Is Apple Watch Worth It? 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy One

is apple watch worth it

I’ve owned all eight of the Apple Watch models, and I’ve had one on my wrist for 2,500 straight days.

The first two Apple Watch models didn’t have a defined purpose, they were unbearably slow, expensive, and they required an iPhone nearby at all times to operate properly.

But Apple Watch and watchOS have evolved into an amazing experience. Even if you only care a little bit about your mental and physical health, $199 for the Apple Watch Series 3 is a steal.

This post is for iPhone users who want to know if Apple Watch is worth the price. I’ll give you my five favorite features, a few areas where Apple Watch struggles, then I’ll finish off by telling you the types of people who should buy one.

Five Favorite Features

#1 Fitness Motivation

I’ve always been self-motivated and a believer in being active, but Apple Watch turned me into a machine. Apple Watch gamified physical fitness with Activity Rings, workout streaks, monthly challenges, and a social element. All of these aspects work together to hold you more accountable.

You have three Activity Rings that you need to close each day:

  • Stand. Stand for one minute during twelve different hours to close the ring.
  • Move. Burn a set amount of active calories each day to close the ring. Apple Watch uses your heart rate and physical movements to calculate your calories burned. The standard Move goal is 450 active calories, but the number can be tailored to you, based on your age, gender, and weight. You can manually change your goal whenever you want.
  • Exercise. Record 30 minutes of movement each day to close the ring. Every full minute of movement that equals or exceeds the intensity of a brisk walk counts toward your daily Exercise goal.

Apple Watch has 15 different types of workouts that you can record to count towards your goals. It has lower intensity exercises like walking, yoga, and dancing so there should be something for anyone of any fitness level. If you can’t find the specific workout listed, you can track it as “Other” to get credit as if you were on a brisk walk.

You can track your friends’ activity, comment on each other’s workouts, and start 7-day competitions with them. It’s just another way to hold yourself accountable because you don’t want to let your friends down.

Ideally, we shouldn’t need a device to keep us active, but turning exercise into a game makes it more fun, holds me accountable, and encourages me to move more often, even if it’s just an extra walk.

In 2017, I wanted to close all three rings for two consecutive weeks. After I completed my goal, I couldn’t stop because I didn’t want to lose my streak. I’m still in the middle of an 830-day streak, and I’m in the best physical and mental shape of my life.

#2 Leave Phone Behind

The iPhone isn’t ideal for exercise or times where you want to stay in the moment. Apple Watch acts like a dumbed-down phone because of the small screen size and limited capabilities. It gives you all the basic functionality that you need and nothing more. You can leave your phone at home during exercise or other parts of the day where you want to step away from the grid.

Four Advantages of Apple Watch over iPhone:

  • Apple Watch gives you precise calorie data while you’re working out because of the heart rate monitor.
  • It’s always conveniently strapped to your wrist and tracks where and how far you went during a running, biking, hiking, or walking workout by utilizing its GPS. With a phone, you either have to hold your phone, have it bounce in your pocket, or strap it to your arm.
  • A good workout needs audio (music, podcast, or audiobook) and a way to track it. Apple Watch delivers on both fronts without the added distractions that come with a phone. All Apple Watches have at least 8 GB of storage, so you can preload Apple Music playlists, audiobooks, or podcasts onto your watch before bed and listen to them the next day.
  • The cellular version lets you go off the grid without completely going off the grid. For $15/month, you can make and receive calls and texts, and stream music without your phone present. It’s perfect for dinner dates or other activities where you want to remain in the moment without distractions. It removes the anxiety of not being able to contact someone in an emergency, but it won’t be a distraction like a phone would be.

#3 Keeps iPhone in Pocket

Each phone notification turns into a 15-minute time-wasting experience because I always do more on my phone than my initial purpose. With Apple Watch on your wrist, each notification is sent to your watch first rather than your phone. When people hear this, they immediately think the Apple Watch notifications will lead to more distractions and more screen time.

It was a major adjustment at first, but once I made adjustments on the type of notifications I wanted, my phone has stayed in my pocket for longer periods than it did even before owning the watch.

I can’t immediately act on most notifications sent to me because of the small screen size and limited functionality. This lets me stay in the loop on the things that are important to me without needing to act on it unless it’s urgent.

You can disable all notifications on your watch if you think it’ll be a distraction. If you go this route, you can still reduce your phone’s screen time by utilizing Apple Watch’s watch faces. You add the weather, time, calendar, and timer starter to your watch face to give you the information you need with a glance down without losing focus on your real task.

