lifestyle

The New Apple Watch

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.

New Apple Watch

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?

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49 Comments

Nancy Platt

I was excited to see this because I just bought mine this weekend. This is my first Apple Watch, so I’ll be spending today watching tutorials. (any that you would recommend would be appreciated!)

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Laura

Do you have the small or large sized watch? Do your bands from the other Apple Watch work on the new version?

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carly

I have the smaller one, but you should go to the store and try them on to see what feels best on your wrist! (Do you watch iJustine on Youtube? She just found out that she’s been wearing the wrong size for two years!)

And yes! My old bands fit 🙏🏻

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Susan

I don’t have the newest Apple Watch, but I do have the Air Pods. They are seriously life-changing. I will never go back to regular headphones again.

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Kristina

We own our own business. One reason I am LOVING my new watch is that I could turn off text messages 🙂

I told our employees, any of the reps, friends, family if it’s important call me!

So now I can leave the phone and know if something comes up I’ll for sure get the phone call. Or at least know go get my phone – thinking about the air pods!

Then I can respond to text messages almost like emails at set times 🙂

Game changer!!

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Rachel

I have the new watch and the AirPods, and I don’t know how I existed without them! The AirPods are amazing! Once you get used to them looking a little different, their functionality just makes them indespensable. I was an early adopter of them, so at first I got really strange looks when I wore them commuting through Boston, but now they are becoming more common and the looks have subsided. It is true that they are great for the watch, but they are also great for pairing with your phone. When I get on the train and take my jacket off, I don’t have to fight with a cord to keep from tangling myself up. My phone can be in the depths of my bag and I can still hear everything on a podcast or whatever Spotify channel I’m listening to. They hold a charge for a really long time too!

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Rachel

I have the Series 2 Apple Watch and love it! I primarily use it when I’m at work to not miss calls and texts when my phone is lost in my (messy) desk. I can see why a watch that doesn’t require the phone connection would be really useful for working out!

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Jacqueline Barrett

I have the Fitbit charge hr and a garmin (for running). I’ve used the Fitbit to monitor my sleep and activity because I have chronic migraines. I’m torn because I have my iPhone, my iPad and my MacBook and I love how they are all connected but I like to unplug when I workout and sleep…do you feel that you are more connected with the watch? Do you unplug?

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carly

I put my phone (and watch!) frequently on Do Not Disturb while I work and I don’t get reception in my gym anyway so it works out! My phone is ALWAYS on do not disturb at night while I sleep and like 45 minutes before I go to bed too while I read/unwind.

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Ioana

Thank you for the very helpful info! Can you please recommend what to do with the old Apple Watch, version 2? I’d love to get some of my money back as I’m about to invest in the newest one.

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carly

My sister wants mine and so I’m giving it to her, but definitely check with Apple to see if they have a buy back program. I know they do that with iPhones and thought they did with iPods too.

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Maddy

I would love to know how much of your data the watch is using. I am really tempted to buy this as I am also trying to “disconnect” more, but I am afraid that it will use a lot of data and run of my cell phone bill.

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carly

That’s a good question… I’m not 100% sure because I have a giant plan haha, BUT I don’t imagine it would be that much more than what you already use on your phone. I have a feeling the Apple people or your service provider could give you an estimate based on how much you already use.

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Samantha

I wanted to buy myself an apple watch when I finished grad school in May but I just had a ~feeling that I should wait until the fall Apple event to see if they were going to hit us with a new watch. As soon as they announced pre-order dates for the new watch, I called AT&T to get one! The job I took has me on call pretty much 24/7 so I NEED to have my phone on me at all time – not great when you’ve moved across the country and are trying to be a poite new friend (or first date) and be present in the moment. Having cellular on my watch has been such a relief. I turned off notifications from pretty much everything except for phone/messages/work email so I know if I get a buzz from my watch it’s actually important. The only downside for me is that I can’t play podcasts on the watch, even streaming, and that’s what I usually listen to on my morning walk.

Any old pair of bluetooth earphones should work just fine, by the way. I have a crap $15 pair I got on prime day. They have a mic for phone calls and connect just fine.

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Abby

Carly, I was also on the fence about the AirPods, but I am SO glad I went for it. They are amazing! I bought the new watch for running, and it’s amazing to listen to music and track my run without my giant phone. Also, the safety features are what finally sold me on watch, as I often run alone!

