Sunday, November 22, 2015

Riega Apple Watch replacement band - thumbs up!

I own a space grey 42mm Apple Watch Sport with the black plastic sport band. It's a great watch but I've been wanting to purchase a replacement band for a dressier look. The bands that Apple sells are very nice but also expensive. I was looking for something more affordable (e.g. aftermarket bands)

My first attempt was the $40 Happy Cell blue leather loop which I purchased online from Amazon. The band's biggest problem was that the magnet wasn't strong enough and didn't hold the watch on my wrist.  The second problem was that the leather wasn't durable and after one day of use, it started to show signs of wear.  I promptly returned the band to Amazon for a refund.
My second attempt was the $30 Riega black stainless steel Milanese loop. The band looks great, is comfortable, matches my "space grey" Apple Watch perfectly and the super-strong magnet keeps the watch securely on my wrist.  I've also noticed that unlike the stock plastic band which can sometimes get sweaty, my new stainless steel band is "ventilated" and doesn't get sweaty like the stock band. In addition, the magnet closure on the new band is infinitely adjustable, unlike the stock band which has a fixed number of settings, which allows me to get a perfect fit.

Apple did a great job designing how the bands attach to the watch simply and easily without tools so its easy to swap out bands.

I remain a fan of the Apple Watch  - particularly now that Apple has released WatchOS 2.0.1 which re-enables the ability to view my work calendar.

I've decided to pass on the new Apple magnetic charging dock for $79.   I'll stick with my $15 Spigen stand which has served me well for the past several months.

A few of my favorite Apple Watch apps/features:
  • Apple Pay. However, I wish more retailers accepted it
  • Microsoft Powerpoint.  For advancing slides from the Powerpoint app on my iPhone
  • Delta Airlines boarding pass
  • Fitness tracking
  • Calendar
  • Text notifications and responses using Siri and default messages
  • Navigation.  Apple Maps running on my iPhone will give gentle taps on my watch when it's time to make a turn

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