Why the Ap­ple Watch is a must-have up­grade

It’s more than just LTE, ar­gues Michael Si­mon

iPad&iPhone user - - HANDS-ON -

Ap­ple’s smart­watch just got a whole lot smarter. Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3 has ar­rived, and while it didn’t get the dra­matic re­design we were hop­ing for, its im­prove­ments on the in­side more than make up for the same­ness of the en­clo­sure. (And if you need

peo­ple to know you have the lat­est model, there are some cool new colours too, like ce­ramic grey and a dif­fer­ent shade of gold to match the iPhone 8.)

But what makes Ap­ple Se­ries 3 such a mon­u­men­tal up­grade isn’t fash­ion, it’s flex­i­bil­ity. More than ever, Ap­ple Watch is built to fit into your life­style, no mat­ter how you spend your free time. Here are the six things we’re most ex­cited about in Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3.

1. LTE

The big­gest change to Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3 is LTE. Where pre­vi­ous Ap­ple Watches needed to have a phone nearby to do most things, Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3 with LTE is com­pletely in­de­pen­dent, let­ting you get calls, mes­sages, and alerts even when your phone is hun­dreds of miles away. But what’s most im­pres­sive about the new LTE Ap­ple Watch is its size. Thanks to an elec­tronic SIM and engi­neer­ing that uses the display as an an­tenna, Ap­ple man­u­fac­tured Ap­ple Watch with

LTE with­out in­creas­ing the size of the case. Con­sid­er­ing the LTE An­droid Wear watches we’ve used, that’s no small feat. And what’s more, you can use your ex­ist­ing num­ber with your new Ap­ple Watch.

2. Bat­tery

One of Ap­ple Watch’s most un­der­rated fea­ture has al­ways been it’s bat­tery life. Lots of smart­watches claim to de­liver all-day bat­tery life, but Ap­ple Watch ac­tu­ally de­liv­ers on this prom­ise, some­times even push­ing well into a sec­ond day of use. We were scep­ti­cal that Ap­ple could keep the same 18-hour bat­tery life with LTE, but thanks to new pow­er­ef­fi­cient S3 and W2 chips, Ap­ple prom­ises that Ap­ple Watch will last just as long.

3. Siri

Ap­ple Watch has al­ways been smart, but it’s learned a whole lot for Se­ries 3. It starts with Siri. We’ve al­ready seen the Siri watch face in watchOS 4, which de­liv­ers a steady stream of per­son­al­ized up­dates to your wrist, but al­ways-on con­nec­tiv­ity with LTE makes it much more use­ful. And on Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3, Siri can now talk back. When you ask Siri a ques­tion us­ing your Se­ries 3 watch, you won’t have to look at your screen any­more – it will re­spond to your query us­ing your watch’s speaker.

4. Fit­ness

One of Ap­ple Watch’s main pur­poses has al­ways been health, and Se­ries 3 only re­in­forces that mis­sion. Not only is there watchOS 4, which brings a new Work­out

app and the abil­ity to sub your met­rics with gym equip­ment, the heart-rate sen­sor will now tell you your rest­ing and re­cov­ery BPM as well. And the Se­ries 3 watch now also has a baro­met­ric al­time­ter for more ac­cu­rate el­e­va­tion read­ings. And of course, you can still take it swim­ming.

5. Mu­sic

Ap­ple Watch has al­ways been able to store mu­sic, but with just 2GB of avail­able stor­age, it held fewer songs than the orig­i­nal iPod. But that changed with the LTE chip. Now the en­tire Ap­ple Mu­sic cat­a­logue will be right on your watch, and you won’t have sync playlists to make sure you have the lat­est Tay­lor Swift track. It’s like hav­ing 40 mil­lion songs on your wrist.

6. Per­for­mance

We don’t usu­ally think about per­for­mance when it comes to Ap­ple Watch, but with an LTE chip, it’s go­ing to be more im­por­tant than ever for apps to load quickly. A new dual-core S3 pro­ces­sor brings a 70

per­cent boost in per­for­mance, and the W2 Blue­tooth chip brings 85 per­cent faster Wi-Fi and 50 per­cent power ef­fi­ciency, which is nec­es­sary be­cause the LTE chip will use lots of bat­tery life.

Price and re­lease date

The Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3 is out now. It’s priced at £399 with GPS and cel­lu­lar con­nec­tiv­ity (not in­clud­ing the ex­tra provider fee – we’ll let you know when we have more info there), and £329 for the non-cel­lu­lar model. The Nike Plus mod­els won’t ship un­til 5 Oc­to­ber. Ad­di­tion­ally, Se­ries 1 watches are still be avail­able, with prices start­ing at £249.

Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3 and AirPods, per­fect to­gether

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