#4 Apple Pay

Apple Pay with iPhone is great, but it requires authentication (Face ID or Touch ID) and taking your phone out of your pocket. Face ID isn’t convenient in the times of the pandemic. With Apple Watch, you double-tap the side button and your card shows on the screen, then you point your watch at the store’s card reader. Paying will never be more convenient than this.

While Apple Pay is the one feature that worked brilliantly from the first Apple Watch, it wasn’t widely accepted. Now, Apple Pay is accepted in the majority of US retail stores.

Why paying with Apple Watch is better than a traditional card or even your iPhone:

  • It’s faster and more secure than a traditional card.
  • It removes physical contact.
  • It’s always on your wrist and a tap away.
  • It doesn’t require biometric authentication. As long as your Apple Watch hasn’t been removed from your wrist, your Apple Watch is unlocked and ready for Apple Pay.

#5 Hey Siri

Smart speakers with digital voice assistants are fine, but you need one in every room and the results aren’t always personalized.

Two advantages to Siri on Apple Watch compared to a smart speaker’s assistant:

  1. Because the Apple Watch is always on you, you don’t have to yell across the room. You can trigger Siri by saying “Hey Siri”, raising your watch to your face, or holding down the digital crown.
  2. You always have a screen interface. The watch shows you the words as you speak them and displays the command as it’s being performed.

The speed and accuracy of Siri on watchOS 7 are a huge improvement from the first version of Apple Watch. Keep in mind, Siri is still Siri. It’ll still occasionally misunderstand you or work slowly no matter the model you’re using, but Siri’s occasional hiccups are made up for by the convenience of always having it on you.

Bonus Features You Might Like

There are features on Apple Watch that I don’t regularly use that some people will love:

  • Your iPhone can be pinged from your watch to locate it. Just swipe down from the top of the Apple Watch screen, then tap the vibration button, and your phone will make a noise. It’s the equivalent of calling your phone when it’s lost. While just a simple feature, I use this every day. It’s great for when you leave your phone in the other room or it falls between the couch cushions.
  • Apple Watch warns you when your heart rate has been elevated for more than ten minutes while you’re inactive. This feature has saved many lives. I’ve only seen this play out once, and it was when I was winning big at the casino.
  • The newest Apple Watch Series 6 can perform ECG and blood oxygen tests. While it’s not an official medical device, if you have preexisting conditions, these tests may be a huge feature for you.
  • Apple Watch listens to your surroundings and warns you when the decibel level is loud enough to affect your hearing.
  • The Walkie-Talkie feature lets you instantly communicate with your friends who have an Apple Watch.
  • All the modern Apple Watches are waterproof up to 50 meters and you can track swimming workouts.
  • You can scroll through full web pages on your watch when you search with Siri.

Where Apple Watch Falls Short

#1 Sleep Tracking

watchOS 7 introduced sleep tracking, but it’s a bare-bones feature. It tracks the amount of time you were in bed and periodically records your heart rate, but it doesn’t track your movement or the type of sleep cycles you go through.

There are better third-party apps to track sleep, but Apple Watch isn’t ideal for sleep tracking in general because it’s not comfortable to sleep with and you can’t charge it while you sleep.

#2 Battery Life

The current lineup of Apple Watches will get you through a full day before needing a charge, but other smartwatches only need weekly charging. It’s not much work to charge your watch next to your phone when you go to sleep each night, but some people disagree.

#3 iPhone Users Only

Apple introduced “Family Setup” which lets anyone with an iPhone set up an Apple Watch for someone without an iPhone. The caveat is that it only works with the Series 6 cellular model. In the future, I’d like to see Apple let people with a Mac, iPad, or iPod Touch set up a watch on their own. Even better, it’s great if the Apple Watch worked independently and didn’t need to be paired with another device to open the door to more users.

Who should get one?

It seems inevitable that everyone will have some sort of wearable in the future. As wearable technology continues to improve and expand the data about our health, I can see a future where doctors and insurance providers require people to have one.

We’re not close to that future yet, but even now, I see Apple Watch as an affordable way to add extra years to your life. It seems counterintuitive that extra technology would decrease your use of technology, but if you take the proper approach, Apple Watch can remove some time from your phone.

If you care about your mental and physical well being, get Apple Watch.

If you lack the motivation to stay active, get Apple Watch.

If you want some time away from your phone without feeling like you’re completely off the grid, get Apple Watch.

If you think you can beat my streak of 830 days, get Apple Watch and add me as a friend. Although, it probably won’t go well for you because I have no plans to let up.

