When I watched the Apple presentation in September, I was blown away by the new Apple Watch. The thing is, I have an Apple Watch already. I wear it frequently, but not every day. The new watch though has cellular, which means you can walk away from your phone and still be “connected” without feeling tethered.
I’ve been spending the better part of the year working on disconnecting from my phone more. It dawned on me, that the watch, while a new piece of technology, would allow me to be away from my phone without 100% disconnecting from the modern world. It seems almost counterintuitive, but having this piece of technology might allow me to have some distance from mindless technology traps (like scrolling on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter).
I decided to go for it. (Frankly, my original Apple Watch was a gift from someone that’s not in my life anymore, so I didn’t have a lot of “skin” in that game. I felt like I had to address why I was willing to drop money on a new watch when I had a perfectly fine one already, ha.) I actually was trying to convince Maxie why she needed the watch and that’s what made me realize that it would work for me too.
I wanted to share my thoughts on it now that I’ve had it for a little bit. I’ve been keeping Maxie updated on why it’s working for me now. Thought I’d share some of those thoughts here too in case you’re on the fence.
If you’re wondering what my initial reactions were on the non-cellular watch, here’s my original review. The best part of that review is that one of the major cons for me was that you still needed your phone for it to work. Now, the watch has an antenna (it’s the face of the watch!) that connects to your cellular network. Because of its cellular capability, it’s now the “magic watch” that I once said it wasn’t.
With the watch on, I feel like Kim Possible, in a good way. I love dictating into my watch to respond to texts, take calls, and ask Siri things. But in a normal way, I promise. The other day, I wanted to know how long it would take me to get somewhere, I asked Siri on my watch (while my phone was upstairs in the apartment), and I had my answer. Just being able to go on a long walk with the dogs without having to shove my giant iPhone 7+ into a pocket or the waistline of my pants is a win for me.
Because I don’t have to have my phone with me, I wear it a lot more than I did before. I’ve been trying to close my activity rings every day, so it goes on when I first wake up, and I put it on the charger as I get into bed. (Side note: the battery seems to last longer than the original watch, too. When I go to bed, it’s only at 45% even though I wore it all day.)
When I wrote the last review, I wasn’t in a major workout routine. Now I am, and I love the fitness trackers and heart rate monitoring. Once I figured out that my band wasn’t tight enough, I find everything to be fairly accurate. I think wearing my watch during workouts is my favorite part so that I can have numeric touchpoints to analyze workout-to-workout.
The activity tracker measures your exercise minutes, calories burned, and standing time every day. I’m sharing my activity with my friend Alison, and it’s great to feel motivated to close the rings knowing she’s looking on. And I love being able to send her a quick little emoji when she crushes a 5-mile run. (She’s putting me to shame right now….) The best is the standing tracking because I get so in the zone that I don’t even realize how long I’ve been sitting. Sitting is apparently terrible for your health, even if you exercise daily. I love the gentle hourly reminder to stand up; I’ve been alternating between Power Posing and doing a few sun salutations.
Now that I can leave my phone behind, I have had some interesting observations about my phone usage. I thought I’d find myself missing being able to scroll through social media. Instead, I love not feeling the urge to look, mostly because it’s thoughtless. I have found that it’s only something I do when it’s in front of me; when my phone is gone, I really don’t have a desire or miss it whatsoever. Instead, I realized that I have a big habit of taking pictures. Yes, I’m a blogger, but the number of times where I’ve reached for my phone to snap a pointless photo is alarming. Now it’s like I’m more in the moment and I’m trying to get over the “document everything” urge.
I also realized how much I rely on my phone to look up stupid things. I read The Shallows a few years ago, but I still think about it all the time. (Highly recommend if you want to know more about how our brains are being rewired thanks to the internet…. scary.) Apparently, despite knowing what I’m doing to my brain, I still rely on searching for things. And it’s not even like I’m searching for important things. It’s dumb searches as if I’m just trying to fill time. Hoping I start to get more control over this!
So I don’t have them yet, but the watch is supposedly 10x better with the AirPods. I’m so on the fence about getting them because they look like tiny cigarettes hanging out of people’s ears, haha. But the technology makes it so you can go for a run, stream music, and track your workout… all without your phone. After awkwardly taking a few calls on my watch in public, I think an investment in the AirPods might just be worth it.
Overall, the watch allows me to disconnect with my phone without completely isolating myself. It’s a small, but mightly, little tool and with the cellular option, it does feel pretty magical.
Does anyone else have the new Apple Watch with cellular?