Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: 2016: The Year's Best Tech for Work and Play

Three months with the Apple Watch convinces me it's the best Apple product I've ever purchased

I've tested my Apple Watch extensively over the past three months and it's the only smartwatch that hasn't been sold or placed in a drawer. Apple was able to get so many things right, the 97 percent satisfaction makes perfect sense.

One month with the Apple Watch: Pain, joy, and daily experiences

The Apple Watch Sport edition has been strapped on my wrist for a month and for the most part it has exceeded all of my expectations. It's even better now that I realized I was wearing it wrong.

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Yesterday ZDNet's Kevin Tofel wrote that 97 percent of Apple Watch customers are satisfied with their purchase. I bought mine right when it was released, see my full review, and after three months I am confident in stating it is the best smartwatch I have ever tried.

I've tried different Pebble watches, various Android Wear devices, Samsung devices, and even go back to the days of the Palm OS and MSN Direct SPOT watches. No other smartwatch has satisfied me as much as the Apple Watch.

I was hesitant to purchase one since it was Apple's first foray into the smartwatch market and usually first generation products have issues. Thankfully, Apple was able to get most everything right with the first generation Apple Watch and I don't regret paying the $150 premium to get mine on day one through a seller on eBay.

My Apple Watch Sport edition came with a blue sport band and I had a Milanese Loop band on order for more than a month. It turns out that I find the sport band to be extremely comfortable and low profile so I canceled that Milanese Loop band and order a black sport band that goes better with my business attire. I now swap out and wear the blue one when I run while the black one is in place during work.

I mentioned several reasons I liked the Apple Watch in my one month article and since then Apple has fixed a few things while I also continued testing out the fitness functions of the Apple Watch.

Here are several reasons I think the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch currently available today:

  1. Battery life: Despite what you may read from those who don't own an Apple Watch, the battery life is excellent. Over the last three months, my experience is that I can go from 4:30 am to 10:30 pm and still have 40 percent battery left on most days. Running with the Apple Watch for an hour only consumes about 10 percent, even when used to stream music and track my runs.
  2. Hardware design: The Apple Watch is not too big, the display is gorgeous, the interface works extremely well, and I have yet to get a single scratch on the bezel or glass display.
  3. Daily activity tracking: Regular readers know that I am a wearable fan and have a drawer full of bands to prove it. No other device has motivated me to get up and move like the Apple Watch. The reminders to move, colorful activity modules, regular heart rate measurements, and achievements are outstanding.
  4. Fitness use: I use a dedicated GPS watch to track the details of my running, but have the Apple Watch on my other wrist to stream music, measure my heart rate, and as a check of my run data. I am constantly amazed by the accuracy of the Apple Workout app that gathers my data without GPS and regular matches my GPS data within less than 10 percent difference. Casual runners could easily leave the iPhone behind and be satisfied with the data captured just by the Apple Watch.
  5. Messaging: As I walk around the city, it is quick, easy, and accurate to respond to my wife and daughters text messages via voice on the Apple Watch. It also works well in a pinch when I want to respond while driving and keeping both hands on the wheel with both eyes on the road.
  6. Apps are getting better: Since my first month article, developers have added support for Outlook Mail, Fantastical 2, and Wunderlist. I also discovered Grill Time so I can barbeque to perfection without burning anything.

The Apple Watch wasn't something I seriously considered buying, but I am thankful that I did. It has greatly exceeded my expectations and has ended up causing me to use my iPhone 6 Plus more than any other smartphone over the last three months. I hope to see better Android Wear devices launch in response to the Apple Watch, but if that doesn't happen then I am perfectly happy to use my Apple Watch and look to the next hardware release in 2016.

I can't wait to get Watch OS 2 on my Apple Watch with new watch faces, the Time Travel feature, nightstand mode, enhanced third party app support, and more.

Related ZDNet Apple Watch coverage

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