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X-Doria Stainless Steel Mesh Band for 42mm Apple Watch Review
      #49759 - 12/14/16 03:56 PM

The X-Doria Mesh Band is replacement band for your 42mm Apple Watch (any generation). Constructed entirely of stainless steel (with the exception of the magnet built into the clasp), The Mesh Band is a reasonably priced ($49) alternative to Apple's own ridiculously overpriced Milanese Loop band ($149-$199). To my eyes, it appears identical, and the fact that it is constructed of the same material means that it doesn't feel like a cheaply-made knockoff. It's substantial without feeling heavy, and even my notoriously finicky arm hairs never felt even the slightest tug while wearing it.

The Mesh band installs effortlessly, and with a gentle tug on the magnetic clasp, I found it to fit better than any of my other straps that always feel slightly too snug or too loose. Being made of stainless steel, it's as resistant to water as your Apple Watch, and the links are so fine that they won't catch on clothing or gather lint. It also has a very professional appearance, and does a nice job of dressing up your smart watch for the office or for that dinner party. That being said, it's metal construction keeps it from looking and feeling out of place during exercise. In fact, after running with it for a week, I can confidently say that it's suitable for almost any land sport imaginable (both style and function). Unfortunately, I didn't have similar luck with my swim workouts. Casual swimmers will likely have no issues with the Mesh Band. However, any sort of vigorous swimming will slowly and inexorably cause the clasp to slip. While poor form will exacerbate the problem by causing the watch to loosen on entry, most of the slippage comes as you catch water with your wrist and forearm, and pull forcefully. I found that even a moderate pace will necessitate a readjustment every time after 100 yards, and sometimes as few as 50.

X-Doria's Mesh Band is a fantastic alternative to Apple's own Milanese Loop at one-third to one-quarter of the cost. What's more, it doesn't feel or look like you're compromising anything to get this savings. While I found it to be unsuitable for vigorous swim workouts, I suspect that the percentage of Apple Watch wearers who will encounter this problem is probably quite low due to Apple's mediocre swim metrics compared to the competition. So, if you're looking for a metal band for your 42mm Apple Watch and get your exercise above the water line, you would be hard-pressed to find better.

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4.5
What's Hot: Stainless steel construction. Smooth mesh won't pull hairs or snag on clothes. Magnetic clasp means a perfect fit every time. Very professional looking.
What's Not: Not suitable for swim workouts. Not available in 38mm size.
Price: $49.99
Website: X-Doria

Reviewed by: Tom Slayton




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