The Apple Watch Series 3 is currently 2 generations old, and also does really feel a little outdated as a result of the older, boxier display form and also display screen modern technology.
However, it’s still a great smartwatch, deserving of Wareable’s Smartwatch of the Year honor in 2017, and also ought to still be a preferred option in 2020.
With the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 5, Apple has actually retired the Series 4, yet has currently completely went down the rate of the smaller sized Series 3 to $199 .
That implies it’s currently contending on the exact same terms as the Fitbit Versa 2, and also some older Wear OS watches, like the Fossil Q Explorist.
Even the larger Series 3, which is available in at $229, is still quite budget friendly. If you search for the very best Apple Watch Series 3 bargains, you might locate it for less expensive than that, also.
Despite not being the current Apple Watch, it works with watchOS 6, the current software program, which implies you obtain a lot of the current functions from the Series 4 and also 5.
Does the Series 3 stand the examination of time versus more recent smartwatches from Fitbit, Samsung and also others? Here’s our complete judgment.
Table of Contents
Apple Watch Series 3 Essential Specifications
- Only works with iPhone
- Available in 38 mm and also 42 mm dimensions
- 114 mm thick
- Optical heart rate sensor
- GPS and also GPS/Cellular versions available
- Available in lightweight aluminum only
- Water immune approximately 50 meters deepness
- Apple Pay
- Up to 18 hrs battery life
Apple Watch Series 3: Design
Compared to various other Apple smartwatches, the Series 3 really feels boxier and also larger – mainly as a result of the black area around the side.
The Series 3 is available in 38 mm and 42 mm dimensions, which altered to 40 mm and 44 mm with the Series 4. That implies that the Series 3 is the last Apple smartwatch you can get in the tiniest dimension, which might be a draw for those with smaller sized wrists.
We had the 42 mm design to deal with, and it’s still a charming, comfy fit. There are no wearability problems, and it’s constantly been a very comfy smartwatch.
Otherwise, this coincides with Apple Watch, with a good 1,000 nit display screen, as abundant as it’s ever before been. The display screen is not significantly brighter or sharper than the more recent Series 4 or Series 5, in spite of the pixel thickness boosting.
One point it does not have, however, is the choice for an always-on display screen, as the Series 5. That implies you’ll require to elevate your wrist to wake or faucet on the display screen.
The Series 3 was likewise the very first time Apple took care of to stuff in LTE along with GPS, the optical heart rate sensing unit, a beautiful display screen and water-resistant style – all without lowering battery life (with exemptions, which we’ll come onto).
Other LTE views we’ve seen from Wear OS companions and Samsung have, sometimes, been jeopardized in style by the mobile added, though points are boosting.
But, in our sight, the Series 3 was the initial solid instance of that added connection can still be incorporated with an elegantly created gadget.
In regards to the option of surface, you just have lightweight aluminum to select from, in Silver and also Space Grey, while brand-new Watch tools likewise are available in stainless steel, ceramic and also titanium alternatives.
Compared to Series 5, this a somewhat chunkier Watch that comes without ECG, an electronic crown with haptic responses, a display screen with an Always-On setting. If those aren’t big deals for you, there’s still a lot to such as concerning the appearance of the Series 3.
Apple Watch Series 3: Features
We’ll talk with LTE additionally below, yet, as for what else is brand-new on the function front, there’s not a massive quantity various from the Series 2.
Smartwatch essentials, like transforming faces and also tailoring them with problems, are in place, and the Digital Crown still works similarly, pressing you right into the application food selection, allowing you scroll with alerts and food selections.
The switch listed below, also, presses you to the dock, which is currently oriented up and down, instead of flat – similar to the Apple iPhone. These little tweaks make the Watch really feel far more instinctive.
Helping, also, is the S3 CPU, which makes the Watch faster to make use of than older versions. Switching in between applications is much faster on the Series 3 than the Series 2, as is speaking to Siri, which ends up being larger take care of the standalone connection.
Moving to the smarts, alerts are still quite at the heart of what the Watch does, and also it does them truly well. First- and also third-party applications are sustained, and you can include in or choose your circulation in the friend application.
