Today was early Christmas in the Alexander household...well, at least for me. After 2 weeks, my Apple Watch Series 2 finally arrived!!
You know how you say you'll never purchase something? The Apple Watch was that item for me. I was loyal to my Fitbit, which I talked about in my #FitnessChallenge blog, but after having to replace it 5 times for the same malfunction, I was over it. So I decided that I'd save up my coins in order to purchase an Apple Watch. You should know by now that me "saving my coins" implies looking for a way to pay as little out of pocket as possible. In this case, I paid about $6 out of pocket for this lovely AND got $22 cash back for my purchase. I know you're dying to hear about this one, so let me share my purchase experience.
First things first, once I decided that I wanted an Apple Watch, I knew that I wasn't going to be purchasing it from the Apple Store. Though I love going in and seeing the new products, Apple never has a sale and we all know how I feel about sales. With the exception of food and household goods, I (almost) never purchase anything for the full price. I only say "almost" because I may have forgotten an instance where I have. So, in order for me not to pay full price for this item, I had to purchase it from a third party. This was the tricky part. I searched Google for sites selling the second series watch, but only came up with 3 reputable stores-- BestBuy, Target, and Macy's. Here began the process of elimination.
I immediately disregard BestBuy because I didn't have any gift cards in my arsenal for them. I was left with Target and Macy's. The deciding factor was after tax cost. I went with Macy's, as their after tax cost was lower and I had enough in gift cards to cover the majority of the cost. I talk about using gift cards to defer the cost of items along with my other tips in my blog, The Frugal Girl's Guide to Shopping. Additionally, I was able to use Ebates to get a 6% cash back on my purchase, landing me $22. Ultimately, I made a net of $16 while purchasing this watch. That's a win in my book!
Immediately after the excitement of placing my order and getting my cash back came the disappointment. Within 24hrs of my purchase, I received an alarming call for Macy's requesting that I confirm that I had, in fact, purchased the watch. I can only assume that this is protocol for large ticket purchases, but I was able to confirm. No sooner than I confirmed did I receive a notice that my item was on backorder and there was no estimated ship date. I'll admit, I was a
tad a lot annoyed. I called and no one was able to get me any information. I've worked in supply chain/procurement, so I understand dealing with suppliers who don't give a ship date, but they just took my dollars and didn't give me any kind of updates! Even though the watch was originally scheduled to ship that week, it didn't ship until the following week and I only received a notification after the fact. Needless to say, Macy's is not my preferred store of choice for online shopping anymore.
The watch finally shipped and I literally tracked it everyday. On the day that it was due to arrive, I rushed home only to be met with a note left by UPS advising me to pick it up the next day at one of their locations. "You have to be kidding me," are the only words that I could muster up. To make matters even more frustrating, it would be at a location in the neighboring city as opposed to the UPS store that's a 5min walk from where I live. I know, first world problems!
Size does matter
The watch comes in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. I have a fairly small wrist, so I went with the 38mm. I would recommend that you go to your local Apple Store to try one on. Note that the larger watch is ~$30 more than the smaller one, when comparing the same style.
The watch not only has different face sizes, but the bands come in various sizes too. My watch came with a size S/M attached; however it was a bit too snug for my wrist. Thankfully, it came with a M/L in the box that you can easily switch out.
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I remember opening up an app on the watch and thinking, "Man, this text is small." Though you can adjust the size of text, you have to remember that it is a watch and not your phone or laptop. I wouldn't recommend trying to read anything substantial on it, as its not meant for such things.
A variety "no" show
The sole intent for me purchasing the watch was for it to replace my Fitbit as a fitness device. All of the other features are great, but the bulk of my usage will be to track calories and workouts. With that in mind, I purchased a watch that came with a silicone band, designed for activity and, plainly, to withstand sweat. You can also purchase your watch with a nylon band that mimics more of a traditional watch.
Unfortunately, Apple does not offer a wide range of band colors within the two watch sizes. In order for me to get a gold watch in the 38mm size, I had to purchase it with a concrete band, though I would have preferred black. Eventually, I'll purchase the color that I want from a 3rd party; however it would be nice to have more variety at purchase. The other bummer is that the colors are limited to specific sizes. For instance, a brown silicone band is only available for the 42mm. I think that this is a fail on Apple's part; however, I understand that limiting options makes manufacturing a whole lot easier.
Ease of Use
I'm a Apple user through and through-- from my computer to my phone, iPad, and now watch. This product, by far, has the best set of instructions than any other product that I've purchased from Apple. I'm typically the person that wants to figure it out as I go, but this time I decided to read their really easy instructions. I'm all for more pictures and less words and they delivered. The device was easy to set up and within minutes, I was able to open up apps and move things around. Of course, it's a plus that it mirrors your iPhone, so there's really nothing new to learn.
Overall, I'm digging the Apple Watch. As with anything Apple, it'll change within the next year. Hopefully, one of those changes will be in the shape. I'd like to see the watch available in a round face instead of the square. But hey, that's just my preference and they don't pay me of my opinion.
As for price... Had it not been for the gift cards, I'd definitely find it hard to pay for this watch out of pocket, especially when my primary focus is fitness and I can get other watches for less. I feel a lot better saying that I paid $6 for it instead of the full price, especially when the technology will be obsolete very quickly. Hopefully phone companies will pick up the watches and allow you to get upgrades, like the phones. I almost hate the thought of knowing that I'll have to buy another one almost as soon as I got this one.
I still have a lot more usage to get out of it before I can provide feedback on functionality, but for the time being, I'll give it 1.5 thumbs up! Let me know your thoughts on the watch-- if you're interested in purchasing one or if you have one.