Apple Watch: what the iDB team is buying

Apple Watch flying 001

It’s been a long time coming, but now that we know just what the Apple Watch will cost, how much we will need to pay for additional bands and when pre-orders will be open, the only thing left to do is choose which Apple Watch will order.

At least, that’s how it seems to us here at iDB. After months of waiting for concrete information on availability and pricing, the decision on whether to actually pick up an Apple Watch was one that didn’t need much thinking about. The argument over whether to plump for the Apple Watch Edition was taken out of our hands by its price, too, so really all it comes down to is whether the Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport is the watch for you.

The iDB team got to discussing this very subject recently and we thought that discussion might be an interesting one to share with everyone. After all, if you guys are struggling to make a decision as much as we were, then every little bit of help is no doubt appreciated.

So, with that elongated preamble of the way, let’s see what the iDB team will be ordering come April 10th.

Which Apple Watch will you be ordering and why?

Oliver Haslam
I’ll be choosing the Apple Watch Sport in Black. Probably 42-mm, but I’m still not 100% sure yet! The one I wanted before pricing was confirmed is just too expensive for me to justify, especially considering we don’t really know how much this thing will get used yet.

Sebastien Page
Tough decision! I have actually changed my mind a dozen times so far about what model I’d want. As it stands now, I think I will go with the 42mm Sport model, but I suspect they might be unavailable very quickly once pre-orders begin. If that’s the case, I’ll just go for the stainless steel version, also in 42mm.

It’s really hard to make a decision without actually seeing it first, so my strategy is to pre-order the most inexpensive model I can once pre-orders begin, then go in store to actually see the different models and then adjust my pre-order accordingly, or if needed return my watch to Apple once I receive it and get the model I really want.

Timothy Reavis
After much inward debate, I’ve decided to pre-order the stainless steel Apple Watch, as its durability and quality of materials is, to me, considerably higher than that of the Apple Watch Sport. I’m getting the 42mm size, because, while my wrists are relatively thin, the 38mm just seems too small for me.

Cody Lee
I will be pre-ordering an Apple Watch as soon as it becomes available on April 10. The model has changed a few times already, but for the moment I’m fairly confident I will be getting the 42mm Space Gray Apple Watch Sport with the black band.

Lory Gil
This first year in its existence, I will be buying the 38mm Apple Watch Sport with Space Gray case and black band. Since this is Apple’s first version of Apple Watch, I can’t justify spending $300 extra dollars to buy the model I originally wanted (stainless steel case with Classic Buckle). I’m getting the 38mm size because the larger model would probably look funny on my tiny wrist.

Christian Zibreg
Given my wallet hasn’t yet recovered from Apple’s action-packed Fall 2014 — I’m definitely going to go with the least expensive $399 Apple Watch Sport, 42mm (yes, I suffer from astigmatism) in Space Gray.

Jeff Benjamin
Although I always like to reserve my right to change my mind, once, twice, or seven times, I’m leaning heavily towards the 38mm version of the Apple Watch.

For a device that I plan on wearing on my wrist for the majority of the time that I’m awake, I want something that’s light and not too heavy. The 38mm version of the Apple Watch is, by default, lighter than the 42mm version.

Since this is a first-gen product, I’m going with the Sport Edition. At this early stage in the history of wearable devices, I reason that it’s best to stick with the cheapest option, especially since there are no technical differences between it and the more expensive models.

Fashion is important to me, but I’m not ready to invest heavily in a first-gen device that’s a tech product first and a fashion-statement second. A few iterations down the line and my tune may change.

Color-wise, I’m leaning towards the black aluminum with the black sport band. It’s low-key and doesn’t look as cheap as some of the other Apple Watch Sport alternatives. This combination also happens to be the lightest version of the Apple Watch that you can buy.

Which Apple Watch band will you choose to go with it and why?

Black, but only because I’m boring. I like the other colors but I fear they may stand out a little too much for my tastes.

Once again, it’s hard to tell without seeing them in person. If I manage to get the Sport version I want, I will go with the white band. The band on my Pebble is white and I think it is a color that really stands out without being too flashy like blue or green could be.

I’ll be going with the white sport band, as it appears to be a good all-purpose band that doesn’t add a lot of cost to the watch, and if third parties are able to make bands for the Apple Watch, I’ll consider them as I’m sure many of them will be much less expensive.

My reasons for choosing this setup are fairly straightforward. I want the larger 42mm screen because I feel like with such a small display, every millimeter counts towards touch accuracy and visibility. I’m leaning towards the Space Gray Sport model because it looks sharp and won’t break the bank. And I like the black band because it’s less likely to show dirt, stains and other blemishes than the brighter-colored bands.

Black, to match the Space Gray watch.

