30 Days of November, Day 11: Of Apple Watches

I am going to review one of my most recent purchases, my apple watch. I bought it to help motivate me to exercise, although it was not my first choice. I had been looking at several different models of fitness tracker and I had the following requirements.

1) The ability to track steps
2) The ability to track open water swimming
3) A heart rate monitor

When I first started my hunt, I truly underestimated how difficult it would be to find all of these in one fitness tracker at a price I was willing to pay. Beyond these functions it was also important that I was buying something with a solid track record because after shipping it to Barbados, I would be up a creek without a paddle if it were to go bad. Therefore we can also add quality, and customer service track record of the company to the list.

The fitness tracker market quickly become a matter of my price-rage based on brands. The market is not surprisingly saturated with everything from FitBits to Shine and at the top of the market Garmin watches.

Finally a friend of mine suggested that I look at Apple watches because though pricey, they are less so than Garmin watches, whose target market includes professional tri-athletes and divers. I would feel like a true imposter if I wore one just to swim for a few minutes! Hah!

Apple had the following benefits:

-proven customer service record
-proven product durability (I have both a phone and laptop from them)
-great bluetooth security which all of the others lacked
-availability of a store in Barbados to take it to for repairs

All of these things considered, I upped my budget and bought myself an apple watch. I have had it for about a month and a half at this point and I am very happy that I got it. The Activity tracker, on top of being able to track both swimming, walking and running exercises can also keep track of other cardio exercises and even yoga!

It is sleek and after you get used to it, easy to use. There are a wide array of apps that you can use for it. Of the ones that come loaded on to it as a default I use the music, alarm, timer and heart rate apps most often. In addition to this I added:

a) A sleep tracker
c) My YNAB budget
d) My Fitness Pal, calorie tracker
e) Bear notes, for making quick voice notes

Given that I also have an Iphone, it allows me to receive my messages and alerts from my phone once I am with in range of it, which I think is pretty neat, though not necessary.

The verdict:

Although I love my watch and it fulfilled everything I need I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. Not many people swim in open water and other trackers which are cheaper and can be used to track swimming laps in a pool may work out better.

The price point though not as steep as Garmin, is differently not cheap either and I think the average user will be satisfied with a simpler tracker/watch combo without all of the additional features.

If you are a semi-serious athlete and looking for functionality, as well as a sleek design backed with the usual Apple product performance then this would be a good intermediate buy before you step into the big leagues with a Garmin.

That being said, I don't regret my purchase and I am looking forward to using it for years to come.


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