Apple Watch Series 3 first impressions!

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After wearing the watch for 48 hours (not continuously, but I do wear it while I sleep, more on that later) I must say, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

It seems that the more I wear it, the more beautiful it looks. I never realised how beautiful the watch is. From the overall design, build quality and meticulous design, the watch is one sleek device. It is a smartwatch but doesn’t scream smart, geeky watch. It really blends well with my wrist, making it look just like any other watch, albeit squarish than most watches out there. I am very impressed by the level of care in designing a smartwatch, especially the implementation of the watch crown. The crown inevitably retains the design philosophy of all watches out there, old and new. By using the crown to anchor the design ethos of what a watch should look and feel, it does not alienate new smartwatch users. It is completely understandable that one can feel intimidated or frustrated when it comes to getting used to using a new tech device. But the Apple Watch successfully managed to overcome the barrier by implementing certain familiar aspects of watchmaking.

After wearing the watch for a couple of days. I am now obsessed with recording everything my watch was able to record. From my sleep quality (hence the need to wear the watch while I sleep) to my heart rate while I am at rest, or when I am out for a run, even the distance travelled, steps taken and the number of calories I have spent doing all those activities. I am now obsessed. I feel sad when I have to remove the watch from my wrist to recharge or when I need to shower. And I realised that the new Apple Watch has fantastic battery life. Now, notifications are awesome on the Apple Watch, but I realised that I am not the kind who would meddle too much on my watch be it replying to a text, or reading news headlines through the small screen on my Apple Watch. It’s nice to do all that on your wrist, but I am not sold on the idea that it is a direct replacement for my phone when it comes to doing routine activities like reading emails, replying to texts and reading news. In essence, I don’t check my notifications that often on my watch. I just let the watch what it does best; tell the time, and record my heart rate and activity during the day (walking, running, sleeping) Thus, for my typical use, the battery can go a long way. On my first day of use, I started my day at 7.30am and did not recharge the watch till 9pm. The battery charge dropped from 100% to 85%. A merely 15%. And it does all the tracking (heart, activity etc) all day long. That is amazing! This is the reason why getting the Series 3 was a good call. The battery life of the watch has improved tremendously.

Regarding notifications, I realised one really smart feature that I realised wasn’t there. It was only when I started using it and experiencing it personally did I finally understand the beauty of notifications on Apple devices. Pushing notifications to my watch and actually receiving them depends on whether it detects the watch is on your wrist or not. If it is being charged, notifications go back to the phone by default. This is a pretty neat feature as you won’t missed a notification just because you were charging the watch somewhere else.

When the watch does get pinged with notification, the Haptic Engine in the watch will vibrate, which is pleasant, not too strong or weak. Notifications pushed to the watch will not get pinged on the phone, which I find it to be another neat little feature. I was concerned that I might get double pinged, on both the watch and phone, which can be annoying. But that wasn’t the case. Somehow the watch and phone know where is best to ping the notifications depending on the usage condition. It even knows to ping the notifications to the phone instead of the watch if I happen to be using the phone and actually looking and interacting with it, keeping the watch silent. It might seem a small feature, but this smart allocation of pinging notifications to the right devices blew me out of the water.

Previously I mentioned that while it is nice to get notifications on the watch, I recently realised a new found appreciation for those notifications to reach the watch instead of the phone.

As a research officer who spends a considerable amount of time in the lab with gloves and lab coats, sometimes while doing experiments, it is not practical to fish out your phone in your jeans pocket underneath your labcoat while wearing your dirty gloves. With the notifications now pushed to the watch, I am now able to read them and if it is deemed important to respond using the phone, then I will fish it out of my pocket. I am not able to determine if the notifications are worth the effort to pull out my phone. Notifications on your watch have found a new purpose for me.

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I bought the Nike watch edition that comes with the rubber straps with lots of holes. I find the strap pretty comfortable with great breathability because of the holes. This is particularly important while I am working out. All the sweat and grime can be cleaned easily with a clean cloth.

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I bought a second strap that I would swap out when I am not working out. The Apple Sports Loop is a nylon strap that is amazingly light and soft to the touch. The strap is my daily driver, wearing it to work. It’s simple looking and extremely comfortable with a little stretch to it. Wearing comfortable straps just like the Sports Loop is important if you plan to wear the watch for the entire day, and the strap serves its duties well.

I look forward to wearing my Apple Watch diligently for years to come. At the same time, I am quite sad that it has replaced my Tissot Visodate automatic watch that I have been wearing for the past few years. To see it being replaced kinda saddens me somewhat because I have a personal attachment to that beautiful mechanical watch. (with a sapphire glass backing!) I am definitely not selling that watch, but to see it being delegated to some drawer in my room, pains me somewhat. To me, there is still some appeal to wearing a fine Swiss-made mechanical watch, handcrafted and assembled and being able to tell the time by purely mechanical means.

 

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