I have had a few Apple Watch’s over the years and currently rocking the series 7, and all have been great. But what makes them great? Is it the hardware? Is it the software?
I think that it’s a combination of both but I am going to spend a bit of time going through what I love about the Apple Watch.
So I am not going to spend too much time on actually watch design but there are a few areas of the watch’s hardware that I want to cover.
This was the main reason that I wanted to upgrade to the series 7. The screen has jumped from 44mm to 45mm from the previous series of watches and although that doesn’t sound much they have managed to create 30% more screen area than the SE and 50% more than the series 3. And Yes you can see a difference.
Apple has achieved this by reducing the border by a whopping 40% giving far more screen area than other series. That extra screen space means that you can just get more on the screen and makes the keyboard usable if you want to respond to a message on your phone.
There are three different casings that you can choose from with the Series 7.
- Stainless Steel
You can get a few different colours as well depending on the finishes that you choose.
As with all the other series, there are several different watch straps all varying in cost. There are a lot more to choose from than a few years ago and although I love the apple ones they are expensive.
The good thing is that there are plenty of 3rd Party straps that you can get. I personally have used a company called Nomad for my stainless steel band which is really great quality. There is also plenty on Amazon at really good prices.
So moving on to the features that make this a brilliant smartwatch and there are plenty of really good ones to talk about.
I think that the biggest features on the Apple Watch for me are the health features.
This is one of if not my favourite features on the Apple Watch. Those little rings just have something about them that makes me want to close them more than another smartwatch fitness tracker. I like how it will give you updates on your progress and prompt you to Stand and will tell you to take a brisk walk to close your exercise or move ring.
You can also share your activity progress with your friends and family that also have an Apple Watch. This is great for motivation and for those of us that are a bit on the competitive side.
There is an extensive list of exercises that you can choose from. I only tend to use the outdoor walk, run and bike and occasional Yoga but they are not many you won’t find. You get all the key metrics that you want such as distance and time to keep you on track, the larger screen makes it nice and clear.
I also like that the watch can tell when you are exercising and it will ask you if you want to start a workout. I find this very useful when I take the dog out for a walk and I forget to start a workout.
Heart Rate Monitor/ECG:
This is great for when are exercising as you can see it on your screen whilst running for instance or if you just want to check your resting heart rate. I love that I can link my watch to my Peloton bike and I can track my heart rate which links to the strive score on the Peloton.
The Apple Watch can also take an ECG at anytime or anywhere as well as measuring your Blood Oxygen Level. These are not features that I use often but will check them on the odd occasion to check in with how my body is doing.
Sleep is so important to our overall health so being able to track it is awesome. I don’t tend to wear a watch to bed but trying to do more to be able to track how I am sleeping. This also links into creating your bedtime routine to hit your sleep goal.
I do think through that it doesn’t give you all the detail that you would want. To get information such as REM or Deep Sleep I have had to download another app, whereas on Android smart watch’s you get this already.
Noted that this should be resolved in the next WatchOS release which I am looking forward to. So I should be able to go into my health app and get all the information I need.
So this is not on the watch itself but on your iPhone. This is where all of the above information is stored. You also get some additional information such as your VO2 Max score and respiratory rate as well as health trends which can be quite useful. I feed that it’s easy to find and understand my stats so does what I want and need it to.
I have found that the notification on the Apple Watch comes through straight away so there is very little if no lag between the watch and your phone. You can customise what apps you want to be notified on your watch so you can have as many or as few as your want.
The notification comes through nice and clear and you get a red dot at the top of the screen to indicate that you have notifications. One thing that I love is that when you change your focus mode it is also the same on your watch so if I want to put work focus on I only need to do it on one device and it replicates across the others (not just the watch).
Always on Display:
Something that I wish was on the iPhone (hopefully coming to the iPhone 14). This means that your watch face will always be on so you don’t need to wake the screen to see the time. There are a couple of different settings for this you can have it Always on or you can set it to raise your wrist to wake, so every time you raise your wrist it wakes. You can also choose to have this off and you can either Tap the screen or Digital Crown to wake the screen.
I tend to go with the Always on Display but this could impact the battery life and it is something it’s nice to change up.
There are plenty of watch faces to choose from in the watch app. You can have simple face-to ones that have loads of information, so you are more than likely going to find one that takes your fancy. They are easy to change on the app but you can also edit the faces on your phone which is handy. You will also get some themed faces that will appear such as the Pride and Unity Themes which are really nice.
Another way to customise your watch face is by changing up the complications. Depending on which face you choose you will generally have at least 4 complications that you can add. This could be your activity rings, weather etc. I recently downloaded the pedometer app which allows me to add my step count as one of my complications rather than having to go to my activities and swipe through.
Other Useful Features:
This section is to capture some of the features that I use which can come in handy on a day-to-day basis.
This is one that I have started using more recently. When I am cooking dinner this has come in handy for those times where you just need to set a quick timer, there are some default timers already set e.g. 3 minutes so you just have to tap it and away you go.
You can keep track of your lists and reminders on your watch which can be helpful when you don’t have your watch to hand. you can add reminders as well as tick them off although I don’t tend to but it is doable with the bigger screen and better keyboard.
You can add your debit card and other cards e.g. Costa Card to your wallet on your watch. This means that you can use your watch to pay for things or collect your points. Helpful for those times when you don’t want to dig your phone out of your bag or pocket.
So these are the main features that I use on my Apple Watch. They are all features that make me love using this watch. It’s not the cheapest watch on the market but it has a great design and is easy to use and fits into that Apple Ecosystem like a charm.
As mentioned for me it is the health features that really make the difference. Being able to go into the health app on my phone and see all my health data is great. So if you are in the Apple Ecosystem I would certainly recommend looking at getting the apple watch. There are other watches that you will be able to pair with your iPhone but you will likely not get the same integration that you will get with the Apple Watch.