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IMG_0955 I’ve had my Apple Watch for about a week and a half now and I think that I’ve now given it ample time to give an honest opinion of it. My opinion is basically, “I love it, but….”

Sadly, it’s not as wonderful as I had hoped it would be. My problem is that I already had owned a smartwatch (the Pebble) before I received this one and so, as limited as it was in comparison, I keep comparing the two and wishing that some of the features of the Apple Watch were more like the Pebble.

The first thing that I noticed was the timing of the notifications. I tried using the “activate on raise” feature as well as the manual and neither one works very smoothly. Manual is fine for the notifications, but you have to hit the button just to see the time, too, which is something I found rather annoying. If you use the activate on raise feature, then you have to build in a pause and some grand gesture to actually get the notification to display. Seriously, if you quickly raise your wrist as soon as you feel/hear the notification, you won’t see anything. But if you pause for half a second and then do an over the top “I’m raising my wrist to see my notification on my awesome new Apple Watch, everyone!” sort of gesture, then it will display just fine…for a limited amount of time. You have to do this grandiose gesture just to get the time to display, too.

If you’re in a conversation with someone and don’t look within the small window of time for a notification, you miss it completely. I got very used to the Pebble holding the notification on my watch for a two minutes or so, which meant I could wrap up what I was doing before glancing to see what it was. The Apple Watch demands your full attention (complete with the Apple Watch salute) in order to read your notification. Yes, you can go back through the ones you missed, but I think the extra steps ruins the convenience factor behind the watch.

IMG_0950 After a little bit of time, I noticed the second problem of my Apple Watch: the wrist band. Yes, I hoped for the Apple Watch Sport, which seems to have disagreed with my skin. While my skin is sensitive, it’s not very often that I encounter a watch band or bracelet that actually breaks me out, but the sport band, sadly, does just that. I’ve already ordered a third-party band to replace it.

Being able to control apps with your watch is pretty neat, though. The way the apps sync up to your phone isn’t the same for every app, though. Most of the apps require you to open the app on your phone BEFORE it will allow you to run it through the watch at all. While this does make sense, it means that, unless you allow all these apps to run in the background continuously, you lose some of the convenience that the watch provides. Pandora, however, is an exception. You can turn Pandora on from your phone without being forced to first open it from the phone.

When it comes to your activity trackers, it seems somewhat buggy to me at this time. I loved the idea of an activity tracker to help remind me to keep moving and get some calories burned and even to remind me to stand up periodically (especially helpful when you have a desk job). Sometimes, though, I sit down and just two minutes later get an app reminding me to stand up once each hour. To my thinking, it should have registered that I was just up and then the hour should start from that time. And even though it can measure how fast you’re moving, it doesn’t seem to be able to register that if you’re both sitting AND moving at an inhuman, it means you’re in a car and can’t stand up. If I get caught in traffic, it can sometimes take me more than an hour to get home from work, so my watch pings at me to stand up while I’m driving. Umm….no.

One really helpful feature with the Apple Watch is that it does not interfere with your other Bluetooth devices. I was worried that it would interfere with the phone calls that run through my car, but it actually doesn’t at all. I can accept the call from my watch and it automatically routes it to my car’s Bluetooth. Additionally, if you have your phone Bluetoothed to a speaker and turn on the music from your watch, it continues to route the music through your speaker instead of simply running it through your phone.

Before the watch was ever even released, people were complaining about the battery life. I expected it to be positively abysmal because of this. It’s not that bad actually. Yes, you do have to charge it every day, but it’s not that difficult to find the time. Either charge it at night while you’re sleeping or let it charge while you rush around and get ready in the morning. It’s not a super fast charge, so don’t expect to only let it charge while you’re in the shower because that won’t get you very far at all.

My biggest concern about the Apple Watch was how waterproof it really was. I’m somewhat forgetful so sometimes I do wear my watch in the shower. That’s why I always make sure I’m wearing a waterproof watch so that it’s not an issue. Since the Apple Watch has a speaker and a microphone, I worried that I would forget and fry it by forgetting to take it off one morning. The associates at the Apple Store told that it would be fine, that I wouldn’t want to go swimming for long periods with it on, but it was actually rated for enough water that I needn’t worry about the shower. I was still worried, but sure enough, I forgot to take it off one morning and it was just fine!

Overall, I really do like the Apple Watch. I think it has a lot of quirks and bugs that need worked out, but that’s always the case when you get something in the first generation and early in the release. Once Apple gets all the kinks worked out, this is going to be a very awesome product!

I’ve ordered a screen protector and third-party band to test out and I’ll let you know how that goes!