(Note: All Screen-shots are from my iPhone in regards to the Apple Watch. If you would like to see screen-shots of the UP App see the full post on Jawbone UP3 here)
It has been more than three weeks since I’ve switched from my Jawbone Up3 to Apple Watch and I think a review is needed as there are a lot of things to say and weight-in when a change like this emerges. I do not want to influence your fit band/smartwatch choices, but I do want to talk a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of having one or the other as well as show you how I use mine and truthfully what I think a smartwatch is most used for – let’s be honest, while it is nice to see who’s calling you on your watch, we’re not the FBI talking to our wrists therefore people talking on the ‘phone’ on their watch look stupid (to say the least) in my humble opinion. But hey, who am I to judge?
First I’ll start off by saying that I got the Apple Watch Series 1 in pink (obviously!). I did not get the Series 2 because besides it being waterproof – which in my case is completely useless as I am afraid of water and therefore stay clear of it as much as I can (daily shower not included in this category) all it has as an extra is a better (better illuminated) display and as D puts it, soon we will have white displays to look at. Since I got it right after the launch of the second series, I found it at a special price and it made no sense to me to miss the opportunity. That said, D will get the series 2 as he is the type that is mostly in the water whenever we are on vacation and waterproofing is something that he and anyone that is not afraid of the water needs in a smartwatch. Therefore, I do feel that this feature is needed for normal people and it definitely is worth the money.
Since most of our stuff is from Apple, I did not even look at other smartwatches as the OCD side in me likes everything to match and thinks that everything works better if it’s from the same brand, so no, I did not even show a bit of interest in other smartwatches. As with any Apple product, the installation is easy and fast and, unless you did not came in contact with another Apple product before, you’ll find the menu to be intuitive and very easy to use. Getting started was fairly easy, my iPhone detected the watch immediately and I was set.
For the first few days, I kept both my Jawbone and my Apple Watch on just to compare the two. The nice thing about the watch is that you can see all your notifications on your watch so, if you are like me and always leave your phone somewhere in the house, you will not miss any notifications/phone calls/messages/Instagram or Facebook notifications ever again so this is a big plus on my Jawbone band. Also the screen helps a lot in keeping up with your activity. However, let’s not forget that the Apple Watch costs double than the Jawbone UP3 but it also does a lot more than track your activity. As step trackers they have the same accuracy, however the Jawbone band detects when you are exercising more easily than the Apple Watch and that is a big plus especially if you do not want to constantly log every walk you take beforehand so that the Apple Watch can measure it (both in time and length). This is one thing that I did not like as much about the Apple Watch – it fails to detect exercise on its own while the Jawbone UP3 does that impeccably.
Another feature that the Jawbone UP3 has and the Apple Watch does not have is the ability to track your sleep on its own. Again, for the Apple Watch you have to manually log in when you go to bed and set an alarm to wake up – I hate alarms, but that is the only way I can track my sleep. I suspect this is because the Apple Watch uses a third party app, called Pillow to do that. Do not get me wrong, I think that the sleep tracking on the Apple Watch is a million times better than the analysis I used to get from my Jawbone UP3 and therefore, alarm or no alarm and as much as it bugs me to manually log when I am getting into bed, I think that in this category the Apple Watch is by far better. Now it all depends on how much you value a good sleep analysis. For me this is very important and that’s why I started loving the Apple Watch quickly.
This, in my opinion is where the Apple Watch won me over for good. Again we are talking about using a third party app and to my best knowledge the best one out there so far is MyNetDiary. This app is so complete and so easy to use! I just love it. As opposed to the Up App, I can find most of my daily food choices without having to add them myself (I hated having to add all the nutritional info to most of my food), so one can say that the database is way larger and that makes the whole logging experience a lot better. Another cool feature that this app has is the ability for the user to make their own recipe and divide it either by serving or weight. This is very helpful when you want to cook stuff and also keep things as healthy as possible. I also love the fact that this app is easy to use but I hate the fact that it does not sync with the activity tracker on my watch and therefore it does not give me a throughly ready-calculated calorie count and I have to do that by myself. It does however sync with the step-numbers on my watch and it makes no sense to me why they didn’t manage to sync it to the Activity app.
This is a feature that the Jawbone UP3 does not have, or at least not to this level. The Apple Watch can track your heartbeat live and when it gets too high it usually makes you take a 1 minute break. The Jawbone UP3 only tracked your resting heart rate which, again might or might not be important to you. It is to me, especially during my pregnancy and it will probably be important post-pregnancy when I will restart going to the gym regularly.
All this data is nicely stored in the Health App that the iPhone has pre-intalled and that most people do not use until they get an Apple Watch – or at least that was my case. This is a very good nutrition analyst in my opinion and not much else. I mean, yeah, it does put everything together and all but it does not tell you anything. It does however do a great (and I mean GREAT) job at analysing your food (vitamins, minerals, etc), which no other app does. This again is very important to me right now, and to be honest it always was important, but the Up App did not provide that. This is something that I loved from the very beginning and really made me change my mind and go from the Jawbone UP3 to the Apple Watch.
This is where the comparison between the Jawbone Up3 and the Apple Watch stops as the Jawbone is just a fitness tracker while the Apple Watch does so much more. If you are only interested in a fitness tracker, then go for any of the tracking bracelets out there (I loved the Jawbone UP3) and save your money. However if you want more than that, keep on reading.
Like I said earlier, this watch is like your mini iPhone on your wrist. It basically has every app on your phone and it has most of the abilities you phone has. That being said, you must keep it connected to your phone for it to actually work and having your phone in the near vicinity usually makes you use it as opposed to using the watch. There are a few situations where I used the watch to answer and talk on the phone – when I was too lazy to actually get off the couch or when my phone battery was almost over – but overall, I use my phone. Also, it is nice to have the ability to reply to messages but scribbling every single letter on your watch tends to be time-consuming but helps in the earlier mentions situations.You can also check Instagram, use Shazam and lot more apps that are compatible with the watch. The interface, as I said at the beginning of the post, is very user-friendly, and, especially at the beginning, you are tempted to over-use it.
The Watch app on your phone allows you to customise virtually anything about your watch (see the print-screens) and also gives you a full insight on your device (apps, notifications, setting, font size, sounds, app layout, etc). The battery life is decent, and because I want to wear it all day and night, I usually charge it before I go to sleep for about 20 minutes and again in the morning for about 20 minutes, but if you do not want to wear it during the night you could get away with only charging it once.
Overall I am very happy with my watch and I have been using it non-stop for the past three weeks which means that I have been ignoring my other beloved watches, but I did also keep my Jawbone bracelet at arm’s reach as whenever I want to wear another watch I need something to track my activity (yes, I am crazy like that and that craziness only got worse one the doctor forbade me to got to the gym during the pregnancy). So, is the watch worth the money? Hell yeah! Not saying the same thing about the watch bracelets that Apple are selling and are waaaay overpriced – if you know a good third party bracelet seller for my watch please leave a comment below as I am really bored by my Sport band that the watch came with.