Gear

I’m selling my Apple Watch


apple watch

My Apple Watch and I have been an item for just over a month now, but I think I might be cooling things off a bit. It’s not him… it’s me.

Like so many Apple products before it, the Apple Watch was so greatly anticipated it bordered on annoying. When I got mine, after a midnight pre-order and an agonizing month of waiting for it to arrive, I was super-excited to open the box, set it up and put it on. And yet so many of us, myself included, have suffered gadget fatigue and disappointment— we invest heavily in a new device, only to find that over time, it just doesn’t hold our interest. I had tried so many other watches, wristbands, and trackers before, only to break up with them not long after… would the Apple Watch be different?

Here’s what I loved about it

I had heard using Apple Watch was difficult to get used to, and that it would take about a week to really get the hang of it. I couldn’t disagree more. It was very simple to understand, albeit an entirely new way to navigate (the “digital crown” is truly innovative and fun to use), and the entire design felt the most intuitive of any smartwatch I had worn to date.

As soon as I put an Apple Watch on my wrist, I became an ambassador for the product, whether I wanted to be or not. I found myself explaining to people over and over what was so great about it, mostly exalting this one idea:

I like that it lets me keep my phone at a distance, and I can see whose calling or texting without putting a screen between me and the person I’m with.

That was the biggest selling point for me. I no longer put my phone on the lunch table when dining with a friend, yet could still be connected in case an important call came in.

I restricted my notifications to calls and texts only, so I wasn’t turning my wrist to read a New York Times headlines, or an invitation to come back to a Words With Friends game. When I did turn my wrist to glance at an alert, the whole action was speedy and less intrusive than grabbing a phone and holding it up to my face. And quieter: I set my watch to silent, so that I would only get a haptic alert when it wanted my attention (pistons on the underside of the watch would “tap” my wrist… much more subtle than a ringing/vibrating phone). I could also choose to ignore my wrist tap entirely, which isn’t as easy to do if your phone is ringing or buzzing loudly on the table. All in all, I felt more in control of interruptions.

Reading a message or incoming call on my watch meant I could dodge the temptation to jump into other apps to “quickly check” those too (we all know that’s never quick). In this way, wearing the watch was a total game changer: Even though the phone needs to be close by for it to work, I didn’t feel as tethered to it. I could let it rest in the bottom of my purse and feel more connected to what I was doing in real life.

Other things like the battery life (I always had plenty of juice left after a day of wear), and the supririsingly-useful timer feature (I could ask my watch to tell me when my meter was up, or my cookies were done!) felt well-considered. And while I’m not a fitness tracker fan, it was nice to have things like step counting built into the watch— at least you don’t have to wear yet another device.

Oh yes, and I haven’t worn a watch regularly for years. So it was nice to tell the time without bothering to fetch my phone.

What I didn’t love about it

As I mentioned, just wearing the watch seemed to invite everyone I knew (and people I didn’t know) to ask me about it, with responses ranging from, “Wow, that’s so cool!” to “Wow, are you trying to be, like, even more connected?” Needless to say, it attracted attention, which sometimes I was in the mood to entertain, and sometimes not. It’s not the most expensive watch I own, and yet in some people’s eyes it looked ostentatious. I wasn’t prepared for feeling like I had to defend myself for wearing it.

The apps were very slow, so I deleted most of them after trying to make them useful. This is, without a doubt, a Version 1.0 problem; I’m sure they will get faster in time. And while being able to answer a phone call from the watch was handy (especially if my phone was floating in the bottom of my handbag), talking into the watch felt ridiculous and embarrassing. It drew attention, and not in a good way. So I stopped using that feature altogether.

Lastly— and this was the big kicker for me— the design was a lot thinner and prettier in person than it looked on the TV commercials, but it just didn’t capture my heart the way I wanted it to. I felt like it was bulbous and curvy when it wanted it to be flat and streamlined. It’s also a bit of a bummer that when you’re not looking at it, it’s just a dead screen— of course, that preserves battery life, but it makes it look less like a watch and more like a little iPhone attached to your wrist. What makes a beautifully-designed gadget (Apple’s secret sauce) isn’t what makes a beautifully-designed watch. It didn’t feel fashionable, no matter how many magazine covers I saw it on.

Another red flag? The fact that there was a 5-day stretch when I simply forgot to put it on. Something life-changing wouldn’t have just dropped out of my consciousness like that, right? I am a big believer in adopting tech that really makes a big impact on your life, and ditching the rest. This was a sign that, in this incarnation, the Apple Watch wasn’t life changing enough.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that I’ll get another one in time as features improve and the design evolves. But for now, mine’s going on the market.

What do you think about the Apple Watch, or smart watches in general? Let me know in the comments!



15 comments on “I’m selling my Apple Watch”

  1. Thanks for that honest opinion. I’ve been wanting to get a smart watch but I think I will wait until all of the bugs are fixed and the price gets a little cheaper.

  2. You really must not have given it much of a chance Carley. I can’t imagine forgetting to put mine on since I got it April 28. It’s changed my life a lot. The Alarm and Timer apps as Watch Complications alone have made it worthwhile to me. iMessage on the wrist is incredible. Cannot understand your point of view at all and I hope nobody follows your bad advice.

