I have a confession to make—I bought the Apple watch for two main reasons: its sports tracking and Heart Rate Monitoring (HRM) feature. The third important reason is to gain bragging rights. As a sportsman, I justified the Rs.25k price tag by reasoning that an all-in-one device, the Apple watch replaces the need to own a Garmin/polar tracker, a wrist watch, Bluetooth headset, selfie stick, personal assistant, remote control, notification centre... So convinced was I of the utility, quality and aesthetics, I bought it without a peep at demo purely based on the specifications announced at its launch.
And I wasn't disappointed. This wearable device is ideally suited for an iPhone power user or a sports and fitness enthusiast. In my case, I am both. For most users, the Apple watch is an extremely convenient extension of their iPhone: it performs the task of a remote for most iPhone features, and serves as an easy to access Notification Center in its current form. The health and fitness feature of this device is clearly its key scoring point. Apple health and worksout apps, in addition to third party applications like Runkeeper, make it an exhaustive fitness accessory or wearable device.
If you're not a fitness freak, but would like to get there. Start right here as the Apple watch will send you regular reminders to stand and walk around if you've been sitting for too long at your desk. It also notifies you of your standing and workout targets according to your lifestyle.
Two unique features that stand out are the accuracy of HRM readings, and the ability of the workout app to gather personalised data from my speed and stride length (from distance travelled) while being paired to the phone. It also actually maps the workout accurately even without being accompanied by the phone.
Last but not the least, the battery life of the Apple watch surpassed my expectations, given the reviews which have been appearing recently. After the initial day or two of extra excitement, the watch will comfortably last the entire day on a single charge. And this with sufficiently active usage.
Having said that, this is only the first version of the watch and app development, and is in its infancy. The Twitter app on the watch, for example, still allows you to only choose between timeline and trending topics without the option to choose mention or direct messages as feeds, among other things. My verdict: unless you're an avid iPhone junkie, a heavy user who needs to charge his phone at least two times a day or a fitness enthusiast, you might want to wait for version 2.0.
This review first appeared in DNA - http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report-apple-watch-review-a-firsthand-experience-from-a-fitness-enthusiast-2088221
Price - $380 or Rs.25000 (US apple store - online price, including taxes, excluding freight and duties)