Apple Watch 3 Review: A Good Upgrade or Not?
Apple released Apple watch series 3 at the press event on 12-Sept-2017, alongside two other gadgets - iPhones & Apple 4K TV. Though Apple watch 3 was announced on 12 Sept, but it's yet to launch in the market. The watches will go on pre-order from today (15/Sept/2017) and would be available in the shops by 22 Sept.
This is our hands-on Apple watch 3 review. We haven't really got to test the Apple watch series 3 (like others). But, our journalist got his hands on the Apple watch series 3 for good minutes and here are our initial thoughts.
If being honest, there is no dramatic change in the new generation compared to its predecessor. i.e., Apple watch series 2. So, take this hands-on review a very solid Apple watch review.
Attention: Apple Watch Series 2 will be discontinued, and keep in mind that Apple watch series 3 has two models- standard version and LTE version. Both versions have different price (check the image below for price information)
Apple Watch 3 Review
Before we get into the actual review, we will discuss some new upgraded features. After that, based on our Apple watch series 2 review we will give you the verdict.
1. Cellular Connectivity
As expected (from rumors), Apple Watch series 3 now has cellular connectivity feature which is the biggest update from the previous generation. The only reason people would update from the apple watch 2 to the apple watch 3 is cellular connectivity.
This is not a revolutionary change (what we expect from Apple) because Android watches like Samsung Gear S3 and Huwaei have this feature for more than a year.
But, it's a big relief for all the iPhone users, because this watch can now work as a stand alone device. You don't have to have iPhone in your pocket so that you can use the all the features being connected to your SIM card.
Even though it's not a groundbreaking feature but it's still a huge relief for the iPhone customers and also for the people who wanted to use iWatch as a stand alone device. This is how you cellular connectivity will benefit you.
- Running: Now when you go for a run with the new generation, you don't have to carry your iPhone.
- Calls: You would be able to receive the calls directly through your iwatch.
- Maps: You would be able to see the map without your iPhone.
- Messages: You would be able to receive the messages on your wrist.
- Social Media: You would be able to use the Internet without the iPhone.
The other update that was accentuated on the press event for Apple watch series 3 was Siri. The new generation Apple watch now has Siri in it. It's still not a big deal, but for Apple hardcore lovers', it's definitely something to cheer about.
In the previous model of Apple watch, Siri couldn't talk back. But Siri would talk back to you without having to carry your iPhone with you.
Apple also asserted in the event that, Siri is significantly faster in the Siri S3 which will give you a better experience overall, because of S3 chip (It could be marketing gimmick too, but we believe that it's not).
Every machine needs specification update to keep up with the future and present and Apple's watch is no exception. There are some not so "MINDBLOWING," but significant updates on the new generation watch.
a) S3 Dual Core Processor: Apple watch series 3 LTE (also without LTE) is upgraded to the S3 Dual-core processor (previously S2 Dual-core and S1 dual-core on the respective models - S1 and S2).
S3 Dual-core offers 70 percent faster performance when compared to its predecessors. Now, apps will open faster and watch will have better graphics. And, like we stated earlier "It will make the Siri faster to use."
b) W2 Wireless Chip: Now you would be able to browse the Internet at with 85% increased in Wifi speed. And, it is now 50% more efficient for using Bluetooth and wifi.
c) Barometric Altimeter GPS: Now the watch has Baromertric Altimeter GPS which is a sound upgrade especially for runners or people who do outdoor activities. You would get better information tracking of elevation and miles covered.
For people who are into hiking, biking, and running it's a great feature. However, it's still nothing new in the market. In fact, Apple's top rival Samsung has this feature on their smartwatch for more than a year.
4.) OS Upgrade: There is OS Upgrade in new series. The Apple Watch 3 will run on the new WatchOS4. It provides better user experience and introduces cool new features for Fitness enthusiasts.
5.) Songs: Now, you would be able to listen to the 40 million songs by connecting the wireless earphones with the watch. For a fitness freak, it will definitely add up and make a good impact.
The biggest disappointment for all the Apple smartwatch fans, including us, is the design. No, it's not that we don't like the design. We are really fond of their design which we clearly mentioned in our article "best smartwatch 2018"
Apple did mention some new aesthetic options, including new color options, finishes, and straps.
But, the thing is there are no updates in the design. The Apple watch series 3 looks exactly like its prior generation models. There is only one change in the design and it's in the digital crown. The digital crown now has a red accent color and it's little thicker as compared to the previous models.
So, all the dreams of people who were looking forward to the round designed Apple watch have been crushed badly. But, it is also disappointing for each watch series 2 user (unless someone didn't want to upgrade to the new model).
As of now, people seem to have a different opinion about the red colored digital crown, but we personally feel it's still good to see something that sets it apart from the old models.
The screen size and shape is the same. There is a little-added thickness at the bottom of the watch (where heart rate sensor module is located), but it's not even noticeable because it's thickness worth two pieces of paper - not a gimmick.
5. Battery Life
One big concern that most people had for the LTE model was its battery life. Majority of us thought it will drop the battery life. However, Google announced that there will be no drop in the battery life of Apple watch 3.
Apple claimed that, like its old generation models, Apple watch 3 will stay active for 18 hours. And, like old models, it will take 90 minutes to get to 80%, then another 30 minutes to get to 100% charged.
To be honest, they should have worked on battery the department. Their competitors have better battery life. You can expect about 4 to 5 hours of GPS and LTE usage with the regular use of the watch.
6. Health & Fitness:
Apple has certainly stepped up their game in the Fitness department. There is nothing new and revolutionary, but it can now stand shoulder to shoulder with its competitors.
It's equipped with Barometric altometer (useful for stairs climbed information or tracking elevation during a run). Apple has done interesting stuff around heart rate tracking system. Now, it will show you resting heart rate and also heart rate spiking even when you're not working out.
Apple Watch Series 2 VS Apple Watch Series 3
Remember, Apple Watch Series 2 will be discontinued, so if you are thinking to pick between either of them, it's not happening.
There is so minimal difference between previous generation and the new generation Apple watch models. Other than LTE feature, there is no feature that stands out. Even LTE looks like a gimmick as we expected it to be in the Apple watch series 2 itself.
There is no difference between the aesthetics apart from the red accent digital crown. And, It's slightly thicker that's it. It doesn't make sense why they didn't work on the overall design of the watch.
It certainly does have an edge over its previous generation models with the new processor which is much faster. The interface still remains the same. The battery life remains same which we expected to be improved.
Yes, Now we have Siri and it will talk back unlike previous modes, but like we said earlier "Nothing, groundbreaking."
Overall, it's a better smartwatch all together now and Apple has worked on the drawbacks like cellular connectivity, processor, songs, and better sensor system. But, we expected more from Apple.