I'm an Apple fan. I was an Apple fan before it was cool and then not cool to be an Apple fan. I wrote about my Apple story on Medium.
So, of course I bought the first Apple Watch when it was released in April of 2015. You know the fancy feature where you can actually call and talk to someone on the Apple Watch? I used that exactly one time just to test it out.
Here are the features I found useful on the Apple Watch:
- Text/call notifications when my iPhone was not within arm's reach
- Turn-by-turn directions preventing the need for looking at my iPhone while driving
- Activity tracking during the day
- Ability to control music/podcasts
There have been three iterations of the Apple Watch since the original one. I did not buy the Series 2, 3, or 4. The incremental improvements did not justify the cost.
The biggest reason why I decided to ditch the Apple Watch is drumroll........
Even the new Series 4 Apple Watch is rated to last 18 hours at best. This means it will last about a day and a half before it needs to be charged. It's easier to charge at night, so many people probably still charge their Apple Watches every night. By the way, this also makes it more difficult to use the Apple Watch to track sleep because you can't charge it while you wear it. And the battery life will degrade over time.
Yes the battery has to power all the fancy features, but do I really need a miniature version of the iPhone on my wrist? I decided no.
So what am I wearing instead? I traded the Apple Watch for a Fitbit Charge 3. I got it on sale during the holidays for $120. It is great as a physical activity and sleep tracker, and more importantly the battery will last almost a full week before I need to recharge it.
I'm also wearing another device, which I had ordered prior to buying the Fitbit but did not receive until almost two months later. It is called the Oura Ring, and it was specifically designed to track sleep. This one is pricier at $299, but the sleep tracking is more robust than the Fitbit and it is less cumbersome to wear a ring compared to a watch or Fitbit. I suppose wearing one device would be sufficient for most people but I'm a mad man.
As I work to improve my health, sleep and physical activity are two priorities. The key to improving areas of your life is to measure them, and these devices help me to measure my progress and stay on track with my goals.