nice to have a mechanical dial once in a while. This one zooms, scrolls, and is also a button to take you to the home screen. It’s kind of steam-punkish.
In summary, we all agreed that this first version of the Watch is just okay. It tethers to the iPhone for most of its functionality, so it is not a standalone device. The load time is a little slow when scrolling through the Glances. Apple Pay, among other items, must be set up separately inside the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, instead of syncing the data automatically. It’s still a bit large for me to commit to wearing all the time, but for those who like wearing watches, it could be a nice addition to your existing time piece–maybe even a replacement. It still needs to be charged about every day unless you are very conservative with it. We are happy to continue exploring and enjoying the Watch, but are curious to see what future models will be like. There are already a few third-party Watch bands, and we expect that there will be more to come, so I look forward to having more–and hopefully affordable–choices.
We have two workshops scheduled to come try out the Watch, bring your own for show-and-tell, and learn features and tips! Feel free to attend whether you have a Watch already, or are just curious.
Tuesday, May 26th, 3:00pm
Monday, June 22nd, 3:00pm
Sign up here.
– by Amy McKnight