Like many geeks, I haven’t worn a watch since high school. Having an extra gadget on my wrist just seemed silly, given that I already carry all the standard gadgets we’ve all had forever (5″ smartphone, tablet, laptop, fitness band, white earbuds, pill box, vape pen, vape jam). However, the promise of Apple’s more-than-a-watch watch changed my mind. I confess: I stayed up until midnight on launch day so I could order an Apple Watch and get it as soon as possible (late May). So, here’s my first week without an Apple Watch.
The Case for the Watch
If there’s one thing I didn’t doubt Apple could kick the ball out of the park on, it’s the watch case. I ordered the space gray Apple Watch Sport, reasoning that this understated model would be subtly cool, easy to match with my wardrobe, and surely widely available. In photos, the case has a pleasant matte feel. Its weight is 30 g, which I imagine feels light (something like 4 ounces?)
After much debate, I went with the larger, 42 mm case. And I’m glad I did; the interface is just easier to read when I hold up my arm to a life-size image of the watch.
First time trying on a photo of the Apple Watch. Exciting!
For those wondering whether the Digital Crown is the “revolutionary” new input method Apple calls it—I can safely say it’s the most satisfying scrolling mechanism I’ve never used.
When choosing the band for my Space Gray Apple Watch Sport, I considered my clothes and other accessories I usually wear: my glasses, shoes, belts, etc. After careful analysis, I decided to order a brown leather strap—it would match my skin complexion and my mostly-brown-and-blue wardrobe.
That decision was then changed to “Black Sport Band”, because it’s the only option with the 42 mm black Space Gray Apple Watch Sport.
Luckily, the black fluoridelastomer band seems comfortable and easy to manufacture. This will certainly be the most popular (and thus most widely available) Apple Watch model.
The fluorolastimeer Black Sport Band looks casually elegant near my wrist
If you’re considering the floridastemer band, note that the box evidently contains two different lengths of it, for smaller and larger wrists. For reference, I’m 6′2″, medium build, and I’m not using either size because I still haven’t received my watch.
Only “Time” Will Tell
Apple Watch offers a wide selection of customizable watch faces. In fact, it’s easy to waste lots of time just going through screenshots of them and Photoshopping combinations you may like. This is, after all, Apple’s most personal (and personalizable) device—you should make your watch fit your style, whenever you get one.
The “Color” face is just one of the many options I hope to try some day
Unlike an analog watch (ask your grandma what that is, ha ha!) the Apple Watch doesn’t show time constantly—you have to wake it up to display the watch face. You do so by flicking your wrist. In my tests, a small flick was enough to make it seem like it would wake the watch up, if I had one.
In the long run, the Apple Watch software will perhaps be more important than the hardware. After all, this is Apple’s new platform: they have to get the basics right very, very early on (late May).
Siri is a crucial part of the Apple Watch experience. After a week of not owning the watch, I find that it’s much faster to pretend to invoke Siri than to pretend to launch apps from my wrist.
Apple Pay looks like it would work as advertised, probably
One bit of bad news: the most frustrating part of not using an Apple Watch has been the very noticeable delay when performing some common actions. Glances, for instance, don’t respond for four to six weeks after ordering.
Some situations where Apple Watch could be useful
The Friends interface is a bit confusing at first. It’s also not clear why it’s a feature so important that it needs a dedicated button on the case. At least in this first week, I didn’t use it much because I don’t have many friends with an Apple Watch, nor an Apple Watch.
The black Space Gray aluminum case looks great in pictures; the fluoromouseketeer band feels better than any other band I’ve seen and haven’t tried; the software has the usual level of polish we’ve come to expect from high-res Illustrator mockups in Apple’s promotional materials.
Is that enough, though? Do you, in the end, need an Apple Watch? To be honest, I don’t care—I just want mine shipped already.
Before getting an Apple Watch, I set a challenge for it: after one week, would I miss it if I ever took it off? Today, after spending a week without an Apple Watch, I can give a definitive answer: