Top critical review
Already going out for repair; Received 6/23 and going out on 6/27
Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2019
I read the positive and negative reviews for this watch before deciding to make the purchase. Things seemed to be overwhelmingly positive that the Series 3 was the way to go for an Apple Watch. As an avid Apple customer and my first Apple Watch, this seemed like a good first way to try this product line. I just hoped, really hoped, that I wouldn't get a watch that was a "lemon." I finally decided to buy it when the price dropped to $200.00 - I couldn't wait for it to arrive on 6/23/19. Everything out of the box was fine - totally legitimate packaging, came with a charger, paperwork, etc; no problems pairing with my phone. And then the problems started to happen:
-Watch would not "wake" with certain wrist movements that I strongly suspected it should have been responding to (these were normal movements) - this is the repair part, so scroll down if this is all you want to read.
-Text messages weren't showing up on my screen, although they were coming through; I could only see them by opening the message app. Eventually that resolved itself somehow (nothing was wrong in the settings on the watch or the iPhone Watch app either).
-The notification "red dot" would not appear on the watch. Eventually that resolved itself somehow (nothing was wrong in the setting on the watch or the iPhone Watch app either).
-"Hey Siri" command, when turned on, only worked about 30% of the time
-"Raise to Speak" feature, when turned on, never worked on my watch and when I raised my wrist to try to speak, the watch face would not wake (and it was supposed to do so)
To be clear, even though the Series 3 can get wet and can even be worn for swimming, I had not gotten this watch wet yet or worn it in the shower, so I knew that these issues could not have been caused by moisture.
After reading that many other reviewers said that Amazon simply advised them to contact Apple about issues (which didn't surprise me), I called Apple Support. They told me the "Hey Siri" and "Raise to Speak" feature issues with the Series 3 watch were reported issues and would most likely be patched with the next software update - that was fine; annoying, but fine. I turned those features off. They said the "waking" issue was a software issue too. Everything would resolve with an update. They basically said everything would be an update fix. But in fairness, we tried so many troubleshooting fixes - I was on the phone for at least an hour and a half. So, they really did try to help and find the issue.
The "waking" issue was still bothering me since the device wasn't even a week old and this was my only Apple device that has ever behaved in an unreliable manner. I also own a six year old Macbook Air that still runs completely smoothly. I also have a seven year old iPad 2, a nine year old iPod, and my current cell phone is an iPhone 8 Plus. I don't mean all that in a snobbish way - I say this to illustrate this point: all of my Apple products have been consistent in quality and functionality - I have never doubted whether they would perform the way they should. So I knew that this Apple Watch wasn't right...
So I went into my closest Apple store today (6/27/19) so that someone could physically look at my watch and run an official diagnostic. My software was fine, but due to the "waking" issue, they told me the watch wasn't right. The tech verified the issue in the store and said that a full unit (the watch itself) replacement needed to be done - remember, I haven't even had this watch a week. Luckily, since I didn't wait to have the watch looked at by Apple, it was still under their official limited warranty. The serial number of the watch was fine - so the product was authentic. Due to the limited warranty still being in effect, the repair didn't cost me anything. The total cost of that repair would have been $229.00. I also bought Apple Care directly from Apple because I read in reviews that people had terrible trouble with their Apple Care codes from Amazon and "attaching" it to their account/product...so why not just get it from Apple?
So, this huge review is all to say this: I will never buy a major electric device from Amazon again, regardless of how great the price may be. I lucked out with the Apple limited warranty, but I may have been up the creek if it didn't work out or if Amazon had refused to refund my money or send a replacement (which I read that some customers suspected that they may have received used watches as replacements...). I am also lucky because I'm now basically getting an Apple Watch directly from Apple because the repaired units have (I was told by Apple) brand new parts, not refurbished parts.
If you think something might be wrong with your watch right out of the box, I urge you to take it to an Apple store so that they can look at it. Although Apple Support is really helpful, no one would have been able to actually figure out my issue if I hadn't gone into a store. As for my faith in Amazon right now, it's definitely gone way down. I'm not sure if I just got a random "lemon" from the Apple factory like I feared or if I actually fell into the boat of people who they may have gotten a used watch that got "prettied back up" and repackaged when someone sent it back who may have found the same issues I did. I'll never know. But I wanted to pass along my experience.
I would say buy at your own risk and hope you get a good one like the majority of people here.