Apple Watch Pros and Cons
Are you wondering if you should be the latest Apple Watch 8? If so, we’re going to run through many Apple Watch pros and cons that should help you decide if it’s the proper smartwatch for you.
Yes, it’s a watch, and it does tell you the time, but it’s more like having a computerised personal assistant on your wrist. Apple has done a fine job of creating an intelligent wearable. So here are the Apple Watch Pros and Cons.
Pros of having an Apple Watch
There are indeed many smartwatches on the market that also offer handy features and cost a fraction of the price. There are copycat Apple Watches from Chinese brands that claim to rival the real thing. But you cannot copy the functionality offered by the genuine article.
Moreover, the Apple Watch 6 offers superb user experience, reliability, regular software updates with new features, improved security, and a consistent experience with other Apple products.
Let’s look at some of the great features.
Health and Fitness
The Apple Watch is, without a doubt, one of the best fitness companions. Tracking the information you need to hand like calories burned, steps, distance, movement, standing hours and setting goals for these based on your daily needs by customizing the famous ‘rings’. The Apple Watch 6 boasts a few good advantages over the SE model in this regard. The Apple Watch 7 and 8 offer even more advanced sports tracking with improved sensors.
Heart rate monitor
An Apple Watch has both an optical and electrical heart rate sensor. Pairing these two offers great accuracy any time you need it. Your Apple Watch will constantly monitor your heart rate and let you know if there are any abnormalities, either high or low beats per minute (known as atrial fibrillation), using the ECG feature…
Using the ECG feature on your Apple Watch allows those users with any symptoms such as a skipped beat, rapid beat or a generally irregular rhythm to be identified and notified. This data can be sent to and used by your medical professional to make decisions about your health.
Blood oxygen monitoring
The Apple Watch also set the new trend for blood oxygen monitoring as standard on most new fitness trackers. The blood oxygen app will measure the percentage of oxygen in your red blood cells. More, it will detail what is healthy and when to be concerned.
Fall detection and emergency SOS
If you have a sudden fall whilst wearing an Apple Watch 5-8, it will send a notification to your designated SOS contact to let them know that you might need help. More, if you don’t respond after 60 seconds, the watch will call the police and share your location (though this could also be on the con list, in case you set it off by accident).
How it works
You’ll need your iPhone nearby if you want to use Emergency SOS on an Apple Watch without LTE. You’ll need to connect your Apple Watch to a wifi network and enable wifi calling if your iPhone isn’t nearby.
Your Apple Watch will notify your local emergency services and tell them your location when you utilise Emergency SOS. You may be needed to choose the type of emergency assistance you desire in some countries. On the Chinese mainland, for example, you can choose between police, fire, or ambulance.
After you engage the Emergency SOS mode, your Apple Watch notifies them of your current location and delivers updates to your emergency contacts when your location changes for a period of time.
How to contact emergency services with your Apple Watch
Hold down the side button (below the Digital Crown) on your watch until the Emergency SOS slider appears.
An emergency SOS slider is available on the Apple Watch.
Drag the Emergency SOS slider to start the call right now. Alternatively, you can keep pressing the side button. After a countdown, your watch automatically contacts emergency services.
After the call ends, your Apple Watch sends a text message to your emergency contacts with your current location, unless you choose to cancel. If you turn off Location Services, it will be switched back on for a limited time. When your location changes for a period of time after you engage Emergency SOS mode, your watch sends updates to your emergency contacts. Learn how to add emergency contact information to your phone.
Using the Sleep app on your Apple Watch allows you to create a bedtime schedule that reflects your sleep goals. If you wear your watch overnight (with a recommendation of 30% battery at least), you can track your night’s sleep. Learn how much sleep you actually got and after 14 days, see the trends that appear.
Track menstrual cycle
For those people who menstruate, the Apple Watch has an app to monitor cycles. Record symptoms like cramps, headaches and fatigue and use this information as it builds up to predict when your symptoms will return and your ovulation window if you’re trying to conceive.
Monitor noise levels
Using the built-in microphone, the Apple Watch listens to the ambient sound levels in decibels via the Noise app. It will tell you if anything goes beyond what is healthy for your hearing.
If you’re using headphones a lot, it will automatically turn the volume down at a point in time where continuing with the volume at the level you had could start to cause damage.
Thanks to Coronavirus, the Apple Watch can detect if you’ve started to wash your hands and will encourage you to continue this for a minimum of 20 seconds. It can also remind you, if you haven’t, to wash your hands shortly after arriving home.
Accessibility and Assistance
Apple has made a point of emphasising how accessible its tech is to everyone, including capabilities for a variety of accessibility requirements across its products. Of course, this is great as it means the Apple Watch is available to people with all kinds of needs.
You can use your iPhone or Apple Watch to access the Accessibility menu. If you already have accessibility features set up on your phone, you may find it simpler to set up accessibility on your iPhone than your watch at first.
The Accessibility menu may be found in Settings > Accessibility on your Apple Watch. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to Accessibility.
It’s also worth mentioning that many of these features may be tweaked via Siri. If you’re blind or have limited vision, for example, you may want to ask Siri to switch on VoiceOver so you can explore the accessibility menu without help.
You’ll find all kinds of accessibility features for various disabilities, from audio, visual to those who need physical adjustments.
You can receive, end or even make calls from your Apple Watch without being near your iPhone (on cellular models). With wifi models, you need your phone in your pocket or nearby.