If you’ve missed out on an alert, you can swipe down on the display to disclose one of the most current ones. Apple’s glossy technique to alert assistance stays an essential factor we such as putting on the watch.
When it involves interaction, whether that’s replying to tweets or taking a telephone call, not a great deal is various to more recent versions. You can still do your ideal Dick Tracy perception as long, as the call high quality’s solid, though you may have a hard time to listen to in noisier settings.
Thankfully you can combine Bluetooth earphones to aid with that – especially useful when calling over LTE.
You can likewise still make use of the integrated microphone to determine feedback to messages, display your emoji abilities and also extract letters to kind out messages.
And, as for having the ability to respond to alerts, Apple still uses the extra trustworthy and also detailed methods of doing it from your wrist.
It ought to likewise be kept in mind that the Apple Watch Series 3 ships with watchOS 5, yet has the ability to run watchOS 6. The most recent version of Apple’s smartwatch OS brings a devoted application shop, females’ wellness monitoring functions and brand-new watch deals with.
Compared to Wear OS, Fitbit OS and also Tizen, it still seems like one of the most refined of the smartwatch OS. It’s not ideal, yet it’s definitely the one we have the least complaints around.
Apple Watch Series 3: LTE Availability
Alongside the less expensive, GPS- just Apple Watch Series 3 is the LTE variation, which flaunts its very own mobile link.
The Series 3 utilizes an eSIM, which implies you do not need to place a SIM card, and likewise permits you to share your number with your Apple iPhone, depending upon your service provider.
Don’t believe that implies it does not set you back cash. You’ll still require to authorize a take care of a service provider to obtain LTE connection – in spite of sharing a phone number with your smart device.
So, what does it do? You can take and also make phone calls, in addition to obtaining all your various other alerts. You’ll likewise have the ability to accessibility Apple Music straight from the watch, so you can navigate an exercise sans Apple iPhone and also still have the ability to stream songs.
Availability for Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE service provider strategies is quite prevalent currently, yet much from worldwide. The suches as of Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, the UK and the United States assistance it – amongst even more.
In the United States, the similarity AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon supply assistance for LTE connection on the Series 3. EE, O2 and Vodafone deal with comparable assistance in the UK.
Apple Watch Series 3: Living with LTE
Just just how great is the Apple Watch when divided from your Apple iPhone? First, allow’s speak about LTE generally.
This isn’t the only smartwatch with a mobile connection, allowing you to utilize it far from the smart device. Some Wear OS and also Samsung views obtained to the mark.
If you do go with the LTE course, your Watch will just change to its mobile link when it sheds a link with your Apple iPhone, or else it will certainly fail to Bluetooth.
The rate of that hand-off has actually differed a little bit in screening, with the watch often getting mobile bars nearly quickly, and also in various other instances taking a while much longer to lock on.
You’ll recognize it’s attached since the mobile symbol in the Control Center will certainly transform eco-friendly, and also Apple has a brand-new watch encounter that will certainly reveal to you the number of signal bars you have.
From there you can make and also get messages and phone calls. Your number will certainly present as it usually would for the individual on the various other ends, and there ought to be no free gift that you’re calling them on a smartwatch and not a phone.
Is LTE Worth It?
Does reducing totally free make the Watch experience any much better? To learn we set about regular day-to-day tasks sans smart device, consisting of a journey to the grocery store, a night out with pals, and a couple of exercises.
All of which assisted brighten just how we really make use of a smart device – and where the voids still hinge on Apple’s mobile smartwatch.
How valuable you locate LTE on the Apple Watch will certainly rely on just how you utilize your phone. For those of you that enjoy health and fitness, the Watch offers an apparent advantage because it allows you to navigate a jog, swim or bike flight without your smart device.
For the moments we took it swimming and also running, reducing the cable was outright happiness, as it has actually been when we’ve exercised utilizing mobile smartwatches in the past.
As for calling, the microphone on the watch goes over. When we telephoned a pal they stated we appeared similar to we were utilizing a smart device, and the audio speaker on our end was great as well.
