Welcome to my first tech review post.
In this edition, I’ll be reviewing a product I’ve been wearing for nearly a year – the 42mm Apple Watch Sport (first generation gold aluminium watch face with midnight blue sports band).
I purchased the watch in mid-March 2016, and I’ve found it to be a fantastic device, as well as being an ‘extension’ to my current iPhone 6.
The main benefits of the watch for me are:-
01) Notifications – I am no longer reaching for my phone every time it dings, or checking for notifications.
Due to the taptic feedback of the watch, if for example I receive a work email or notification from whichever social network, one glance at the watch I can decide there and then if I need to reach for the phone, or ignore whatever has come through, and check later in the day.
02) Phone Calls & Messages – Being able to answer phone calls and respond to SMS / social media messages on my watch is a fantastic feature.
Phone call quality can be a little fuzzy at times, but future hardware updates to the watch will improve this.
In regards to responding to messages, I make full use of the scribble and / or voice dictation depending on where I am, and what I’m doing (work meeting for example).
03) Apple Pay – I changed banks from NAB to ANZ a few months back, and opened an American Express credit card account, due to both companies offering Apple Pay support for customers in Australia.
I’m not going into full detail here about Apple Pay as a product – however, being able to pay for groceries or coffee for example and not have to reach for my phone or wallet is a fantastic example of how convenient the Apple Watch is . . . . . and I love seeing the reactions of people seeing that I can pay for items with my watch.
Just to clarify – to pay for items on the watch, simply double tap the power button, select which card you wish to use for payment, hold the watch face to the EFTPOS / payment terminal, wait for the taptic feedback / ping, and there you go – you’ll see a ‘done’ and a tick to confirm that the payment has been accepted.
04) Exercise / Fitness – As someone who is into keeping fit & healthy, I can easily track my stats in terms of how long I am moving for, how far I am towards reaching my daily kilojoules goal (currently set at 2,500 kj per day), thanks to the activity rings.
As a runner, I make regular use of the ‘Workout’ app – I can track how fast I am going per km; the distance I have run, as well as the time it has taken me to complete the run; I can also check the stats against previous runs as well.
05) Travel – As I check-in online for domestic flights within Australia (with boarding pass stored in the iPhones Wallet, and mirrored to the Apple Watch), I board my flights using the boarding pass on my watch, which speeds up the process of scanning at the pre-boarding gate (with a coffee in the other hand).
Similar to using Apple Pay with my watch, the flight crews are generally surprised and stunned (in a good way) to see a boarding pass on a watch.
I also use the Brisbane Airport Apple Watch application to track the flights I am on – the application notifies me of which gate I need to go to, if there are delays to flights, etc.
It’ll be interesting to see how Apple continues to develop the Apple Watch brand, and to see how it becomes its own separate device, as well as complimenting the iPhone at the same time.
At this stage, I’ve no plans to upgrade to the ‘Series Two’ Apple Watch range – the GPS features as well as the Nike range look great, but apart from that, there are no other features which stand out and make me want to go and spend on an upgrade.
That wraps up the review – I hope you enjoyed reading.
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Till next time,
PS: Apologies for the less than professional photos – I am very much a ‘amateur at best’ photographer.