You’ve probably read about a lot of issues with the Apple Watch Series 3 on this site over the past few weeks. But after owning the Watch Series 3 for three weeks and being able to use it whether connected to the iPhone through Bluetooth or just through an LTE connection, this author can finally give the new Apple Watch a confident thumbs up.
In terms of design, there isn’t much of a difference between the Series 3 and Series 2. The important upgrades are inside. And the most important one allows the watch to operate on a cellular connection. This was tough to get working at first, but after the kinks were worked out with Apple and T-Mobile, it’s safe to say that the $10 extra each month for the cellular connection (first three months are fee) is worth it.
A perfect example of how useful the LTE connection could be is when this author went to go work at a television studio that didn’t allow any smartphones, which were collected and held by security. However, there isn’t a ban on smartwatches from any studio yet, so important text messages and phone calls can be received during work hours. Remember — the Apple Watch, even when it is operated on LTE, takes on the number of your iPhone. So you can make and receive text messages as well as phone calls on your smartwatch.
There is also sense of freedom when you go for a walk and don’t feel like lugging your iPhone with. Some argue that $10 a month just isn’t worth something that seems like such a minor benefit. However, if these naysayers would use the new Watch for just a couple days, they would understand that the benefits are more than minor.
Another thing that differentiates the new Watch from previous versions is speed. The Apple Watch Series 2 was no slouch, but the Series 3 makes it possible to alternate between multiple apps without any hiccups. Some sites have reported the dreaded “spinning icon” when trying to enter some apps, but this author hasn’t seen this once since purchasing the Watch three weeks ago.
Then, there is the battery life. Sites such as BetaNews and others have complained about this, but one wonders if they were trying to use three apps at once and making 30 LTE phone calls in an hour. Considering the new Apple Watch is small and uses LTE, the battery life is very good. In some cases, it is excellent. One has to remember that the Watch still isn’t intended for use as a solo device; it’s still a companion to your iPhone. However, the LTE connection allows you freedom from the few times you are not around your iPhone. If you use it sparingly as you should, you can still get two days of use with your Watch before having to recharge it. Even in the very rare situation you forget your iPhone for the day, your Watch can last at least 12 hours on LTE.
One year ago, many were saying that the FitBit series is better for exercise tracking than the Apple Watch. This is no longer the case with the Series 3, which offers the best and most consumer-friendly exercise tracking features on the market. For one thing, the heart rate monitor is very accurate, and you’ll find that when you or your doctor physically takes your heart rate, it will be the same (minus or plus one beat per minute) as your Watch reads. The new heartbeat monitor is more advanced in that it also records your daily resting heart rate.
Perhaps the most shocking thing about the Series 3 is the fact that the phone call quality through the speaker is actually pretty decent. You shouldn’t use your Watch as your primary device to make and receive calls. But if you do, you’ll find that you have very few problems talking or listening to the person on the other end. When using Bluetooth headphones, the call quality is as good as it is on the iPhone.
It’s been hard for Apple to convince consumers how useful the Apple Watch actually is. The first version was useful, but the Series 3 version should be a must-have. If you are not convinced, you can always buy the Watch knowing that it can be returned within 14 days. But even if you plan on returning the device at first, you’ll find that you can’t quite give it back after using it for a week. The Apple Watch Series 3 is just as groundbreaking as any of Apple’s other products.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]