Before I started wearing the Apple Watch three months ago, I thought I was done with being so connected. A trip to Tulum, Mexico last summer prompted me to make drastic lifestyle changes, including not scrolling through Twitter every second and turning off my work phone once I left the office. But this stylish smartwatch seduced me with its promise to keep me plugged in without reaching for my iPhone.
The relationship I’ve had with the Apple Watch since July hasn’t been a completely healthy one. There are a few features that come with this piece of wearable tech that a fashion and beauty editor like me can either love or loathe.
On one hand, I got to design the look. I don’t wear a watch every day, as I prefer gold bangles and brass bracelets. When I do decide to mix it up with a traditional timepiece, I usually wear a 28-millimeter rose gold and navy Marc by Marc Jacobs watch. The Apple Watch’s aluminum case is nearly twice the size and quite overwhelming for my tiny wrist. But I can personalize the accessory by choosing my own case, the actual face of the watch and the band, so I don’t mind the larger size.
I also like the way the white sport band stands out against my complexion, but it presented challenges when I decided what to wear each morning. I guess it’s considered a first world problem when your Apple Watch doesn’t match your Fashion Week outfit. I’m sure the addition of the new and sophisticated Hermès Apple Watch is the company’s solution to this drawback.
Another feature I loved was the ability to be my own wellness coach, but that also stressed me out. As an amateur runner (read: mostly runs on weekends and when catching a cab to fashion shows or beauty events), I rely on fitness trackers like the Nike Fuelband and Up by Jawbone to maintain my weekly exercise goals. The activity tracker on the Apple Watch takes it to another level by not only keeping tabs on how many minutes I’ve exercised, calories I’ve burned (this I can do without) and steps I’ve taken, but also how often I’ve stood within 12 hours, which is especially helpful.
There are countless articles on the health benefits of standing but when you work as an online editor, it’s not easy to pull yourself away from the desk. Thanks to the haptic technology, which delivers gentle taps, I received a reminder to stand at least once every hour. This feature motivated me to go grab lunch outdoors or schedule a few industry meetings — two things I rarely do because I am swamped by copy deadlines.
Even though this data prompted me stay in shape, the stress of not seeing a complete goal “circle” in the colorful calendar on my iPhone stressed me the hell out. And as you can see from the photo above, I took much-needed breaks from the Activity tracker. The red circle represents calories burned, green for minutes of exercise and blue for total hours stood.
The watch also makes some tasks super convenient. I could request an Uber, pay for a latte at Starbucks and track bids on eBay from my wrist. These three things are essential to my daily routine. Well, maybe not shopping on eBay. While I haven’t reached Anna Wintour status where a personal assistant could easily manage these tasks, the Apple Watch helps me to fake it until I make it with built-in features such as Apple Pay and downloadable shopping apps.
My only two grievances are that there is a possibility that your bank or credit card company doesn’t yet support Apple Pay and not every check-out counter has upgraded to the technology that allows you to tap-and-pay. So I didn’t go wallet-free, and made sure to keep my debit card and some cash in a wristlet.
I could also stay on top of my social media game in a less obvious way. This perk went against my entire mission to unplug, but the ability to “like” or post an emoji reply on Instagram was never this simple. Plus, I could see what was trending on Twitter and tweet a reply by whispering directly into the Apple Watch’s microphone.
I was able to stay updated in the middle of meetings and still feel as though I was engaging in social media conversations without the embarrassment that comes with pounding on your iPhone while everyone around you watches.
Overall, the Apple Watch is an advanced and attractive smartwatch that cuts down on the number of gadgets I carry. But, it definitely comes with its own baggage.
*Apple loaned an Apple Watch and accessories for review purposes.
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