Reviews

The Apple Watch- everything I hoped for and less. by Isabelle Ringnes

I remember it vividly. A cold morning, April 10th at 9 AM in Oslo. I was in fight mode, clutching my iPhone, staring frantically at my Mac screen beaming the apple.com homepage "We are making updates to our site. Please check back soon". My sister, living in New York, was staring at the same message ( to her agony as it was 3 AM her time and she had promised me that she would order the watch from there in case Norwegian networks failed me. I have a good sister).

 A slightly frantic sister.  

A slightly frantic sister.  

Not surprisingly, the site crashed. A quick meltdown and 35 iMessages to my sister later, I took to Twitter for advice. My friend in San Fransisco saved me in the most obvious way. I blame my panic for the obvious (and embarrassing) fail. @isabelleringnes : use the Apple Store app. I can't believe you didn't do a test-run of today.

3 minutes later I found myself in a celebratory dance to the ding of Apple's order confirmation email.

8 minutes of frustration pushed me 4 weeks back on the waitlist, but I was still going to be one of the very first million Apple Watch owners. I could feel the nerd-adrenaline all the way to my spine.

6 weeks of feeling like a child waiting for Santa to slide down the chimney passed. The watch was on my wrist.


I have now been wearing the Apple Watch every day since that glorious day, May 28th. Two months. Despite gloomy reviews and rumors about luke-warm early adopters, slow sales and "too little, too late" my opinion of it is biased, but satisfied. Every time I meet someone with the watch, a silent understanding occurs. "You were one of the crazy ones too". 

The good

  • It does what it promised
    • All the features Apple promised are present. Apps, activity, notifications, images, messages, phone calls, payment. Check. 
  • I can text and talk on the go
    • It's surprisingly satisfying to deal with those sweet pings instantly. I can sense the curious looks when I am talking to my hand. 
  • Apple Pay is beyond amazing
    • I can not understand how anyone in the US would choose to not use Apple Pay. Many do not even know it exists. It is the smartest, easiest, safest and most convenient payment today (in my opinion).
  • I am constantly "in the know".
    • Dring. A notification on my wrist tells me its time for a meeting. someone re-tweeted me. My mom is messaging me. It's nice to not check my phone as often, especially in social settings. But I still use my phone more than what I would like to admit. However, looking at a phone is still more socially acceptable than playing with a watch ("don't you have time for me?")
  • What gets measured, gets managed.
    • No more excuses. If I haven't moved enough, it tells me repeatedly. So much so, that I might even do something about it. Like take the stairs instead of the elevator. 
  • It looks sexy.
    • I absolutely love the design. It makes me feel cool. I wear it with dresses and sports clothes. 
  • I love the haptic feedback. 
    • The tiny vibration that occurs with a slightly different vibration for each notification is addicting. Everything about it is thrilling. Weird, but true.

The bad: 

  • It is annoying. 
    • I do not want to be constantly reminded every time I am focusing that I need to stand up. Leave me alone.
  • It is sloow.
    • Every time I check the weather it still shows me the weather in a location I was at one week ago. Like now, I know it is sunny in New York. But I am in France. 
  • I don't really use it. 
    • Sure, I wear it all the time. I dismiss notifications. I check the time. I quickly respond "yes" to messages. Maybe I track my activity. But I have never checked any real apps on it, it is too slow and the screen size is too small for that. I save those goodies for the big screen. 
  • Siri is getting on my nerves.
    • She understands what I say about 80% of the time. And because the only way to text is through voice, the language barrier gets frustrating quickly. 
  • No one else has it. 
    • I was looking forward to sending my heartbeat and special smileys to my Apple watch buddies. But no one I know has one, so I have to keep my heartbeat for myself. Poor me. 
  • All the cables! 
    • I am actually pleasantly surprised by the length of the battery time. And the speed at which it recharges. But still, I am now carrying two chargers in my bag. Cables everywhere. Can we invent infinite battery time soon?
  • It has so much potential. 
    • But it is not living up to it yet. Upon questions of how I use it, I find myself sometimes white-lying about all the use cases. Yes, I know they are all possible. But the software is not fast enough for them to actually beat the convenience and speed of my iPhone.

Should you buy one now? No. Unless you are an early adopter, gadget-geek or an unparalleled Apple fan, it's not for you. The average consumer is less patient and tolerant, and this device requires exactly that. 

Will everyone have one some day? Maybe. It is still too early to say. Perhaps when Apple Pay is rolled out and accepted worldwide the benefits are more obvious. It has a lot of potential, but that's about it. 

Will I keep using it? Yes. I am not giving up. A software release is right around the corner, and being a biased fan, I am confident it is going to be legendary ;)