    1. Dear Futuremedia,
      First of all, I’m sure Carley can take care of herself, but I have to tell you that I was astonished by your rude comment to her:

      “Cannot understand your point of view at all and I hope nobody follows your bad advice.”

      Carley did write about her point of view of her watch. She did not advise anything. Please read things more carefully before you start condemning what other people have said. And, by the way, everyone gets to have their own point of view, especially on their OWN BLOG, whether you agree with it or not.

      I read Carley’s blog because it’s helpful, friendly insight into tech and gadgets. I will continue to read it. Please watch your manners.

  3. Couldn’t agree more. When I was traveling with my Apple Watch and forgot to charge it, I looked down only to see a blank screen. Nothing more frustrating than a watch that can’t tell time. To me it’s just one more device that I need to plug in.

    1. Nomad Pod ($59.95) is a portable battery charger for the Apple Watch, featuring a 1,800-milliamp (mAh) battery. Nomad says this solution can provide up to four full charges for Apple Watch before the Pod itself needs charging up. Available in silver or space gray aluminum or black polycarbonate plastic.

      And how is people asking about your WATCH a negative? I am all about prostelization for the WATCH. Why aren’t all of you? Word of mouth is all about selling. What’s the problem?

  4. Actually, this is about the best review of the Apple Watch I’ve read. She actually got all the positives right on the dot. Most reviewers often complained about getting too many notifications. Well, without the watch, guess what happens? Most of us leave the phone on the table while dining out for example and it’ll buzz constantly. So, instead as Carley says, she only allows notifications from calls and text. Unless your life depends on getting and responding to a tweet, it can wait. In fact I would go as far as setting the Do not disturb (out of work hours), so less important calls and text can wait on my phone while I eat in peace, but allow designated Favorites calls to come through.

    Really, her 3 negative points are 1) folks asking her about the watch 2) slow apps and 3) the style

    For 1) once it becomes common place and the novelty wears off, no one is going to ask about the watch once Apple sells it in the store without a morning reservation or online order that it does currently

    For 2) Native apps are coming in watchOS2

    For 3) If you don’t like the style, you don’t like the style. Sell it instead of dreading to wear it daily, but it is the best looking smart watch to date. So, you are SOL there if you don’t like it

    One last comment about talking to your wrist. I’ve tried it a few times and I think you’ll get used to is. Most likely it would be a short conversation. Less than a minute or could be longer while driving where it would be most useful rather than using BT to car or having to fish out the phone from pants/purse.

    If you wear your watch on your left hand, I would suggest setting Wrist – Left and Crown – Left (not right). So, this orients the speaker and mic outwards. So you don’t have to lift your hand up at and awkward angle to try to talk to it. Also, if you exercise which sounds like you are not into activity tracking all that much, it prevents the crown and button from being accidentally activated/pressed as well.

    I’ll be glad to buy your watch from you otherwise for 50% off 🙂

  5. I, too, have high hopes for the Apple watch, but I’m waiting for v2.0. I bought a Pebble in a Kickstarter campaign years ago. I wear it in meetings for the same advantages you described re: visible caller ID, texts, vs. intrusive phone buzzing and interruptions. The screen is black and white, my model is white (which my wife feels is feminine for me) but it has a lot of handy features. Thanks for the honest review. Sometimes I go many days with no watch… it’s a mood thing.

  6. Carley, your write up about the Apple Watch seems pretty on the nose if you ask me. One key feature you forgot to mention is that the watch is not waterproof or water resistant. As someone who has been using the Pebble for over a year (and parked my other watches completely) this is a big oversight in my opinion. I control my music while in the shower or decline calls while swimming and the ability to be able to do these things is paramount for me!

  7. I went for the Pebble smartwatch instead. The “killer app” for devices like smartwatches is notifications, and the Pebble shines on that front. Plus $89 is a lot cheaper than nearly $400, and the battery lasts a week instead of “18 hours”, if that.

  8. Thanks Carly, I appreciate the review, as I’ve been hesitant on pulling the trigger when it comes to smart watches. I’ve had my eye on the Pebble since seeing it on the wrist of one of my husband’s clients. Thanks to the replies on this blog post, I think I’ve made my decision. Keep up the great work, Carly! I love your blog. 🙂

  9. Where Do u sell it thru? I’m wishing I got the smaller one. Kinda big for a tiny wrist. But I love the watch. Maybe wait for rose and smaller design for women. I like tho cause knowing if my son needs me (out of state college and football too ??) I get his message immediately!

  10. I too, went for aPebble Steel and while the size is “big” it does tasks better than the Apple.
    First, it operates on iOS AND Android. Has some useful apps, the displays is always on. I have time, date and weather always showing. Has notifications. I set mine for phone calls and haptic feedback only, too. While you can’t talk into your wrist, it lets you decide whether to get your phone out.
    It works with numerous fitness apps for your phone, like Endomondo, Runtastic, Misfit.
    It’s waterproof and runs 4-5 days between charges.
    I am curious what the Apple Watch Two will bring…

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