I recently tried the Apple Watch Series 3 as my everyday driver for smart wearables and I have to say I was not overly impressed. I would like to say that this is my first impression I will need a few weeks of using it at the gym and wearing it every day to give you my final review.
My first and probably biggest issue with the Apple Watch Series 3 is the design and build quality. While Apple is known for always making a premium product the Apple Watch Series 3 just reminds me of the touchscreen iPod Nano with a wristband. I was not overly impressed with the design or look while there are millions of different bands and cases for the device it just does not have a slick sporty design to me as a consumer.
My other issue with the design is the edge to edge bezels design that Apple has done on every model since the original series one. The design just makes me uncomfortable using it at the gym. Without a case or bezel, the glass just seems to exposed and able to break when hit into something at the gym like an exercise machine or weights.
One thing I really loved about the Apple Watch Series 3 was the LTE the fact that you could exercise and leave your phone behind while still getting streaming music, calls, texts, and notifications is great and really did move the needle for me as a smartwatch. I would like to point out there are Android Wear Watches with LTE as well. I did have one issue with the music streaming you can read about that in my previous article titled Music Apps on the Apple Watch Series 3
The fitness portion of the watch was ok I am not a big fan of Apples 3 ring system move, exercise, and stand. I just think Apple who makes everything simple and just work which is a great thing with tech, not so much when it comes to fitness. I think they just oversimplified the exercise portion of watch I am sure this may change over time.
Another issue with Apple Watch is the sleep monitoring. The truth is the Apple Watch Series 3 needs to be charged every day since you only get one day of battery life out of a charge. For me this means charging it at night which means it’s not monitoring my sleep. If I charge the watch during the day that means the Apple watch is missing steps and activity I am doing which is not good either. If the battery lasted longer you could at least get a few nights a week of sleep monitoring.
The navigation on the watch to me is an issue I am not sure it is for anyone else but that cluster of apps that you have to pick is great, but my big fingers end up hitting the wrong app all the time and I just don’t like it personally.
The waterproof part to me is kind of a joke the fact I have to hit a button to make the phone waterproof for swimming I don’t like personally. Then the fact it locks the phone screen then when I get out of the pool I have to unlock is very stupid to me. Personally, waterproof means the device is waterproof if I fall into a body of water or jump. I just think that having to click a waterproof button is kind of silly and does not protect an almost $400 dollar device from water damage.
When it comes to wanting to do something with the Apple Watch Series 3 the possibilities are endless since Apple has the user base and developer base there is pretty much an app for everything.
I do question how many people read things like Wall Street Journal or New York Times on the watch or are they just reading notifications.
I like how Apple controls the watch faces I know on Samsung some users actually make money selling watch faces I wonder if Apple will ever do that down the road for revenue for themselves and developers.
I found the most useful features of the Apple Watch Series 3 to have on my wrist are Notifications, Siri (this feature I really loved), some apps (Nike Run, ESPN, and Golf were fun), Music Controls (This I loved it saved me pulling my phone out 100 times a day), Apple Pay (found this handy at the mall I did not need pull out my wallet or phone), and Navigation (liked following directions on my wrist made it easy to not take my eyes off the road).
Overall, I think this a solid product that works seamlessly just like most Apple products do when used with other Apple products. I think this a great fitness band/smartwatch for someone just looking to monitor their health or keep track while exercising at the gym.
I think for more hardcore athletes Apples high price for the Apple Watch Series 3 or Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE your money might be better spent on a high-end Garmin that provides more in-depth activity stats while exercising or being active in sports on a daily basis.