How necessary are Apple Watch accessories? My ratings and choices

As you may know, I spoke with the Apple Store Specialist who helped me out in the try-on appointment along the 15 minutes around the Apple Watch. We touched on accessories and shared our personal preferences and choices made. However, many people may argue that it is completely not necessary as we never treat our ordinary watches and jewelry with such. Well, if you aim at getting some, here’s my 2 cents on each category of the accessories that I know about, with 5 star as max rating for necessity.

1. Apple Watch Stand
Necessity: ✮✮✮✮✮

This is the first and must purchase for an Apple Watch. Randomly placing an Apple Watch on top of the charger in the box simply take up much space on the desk and it can become more clumsy along with other possible cables, like for MacBook, iPhone, keyboard…etc.AWDock, an Apple Watch Dock currently funding in progress, does a great job in showing a difference between using a charging cable with and without a stand.

There are abundant of options available now for pre-order or on Kickstarter. Most of them look sleek and elegant, and take up less space than you normally have to place the watch on your desk. Nice ones include DODOcase Charging Stand, Griffin WatchStand, mophie watch dock, Twelve South HiRise, etc.

apple watch stands

Meanwhile, I don’t recommend charging docks like TimelessMoment and Composure Apple Watch Dock. Not only because it is a bit oversized, more importantly, you cannot use it for closed-loop watch bands such as the Milanese and Link Bracelet.

apple watch dock bg

Somehow, quite a few of those are over-priced, like $60-70 or even over $100, such as the TimelessMoment. I personally don’t think they worth the price in which they are just a piece of block that helps you wrap and organize your Apple Watch charging cable. I am pretty sure that there could be some cheaper options available in the near future in addition to Spigen’ Apple Watch Charging Stand S330 which costs you $20 at the moment.

Overall speaking, To me, 2 major reasons for a charging dock: 1. less cluttered with the watch and cable, 2. I won’t accidentally hit it on the desk. If you are not in a hurry, then just wait a bit until a cheaper one comes out. Even if so, you can’t get it most probably until May or even later.

2. Secondary watchband
Necessity: ✮✮☆

If you tried out some of the those from Apple, you should know they are nicely crafted and no doubt with high quality. But the price generally scares off many potential buyers. But is it really necessary to have another watchband in addition to the one that comes with your pre-ordered Apple Watch?

apple watch bands

I think it’s 50/50 depending on what you have ordered. In case you want to get one, the secondary band should be the one you lack off. Say, a metal band if you already have a Sports band for more formal occasions; or a Sports band if you have a leather in case you sweat quite a bit in hot weather.

If you find those Apple offers expensive to you, there are some options available. I personally backed Monowear on Kickstarter which they offer a much cheaper price than Apple. They look legit and with quality as well.


 
You can also check out Casetify’s Custom Apple Watch Band, where you can make your own Apple Watch strap using Instagram and Facebook photos or pick from the unique designs by creatives from around the world.

casetify-custom-apple-watch-bands

If none of the above suits you, you can get an Click Apple Watch Adapter which lets you use any 22mm watch band with Apple Watch without breaking the bank

click apple watch adapter

3. Charging band (or external battery)
Necessity: ✮

At this moment I can only give 1 star mainly due to unproven quality of the charging band, and the effective of the way it charges the watch with kinetic energy as you use it. This is still too early to us to judge and trust. Another reason could be that I may have 2 charging cables – one at home and one at office – so I basically have no worry on low battery life for the day.

apple-watch-reserve-strap

The price tag is steep too. For pre-ordering Reserve Strap, you have to cash-in $249 but you don’t have much detail and ETA. I personally don’t feel very comfortable with such price for a prototype, to be honest.

Another option could be wipowerband, with 250 mAh battery and deliveries planned for May-June 2015. Again, this is another “wait and see”

wipowerband-apple-watch

For external battery pack, Pod for Apple Watch has a built-in 1800 mAh lithium battery that allows you to charge your Watch anywhere you carry it along. It is shipping from June 15th which is 2 months away. Still, not for me at the moment as I don’t want to carry another bulky battery in addition to my “old 9000 mAh” for iPhone. I may change my mind if there is a proven effectiveness of the charging band, or a more compact option for Apple Watch juice pack.

Pod-product-page-hero_2048x2048

4. Case or bumper
Necessity: ✮✮☆

This is another 50/50 accessory. And there are plenty of options you can choose from. It can be very sleek or bulky. I personally don’t want my Apple Watch to look like a Casio G-Shock but I do want some protection around the edge of the screen and the glass on top of it. So I am going for a slimmer one that won’t block people’s sight from the gorgeous watch face but also secure the watch from my carelessness.

watch case slim

Slimmer options include x-doria Defence Edge (this is the one I picked), Spigen Exact-Fit, LUVVITT® STEEL Case, and more to come.

apple watch bulk

Bulky ones, some with additional functionalities include THE BUMPER BY ACTIONPROOF, Lunatik EPIK Apple Watch Waterproof Case, Spigen Apple Watch Case Tough Armor, and many others.

5. Screen protector
Necessity: ☆

Indeed, I wanted to give zero star but as I use GadgetWraps for my first-gen Pebble I will just leave it to 0.5 star. I do need a screen protector to avoid a scratch on the screen and the bezel. But due to the fact that the Apple Watch comes with a great screen and glass, it would be sort of downgrading and ruining the look of it by placing a piece of cheap plastic on top of it. Additionally, with such a piece of expensive gadget, or simply taking it as a nice watch you wear everyday, you tend to use it more carefully because it is more fragile comparing to a phone. More importantly, like the iPhone 6 curved edge, you may face some issue with the adhesiveness of the screen protector that could make your Apple Watch look really bad. Until they are physically on hand and being reviewed, this is still questionable.

screen protector

But if you do want one, there are plenty of options. iGeeksBlog picked 8 choices for you. And you may also wish to check out those made by Spigen available for pre-order.

6. Carrying bag or travel kit
Necessity: ☆
This is really a piece of nice-to-have. An example is Roll Up Kit or Luxury Travel Pouch from Pad & Quill. I may easily grab a much cheaper but yet protective bag to carry my Apple Watch and the cables…Wait, why should I put the Watch in a bag?

apple watch bag

7. Additional charging cable from Apple
Necessity: ✮✮✮✮

I rated 4 start for an additional Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable because of 2 reasons. First, I need it at home and office but I don’t want to carry a cable around. Second, the Apple Watch seems to incompatible with the wireless chargers available in the market. The price starts from $29 so it won’t break your bank. Whether or not there will be third-party charging cable is still unknown.

Apple_Watch_charging

So these are my personal views on how those accessories are necessary to myself. I listed the options as far as I know about that you may consider looking into. You can have a different point of view and if you want, please leave a comment below. And also feel free to let me know what accessories you are getting in the poll below

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