This review will be split into two parts. Part 1 will focus on the Series 3 watch hardware changes, while part 2 will focus on the new LTE capabilities of the Apple Watch Series 3. Because Rogers in Canada is not offering LTE service for the Apple Watch yet, I’m unable to comment on this just yet – but I will update this review at a later date once I have LTE service enabled.
LTE – Overview
By far the biggest change this year is adding LTE to Apple Watch. This allows you to stay connected at a basic level for times when you leave your phone behind – like going for a run for instance. This is great for emergency situations where someone needs to reach you, or vice versa. It’s also great for those rare times when you forget your phone at home. Personally, I’m excited to go for a run without my phone, knowing that I’m still connected – not for the purpose of staying connected the whole time – but knowing that if I needed to be connected, it’s an option. And also for streaming music through Apple Music.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is approximately 70% faster than Series 2 thanks to a new dual-core S3 processor – making things like Siri respond noticeably quicker. It also has better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity thanks to the new W2 wireless chip. This allows for better battery efficiency, and increased range over the Series 2. Apple has also added a barometric altimeter to better track altitude – this will be specifically useful for when you are out on a run without your iPhone (which also has a barometric altimeter).
Siri can now talk back to you on the Apple Watch Series 3! Previous generations were limited to on-screen Siri only, but now thanks to the improved processor, Siri is able to provide voice feedback – which is very handy in many situations, where you don’t want to stare at your watch any longer than necessary to confirm that Siri understood your request.
The only significant design change with the Series 3 is that the LTE models have a red dot on the Digital Crown. The sensor housing is also just barely thicker than the series 2 – approximately 2 sheets of paper thicker – not enough to even notice. Overall, the basic design has remained unchanged since the first generation watch was released.
The Series 3 Apple Watch is a great step forward. In my opinion, it will likely best suit first time buyers, or people upgrading from the original Apple Watch (informally referred to as Series 0). If you bought a Series 2 Apple Watch last year, and you don’t need to have LTE just yet (or can’t because your carrier doesn’t support it yet), waiting until the Series 4 comes out next year would be advisable.
Part 2 – LTE In-Depth
Coming soon… (Hurry up Rogers!)