We spent a little over five weeks here this year and I only missed one day at the beach. Alan spent every third day back at the apartment catching up on his writing projects.
Not much has changed since we were here a little less than a year ago. The beach itself is probably one of the nicest tourist beaches on the island. The water is crystal clear, especially on the eastern end of the beach, with plenty of fish for the snorkelers.
It's high, high season and the beach is near capacity a little past mid-day.
Mostly Europeans (especially Italians) and some Russians. Not many Americans.
If you go to Phuket, consider Nai Harn Beach. If only to hang out at during the day. It's a fair drive from the hustle and bustle of Patong Beach (about 400THB ($12) each way for a taxi).
The water is cleaner on Nai Harn than any of the other tourist beaches on the island. You can swim and snorkel freely here as there are no jet skis, or other power boats in the water.