Whenever Apple releases a new product, there is an unfathomable craze that takes over the whole world. People line up in front of the stores hours before they are opened; a few people are happily camping out and have no issues spending a night on the street. Apple Watch 3 together with the iPhone received the same attention.
Well, we really must give it to them. Apple products are fully-baked, well-integrated in terms of software and hardware, and are aesthetically pleasing and handy. Not to mention, they certainly know how to attract a customer’s attention.
Apple Inc released its very first smartwatch in April 2015. It did not take long for it to become the best-selling wearable tech of the year. They sold 4.2 million watches within the same year. In 2016, Series 2 was introduced and it turned out to be just as popular. In September 2017, Apple announced its new iteration – the Apple Watch Series 3.
Using their well-honed marketing genius, Apple completely removed the second generation forcing their potential customers to make a choice between series one and series three. Previously, series one and two were like two peas in a pod. There were only minor differences between the two.
However, series three is poles apart featuring advanced optimisations under the hood. Furthermore, from pricing perspective, if you’re new to the Apple Watch, it would be smarter to go for Series 3 rather than Series 1.
What’s New in the Apple Watch Series 3?
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference, but there are a few performance enhancing implementations as well as additional features. Just like the older generations, the Series 3 has built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, heart rate monitor, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, altimeter, and second-generation OLED Retina display with Force Touch (1000 nits).
So, you might be wondering what is new… Here are some of the latest features of Apple Watch Series:
1. LTE Cellular Connectivity
The Apple Watch 3 has two versions; one with LTE cellular connectivity and one with GPS only. LTE cellular connectivity is the biggest change and most of the hype is because of it. Independent connectivity has revitalized the entire wearable tech industry. To differentiate between the two versions, Apple made the crown dial on the cellular version red, see image below.
Thanks to it, the watch can connect and work independently of your phone. Go about your business around the town, take a long run and enjoy a quiet meal with your loved ones without your phone. When your phone battery has drained, you can still stay in touch with your circle via the watch. Users note that with the Apple Watch 3 LTE cellular connectivity, you can easily make phone calls from the watch and the voice clarity is awesome.
Having LTE connectivity means you can make emergency calls even when you are far away from your phone. One Buzzfeed author experimented and swam far into the sea. She asked Siri to make a phone call and it worked! So that’s neat in case you are in a real crisis.
But wait just a second… If you think the watch isn’t dependent on iPhone at all, you are wrong. The Apple Watch 3 still requires an iPhone for a number of functions.
2. Siri Speaks
For the first time ever, Siri can talk to you directly from the Apple Watch. It may be insignificant to some users, but the voice feedback feature definitely makes it stand out from rest of the smartwatches out there. It is almost a surreal experience to talk to Siri on the watch. Via SiriKit, you can use notes, and several built-in and third-party applications.
3. Improved Processing Speed
The new S3 chip ensures that the watch works super-fast. With the previous watches, users mainly face speed issues. The watch used to start up only after a whole minute, Siri was slow, and apps took forever to load.
Apple claims that Series 3 is 50% faster than the second generation, and most users have experienced and can vouch for this. It is true to some extent depending on the app you use but overall experience has definitely improved. Other than that, most of the features and designs are the similar to the earlier editions.
Your choice: Standard, Luxury, Hermés or Nike ?
Look-wise, nothing much has changed with Series 3. There is still the usual range of aluminium or stainless-steel cases with bands (above) and loops (below left).
However, aside from the previously available luxury of Hermés or sporty breathable band with Nike – Apple have introduced a luxury edition of the Series 3. The watch itself is incased in a ceramic body available in either white or grey ceramic case with a sport band. Priced at $1299.
Other than that, you can still opt for aluminium or stainless-steel cases paired with Hermés or Nike wrist bands. Hermes leather band is classy without being fussy. On the other hand, the Nike band is what every sporty person would love.
So, What’s the Catch?
As they say, ‘nothing in this world is perfect’. This stands true for Series 3 as well. Users have come across several flaws in the watch.
- While LTE connectivity is certainly a game-changer, it has its drawback. It quickly drains the battery to the extend that it might not even last you 24 hours. Considering that it is also a fitness tracker and should be able to record your daily activity and sleep patterns, it is a disappointment that you have to return it to the charger again to top up during the day for and most certainly every day.
- There has been rumours of a Wi-Fi bug. Thankfully it is a software one and Apple team is working hard to resolve it.
- The LTE version doesn’t come cheap. It is from $429 along with other charges such as cellular data plan.
- In some countries, carriers have exclusive rights offering a special phone and cellular data plan that supports the eSIM for the smartwatch limiting your option for which carrier is available with the watch.
- It is only compatible with iOS. You must have an iPhone to use it.
As Series 2 is now out of the window, there is really no other option available as Series 1 is ancient compared to the latest edition. If you are an avid Apple fan and a fitness geek, you will love the Apple Watch Series Three. It is a little phone for your wrist. You can enjoy music, get text messages, check your emails, and make phone calls without having to fish for your phone all the time.
However, if you already own Series 2, it probably won’t be worth replacing it with the third generation, unless you really want or need the cellular connectivity.
If you’re trying to decide between Series 1 and Series 3, the question to ask yourself will be ‘What will you be using the Apple Watch for?’ If it’s a case of adding more connected functionality to your life, then Series 3 is it. If, however, you’re looking for a good-looking activity tracker, that tells the time, and connects to your iPhone, the simple stuff, then Series 1 is probably enough for you.
The game changer with Series 3, like Series 2 is the waterproof feature while Series 1 isn’t so if you can wear it in the pool for a swim, perfect for the sporty type that loves swimming and counting calories, . If you love running too, then go with Series 3 Nike+ edition with exclusive watch faces and special edition Nike Sport Bands and Sport Loops designed for that sporty lifestyle and works with Nike+ Run Club app. The onboard GPS and altimeter does it magic to track your every run.
Do you have an Apple watch? What are your thoughts on it? Do you think Apple Watch Series Three is worth it? Let us know!