Read More: Series 3 vs. SE &  Series 7 vs. SE & Best Apple Watch Bands

34 thoughts on “Is Apple Watch Worth It? 5 Reasons Why You Should Buy One”

  1. Hi Cam. Found your blog today. I’m thinking of buying my first watch this week. Hey as a longtime user, do you recommend the wifi or cellular version. Thanks.

    1. The cellular won’t be very helpful if you bring your phone with you everywhere.

      But the cellular model gives you the freedom to leave your phone at home (think like: dinner dates, working out) without totally being off the grid. I love it.

      Keep in mind, the cellular model requires a plan of at least $15/month.

  2. Verizon told me today it’s $10 per month now for the cellular capability with the Apple Watch. Also some Verizon stores have specials going on right now where you can get Apple Watch SE for $80 but that includes committing to $10 per month for two years for the cellular. Plus $35 activation one time charge.

  3. Thanks for the insight! I was on the fence, but this article has convinced me to buy the upcoming Series 7! Looking forward to a possible redesign. 🙂

  4. Great blog Cam. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts, opinions, reasoning, etc. and I think you’ve got me sold! Great touch at the end “…the everyman”.

      1. Can I ask what you would recommend for a 51 year old first timer? I’d like to record steps, sleep and heart rate plus play music for walking and use it when swimming but I don’t have a lot to spend on something. I do have Verizon. Thanks so much!

        1. My husband will be 81 next month and uses his Fitbit for getting call and text notifications. He likes that his steps are tracked, heart rate (although not too sure how accurate), but does not want to be without it. He’s very active despite having copd and AFIB. The trouble he is having is with the Fitbit versa 2 staying charged and keeping accurate time, and this is about his 3rd Fitbit over about 5 years. This one is less than a year old, so I’ll probably get it replaced seeing how the warranty is still in effect, but I wish he would just move on to Apple Watch now.

  5. Thank you for the blog, Cam! I’ve been thinking about getting an Apple Watch for quite some time now. Listening to your blog helped me decide to finally get it! 😀
    Is there one that you recommend? I just need a simple one that does all the things you mentioned!
    Thank you!

  6. Hi Cam,
    I think your blog will make me buy an SE 🙂 My only concern is what will happen if the ios is no longer supported by apple? Will I still be able to use my SE? (I am really new with apple watch). I was gonna buy the series 3 but I read a lot about it that soon apple will stop supporting the IOS for series 3 bc its been in the market for 5 years already.

  7. Great article, thank you for taking the time to write it. I was on the fence about buying an Apple watch I know now that I will definitely be getting a series 7 in the next few day’s while Verizon has deals on them!

  8. Hi Cam, thanks for this review. What’s the advantage of a 7 over the SE in your opinion? I don’t think I’d use the cellular version as my phone is always with me! Thanks . Teena

  9. Thanks for your article! I am thinking about to get series 7 now or just wait for series 8?

    Do you think the series 8 will add more heathy/heart function? I am a bit considering about my heart, so I am buying the Apple Watch to watch my heart beat, I just not so sure shall I already get one now or shall I wait for series 8?

    Hopefully can hear some of your advice back😊Thanks!

  10. Hi, I just bought a iPhone 13 mini for about 2 month now.I was looking for an Apple Watch but don’t have this big budget.I found one at a webstore that sells refurbished Apple items.My question to you ,would you recommend The Apple Watch series 2 for someone who uses it only for walking for 2 hours a week?

  11. This was very helpful. I appreciate the different types of benefits and how you outlined how they’ve affected your life short-term AND long-term. Thank you!!

  12. Hello Cam! I read your reviews, I have owned whoop and Apple watch 5 for years now. About sleep tracking, have you ever tried AutoSleep app for iwatch? I have been using it for a few years and realy like it. Unless you are not to wear your watch at night. App works really nice, you should give it a try!

  13. Hi Cam, thanks for your article. Now that Fitbit has models that allow calls and texts to be taken on the wrist, which would be a better purchase. The versa 3 has significantly upgraded its wellness monitoring, for example. They seem to be the same price, $199. The versa 3 also has built in gps, monitors sleep cycles, pulse ox, and heart rate. I was on the fence between an Apple Watch and the Versa 2 and ultimately bought the Fitbit a few years ago. Now that it is time to replace my Fitbit, I am at that cross road again. Thank you for your thoughtful review!

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Cam

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I’ve been obsessed with gadgets since I was eight years old. I buy each device reviewed with MY money and don’t have insider access. I’m just like you, the everyman.