The Apple Watch is a smartwatch that incorporates fitness tracking and health-oriented capabilities with iOS and other Apple products and services. Although we will be discussing the Apple Watch pros and cons in general, some of the things mentioned here apply specifically to the latest generation of the watch, the Apple Watch Series 6 (Apple | Amazon). If you’re considering buying one, let’s first look at the pros and cons of the Apple Watch.
The biggest advantage of the Apple Watch 6 is its improved health and fitness tracking, having saved several lives with its heart rate monitoring and fall detection. Apple has always excelled at design and the Apple Watch is no exception. The biggest downsides are price and limited compatibility with non-IOS users as you need an iPhone to use the watch to its full capabilities.
Apple Watch Pros
Whether you walk, run, hike, or do yoga, an Apple Watch can track your workout sessions and show stats in real-time. That means displaying the distance traveled, the time elapsed, heart rate, pace, and calories burned.
You can start a workout from the Workout app manually by opening it and choosing from 12 different options (running, walking, cycling, swimming, etc.). Follow the prompts on the screen to start a workout, and swipe right to pause/end it.
There’s also automatic workout detection. When the watch senses you are beginning a workout, you will get an alert asking if you want to start tracking. You can respond to that notification and choose the type of exercise.
Proactive Health Monitor
An Apple Watch can track your health data. It can monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and keep track of your exercise activities. Not only that. It will also alert you if it detects irregularities in your health condition, such as an arrhythmia.
Besides the usual health data, the Apple Watch Series 4, 5 and 6 have Fall Detection feature. The watch uses the accelerometer and gyroscope to detect if you have fallen. When such an incident occurs, a hard fall alert is delivered. You can either initiate a call to emergency services or dismiss the alert.
If you are unresponsive after 60 seconds, the watch will automatically make an emergency call. Your emergency contacts will be notified and sent to your location.
Series 6 introduced advanced health sensors including the Blood Oxygen app and ECG app, these apps and the heart rate monitor have already helped save people’s lives by detecting heart irregularities.
Design has always been an essential aspect of any Apple product, and the Apple Watch is no exception. With its rounded corners and interchangeable straps, the watch has a sporty, sophisticated, and classy look. The display is sharper than other smartwatches, and the digital crown allows users to scroll or zoom without blocking the screen.
Both the 4 and 5 models are available in two sizes: 40 mm and 44 mm. The case is larger than that of the previous Apple Watch Series 3 (as well as Series 1 and 2 models) which were available in either 38 or 42 mm sizes. The bezels have also been reduced, making the display feel more immersive.
With the larger screen, users can see more complications (apps that run on the watch face). These include heart rate, workout status, weather, and battery life. The larger display also makes it easier to read text messages, view photos, look at websites, etc. While the watch has a large screen, it doesn’t feel bulky on the arm. This is because the Apple Watch Series 4 is thinner than its predecessors.
Ability to Send and Receive Calls
When paired with an iPhone, the Apple Watch allows you to make and receive calls (you can use the speakerphone). Although this feature is not as useful if you always have your smartphone close by, it is still something that will appeal to many users.
You may wear an Apple Watch during exercise (exposure to sweat is fine), in the rain, and while washing your hands. But can you take a shower or go swimming while wearing an Apple Watch? Well, it depends. Apple Watch Series 1 is splash and water-resistant, but submerging isn’t recommended.
Apple Watch Series 2, 3, 4, 5 and series 6 are rated as water-resistant (Swimproof) to 50 meters meaning they can be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool. However, they shouldn’t be used for scuba diving, water skiing, or other activities involving high-velocity water like water-skiing or submersion in deep water (not for scuba diving)
Showering with Apple Watch Series 2, 3, 4, 5 and series 6 is okay, as long as you don’t expose it to soaps, shampoos, lotions, and perfumes. These products can negatively affect acoustic membranes and water seals.
Keep in mind that not all bands are appropriate for water use. If you want to upgrade to a steel or leather band, you shouldn’t expose it to liquids. Additionally, an Apple Watch should be cleaned with clean water and dried with a lint free-cloth if it comes into contact with anything other than freshwater.
Click here for a detailed explanation of watch water resistance.
Stream music, send text messages, and call people through a data connection without the need to be connected to an iPhone. Both the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch Series 4 have GPS + cellular capabilities.
Apple Watch Series 6: 32GB of storage
Apple Watch Series 5: 32GB of storage, this doubles the 16GB included in the Series 4
Apple Watch Series 4: 16GB of storage, 2X the capacity of the Series 3 and earlier.
Series 3 (and earlier): 8GB of storage
Apple Watch Cons
As you may have guessed, the Apple Watch is pricey. The price is higher than most smartwatch brands available on the market. Just like with the iPhone, the Apple Watch targets the upper-middle to high-end market segments.
Essentially, you are buying the name, not only the product. That being said, you get what you pay for, so you can expect high quality and a ton of features if you choose to buy an Apple Watch.
You can save quite a bit if you are open to pre-owned and refurbished products (rather than brand new) Click here to see Apple Watches with the Amazon Renewed Guarantee.
Battery life is an essential aspect of all electronic gadgets. It allows users to use a device continuously without the need to recharge it. A fully charged Apple Watch can last up to 18 hours, even if you use the watch throughout the day. Still, it lags behind other smartwatches like Garmin, Fitbit, and Samsung. When it comes to battery life – these smartwatches are on top.
You need to have an iPhone to set up an Apple Watch. You need to use the Watch app on your iPhone to activate the Apple Watch, set up things like Apple Pay and iCloud, and activate cellular connectivity if your watch has LTE. An Apple Watch will only pair with an iPhone, not with an Android smartphone. While it’s a Bluetooth device, the watch is specifically designed to work exclusively with an iPhone.
The Apple Watch is both stylish and functional. What started as a fashion statement is now focused on health and wellness. This smartwatch offers workout-tracking, health monitoring, and depending on the model, cellular connectivity.
With its sleek design and innovative features, the Apple Watch certainly deserves its place as one of the best smartwatches available today. After weighing the Apple Watch pros and cons, are you now ready to jump on the smartwatch bandwagon?
To learn more about the history and evolution of the Apple Watch, read our article dedicated to that topic.