I had been educating myself about the functionality and convenience of Apple Watches for a while and had pretty much decided it was an expense (and a complication) I didn’t need. Although I limit the notifications my iPhone emits, they have become quite frequent. This is mainly because I keep a close eye on my credit card transactions. I have two cards with Chase and they offer the option of email and/or text notification of all transactions. Usually, the text message arrives while I am still at the point of sale in stores. Online, they appear immediately or within a few minutes. I sleep better at night as a result of this monitoring.
Anyway, the number of notifications and the need to frequently retrieve my iPhone from my pocket led me to reconsider the need for a smart watch. The deal was sealed when the list-price $279 Apple Watch SE went on sale on Amazon for $229! It has been intermittently on sale at that price for about the last week. I tried to buy another as a gift for my son, but Amazon said I had reached my limit of one and would not sell me another. So, when it was back on sale yesterday, I quickly called my son and asked him to buy it in his account and I would reimburse him. He succeeded.
Longer story short, I am quite pleased with it and have several times conjured up Arthur C. Clarke’s quote saying sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic (we have come a long way from Dick Tracey’s imagined wrist radio, haven’t we?). It is most convenient to read my text messages at the flick of a wrist and I have even learned to use Siri to compose and reply to texts. That function is amazingly accurate. I am luke warm as to exercise and movement monitoring and as to sleep monitoring.
The main weakness is battery life. The screen is not always-on. Rather, it comes on when one raises the wrist to view the face and does so rapidly and reliably; I find this not to be a problem. Battery is advertised to last 18 hours, but actually seems a bit longer. Nonetheless, if I want to monitor my sleep, I must charge it during the day – the very time I most want to rely on it for notifications. So, I have decided to not monitor sleep and simply charge the watch at night. I am quite OK with that.
The other weakness is that, according to reviews, the face can scratch fairly easily, since it is not sapphire. I decided to not wait for my first chronic ADHD clumsiness, which causes me to intermittently lose track of the precise location of my extremities and impact them on something in my surroundings. So, I bought a protective cover at 2 for $10. Works well and does not decrease touch screen sensitivity. Final weakness is the sports band. It is very comfortable, but is quite difficult to put on at the necessary tightness with only one hand (at least for septuagenarians). I now understand why Apple sells (for more money) a wrap-around stretch band as an option.
All-in-all the Apple Watch SE is well worth $229. That is competitive with the price of some of the older models which are still being marketed.