I bought an Apple Watch during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday rush and have loved it every day since. It was one of those things that I always wanted but could never justify the cost of just for the sake of getting text messages on my wrist. “I always have my phone nearby,” I said as I talked myself out of the purchase.
But then when the Series 2 came out, which is totally waterproof with built-in GPS, I asked my friends what they liked about theirs. And that’s when I realized that the Apple Watch is much more of a fitness watch than I ever realized. It has a built-in heart rate monitor, and the activity tracking app is great. I learned that my friends were sharing their activity data with each other, and I could use it to track distance and time on runs and my heart rate and time during workouts. Oh and it showed my texts ; ) Sold!
So here are all the reasons why this was such a great purchase:
- Just like when I wore a Fitbit and a Jawbone, I am moving more. I love the activity goals, and have mine set anywhere from 500-800 calories per day. I love that the Move and Exercise goals are different, so I get Move points for doing things like picking up Mazen’s toys or walking downtown but that’s separate from my workouts. Some days I have walked over 8 miles!
- The GPS for running is awesome. Remember the days of the HUGE Garmin?! I used to have to set it on a windowsill for 20 minutes to get it to connect to satellites. I haven’t worn my Garmin in years. The Apple Watch works fabulously for distance and speed tracking. You can use it without your phone too (but you need your phone on you to receive texts and emails). You can download music to the watch too, but sadly not podcasts. My one complaint!
- The heart rate and workout tracker has been really fun to use during group ex classes, and I love seeing how hard I’m working in the middle of Afterburn.
- I love that it’s waterproof and I don’t have to worry about washing dishes, Mazen pouring bathwater on it, and can wear it in the shower!! I know this sounds like a small reason to get an Apple Watch, but I LOVE that I can read a text or email in the shower or skip to the next song on my playlist! Sometimes you’re waiting for something important to come through and of course your phone dings the second you step in the shower! Not a reason alone to buy the watch, but definitely a perk.
- “Hey Siri” works better on the watch than on my phone. I have switched from Spotify to Apple Music because I can talk to my watch and say “Hey Siri play Down By The Bay by Raffi” and it works perfectly in the bluetooth of my car. Totally hands free. I also use the timer function a lot.
- I love having the time and date on my wrist because I haven’t worn a watch in yeaaarrrrs. Easy one.
- You might think that it’s a bit distracting when out with friends and it dings, but it’s so much easier to be discreet glancing down at a watch than it is pulling your phone out to check and having to log in with your thumb, especially in this cold weather wearing gloves! I can keep my phone tucked away and just read updates on my watch.
- I have the outside temperature on the home screen and I can’t tell you how often I look down to see if I need to add a layer or not. And the weather hourly forecast is one touch away as opposed to 3-4 clicks on a phone. Again, not something one really needs but just super convenient to be able to glance down.
I bought the 38 mm rose gold Series 2 watch along with this marble band from Casetify.
Casetify has SO many cute bands I want them all! I’d also love a leather strappy one to wear on more formal occasions. The marble band I bought from them on Black Friday is very well made.
Apologies to Android users, but you do have to have an iPhone to use the Apple Watch. But I do hear there are some new generation Fitbits and things that do similar things!
Do you have an activity tracker? Love it?
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says
I’ve never considered getting the Apple Watch before now, but those Castify designs are so cute!
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Kelsey @ So Much Life says
The 38 mm is the larger one, right? I got one for my fiance for Christmas (the series 2 as well) and he LOVES it and uses it all the time. He also got the AirPods to go along with it, and those are phenomenal as well!
That’s a bummer to hear about the podcasts, though…I find myself listening to podcast more often than music when I run, so I would definitely want that. Hopefully it’s something Apple could add in the series 3 model.
the 38mm is the smaller – the 42mm is the bigger. I think most women get the smaller one. It’s generously sized on my wrist. I want some AirPods! Glad to hear they have a good review. And remember you can still listen to podcasts if you bring your phone along – you just can’t leave your phone at home.
I am debating getting an Apple Watch for running. Does it tell you your current pace? Does it tell you the time and pace of each mile as you are running?
Yes, you can customize what the running screen shows you too.
Do you find the heart rate monitor to be accurate? I’ve heard conflicting reports, just wondering what your experience has been.
I noticed my YogaUp! instructor controlling the volume of the music in class with her watch yesterday, I thought that was pretty convenient!
