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Apple Watch S7 User Experience

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I hesitated for a long time when I placed an order for the Apple Watch S7 before the New Year. I read many reviews, including text and video, but still couldn't make up my mind. Later, I thought since I can return it within 14 days for any reason, I can just return it if I'm not satisfied. So I ordered the S7 with a mindset of giving it a try.

Of course, the outcome was that I didn't return it. It's hard to describe the feeling the Watch gives me in just a few words. I can't say it's absolutely good, but it's not without its merits. From the bottom of my heart, I really like this little thing, but I also feel that it falls a bit short of my expectations. Ultimately, I am quite satisfied with this product, and below are some detailed experiences/understandings/issues.

Why I chose the S7#

Initially, I considered the S6 and SE for cost-saving reasons. Before buying, I went to the offline store and felt that the S7 had a larger screen, which looked much better than the S6 and SE. Later, I received a bonus, so I decisively ordered the 45mm S7.

Now that I have been using it for a long time, I feel that the difference between the S7 and S6, SE is not as big as I imagined. If the budget is not sufficient, you can consider buying the older models. As I mentioned earlier, the S7 excels in screen-to-body ratio (appearance) and the new generation chip and battery life.

Do I need cellular data?#

I discussed this with the Apple Store staff, and the conclusion is: if you need to exercise without your phone, you can consider getting the cellular version. Most people don't have this need, so many customers buy the non-cellular version. After using it for such a long time, I also feel that the regular version is already sufficient. If you are a running enthusiast, you can consider upgrading to the cellular version to enhance the experience.

Appearance#

Overall evaluation#

There's nothing much to say about the appearance of the S7. It is the most impressive among the current Watch series, with a high screen-to-body ratio and better screen material. However, there will be a spring launch event on March 9th at 2 am, so I'm looking forward to the new Watch.

Strap selection#

The strap that came with the purchase was a silicone strap, which is already good enough. But when the weather is hot, my wrist tends to sweat, and the silicone strap becomes slightly sticky. So I later switched to a Milanese stainless steel strap, which provides an excellent experience. For the stainless steel strap, make sure to buy the genuine one from the official website. The difference between it and the trash on TB is like night and day. It's best to personally try on different straps at the offline store before making a purchase.

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Hardware Basics#

Battery life#

Even with animations, noise detection, and other power-consuming features turned off, it still needs to be charged once a day. But the charging speed is fast, and it can reach around 95% from a low battery level in about 2-3 hours. If I charge it fully at night and wear it to sleep until the next morning, it can maintain around 80% battery life for a day of new adventures.

Scratch resistance#

For reference only. I have been using it on my dominant hand for almost 4 months, and there are no scratches on the screen or any signs of paint chipping on the body.

Waterproof#

I bought it in winter, so I haven't tested it for swimming. But it's completely fine for everyday activities like washing hands, cooking, and cleaning, without any impact.

Features#

The best experience the Watch gives me is its linear motor, which provides a very comfortable vibration. As for other features, I think it's better to discuss them in conjunction with specific usage scenarios, as it depends on individual needs. This is also the most worth exploring part of this article, which is: What can we actually do with the Apple Watch?

Watch Faces#

The watch face is the most closely integrated part of the Watch's information and the most direct way for us to obtain information from the Watch.

Apple provides many types of watch faces for users to choose from, but I think a large part of them are not good enough, as they don't combine aesthetics and practicality well. Currently, I'm using the Unity Lights watch face, which I believe is the best-designed watch face Apple has ever made. As the name suggests, it has interplay of light and shadow, allowing you to quickly see the time and display the data you want to see in the four corners.

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Notifications#

I think the notification feature of the Watch is not well done. Sometimes it acts up, for example, when several contacts send you WeChat messages, it will stay on the first message until you manually dismiss it, even if you have already raised your wrist. Although this may prevent missing messages due to accidental movements, I really don't like it.

Reminders#

If you have the Fitness Ring enabled, the Watch can be a great reminder. It will constantly remind you to move or check if you have reached your fitness goals for the day. It can even meet various reminder needs through various apps.

Ideal is beautiful, but reality... I used it for a week to remind me to drink water on time, but it kept interrupting my work rhythm/thought process, so I no longer plan to use this feature. It's really annoying.

Alarm#

Please use the Watch as your alarm clock.

This is probably the biggest improvement in happiness that the Watch brings. The feeling of being woken up by it every morning is like someone gently tapping you, and the comfort level is absolutely something only those who have experienced it would know. Of course, there are also downsides, such as~~because the vibration is so comfortable, it's easy to turn it off and oversleep.~~

Timer#

Many people don't understand this timer, but it's the most frequently used feature for improving my focus. By using the Pomodoro Technique, I set a 15-minute timer to maintain a high level of focus for studying/work, and it really boosts efficiency.

P.S. I have replaced the PM2.5 display in the bottom right corner of the watch face with the timer, making it convenient to enter a study mode anytime, anywhere.

Phone Calls#

Although the calling feature of the Watch may seem redundant, it is indeed a useful feature. I had this idea based on a few scenarios:

  1. When driving. My car doesn't have CarPlay, so I can make calls with just a tap on the Watch, and the sound volume is moderate, with clear call quality.

  2. When both hands are busy and it's inconvenient to hold the phone. For example, one time I was cooking and my phone was in the living room, so I could make a call directly from my watch.

Perhaps the above scenarios may not resonate strongly, but when you find yourself in such situations, you will truly appreciate it.

Maps#

During navigation, the Watch vibrates to remind you at every turn. Even after I bought a phone holder and installed Carlife, I still love this feature. It provides an indescribable sense of reliability.

Future Expectations for the Watch#

  1. Extend the battery life a bit longer. A day of battery life is really not enough, especially when there are many notifications, and the Watch's battery drain is noticeably faster.

  2. More watch faces. Many watch faces may look fancy and have many functions or look good, but their practicality is not high. The Watch is a piece of jewelry, but it is not just a piece of jewelry. It needs better functional support and interactive experience.

  3. Optimize the notification experience. By optimizing the algorithm, unimportant messages can be recognized at a glance and automatically hidden.

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