The black-watch/black-strap combination is very black and very discrete. It looks good with casual clothes or a very black outfit; ideal for the Cadbury’s Milk Tray man. With a smart suit the combination is too understated; hence my purchase of the white strap. The black-watch/white-strap combination looks good and is certainly not discrete. The proof of the difference - apart from the first day when the guy sitting next to me also had a new Apple Watch, no one has commented on the watch when I’ve been wearing the black strap, whereas I’ve had a few “Is that one of those watches?” comments when I’ve been wearing the white strap.
The first thing which takes the Apple Watch way beyond a combination timepiece and fitness band is its utility as a communicator. You can make and take calls on the watch and send and receive messages. That is provided your iPhone is nearby.
[My home has a landline, a DECT base-station and a handful of DECT cordless phones (handsets). The base station is wired to the landline and connected wirelessly to the handsets. I can take and make calls from the handsets as if they were connected to the landline but, in fact, I am relying on the DECT base-station to provide the connectivity to the phone network. I mention this because the relationship between the iPhone and the Apple Watch is similar. The watch works perfectly well as a communications device for phone calls and messages but it relies on the iPhone to provide its cellular and network connectivity. The watch connects to the iPhone via some combination of Bluetooth LE and Wifi. Exactly how they work and when they work isn’t completely clear to me but the resulting connectivity is better than if just Bluetooth LE were used].
If I get a call on my iPhone, my watch taps me on my wrist and I when I raise my wrist, I can see the caller id. I can red-button the call by touching the red button, or I can take the call by touching the green button.
To make a call you bring up the “Friends” screen and select the person you want to call. You then get the option to phone, message or magic them (if they’ve also got a watch).
The watch works as a speaker phone - there’s no need to speak into the watch to be heard, nor to hold it to your ear to listen to the call. I have to admit that I still pretty daft when I use the watch as a phone but I’m sure with practice I’ll get used to it. You can read incoming messages on the watch. For outgoing there are a number of canned messages (e.g. “I’m on my way”) or you can speak and have Siri convert it to text, or send it as a voice message.
Siri works well on the watch. Perhaps Siri is as good on the phone now, but Siri is much better on the watch than it used to be on the phone. You can use Siri for all sorts of things on the watch and it’s much easier to do so than to fiddle with the buttons and small touch screen. The only thing I can’t do that I’d expect to do is to dictate e-mails.
The second thing which distinguishes the Apple Watch from a mere timepiece is that underneath it all it is a computer (as an iPhone is a computer). I’ve mentioned in passing two ways in which the computer functionality can be accessed - via complications and via Siri. You can also access computer functionality via “glances” and via apps. Glances primarily provide information but they can also take input. I have just a few glances enabled some of which let me check my heart rate, access my fitness information, see my diary, check the weather forecast, and control music playing on my iPhone. With the current (first) version of the watch’s software, apps are more limited than on the phone, however, I have a number of useful ones installed - Passbook, Shazam, Uber and the iPhone camera remote control.