Yes actually. I’ve always heard that HRMs really need to be on a chest strap to be accurate and the wrist one seems like it wouldn’t work well, but I have found it to be very reflective of how my heart is beating and have taken my pulse manually a few times. My only complaint about the HRM is that is does sometimes lose signal during a workout, but I’ve found having it tighter on my wrist and higher up on my arm a little helps a lot with that.
Hi,I read your post about being empowered by the recent march, so was I. It was the best afternoon with my little guy snuggled on the couch very emotional and empowering. Do you know APPLE does not pay corporate taxes to our country ? it uses other countries tax laws to evade paying their share over here. You buy second hand clothes which i applaud but do you truly understand the power of your dollar? I am no longer supporting business that do not support us, no LL bean here and my almighty dollar is my first step in starting to use my voice. Knowledge is power
Interesting! Thanks for sharing.
I try my best to buy American, support small businesses, and purchase local foods, but I have to ask myself where all of this begins and ends. When does supporting products or services become so cost prohibitive it hurts us rather than helps us? I would love to buy a smartphone made in the USA, from a company headquartered here, paying their fair share of American taxes. Do you know of any smartphone, heck any cell phone, made in the states? I can’t go without a smartphone (I have no landline or home computer), so I patronize Apple. One of LL Bean’s 50 family members supports a political stance I don’t agree with but they make their famous boots in the USA, employing thousands of people, offering benefits to each of them. See where this becomes an issue? I’m not going to throw my hands up in the air and just patronize whoever, without a care, I am going to stick to my principles as best I can but we’ve got to be reasonable.
Agree with you M
you lost me at down by the bay 🙂 (and now I’m going to be singing that super annoying song all day. Maybe at least switch to Baby Beluga)
In my line of work–i say the word “history” periodically and my phone kept going on. I never understood why–but now I get it. “hey siri” “history”
I wear the garmin vivoactive because I got it on sale when I worked at the gym. I like it, it’s a little glitchy but does about 75% of the things you mentioned. Definitely not as good, but good for the price 🙂
*Thumbs up emoji* : )
Like you, I’ve been convincing myself that I don’t need one because I have my phone, but my boyfriend recently got an Apple watch and it looks so cool!! I really want one now because I’m too attached to my phone, and I think it’s getting a little much for work ;). I think the watch is a great way to be discrete. I await tax return season!!
The thing that convinced me to buy an Apple Watch is that I am a stay-at-home-mom and (especially with a 2-story house) I found myself always running around trying to find where the heck I left my phone. I love that now I don’t need to be chained to my phone all day when I’m around the house and I can still catch important calls and texts as they come in. As a bonus, I find that I actually spend less time physically looking at my phone screen, which is important to me now that I have a toddler always watching what I do! It helps me to be more present in the moment with my daughter when I don’t constantly have my phone in my hand.
Also, I didn’t want to reply to the comment above and get in a big debate (ain’t nobody got time for that, lol!), but there is more than one side to the “Apple is a corporate tax dodger” story. Apple sells tons of their products abroad and is subject to taxes in the countries where those sales are made. The US has a notoriously high corporate tax rate compared to other developed countries and companies can be double-taxed if they repatriate profits. I don’t think there is anything inherently immoral about trying to legally lower your tax burden (we do it as individuals every year by using fancy Turbo Tax software!), though I think that our insanely complex tax code and uncompetitive tax structure do give corporations incentives to do things that can be perceived as shady. Anyway, I’m not claiming to be an expert on this issue and not trying to start a comment war, but just wanted to give another perspective on that because I’m not convinced it is a reason to stop buying Apple products. Here’s an article that explains it better than I can: https://www.cato.org/blog/apple-defends-itself-against-tax-hungry-senators
Also, there is a super interesting episode of the NPR Planet Money podcast (http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510289/planet-money/) called “The No-Brainer Economic Platform” (It’s #387) where the hosts came up with an economic policy platform based on unanimous agreement from economists across the political spectrum. One of the ideas has to do with corporate taxes. It’s a really great listen if you’re interested.
Totally agree with you on being less chained to the phone and less screen time!
And thanks for sharing another perspective on the taxes 🙂
I would love an Apple Watch – BUT I am old -50- and I can’t read anything without my glasses… You have no idea how frustrating it is to get texts when I’m driving or out walking/running with the dog with no glasses… Just you wait!
I have a fitbit – love it. I can sync through my phone and with the resolution set at max I can see my stats…
My mom can relate to that 😉 I can see how that would be so frustrating!
