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The front side of the Apple Watch Gen 1 (left) and the Apple Watch Series 2 (right)
I wore my 1st generation Apple Watch Sport (some people call this first iteration Series 0; I will refer to it as Gen 1) every day for over 17 months from May 2015 to October 2016 until its duty was handed off to the Stainless Steel version of the Apple Watch Series 2. While it's still just as functional as the first day, some wear and tear are clearly visible as expected. The big scratch marks on the glass are from just two separate accidental brushes with a rough surface. Excepting those, it would have only gathered the small scratches at the edge of the screen.
Still, the big ones did made me buy the stainless steel version for the Series 2 since it has the much harder sapphire glass instead of the Ion-X hardened glass used on the aluminum (Sport) version. I'll see how better it would be in the coming months, but the lesson to be learned here probably is that if you're getting the Sport version, you might want to invest in a screen protection film.
The back side of the Apple Watch Gen 1 (left) and the Apple Watch Series 2 (right)
Despite being only in contact with either my wrist or the charger, the back side of the Gen 1 watch sustained quite a bit of wear as well. The scratches started to appear on the center within about two months due to slight curvature difference between the charger, and the sweat likely aided in corroding the surface as well. While the scratches have not affected the functionality, it does make it look old and less durable.
It seems that Apple was aware of this issue and all Series 2 models got the much more durable ceramic back. For the Gen 1 and Series 1, the Sport version came with the composite back and the more expensive versions (stainless steel type and Edition) got the ceramic back. I would recommend avoiding the composite back if possible.
Contents of the iPhone 7 package
As far as changes go, iPhone 7 is doing a big jump we've come to expect when the major number changes (e.g. iPhone 5S to iPhone 6). It just happens to be that Apple was happy to keep the general shape and size for the third generation. Personally, this seems like Apple is happy with these design decisions instead of being lazy. After all, Original iPhone style survived three generations as well until thinner design became feasible.
In any case, the packaging of the iPhone 7 is also largely the same as the previous 4.7" iPhones. Two major differences, other than the phone itself, are the photo of the iPhone on the box and the bundled EarPod earphones using the Lightning connector instead of the 3.5mm earphone jack. 3.5mm to Lightning adapter is included for those who need to use the existing earphones.
Bottom area: iPhone 7 (top) and iPhone 6 Plus (bottom)
Speaking of the earphone jack, iPhone 7 indeed no longer has one as you can see here. This has been the source of much online drama, but I expect it to simmer down as time goes on, much like when Lightning connector itself was introduced with iPhone 5.
Pressing hard on the home screen icon reveals Quick Actions
One of the features that stand out on the iPhone 6S series is the 3D Touch. It's something you can immediately notice when you use the device for the first time because many of the stock apps take advantage of it. Basically, the phone's screen now knows how hard you push your finger against it, and translates it into triggering different functions.
In the home screen, a light touch on the app icon still launches it. But when you push it a bit harder, Quick Actions menu is triggered for the supported apps, letting you do get into various tasks even before the app is actually launched. It's something that I didn't know I wanted, but I would definitely miss it if it were gone. I'd be slightly frustrated to use older generation iPhones now thanks to this, sort of like how I feel about the lack of Touch ID on iPhone 5 and older. As it's the most obvious way that an app can be extended for 6S series, many of the 3rd party apps are now getting updated to enable this.
Here's a comparison video I made to show how 3D Touch lets you do more. On the left is an iPhone 6 Plus, and on the right is a 6S Plus. When I push the Photos app hard, 6S Plus shows the Quick Actions whereas 6 Plus only recognizes the long press and wants to know if I want to delete any apps.
Once into the app, pressing hard on a photo in 6S Plus lets me "peek", i.e. preview the photo, and if I push even harder, I "pop" into the photo and it's loaded on the screen. A light tapping feedback happens as I do this due to the Taptic Engine. On 6 Plus, nothing happens. This peek/pop interaction can be seen in many other stock apps, so I'm having fun trying to push the screen a lot to see there's anything more I can do.
Apple Watch's Korean launch is just a few days away (June 26) and I'd like to offer you a nicely consolidated list of all my reviews for your convenience. I hope this will help you get some idea on whether you should get one and how you should use it if you do.
|1. One of the first Apple Watch in Korea|
|Sent three days after the official release in the US and arriving about a week later, one of the first Apple Watch to land in Korea gets prompt unboxing and gets ready for a full review.|
|2. Getting the Apple Watch up & running|
|I have the bands installed in place and the battery wirelessly charged up, so that I can pair the Apple Watch with my iPhone 6 Plus and make it work.|
|3. Basic screens & buttons of the Apple Watch|
|Apple Watch's many screens are explored, including the watch face, lock screen, home, and favourites. I also try out the digital crown and the side button.|
|4. Notifications & contacts on Apple Watch|
|As one of the primary functions, I took a look at how the notifications appear and interact. Then I tried contacting someone with Apple Watch, either through text or voice.|
|5. Apple Watch's daily life tracking|
|Fitness tracking with Apple Watch is explored, including the heartbeat measurement with an integrated sensor and the daily activity logging through a three-ring system.|
|6. Running, swimming with Apple Watch|
|I had both Nintendo Wii Fit Plus and Apple Watch record indoor running sessions to see how they compare. Then I went swimming with my Apple Watch to see if it'd actually work.|
|7. Apple Watch as an extension, stand-in|
|I tried using Apple Watch as a replacement for membership cards. Then I remote controlled my Apple TV and iPhone 6 Plus camera with it, as well.|
|8. Battery life of the Apple Watch|
|I recorded my Apple Watch's battery life for three weeks, through international travels and all sorts of exercises, to see if Apple's claims stood up.|
|9. More Apple Watch observations|
|I took a look at how fast the Apple Watch charges up and how step counting data are consolidated. Also, I have some more tips and observations on its daily use.|
|10. 45 days with Apple Watch & watchOS 2|
|Seven weeks later, the hardware of Apple Watch Sport is still standing up quite well. But early watchOS 2 and iOS 9 betas are incredibly rough to use.|