A Black Sport Band. I’ll be taking this thing to the gym and outdoors a lot so while a white band would admittedly look more elegant and aesthetically pleasing, I’m concerned about the fluoroelastomer material potentially attracting dirt and dust over time.

The stock black band that comes with my Apple Watch Sport.

Will you be ordering any extra watch bands, and if so, which ones?

At those prices? Nope. I did want something metallic, but I just can’t justify it. Maybe next time.

I will likely order more bands once I can see them in store. Right now, I am thinking about the stainless steel link bracelet and the Stone or Black leather loop.

For the above reason, I won’t order any additional bands initially, but will certainly consider one or two more if the Apple Watch only accepts proprietary bands.

I’ll probably also grab black and brown leather straps for more formal outings.

I won’t be investing in an additional official Apple band. The prices of Apple’s bands are terribly high and my hope is that there are third-party accessory makers already devising a way to make unofficial (and less expensive) bands. I can wait for them. Even if no one manages to properly make third-party Apple Watch bands, waiting a few months before purchasing a fancier band from Apple will ease the pain on my wallet.

The Apple Watch is a fashionable accessory so I’ll be ordering a spare band, but haven’t yet decided on the exact color. Due to its dark, subdued appearance, the Apple Watch Sport in Space Gray may not mash well with those bright-colored bands so I’ll have to see all the bands in person and try them out on my wrist before making an informed purchasing decision.

Nope. I want to go into this as cheaply as possible, because I’m likely buying two Apple Watches at launch. Perhaps later on down the line I’ll look into alternative bands.

Which feature or potential app are you looking forward to the most?

If I’m honest, I don’t know yet and I think that’s a good thing. I’m buying the Apple Watch for potential, and we won’t see that truly realized until developers get their teeth into this thing properly. Should I wait until then instead of buying an Apple Watch at launch? Probably, but I’m impatient and like new toys!

As a Pebble user who knows the limitations of that device, the one feature I’m looking forward to the most is the ability to reply to text messages directly from my wrist. This will be a huge time saver for all those messages that usually don’t require a long reply.

I am confident that many of the apps I use on a daily basis will have a watch extension so that’s something I’m pretty excited about. For example, being able to quickly reply to chats in Slack app from Apple Watch will be another time saver.

The features about which I’m most excited include the health and fitness tracking and the convenience of the device in general. My iPhone will stay in my pocket a lot more, especially at social events, while I’ll still be able to see what’s happening, and that’s great for me. I’m also looking forward to having Workflow and Wunderlist on my Apple Watch, as both would be incredible for productivity. Really though, I’m just excited about seeing everything developers have done with Apple Watch over the past few months.

As for what app or feature I’m looking forward to, that’s tough to say. I’ve had Fitbits and Jawbones in the past, so I’m anxious to see how well the fitness tracking works. I’m also intrigued by the drawing and tap-to-communicate stuff. Overall, though, I think I’m most excited for the ability to view and act on notifications without unlocking my phone. I fully agree with the sentiment that your smartphone can be a black hole of distractions, and feel like the Apple Watch can lessen your chances of getting sucked in.

As for apps that I look forward to, I know I’ll be downloading the ETA companion app so I can easily see how long it is going to take me to get from one place to another. I’m pretty sure I’ll get the Pinterest companion, since I regularly update my boards. TL;DR Email will be the perfect email client for my wrist. If Feedly doesn’t make an Apple Watch app, I’ll grab Feed Wrangler instead. Google better make a companion Maps app because I don’t want to have to rely on Apple Maps. MileWiz looks fun because it collects all of your driving data. I’m sure I’ll fill up my storage capacity with many, many more, but I’ve got to start somewhere.

I couldn’t care less about the Watch’s timekeeping functions that Apple’s advertising focuses on heavily. But health and fitness is that killer feature I’m really, really looking forward to. Blogging for a living isn’t a very healthy lifestyle, that’s why I try to move more these days and hit they gym on a regular basis.

As for the killer feature, to me it’s health and fitness tracking as I’ve stated before. With that in mind, I don’t think killer features make sense nowadays. When the iPhone came out, Apple did position it as three devices in one — a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a phone and an Internet communicator — but soon after that mantra turned into anything-you-want-it-to-be with the advent of the App Store.

In my mind, the same logic applies to the Watch. Apple may be advertising it today as a fashionable yet functional device for tracking your health and fitness, monitoring notifications from your wrist and keeping in touch with others, but it’s the apps that will let any user personalize it the way they want.

One person’s killer feature could easily be another person’s sore spot. Apple realizes this, that’s why they gave the Watch an App Store of its own to begin with.

For anyone who’s listened to Let’s Talk iOS, you’re probably expecting me to say sending heartbeats. But on a more serious note, I’m looking forward to just existing and being present in the current reality without being so attached to my phone. If Apple Watch can help me do that, which I think it will, then that will by be my favorite feature.