Why I don’t like the Apple watch
Quite often, people ask me why I never wear an Apple Watch and why I don’t talk much about it here. I love smartwatches and those from Apple usually have a very good reputation, like most of their products.
|An Apple Watch S6 amongst some other smartwatches|
The first thing to understand is that reputation has few meaning as brands usually hire specialists to build and control their online reputation. Most youtubers are paid or get advantages from brands to highlight only the positive aspects of their products. Professional reviewers are not neutral and completely sincere either most of the time. They would simply go out of business if they dare to threat brands with negative reviens.
THE OFFER OF SMARTWATCHES IS SLOWLY MATURING
The fact is that smartwatches are still young devices and still struggle to find an audience and fulfill the needs of their users. Technologies are not perfectly mature enough to get many functions and good enough battery life. Health features are not always reliable nor really usefull.
Today, using a smartwatch is making compromises. The question is to find the device that will ask you sacrifices you can reasonably accept.
A QUESTION OF COMPROMISES
The most obvious compromise is about battery life. That can go from only 1 day of real battery life to easily 2 weeks, depending on the model !
The second compromise is functionnality. What do you want to do with your smartwatch? Do you want a simili smartphone on your wrist? Or do you want a watch with smart functions? This choice will directly hit battery life and ergonomy.
The third compromise is maybe style as watch is a wearable and its look can have a great importance.
NO GOOD FOR EVERYBODY SMARTWATCH
Today there is not a good smartwatch for everybody. Every smartwatch come with huge drawbacks and you have to choose carefully the best device for your needs.
You may be disappointed by an Apple watch, but you may be unsatisfied with a fossil or an Amazfit one as well.
Some people love their old Pebble, even if it's dying and they cannot find anything new to replace it.
|Apple Watch S6 with a Pebble Time Steel (10 days battery life with always on)|
APPLE WATCHES DOESN’T FIT THE BILL FOR ME
Apple Watches are quite good smartwatches. But they are far from perfect and with huge drawbacks, simply doesn't answer to MY expectations. So it’s possible it won’t be good for you either as I’m not unique or better than anybody.
Battery life is bad
You can get about 2 days with AOD (Always On Display) . I don't care if I can charge it quickly I just don't want the hassle of charging my watch every other day. I don’t want a watch without always on as I find it perfectly ugly to wear an empty screen on my wrist.
|All these smartwatches battery life is between 2 to 4 times longer with always on display|
User Interface looks old and is quite cumbersome
What is this launcher with extremely small icons without titles ? How could anyone find it convenient ? You often launch the wrong app by mistake and have to swipe in every direction to find the app you want. There is a list mode, but it’s not much better as the watch tend to have too many apps, the list is huge and the lines too big, you must swipe too long on it before reaching the app. Aesthetic looks old for me and I find those gray backgrounded cards quite ugly.
|What a nice looking but unconvenient launcher on the Apple Watch|
|Here shortcuts are too big with an outdated design|
I think a watch isn’t supposed to replace a phone. There are few apps you will really use on a watch as most of the time it’s more practical to just take you phone and enjoy a larger screen and better user interface. So having so many apps and an app store doesn’t seem significant to me because most of the time you try apps, play a bit with it, and finally practically never really use it. The more things you put in a smartwatch, the less practical it becomes.
Watchfaces are just a bad joke
Let's talk about watcfaces. What is that Joke? The Apple Watch is 7-years old and the choice of watchfaces is extremely poor and closed. There is no way to get extra watch faces, no store for this, and the meager choice of included watchfaces is so limited that there are no LCD style option. Analog style choice is still poor even if it has slightly expanded with the last Watch Os.
To add insult to injury, some of the best analog faces are reserved to the Nike edition of the Apple Watch.
This is pure nonsense. It limits volontarity your options and negates your freedom and right to express your taste.
|I like this watchface on the Amazfit GTS 2 mini, with no equivalent on Apple Watches|
|On the Amazfit GTR2e, a kind of watchface you won’t find on the Apple Watch|
What if you don't like the small selection of their watchfaces? what if the very limited customization possibilities doesn't please you? Go fuck Yourself as you are stuck with what Apple decided you have the right to do.
You buy their device but they decide what you are allowed to do with it.
Notifications doesn't Work the way I need
Notifications are very good but there is a catch. Apple decided for you how you should manager your private life and so you cannot ask the watch to display your notifications directly. You have to interact with the watch to actually see the content of a notification. At least you have to use the wrist gesture. But when you are doing manual work or if you use AOD, this gesture is annoying and useless. So you may want to deactivate it. Alas then, if your hands are full you will have to put what you had in hands somewhere to interact with the watch. And for me that defeats the whole purpose of notifications on a watch: quickly see what it is about and decide if I must free my hands to answer or not.
After 7 years the design is practically the same and looks old. Adding some colors doesn't make this rounded square design more appealing to me, I think it's too soft, too common, lacks personality and boldness.
|Many smartwatches and some with a much more interesting design|
Apple watches only work with iPhones. You cannot use it with an Android phone at all, not even in a limited way. All the smartwatches I have can be used with an Android and an iOS phone. Some with a reduced features set … and this is in great part the fault of Apple who doesn’t let other watches answer to notifications.
I like the ability to change my phone when I want and don’t want to be kept bound to only one « ecosystem ». This is a basic question of freedom again, thing that I find often problematic with Apple, they like to keep you bound and they usually don’t let you do what you want with their devices.
And please don’t say I’m an Apple hater. This post was written on my Onyx Boox Note Air, published from my iPad Air and pictures ware taken on my iPhone 12. Brands are not cults and we should stay free from it.
IT’S NOT BAD, IT’S NOT GOOD FOR ME
So you know why I don't like the Apple Watch. It simply doesn't have what I want and what most other brands have. It's not a bad device, it's just not for me. I am much more happy with a 80€ Amazfit GTS2 mini than with the 5 times more expensive Apple watch.
- The Amazfit shows me notifications directly if I want
- Watchface choice is much wider
- Battery life is easilly one week (3 to 4 times more)
- I like better the Amazfit design
- The launcher and overall interface is more efficient
- I can use the Amazfit on Android as well as iOS