Apple Watch Impressions


Filed under: apple

It has been a year since Apple Watch was released. After reading some writings, I decide to share some of my views.


ApplePay supports major credit card brands. I have added MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. I even added a Citibank Debit card to it. Apple has done an impressive job to get banks such as Citi, Chase, and BofA to support ApplePay. I haven’t had any luck adding major Brazilian cards though (looking at you, Itau). Cards can be added manually or scanned from iPhone. Scanner works for ‘normal’ colored cards but could fail depends on the contrast between digits and card color. ApplePay is efficient. Simply raise watch to supported register and within a couple of seconnds, payment is completed. The only place I had problem with paying was, ironically, at Apple store in San Francisco. Even when it worked, it took about 10 seconds for the transaction to go through. Compare to Coin, ApplePay is a clear winner. I’ve witnessed frustrated friend restarting the card as if it were Windows 95.


Activity and Health apps have really motivated me to meet my exercise goals on a daily basis. I set the duration and calories goals and the watch keeps me checked. Every hour on the dot I’m told to standup and move around a bit. I have stopped taking elevators in order to meet stairs goal. On weekends, I jog more to make up for the missed calories goal during work days. During a run, I monitor heart-beat and regulate intensity based on time remaining and my feel of body condition.

I’m also using Sleep Cycle and Trails to track sleep pattern and hiking data. Nike Training app is absolutely fantastic for a quick yet intense workout when I can’t afford to get out.

What’s missing is a convenient way to track caffein intake. There are a couple of apps where you can manually input grams of caffeine but they feels like a chore.


Dual timezone display is nothing new to regular watches. But Apple watch has a time travel function which answers questions like ‘can you talk at 9am Ho Chi Ming time’? Simply rotating the dial takes you to the local time corresponding to remote time.

I was not initially convinced of purchasing the watch, even though my home is practically an Apple Store. The watch is a bit too fashionable for me. I much prefer Suunto Vector, ragged and care-free. Comfortably wrapping my wrist, I’m at ease both at work or a sweaty workout. I can now say that there is no buyer’s remorse so far. Like any Apple product, I will want to upgrade in a year or two when new models come out with better spec, performance, and battery life. I hope at least the re-sell value will be reasonable when time comes to post it on Craigslist.