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I am a bit of a technology geek, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that I am drawn to certain smartly designed, small and portable technologies or gadgets.
The Apple Ecosystem
I’ll be the first to admit that I like Apple products. I own an iPhone (had one ever since its 3GS) and I love the 11-inch MacBook Air. I’ve also been an early adopter of the iPad, though I also explained why it’s not a good investment.
Despite liking a lot of Apple’s products, there are also products that made little sense to me. For example, it never occurred to me to buy an iPod (up to the 8th generation now), whether it’s the iPod classic, nano, or iPod touch. Once upon a time when I want to cast music to my older (non-Bluetooth enabled) car, I went with the simple solution: I simply got a wireless 3.5mm radio transmitter to connect to the car’s audio system.
Then, there is also the cost/value proposition to consider. Is an AirPod headset (even if it’s a good pair) worth its $159 price point? Unless you are always listening to the headset (which I don’t), it’s hard to justify the cost. What about the $999 starting price point for the Apple iPhone X?
The Apple Watch (Series 3)
I’ve always had an interest in the wearable tech, so it was surprising (even to me) that the Apple Watch didn’t excite me one bit when it first came out. Fair or not, my assessment at the time was that it was just a glorified Fitbit, slapped with the Apple branding. There wasn’t a specific feature that made me want to run to a store and get one.
Apple had discontinued the Apple Watch Series 2. When they launched the Apple Watch Series 3 this past fall, I took a quick glance at the specs but I didn’t pay too much attention. The Apple Watch Series 3 has a starting price point of $399. Compared to other Apple products, it’s considered relatively cheap. At that price, you could also get a very nice looking “real” (not a techie “wearable”) watch. I have not worn a watch in years and simply used the iPhone as an alternative. Do I really need an Apple Watch?
I Finally Decided To Go for the Watch
I bit the bullet and decided to get an Apple Watch (Series 3) last month. The key feature that sold me:
- SIM card compatibility and cellular connectivity
Even with the phone, I was never big on having to have to look for Wi-FI access. The idea that the Watch has cellular connectivity was interesting enough to make me take a second look at it. Granted, I’m not a fan of the $10 fee (varies by carrier) tacked on to your monthly phone fee. At the end of the day, you’re paying for the convenience.
Having used the Apple Watch for some time, I have to say that it is one of those things:
I never thought I needed the Apple Watch, but I don’t think I could do without it now.
Is it perfect? No. For example, I can’t read image-based emails, but it’s a minor compared to some of the features available on the Watch.
What I like about the Apple Watch Series 3:
Specifically, with cellular connectivity:
- Wearable Perk:
- It’s nice that I don’t need to run back to fetch the phone on the few occasions when I forgot my phone (i.e. for making calls or 2-factor authentication via phone).
- The phone is bulky. Wearable tech is simpler. Earlier this year, I asked someone who had a watch for the time while on a ski lift. I didn’t want to pull out (and accidentally) drop my Phone. Any watch will do, but having a watch that does more is always a perk.
- I can make calls (or listen to music) with my Watch and pair it with a wireless headset.
- Cellular capability: GPS. All I can say is: Huge for me.
- The Watch isn’t great for doling out long messages. For simple things like short SMS, it’s brilliant.
- Healthy goals/reminders: I didn’t think I’d like these reminders, but I’ve gotten used to them. It’s nice that the watch taps and reminds you on your activity targets.
I have to admit that I enjoyed my Apple Watch far more than I even thought I would. For someone who haven’t worn a watch in years, I’ve been wearing the Apple Watch quite regularly. I’ve even decided to change out the watch band that comes with the original Apple Watch, to have it fit more of my style.
It will take a little while for mainstream adoption, but I think there will be huge growth in this space.
There is quite a lot of irony when it comes to the Apple Watch. On the one hand, I think — as a society — we’re quite connected to our electronic gadgets already (perhaps a little too much). One might asked, “Why would I want to be connected even more with a wearable tech?” Yet, in its strange little way, I think the Watch does something even I had not fully expected: It is already helping me to unhook from the need to be attached to the phone (and some of its time-killing apps).
Also, with cellular capability, the GPS is perfect for me. It’s also perfect for traveling (though the plan – at least with my carrier – does not include international coverage)
I didn’t care much for the Apple Watch Series 1 or 2, but I think the Series 3 is a game changer. If you are in the market for a new Apple Watch, it’s worth a look to see if it’s got the features you want.
Thoughts on the Apple Watch? Do you have one? Are you planning to get one? Or are you waiting to see what comes out in the Series 4?