Review: Apple Watch Series 3 | iLounge


Review: Apple Watch Series 3

Highly Recommended
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular)

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS)

Company: Apple

Model: Apple Watch Series 3

Price: $329 – $1299

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Jesse Hollington

Pros: Series 3’s cellular capabilities untether the Apple Watch from the iPhone in a significant way. The addition of a barometric altimeter fills in the workout tracking gap from last year’s Series 2. New processor offers a 70 percent performance boost over Series 2 and enables Siri to offer voice responses. New W2 chip increases Wi-Fi performance by 85 percent while cutting power consumption in half and resolving former issues with some Bluetooth headphones. Cellular plan can be activated directly from iPhone in seconds without even requiring a call to your carrier in most cases. Provides almost two-day battery life when kept in range of iPhone.

Cons: Cellular data is only available on a limited number of carriers at launch, and will add $5 – $10 to your monthly phone bill. Significantly shorter battery life when used away from iPhone in cellular-only mode. Non-cellular Series 3 not available in stainless steel version. Many third-party apps don’t yet provide untethered internet connectivity. Despite cellular capabilities, Apple Watch still remains an extension of your iPhone rather than a standalone device.

Last year’s release of the Apple Watch Series 2 gave Apple’s wearable device a renewed focus, shifting it more directly toward health and fitness with features like a built-in GPS for workout tracking and swim-proofing. At the same time, Apple also gave it a significant performance boost with a new dual-core CPU, which the company also brought to the original first-generation Apple Watch, re-releasing the original model as the “Series 1.”

Now, Apple’s third iteration of its wearable device brings a feature that many have been expecting since the Apple Watch was first announced three years ago — untethered cellular connectivity that allows your Apple Watch to be at least somewhat useful even when you leave your iPhone behind. Add to that a barometric altimeter and for most users the Apple Watch Series 3 can now be the only device you need to have with you when working out.

Despite cramming in cellular capabilities, Apple has managed to fit everything in the Series 3 into a case the same size as the Series 2, adding only 0.25mm to the back crystal extension. For all intents and purposes, the Apple Watch Series 3 looks identical to prior generations, but it’s ultimately what’s under the hood that makes all of the difference here. In the following pages, we’ll discuss what’s new in the Apple Watch Series 3, and what factors might make it a worthwhile purchase for some, while others may still find the Series 1 — which remains available — to be a more cost-effective choice.



Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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