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Samantha

Are there any bands you would recommend? I love the leather band you are wearing in the photo!

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carly

I only have bands from Apple. The leather bands from them are expensive but well worth it. They’re very comfortable and great leather. The sport bands are the best too because they’re SUPER comfortable!

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Heather Lawler Sears

Friends of ours have apple watch bands they found on Amazonvand they look great! My husband decided to buy a couple too and he has been impressed with the quality for the price. Bands from Jisoncase and ben5le are his favorite Amazon finds.

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Catherine

My husband has one and his photo got locked inside a worksite over a weekend. What would have normally been a massive problem was a non-issue! He loves it

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Laura

Hi Carly – two questions for you….
Have you had any trouble with the cellular itself? And how is the battery life?

I really like the idea of the cellular for all the reasons you love it but I’ve read mixed reviews.

Thanks!
Laura

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carly

Battery life is great, I touched on that in the post. And the cellular is not quite as good as my phone but I haven’t had a problem with it. In certain hallways/elevators in my building my watch won’t have service where I might have had it on my phone.

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Jeff

I absolutely love my Apple Watch series 3! I’m a big Apple/technology person! So I had to get the new watch when it came out! I had a series 2 before that I wound up giving to my dad. I’m also a big fitness person so having the ability to workout and track my activity as well as stream music to my AirPods, all without my phone, is awesome! I highly recommend getting the AirPods! They’re great! It really makes going without a phone much easier!

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Whitney

I have so many questions! What size of watch did you choose? What color? And what band are you using? It looks very well put together! Very fancy and professional

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carly

I have the 38mm Silver Aluminum Case. I have the sport bands and the leather band (both the Hermes double in Navy and regular in black).

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Elise

Hi! Could you do a post/review on “nicer” Apple Watch bands? I have the rubbery one that comes with it but I’m interested in more everyday bands that I can dress up for an office environment. Thanks!

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carly

The one in the post is the $150 leather band from Apple- it’s super comfortable and nice.

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Karen

I feel like the watch faces are also super key because I don’t really use Apple Watch apps. So I’m very selective about faces and the info it tells me at a glance. Do you have any particular faces you use a lot?

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carly

I use the photo face right now (with date/time/heart rate), but I play around with different ones every now and then.

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Krystal // The Krystal Diaries

I think I’m sold on it! I’ve asked for it for Christmas and if I don’t get it, I’ll be ordering it on Dec. 26th lol. While I don’t think I’d wear it 24/7 like when I’m dressed up or have a business meeting to go to (I just like the look of a normal watch better when I’m wearing a suit) I will wear it on most days and especially when I’m working out. I like that I don’t have to lug around my 7 plus when I’m walking the dog or working out. I’m going to have to look into some of the nicer bands since I’m not a fan of the rubbery looking one.

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carly

The leather bands from Apple are great, very professional looking! (It’s what’s pictured in the photo in the post!)

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Jae (@gorjaeous)

I upgraded to the new Apple Watch with cellular almost as soon as Apple dropped it in stores. I’m the kind of person who prefers to buy things in-store than (pre-)order online because I’m impatient, and I want to see and feel the product first-hand.

Anyway, I was so excited to use the watch that I didn’t realize I needed to have an iPhone 8/8 Plus/X (I had the 7 Plus) in order for the cellular function to work. Guess what? I upgraded to the iPhone 8 Plus on the same day I got the watch!

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Jae (@gorjaeous)

Really?? Like the number-sharing worked with yours?? I’m on Verizon, and I was told that I needed to have the iPhone 8/8 Plus in order for the watch to work (with number-sharing).

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Tayce

I just received the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular this Xmas and I love it. This is my first smartwatch and I was initially on the fence. I really like the fitness trackers and the convenience of not having to reach for my phone every time I get a notification.

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Cate Hannum

Hey Carly! Really liked this post – I just bought myself an apple watch over the weekend and am already obsessed. Wondered if you had thought about doing a video review for your youtube channel? Now that you’ve had the series 3 for a few months it might be nice to see if there have been any changes in how you feel about it. any pros or cons, tips, etc. I have looked for reviews of the series 3 on youtube and it’s predominately techies, talking in tech-speak. I think a review coming from a regular person, who appreciates it from a regular perspective rather than a tech perspective, would be helpful and insightful. All the best! xo Cate

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Hailey

Great article with good information! That black apple watch strap brought me to your website. Would you kindly advice me on where to find it.

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