Taste of France says
When it came out I thought, NO. I am anti-gadget. I had a 10-year-old Nokia until a few months ago. But I got a FitBit and LOVE it. And it sounds as if the Apple watch has some of the features I wish my FitBit had. I want a timer for running intervals (10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, on repeat). A GPS might be good because I sometimes run in the woods or in vineyards and lose sight of landmarks. And it’s absolutely essential that it be waterproof. Thanks for this. You opened my eyes.
I recently upgraded to an Apple Watch after Pebble sold to Fitbit. My husband and I have both been avid Pebble supporters for years, even though we also love Apple. I love love love my Apple Watch! The only downside I find is the short battery life. But the functionality and design more than make up for that flaw. I got the series 1 because I don’t care much about GPS and it being waterproof, but my husband is a runner and has the series 2. It’s a definite keeper here!
Mary Noonan says
Oh no – you had me until the last comment about the size of the images. Same problem here – over 60 eyes need an “adapter’ screen so that we can run/read without glasses stuck on top of our heads. LOL
On a serious note; have any of you actually tried it swimming?
I haven’t swam actual laps yet, but I have worn it in a pool.
There are settings that allow you to enlarge messages, similar to those on the iPhone.
Is there are setting to track a workout class? I do a HIIT style workout and I want to be able to track calories burned and my heart rate levels throughout my workout.
Yup!!! That’s what I use at the gym!
Sam @ G & G Nutrition says
Hi Kath- thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Apple Watch. My boyfriend offered to get me one for Christmas but I couldn’t justify the price with how much I thought I would (not) use it. But like you pointed out, I’ve stopped using my Garmin for simple runs and workouts, and I now find myself reaching for my phone to track these. I’m glad you’ve found the athletic functions worthwhile.
I just use my iphone to track my steps 🙂 I don’t care how far I go when I run, so I don’t really need a fitness tracker for that. Is it hard to respond to texts with the apple watch? It seems like it would be!
It’s very easy to respond with quick things like “Sounds great!” Or “On the way!” (they even have pre-written responses for common answers) but it’s not that easy to write a longer text
Marci Gilbert says
I’ve had one for over a year and your calorie burn is wayyy more than mine! It’s a fun athletic toy. The first version is not waterproof so yours with that feature is nice! I wear mine everyday.
Thanks for the great review. I think you’ve convinced me to get an Apple Watch as my gift to myself for my birthday. No podcasts is a minus… Are your podcasts available on Spotify?
You can listen to podcasts through your phone and use the watch to control them. You just can’t download them to your watch and leave your phone at home while you run (like you can music at this point!). So Spotify wouldn’t solve the problem. Apple making a podcasts app for the watch would!
Hey – love my apple watch also! Obsessed with hitting the full wheels! We should follow each other 🙂
There’s a workaround for the watch to download podcasts – a few steps but worth it if you like podcasts! http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/04/28/how-to-sync-podcasts-apple-watch/
Thanks! Will check it out!
I’ve been so curious about Apple watches forever. Some people love them, a lot of people I knew were returning them I think I’m really going to have to look into them after seeing this post though! Thanks!!
Sam @ Hygge Wellness says
I’m so glad that you love it! I bought one, used it a lot at first, then stopped using it & sold it. For one, I like to wear regular watches, so it bothered me that unlike my old Fitbit or something, I couldn’t wear a watch anymore. Also, I felt really distracted and disconnected all the time because it was always flashing, buzzing, etc. I guess I’ve just been trying to being more mindful & present, and I felt like this made it really hard. (I’m an old lady at heart! lol) And I just found myself turning all the notifications off so I didn’t have to feel it buzz anymore, which rendered it a very expensive tracker. That was just me & my experience.. I can definitely see why others would like it & I totally get that it looks sleek.
Does it track your sleep like a fitbit does?
Not that I know of but there might be an app that does
Allison Thompson says
I actually wear a Fitbit Alta to help me track how much activity I’m doing each day. What I love about it is that it is so slim and now I can buy various different wristbands to wear with it.
Like the Apple Watch, all Fitbit activity trackers are compatible with iPhones, you just need to download the app and you’re ready to go. Mine doesn’t have a heart rate monitor on it, but that’s not really an issue for me. What I do love about it is that it helps me to track my sleep patterns. Plus we also invested in Fitbit’s Aria Scales. This helps me to keep track of my weight without any problem.
Of course, regular exercise is important, but so is eating a healthy diet. I’ve chosen to follow a Paleo diet as I’ve found it to be the most effective in helping me especially as I go through the menopause.
can you customize all your goals like for steps?