Running my First 24 Hours with the Apple Watch Sport

After the Apple Unboxing experience, I changed the Sport Band to the S/M size because I have a small wrist and then had the Watch charged overnight. It was 4:00am when the Watch was at 100% after 1.5-2 hours of charging time. Before I left the house, I checked first if the apps that I needed were all loaded on the Watch. I have been using the Nike+ Running app for more than a year now so I checked how the app would look like when viewed on the Watch as well as the interface or navigations to get it to work. However, I did not bother to configure the rest of the apps on the Watch so all of those settings were set to default. 

While I was driving to the university where I run and work, I kept on receiving notifications from Viber, Slack, and Instagram. I didn’t notice if there was a Facebook Watch app available though. My Viber app is very much active because this is the mode of communication of my running group, the run365ph family, where chats usually start before 6am, the time we commence running. I get notifications on Slack (for work) and on Instagram (for likes, comments, etc.). So everytime I get a notification, you can hear a discreet beep and you can feel a sense of force on your wrist, also known as haptic feedback or haptics.

The Watch was at 95% when I started running. When I activated the Nike+ Running Watch app and tapped Begin Run, the Nike+ Running iPhone app automatically started the run as well. I was planning to monitor my current pace, distance, and time but unfortunately I forgot where to configure the setting “Resume Previous Activity” On Wrist Raise. It was tedious then to always go over all the apps to look for the Nike+ icon and then open it while you’re running on a speed type of training. This is worth noting if you really want to track your activities. Likewise, it was also challenging for me to press any Watch app icon on the Home Screen which then proves that I really made a great decision on getting a 42mm face instead of the 38mm.

I was able to try the Heart Rate monitor as well through Glance and it displayed a range of 135-146 bpm in my run. Since this was just my first time to try a heart monitor while working out, I assumed that I will get the average only after days of usage and monitoring. The heart monitor takes 10-15 seconds before it stabilizes and reflects your current bpm when activated via Glance. I just wished that measuring would be a lot faster or probably, it should measure it all the time although it can definitely have an effect on the battery usage.

During the run, I was also figuring out how to reply via iMessage, draw a doodle, and send emoticons too. The battery of the Watch was at 80% after a 10km run that took me 70 minutes. Well, I believe that the battery performance was already good assuming that 15% of the battery will be used for every hour of running. Of course, this can still vary and can possibly last even longer because I did not disable those apps that do not require frequent notifications or urgent checking. I’ll be having my first full marathon next month and definitely this Watch and its battery will be put to the test.

I was playing with the Watch apps most of the time until it was 7:00pm when the Watch prompted me to activate Power Reserve because the battery was already at 10%. I tried activating it for the first time which then showed me only the digital time whereas the apps were inaccessible. When I got home at 10:00pm, I disabled the Power Reserve and surprisingly, there was still 10% of battery life left. The Watch went into a mode of a forced Power Reserve at 10:50pm when it reached 5% and that was the time I started charging it again. So from 4:00am to 10:50pm, I was able to use the Watch for around 19 hours, good enough as compared to the official published battery life of 18 hours.

So for the first day’s summary of the battery performance:
4:00am – 100%
6:00am – 95%
7:10am – 80%
7:00pm – 10% (Enabled Power Reserve)
10:00pm – 10% (Resume from Power Reserve)
10:50pm – 5% (Forced Power Reserve)

Now here are my initial impressions after a day’s usage:

Power: The total duration of 18 hours and 50 minutes (4:00am to 10:50pm) for a battery’s life is impressive enough. You will probably sleep for the rest of the day not using the watch while it is still charging.

Watch Apps: I believe that the key to being an essential Apple Watch app is quickness – it should take you less time to launch the Watch app than it takes you to get your iPhone out of your very tight pocket and access the same app.

Glances: One of its security features is the ability to make your iPhone to play a ping sound in case it gets lost or missing just by using the Watch.

Sport Band: I wouldn’t recommend getting any light colored band if you’re working out regularly. I’m planning to get the black sport band but this might take a long time because it’s not locally available yet. There was actually a movement before where a community was supposed to develop a way of exchanging bands with other people because they assumed that the Watch would have an extra complete band. Apparently, it only comes with an extra half of the band of a different size. I would assume then that CDR King will solve the problem of making very cheap band alternatives for the Watch when this becomes available in the Philippines.

Display: It would be great to have a setting wherein you can adjust the display timeout of the screen before it returns to a blank. This can be a problem especially when you’re still figuring out or reading the contents on the screen.

After 2-3 months, you can probably ask me again if it can really make me do things faster, more productive, and fitter when it comes to monitoring my training for my marathon.

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