Apple Watch Series 3 review

8.3/10 AVG.
RATING
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  • Apple Watch Series 3

Plenty of improvements and upgrades on a proven formula – the Apple Watch 3 is the best smartwatch available.

- Richard Easton, TrustedReviews 


This is a smartwatch like none I've ever used before.

- Trevor Long, EFTM 

Specs / Features


Warranty (Months) 12 months
Release date 22-September-2017
Size 4 x 3 x 1 cm (1.6 x 1.2 x 0.4 in)
Weight N/A
Reviews summary section

What's good

  • Solid design and build quality
  • Snappy performance
  • Bright display
  • Fitness tracking improvements

What's bad

  • LTE drains battery life
  • Cellular model expensive and tacks on additional fees
  • Requires iPhone to divert messages and phone calls

Apple’s third iteration of the Apple Watch comes in two flavors - one with cellular connectivity and another with just GPS. However, aside from LTE connectivity, both models are identical (except for the price).

So is it worth getting your hands on the Apple Watch 3?

Let’s find out!

The Apple Watch 3 comes only a year after the release of the Apple Watch 2. Not much has changed on the outside. It still comes in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. This means you can still use your old Watch 2 bands should you upgrade.

When put side-by-side next to the Apple Watch 2, reviewers couldn’t tell the difference, so if you’re looking for a different design, you’ll be let down.

Fortunately, that also means it carries over the 50-meter water resistance. Dropping it in a puddle or a sweaty workout won't come with adverse side effects.

It still features the same OLED display with a resolution of 390-by-312 pixels. Critics also noticed no decrease or increase in bright light legibility.

While many new models get smaller than their predecessors, the Apple Watch 3 is slightly thicker than the Apple Watch 2. However, most reviewers barely noticed the difference—especially since the weight has not changed.

Apple's new S3 processor impressed critics with its fast performance. They found the interface snappy and using Siri was a breeze, unlike earlier models. Reviews felt this made the watch more useful for common daily tasks, such as setting a timer or checking the weather.

Apple has also improved the fitness tracker with a new barometric altimeter. This measures elevation, which is great when hiking or skiing. Critics also found it useful to see how many flights of stairs they’ve climbed. However, some found an inconsistency in terms of what they climbed versus what the watch measured.

Aside from that, it has the same fitness-tracking features as the Series 2, including heart rate measurement, step counting, and support for high-intensity, interval training workouts.

One of the biggest complaints surrounding earlier Apple Watch models was their dependence on a phone to provide functionality. The cellular connection in the Apple Watch 3 addresses this issue. Unfortunately, many experts found it lacking—especially for the added $10 per month they had to pay in carrier fees.

Not only was setup frustrating, it still required them to have their iPhone powered on in order for it to communicate with the phone via the cloud.

With that said, call quality was good, though they recommend using a Bluetooth headset as the onboard speaker was just not loud enough to hear in most situations.

The biggest concern for most reviewers, however, was battery life. When using the Apple Watch 3 as a standalone device, they only squeezed 3-4 hours of life out of it. Typical usage included listening to music, using the GPS, and making some calls.

Although reviewers loved the new performance boost and fitness addition, most found the LTE connectivity uninspiring. Tech Radar states, “... if you want the best smartwatch on the market, go for the Apple Watch 3 but only get LTE if you want to leave your phone at home when working out but really feel the need to stay connected.” The Verge adds, “The Apple Watch may not ever be the promised device that liberates us from the shackles of our smartphones... but it is a very competent and capable smartwatch.”


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