As a student and a freelancer with an active lifestyle, I always had strict criteria for the tech I buy. It has to work hard, and it has to work fast. So when Apple announced the launch of the new Apple Watch series, I have decided to go for the Nike+ model (Apple Watch series 4), as it was promised to be a great asset in everyday life, as well as in workouts. This would be the first smartwatch I own, which is why I did a lot of research before finally settling on this model and taking a risk – what if it turns out to be a useless fashion trend? However, I have been wearing the watch non-stop for the past week, and let me tell you – I got my money’s worth (roughly 400$).
When it comes to design, Apple doesn’t mess around – we have all heard stories about lawsuits and feuds caused by Mr. Jobs’ obsession with the visual aspect of the products. The watch is not an exception. Sleek, pitch-black rounded screen framed by a thin sliver of metal is peak elegance and unmistakable trademark design. The control wheel on the right of the screen is a subtle, but functional accessory to the whole ensemble. The watchband is connected to the device via easy-to-use sliding fasteners and can be changed to any of the various offered band designs. The fit is comfortable, and the interface is responsive and “intuitive” – I didn’t have to guess where to tap or press and got used to the device on the first day.
How often do you take out the phone out of your pocket just to check if there’s a new important email or a funny text from a friend? While it’s a habit many of us have adopted, in some situations, it can be bothersome and even rude. Wearing the watch, though, I was kept in the loop with a slight vibration notifying me every time a message was sent to my phone or a social networking app. Even though my model of the Apple Watch does not include cellular services, I can still receive and send messages and calls, so I didn’t have to worry about missing a text. I was also pleasantly surprised after getting notifications from applications that were not installed on the watch itself, like Tumblr and Discord.
Personally for me, tracking physical activity is the main reason why I have bought this product. I have only been using Endomondo on my iPhone and was curious to check the official Nike apps: Nike Training Club and Nike Run Club. Additionally, there are Workout and Activity apps already installed. When I was ready to break a sweat, NTC offered me complete video workouts with audio guidance on my iPhone with the watch reminding me when it is time to rest or change the exercise. This app, however, only works in pair with your iPhone, but the default Workout app can substitute it for when you want to track time and calories. Nike Run Club app, however, is great for using independently of your iPhone. It has guided runs, tracks your location and all relevant information. Endomondo can be installed on the watch as well, but I have ditched it in favor of the Nike apps that offer workouts you can follow and, frankly, have a better design. On top of everything, the Activity app tracks your activity constantly, without having to open the app, so you always know how much you have moved during the day. Moreover, it tells you to stand up every hour to keep up that healthy lifestyle.
There are many fun things you can do with the Apple Watch besides messaging and working out – the App store offers many Watch-compatible apps. I had played around with Siri, some memory-training games (yes, there are even games you can play on the Watch) and even a night-sky reading app that shows you the constellations. The Heart Rate app and SleepWatch app help you monitor your heart rate day and night, which is important for me since my blood pressure tends to jump up from time to time. When your heart beats too fast, the Watch picks it up and opens the default Breathing app to help you calm down. The Weather app was especially useful during the week because summer in my country is unpredictable – the current weather conditions were just a tap away.
Ah, the battery life. Apple products are infamous for running out of juice faster than their competitors’ tech. I have changed three iPhones in my lifetime and can agree that the power was drained too fast for my liking. The watch, however, exceeded my expectations. After fully charging it via the small (easily portable, which is a big plus) wireless charging station, I have worn it to sleep and then for the rest of the next day without having to charge it again. All that time it was connected to my iPhone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and I was using it to constantly check up on my step count (13k steps that day) and burnt calories. Besides, it only takes an hour and a half to charge fully.
The Apple Watch Series 4 proved to have a fast and powerful operating system that makes this product worth its price. I loved not only using it but also wearing it as an accessory that instantly made me feel like a million bucks. It is comfortable enough to sleep in and durable enough to wear to workouts (it’s waterproof, too, but I haven’t had the chance to test it out yet). The watch is a high-performing extension of my iPhone that makes my daily life a bit easier and pushes me to train harder thanks to the multitude of functions and access to official Nike apps. What’s more, the device has great battery life. The final verdict? Apple Watch Nike+ gets a solid 10/10 from me.