Returned My Apple Watch

by Colin Berkshire

Colin here.

I was one of the first people to get an Apple Watch. Not surprising since I have an iPhone 6 plus, use a retina MacBook Pro, and my office has a 27” iMac with a 5K display. I’m an Apple guy.

So, of course, I purchased an Apple

I hated it. Just absolutely hated it. Let me count the ways:

  • You can’t read the display outside in sunlight. It completely washes out.
  • Several times a day it would require me to enter my PIN number. You have the option of the watch being “too tight” on your wrist or else it is loose enough that it thinks it has been removed. There is no band-setting that is “just right” for my wrist.
  • After I have gone to bed at 9PM it would vibrate and beep me and tell me I was too inactive and needed to stand up. Nothing like being awaken by your watch after you have gone to bed and are sleeping well.
  • Feel like taking a Saturday afternoon nap? The watch will wake you up and tell you to stand because you are too inactive. It also does the same in meetings while making presentations.
  • The user interface is a fraud. You know the honeycomb of icons that you can zoom in and out using the digital crown. It’s a total fraud. There are precisely and ONLY three zoom levels. The smallest is too small to read and too small to touch any specific icon. The middle one is the only useful setting. The next zoom-out level is to run the default application in the center of the grid. Yup, really, the zoom feature does NOT let you pick the size of icons you prefer. Exactly, precisely one usable zoom level.
  • Lots o’bugs. Like the sunrise/sunset time. When I put this into my custom watch face it just displayed —:— as the sunset and sunrise times, always. Many bugs like this that are irritating.
  • There are no custom watch faces. You would think the primary feature of the watch was the ability to choose from 100,000 different, beautiful watch faces. Nope. Developers are prohibited from developing custom watch faces.
  • It took longer for the Apple Watch screen to refresh than it takes to pull my iPhone out of my pocket. Pretty much every screen that shows updated information takes a long time to refresh. After a while, rather than looking at my watch I would just pull the phone out of my pocket. Screen updates on the Apple Watch often took 6~10 seconds.
  • The user interface is inconsistent and confusing. There is no back button. The Digital Crown isn’t good for much. Pressing the digital crown does a variety of different, unpredictable, inconsistent things. I never could figure out when I was supposed to touch, or long-press or force-touch the face. You just keep trying one or the other until something happens.
  • Having to take the watch off at night (every night) to recharge is a nuisance. Those plastic bands are not easy to put on because the plastic flap tucks under and into the other band. You need three hands.
  • Getting it to show you the time can be impossible. Shake your hand, rotate your arm, lift your arm. It’s hit or miss whether you are going to get it to turn on. And, then if you move your arm to share the display with another person the watch turns off.

I really could go on and on. I hated it. I found after a few days I was just not using it.

Thank goodness for money-back policies. Oh, by the way, Apple’s policy is that you have just 14 days, not the more usual 30~60 days most retailers give you. It’s perhaps characteristic of the “Tim Cook Apple” that they have such a customer-unfriendly policy.