“My apple watch sits long days untouched and left behind. Chin up little guy! Rejection is a part of life!”
As a Christmas gift to myself, I picked-up the highly sought after, Apple Watch Series 2. With the second iteration launched back in November 2016, the upgrades seemed quite appealing. The more I read, the greater the urge; the purchase quickly became absolutely irresistible. After four months of daily use, and with much anxiety and trepidation, I made the decision to leave my Apple Watch behind one morning, instead strapping back on my once loved, Garmin Fenix 3 HR.
My Previous Review
After committing to one wearable system, assuming that you are highly active and data driven, it is difficult to shift to another. Being a long time user of the Garmin Fenix 3 HR and the Garmin Connect Ecosystem, buying an Apple Watch felt quite risky. I knew there was no way to use it for training. That required me to parse my activity data. With the Apple Health App, I believed there would be no problem combining my Garmin running metics with Apple daily activity tracking.
Specifically, back in December, I remarked on the following to justify my purchase:
- The Garmin Fenix 3 HR has everything in one location. However, it lacks a personalized approach to your daily activity tracking.
- The Garmin Fenix 3 HR is superior in every way regarding training metrics and durability.
- The Garmin Fenix 3 HR is a beast! The little jolt of testosterone when you put it on gives you a bit of a rush.
- The Apple Watch Series 2 provides a personalized approach to daily metics such as movement, breathing, steps, etc.
- The Apple Watch Series 2 is ultimately the most sexy wearable out there but lacks durability. Don’t take in skiing!
- The Apple Watch blows every other device out of the water regarding reminders, and adds functionality to the AirPods (BTW, the AirPods are also not for training!)
Why I Returned to Garmin – The Final Straw(s)
Why did I go back to using my Garmin 24 hours a day? Why would I drop hundreds of dollars on an Apple Watch and posh watch bands (e.g.; Silver Milanese), only to leave it for a previous device and ecosystem?
On one level, it is financial suicide to drop so much money on expensive gadgets that cost hundreds of dollars (and more), only to shelf the one that satisfies the least. Standing back, this first-world-problem is a bit embarrassing.
As you can imagine, the decision to return to my Garmin was not easy. Following are five (5) features that caused me to make the jump back:
- The Garmin Connect ecosystem calculates compressive metrics for runners, above and beyond competitors.
- Garmin Connect measures sleep (awake, light, and deep) accurately. Sleep is an important metric used for recovery.
- The 24 hour heart rate data shows you recovery in real-time. It is common to have an elevated heart rate for a day following an intensive long run workout. You are able to see your system return to normal on recovery days.
- Integration between Garmin Connect and MyFitnessPal makes it easy to track calories based on exertion. In other words, everything you enter in MyFitnessPal is imported to Garmin Connect and checked against activity for the day.
- The Garmin Fenix 3 HR lasts seven days before having to charge. This includes wearing the device 24 hours a day, and running three to five times a week. The Apple Watch must be charged every twenty-four to forty-eight hours, depending on use.
More Than An Expensive Paper Weight
We must give credit where credit is due. In fact, I have to admit that I LOVE my Apple Watch. It is absolutely amazing in its own regard, with features that stand out from all the rest:
- There is no wearable more elegant to look at – It grabs the attention of others.
- The brightness of the screen is amazing, even in bright sunlight.
- Voice recognition for returning text messages is out of this world accurate using Siri.
There is literally dozens of amazing remarks I can make about this product. If the Apple Watch was able to do everything that I love about the Garmin ecosystem, there would be no contest.
So, in what situations will I be wearing my Apple Watch? Surely, she will not be left behind on the shelf like many other devices I have romanced in the past (Polar V800). No indeed! There are several occasions where I see it used moving forward, such as when I dress up to go out to a nice dinner with family, graduations, and high level corporate meetings. It is a professional looking device that goes with both casual and nice attire.
A Lesson About Hype
I am easily pulled into consumer hype. I have never prided myself in restraint when it comes to buy gadgets. They consume me! Moving past all that hype, it is clear that the Apple Watch is not designed for the serious athlete. In fact, I personally do not believe that Apple is targeting athletes at all with this device. Apple is famous for attempting to appeal to a broad consumer base, consequently sacrificing targeted excellence at any one thing. I cannot fault Apple for that. That is the nature of marketing with an aim at significant profit.
If you are a casual runner, walker, or swimmer who is not dependent on detailed metrics for evaluating effort and progress, then the Apple Watch is perfectly designed for you. It is the most robust extension of the iPhone with a brilliant notification system. If this is your demographic, you will absolutely be exhilarated with this product.
A Quick Note About “Always On” Notifications
Both the Garmin Fenix 3 HR and Apple Watch Series 2 have the ability to alert you to new text messages, emails, etc. The Apple Watch far surpasses any other wearable in this regard. In fact, I never turned on notification on my Garmin because it seriously lacks.
One lesson I am taking away from my experiment is the need to not always be, “ON”. If you are like me, you receive a lot of updates on your phone. With my Apple Watch, this translated into getting a haptic notification every few minutes. It seems exhilarating at first. However, day-in and day-out haptic taps causes problems with attention and distracts you from digging deep into your day. The gentle tap on your wrist takes you away from important moments. When engaging with others, it is important to be fully present. I am learning that anything else is disrespectful, if not rude.