I first joined the Apple universe around late 2011 with the iPhone 4, coming from a Nokia Lumia. I still own that iPhone 4 (although it sits unused), and when comparing it to my current iPhone 6, the changes are phenomenal. Whether I plan to upgrade to the iPhone X is another story. However we aren’t here to talk about the iPhone, we’re going to discuss the Apple Watch.
The original Apple Watch was released back in April 2015, with the Apple Watch Series 2 in September 2016 & the Series 3 recently released in September 2017. Originally, I stuck to an original Pebble Watch which I got for Christmas around 4 years ago. This was my very first ever smart watch.
I was never too interested in getting an Apple Watch at all. However seeing the latest Apple Key Note in September 2017 by Tim Cook made me change my mind.
About my Apple Watch
I ordered the Apple Watch Series 3 (Space grey aluminium with a grey sports band) for £329. The RRP in the UK isn’t as great as it is in the USA, however it’s not worth complaining over. I personally chose to not go with LTE edition as it just wasn’t something I really needed and it isn’t currently available with my provider.
Besides, I can still make and receive calls with the watch without LTE as long as I have my iPhone in my pocket. If you’ve never owned an Apple Watch, it has a microphone & speaker built in so that you can listen as well as talk hands free with the Watch alone.
Right now, I can’t really justify spending £150 on one of the leather straps, even with how great they look. For a temporary solution, I purchased a cheaper third party leather strap off Amazon for £15, and honestly so far I’m impressed. I still wear the Sports band, however the leather band goes great when heading out with friends.
Setting up the Apple Watch 3
The process was painstakingly simple. I simply opened my phone camera and pointed it at the what seems to be a QR screen on my Apple Watch. All of the apps on my iPhone that had Apple Watch compatibility where instantly installed and transferred over, which included very useful apps such as Online Banking, My Fitness Pal, LastPass & LIFX.
Honestly right now, I’m not sure how the Watch is actually connecting. Bluetooth functionality is switched off on my iPhone, however it still works perfectly. I will have to conduct some research of my own!
Breaking down the Apple Watch 3
The Apple Watch 3 is insanely fast. When you select an application to open, it’s pretty much ready to use instantly. However boot up times do take a while. This is the time it takes to reach the home screen of the watch after turning it on. I timed this process, and from holding down the button to reaching my clock face took 1 minute and 6 seconds. This isn’t too much of a downside and is expected with such a small but powerful device.
When we look at the Battery Life of the Apple Watch 3, it’s actually quite impressive. From a full 100% charge, I will usually see at least 24 hours of usage. However if I’ve not been using a lot of features and resources on the Watch such as applications & music I can expect to double that. Since owning my Apple Watch 3, the battery hasn’t actually been fully depleted yet. Although it has entered ‘Power Reserve’ mode which sees the watch enter a mode where only the time is visible & all other features are disabled to preserve power.
Honestly, I don’t get a lot of use out of Siri right now. However it’s still a very useful feature to have. When you receive a new Apple Watch 3, Siri will respond to your questions, however there is no sound. You will need to place your Apple Watch on charge for a short while in order for the voice to be downloaded from your mobile device.
Thankfully, Apple Watch straps are easy to switch out when you feel like it, so the physical side of customisation is great. However, as expected from an Apple device, you’re pretty locked down software wise unfortunately. Third party watch faces are not a thing at the moment, and you’re restricted to using the ones Apple provide which each have a small amount of customisation. It’s a big letdown, as Android watches have some pretty great watch faces developed by the community. A feature which some people may not have noticed is that you are able to switch your Application view from ‘Grid’ to ‘List’ by using Force touch when in the menu.
Now this is by far the best thing about the Apple Watch 3 that I’ve found. All of the fitness features and the ‘rings’. Each day, your 3 rings will reset, with each ring representing your movement calories, standing hours and minutes of exercise. You also receive achievements for reaching your goals each day, as your aim is to just close the rings. Provided on the Watch are a lot of integrated workout routines. These help you reach your goals and provide you accurate information such as calories burnt, distance run etc and they all sync over to your phone. Along with the heart rate monitor, it truly makes the Apple Watch 3 such an amazing piece of tech.
My opinion on the Best Apple Watch 3 Features
After owning my first Apple Watch for quite a while now, I’ve come up with a few of my favourite features.
- Apple Pay: When Apple Pay first came to the iPhone, it saved so much time and effort with having to no longer pull out my card. With the Apple Watch, I don’t even have to pull out my phone. I can simply double tap the side button and hold my watch to the scanner. Although the first time I attempted to use Apple Pay, it was a bit confusing. The screen of the watch will have to face & practically touch the scanner.
- Find my iPhone: By pulling up from the bottom of the watch and opening the control centre, you’re presented with multiple buttons. One will trigger the ‘Find my iPhone’ feature, playing a loud chime on your phone so you can locate it. Much easier than signing into iCloud online and going through the more lengthy process.
- Phone Calling: Obviously phone calling was going to be on my list. Since owning the Apple Watch and having it on my wrist, I haven’t picked up my phone again to answer a call (unless I’m in a public or private place). The sound quality through the watch is excellent. Nobody has yet complained or noticed that I was talking back to them through Nmy watch, even whilst outdoors.
Some 3rd Party Applications for the Apple Watch 3
Whilst the default applications that come pre-installed on the watch are excellent, there is a whole lot more available on the App Store. Below, I’ve listed a few applications that I’ve personally installed myself. I believe these extra apps have massively improved the functionality of my Apple Watch 3.
- MyFitnessPal: Throughout the day I keep track of everything I eat using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. That way I know how many nutrients I’ve had and what I need to be eating more of. With the MyFitnessPal application on the Apple Watch, all of my important information is carried over.
- LastPass: There is a LastPass application available on the Apple Watch. The LastPass app will allow you to carry all of your passwords and secure notes on your wrist. You can protect them by choosing a pin code that will need to be inputted on your watch.
- Pillow: Pillow is a sleep tracker that runs on both your watch and mobile whilst you sleep. Upon waking up in the morning, you can get a lot of useful information such as how long you slept for, how long it took you to fall asleep and percentages of REM, Deep sleep etc.
3rd Party Accessories for the Apple Watch 3
So far, I’ve only purchased two accessories for my watch. However I do plan on getting some more very soon.
I purchased a stand/dock from Amazon by a company named Hapurs that holds both my Apple Watch & Apple iPhone together. It’s a great looking dock as it’s made of Bamboo wood and it tucks all the wires away neatly. The dock was incredibly cheap and I’m honestly surprised at how high quality it is. As well as the Bamboo version, they also offer a dock with an Alloy base.
Jisoncase Leather Strap
As previously mentioned, I chose to buy an unofficial Brown Leather Strap from Amazon created by a company named Jisoncase. The strap cost £16, which is very cheap versus the Brown Leather Strap from Apple which would cost me £150. It’s a great quality strap and I like it a lot. Although I usually stick to my Sports band throughout the day and wear the Leather strap to more formal occasions. Switching out Apple Watch straps is a very easy task thankfully.