Read and reply to messages (including email)
You can read and reply to messages by using voice-to-text, pre-loaded responses or, if you have the patience, using the pad, which enables you to use your finger to write the response, one letter at a time.
Contactless payment got even more convenient when Apple Pay was released. You don’t even need to get your phone out of your pocket. Simply call your card up on your watch display and hold it near the card reader. Though, note, this does require the passcode to be enabled.
Unlock your Mac
Remember we said an Apple Watch plays nicely with other Apple products? I personally love this feature as I have a MacBook Pro for remote working and an iMac in the office. My Apple Watch unlocks both automatically when I get close. Also, I can control music playing on my Mac with my Apple Watch.
Remote for Apple TV
You can also use an Apple Watch as a remote control if you own an Apple TV.
iPhone camera remote
You can also use an Apple Watch as a remote switch for your iPhone camera.
See what battery you have left on other devices
If you have an Apple ecosystem like me, you’ll love that you can connect a device like AirPods or Beats headphones to your Apple Watch via Bluetooth and it will show you the battery status of that connected device.
This is fun and dangerous. Pick a friend with an Apple Watch and set up the walkie-talkie feature to send voice notifications that automatically play on the other’s watch (unless they silence the feature). Tell your partner or pal that you love them when you know they’re in an important meeting. Then run.
Control smart appliances in your home
If you have any HomeKit-enabled devices at home, you can control them with an Apple Watch. Things like your smart plugs, lights, heating, blinds, cameras, garage doors… You name it.
Find your iPhone
We’re all guilty of putting our phone down and forgetting where it is. You can use your Apple Watch to ping your iPhone, so it makes a noise and flashes a light for you to hunt it down.
The Apple Watch wasn’t the pioneering smartwatch to have an always-on display, but it certainly made a song and dance about this feature and other brands have jumped on the bandwagon since. An always-on display means you don’t have to turn on your display to see the screen. You can instantly see your notifications, the time, battery, or indeed any of your chosen complications without having to make any over-pronounced movements of your wrist.
Schooltime is for school
The Apple Watch has a ‘schooltime’ feature that allows you to set school hours for younger users/students/kids so they’re not disturbed or distracted by limiting features and apps that they can access, but you as the parent can still get hold of them.
Feel what time it is
You can get the time in more ways than just visually. Use either the traditional visual form or sound and haptic. Of course, using sound gives you a chime. The latter vibrates in a certain pattern, with no sound and without needing to wake the display. If you know Morse Code, so does the Apple Watch, and you can have it tell you the time that way.
As you’d expect, the Apple Watch comes with Siri built-in for commands like telling you the time, taking a photo, using your smart appliances, telling you the weather, activating an activity, and so, so much more.
Connect to a Bluetooth speaker
Did you know you can connect an Apple Watch to a Bluetooth speaker or headphone? If you store music on your watch, you don’t need a nearby iPhone.
See in the dark
There’s no dedicated LED flashlight like you get on an iPhone, but the Apple Watch has a flashlight feature. Found in the notification panel, a flashlight icon turns the display white at 100% brightness.
Handy outdoor features
I walk a lot outdoors, and this is another feature that I love because I find it so accurate and convenient. Using the Apple Maps app allows you to follow directions without your iPhone. Vibrations notify you of upcoming changes of direction, and you can use Bluetooth headphones to connect to the Watch for verbal instructions.
Apple Watch users can share their location and see this on a map. If you share your GPS location with a friend who also has an Apple Watch, they can see this on their Apple Watch Maps.
Using the built-in barometric altimeter, the Apple Watch can tell you accurate ascent or descent information. There’s an always-on altimeter that offers real-time data.
There’s a built-in compass to help with the elevation feature and location.
An Apple Watch has an IP68 rating, meaning it’s both water and dust-resistant. In fact, you can manually purge water from the watch.
You get what you pay for, and all these features come at a price of around $400 and upward, depending on which version and what materials you want.
It only works with an iPhone
In fairness, we’re not sure why anyone with an Android phone would want an Apple Watch when there are so many great Android-friendly smartwatches on the market. But, to get the most from the Apple Watch, you want to be an iPhone user.
Design lacks imagination – and change
You can spot an Apple Watch a mile away, but you probably can’t tell which version it is. The design has never drastically changed, and it’s nothing to write home about. Android smartwatches, for example, come in unlimited shapes, sizes, colours, materials, etc. The only way to dress your Apple Watch is by using a nice case for it.
You’ll get around 17 – 18 hours between charges, which is frustrating if you want to wear it in bed and monitor your sleep patterns. Some smartwatches from Garmin and Fitbit offer days and even weeks on end with lots of battery-draining features, so Apple needs to step its game up on battery life.
The upside to this is that the Apple Watch 8 now has a low-power mode with which the watch could last up to 36 hours. The Apple Watch Ultra could get up to 60 hours in low power mode.
Bands are expensive
Watchbands are interchangeable, but official Apple ones are expensive. However, there are plenty of unofficial ones online that fit perfectly. We’ve covered a list of recommended ones in this article.
That concludes our list of Apple Watch pros and cons!
I might be biased, but I think the Apple Watch has more benefits than disadvantages. If you can afford it, it’s a worthwhile investment. When it comes to battery life, you learn to find the best time of day to charge it; I usually do this during my wind-down hours when I’m sitting watching TV. The best experience is if you have your own Apple ecosystem and smart products at home so you can really stretch the legs of what the watch can do for you.
Last Updated on December 11, 2022
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