Unboxing and 3 days with Apple Watch Sport

Finally I can sit down in front of my MacBook Pro and start typing. Many have shared their impression on Apple Watch that they received on last Friday. I was a bit unfortunate to have it shipped on Friday evening local time and picked up by myself at the courier customer center in early Saturday morning.

The model that I ordered is 38mm Apple Watch Sport Space Grey with Black Sport Band. It is the cheapest, but also the lightest one among all that I have tried. The Sport Band is more comfortable than you think and ever had with plastic watch band in reality if you ask me.

I had 3 days with it and I want to keep my usage and impression simple and straightforward, Mostly about managing the battery life, unfortunately, because: 1) it can be boring to talk about the feeling again as many of you could have tried on many times; 2 battery life is correlated to the usage pattern and that could be the aspect that people concerned the most. I do hope it helps you to judge on your purchase, if you haven’t.

Day 1 – 1200HR to 0030HR
It is the most challenging day of usage. Picked up at around 1100HR and immediately returned home fox unboxing and charging. It came with around 70% of battery life. Boot up time is more or less the same as what was shown on a YouTube video with the Apple Store demo unit.

Kept it charged while setting up and syncing so the progress had been slow. I took it off from the charger at 1200HR around 76% eventually as I need to head for multiple events for the rest of the day.

I made a couple of calls from the watch and the battery drained extremely fast, like 1% per minute. In addition, it drained 1% each time I switched the screen on when I raised my wrist and tapped on it. Immediately I did a Google search and I read a blog somewhere. They mentioned that Apple reminds us to have the watch fully charged before first usage. I tried the ways that Apple suggested to conserve battery life for Apple Watch but seems it did not help too much. Disabling activate on wrist raise does have a positive effect on battery life as it stops detecting your arm and wrist movements. It is a difference from around 1% per 15 or 16 minutes to 1% per around 18 minutes.

Eventually, I switched on the Power Reserve mode from 1300HR to 1530HR and enjoyed my German lunch buffet. The battery dropped slightly from 69% to 66%.

Then I took the watch off, plugged it onto the charger and threw into my bag leaving it being charged. Had some shopping until 1900HR.

Started using a firstly-fully-charged Apple Watch at an event starting from 1900HR to afterparty overnight 0000HR. Showed off many times in the crowd, changed through different watch faces, responded to around 10 WeChat notifications and 3 phone calls. Battery level was not less than 76%.

Day 2 – 1315HR to 2330HR
Apple Watch and iPhone 6 were both fully charged overnight. Non hangover. I knew it is going to be a long day so I set the Apple Watch alert to mute but maximum haptic strength, no heart rate monitor, and lowest brightness level. I always bring along my 9000 mAh external juice pack with me as I do lots of graphic intensive online gaming on transportations or during idle time.

I went to an outdoor wetland park, good sunshine that almost got me burnt. The Apple Watch screen is so good that I can still read the content clearly under mid-day sunshine without any glare issue. Also, I don’t have to worry about when I sweated and washed my hands with splashes on the watch.

Had quite a number of notifications and I was intensively chatting with someone on a particular issue on WhatsApp. Sometimes I responded quickly from the phone with emoji, but most of the time I pulled the phone out and typed instead of talking to the watch for dictation.

Opened a few apps during the day, including Instagram, Weibo, Twitterific and Taobao to quickly check out the latest stuff. Impressively fast app loading time, no lag, screen has been responsive. No significant battery usage per app usage even though it required internet data from the iPhone.

Glance is really a very important and one of the most useful functions of the Apple Watch. I found I used more and more every day to quickly check on something I care the most, such as the weather forecast (I’m currently using CARROT Weather), upcoming calendar event, and more importantly, the Activity app that I want to push myself to move more.

End of day battery life was at 49%.

Day 3 – 0810HR to 0040HR
Most boring day in terms of Apple Watch but still have moderate hands-on usage between home and office as I had more notifications. First working day to show off the Apple Watch to some colleagues. I was still wearing it when I edited this post. Total battery usage for 16.5 hours is 71%.

So with moderate or slightly high usage, you can easily run through for a day for a single charge overnight without worry on battery death (while you are awake of course), which is around 20-22 hours per my usage experience in the 3 days.

Also, notably speaking, Apple Watch drains far less battery than Pebble from bluetooth connection with the iPhone. The impact is minimal. My iPhone 6 now runs on iOS 8.3 from a fresh restore so I can say it is very free some accumulated issues of prolonged usage that may impact the battery life.

Last but not least, here is my unboxing video with initial setup and some demo with stock apps:

Feel free to share how you feel about your Apple Watch experience down below in the comments section.

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