It had not been so helpful for us when we telephoned from an active road, as the audio speaker battled to puncture the hubbub, yet the individual on the various other end stated we were still coming with clear and crisp.
For those circumstances, you’re most likely to intend to combine some Bluetooth earphones. Starting a telephone call from the wrist can be done by picking a get in touch with from your personal digital assistant, or by utilizing the keypad.
We believe plenty of individuals are yet to be persuaded that speaking right into their wrists is the future, yet with earphones, much of the functions of the Series 3 really feel far better, particularly as Siri can currently debate so you do not also require to take a look at the watch to obtain some details. If the AirPods were released in expectancy of all this, it’s nearly as.
All that stated, while Siri might be boosting, her dictation is still also hit-and-miss to make us intend to respond to messages on the watch, AirPods or no AirPods. Alternatively, you can doodle out each specific letter, or make use of among Apple’s customized feedback, yet these aren’t optimal. Ultimately we do not believe these communications will certainly boost till Siri improves.
We had a great deal of a-ha minutes with the day where counting on the watch far from the phone made good sense, yet there were likewise times we confronted wall surfaces of the Watch’s ability.
Maps, for instance, are something we usually count on our phones for, and on the Watch, that experience is jeopardized as a result of the constraints of Siri and Apple Maps, making it a little bit fiddly.
Another point is the absence of a cam; we’ve pertained to count on our smart devices as our key image takers, and also there were times when out with the Watch that we wished to break a photo and could not. It’s hardly an objection since we do not think there’s an instance to stick a cam on the Apple Watch right now, yet it was fascinating monitoring.
If Apple intends to maintain pressing us even more to the wrist, these are points it might ultimately need to think of. LTE particularly makes an instance for far better navigating (hi there, Google, can we have the Maps application back?) .
More of an instant problem is the sustained third-party applications. The variety of applications that collaborate with the standalone mobile link is still extremely reduced, and any type of application that does not have an Apple Watch application, like What sApp, will not offer you anything when you’re divided from your phone. That’s a massive downer, and also implies that if you do not intend to depend entirely on Apple’s solutions, you’re out of good luck.
All of which is to state, we believe the advantages of the Series 3 are most likely to differ a great deal in between individuals and also the factors they use a smartwatch. Siri isn’t yet sufficient that we might lean on the Series 3 without a phone as high as we would certainly have such as to, yet there have actually still been some revelatory minutes in reducing that connection to the phone, lots of focusing on health and fitness or brief journeys far from our work desks at the workplace.
The concern is just how Apple can make LTE on the wrist engaging. The solution mainly boils down to the cross way of software and hardware that Apple manages so well, making LTE really feel even more smooth and much better incorporated right into the Apple Watch experience. Has Apple transformed it right into an essential? Not yet, yet it makes a much more engaging situation for it than we’ve attended the day.
Apple Watch Series 3: Fitness, Sporting Activities Monitoring and also Heart Rate Precision
Apple never ever made a physical fitness tracker, deciding rather connect the functions that we’ve come familiar with seeing in Fitbit and also Garmin wearables right into its smartwatch. It did nonetheless acquire many individuals that worked with the Nike Fuelband, and while that specific tracker disappears, it survives in lots of methods with the Watch Series 3 in the pursuit to maintain you inspired and relocating.
It’s still everything about filling up those task rings and also providing you an alert push when you require that little press to strike your target. Sharing Activity information, which was lately presented, stays an excellent device for this and overall Apple’s health and fitness monitoring experience is truly strong.
But Apple lags in one large location: rest monitoring. With Apple’s purchase of Beddit some years back, we wished we see indigenous rest monitoring functions make a look. Even with the arrival of the Series 5, it still hasn’t shown up, in spite of meant information of Apple’s rest monitoring includes obviously dripping out.
Battery life is the noticeable blockage below, and also till Apple can extend that out it appears not likely it will certainly intend to market us on an attribute that would certainly be also jeopardized.
As much as precision as worried, we used it with the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch and while both cram in comparable sensing units they do function to their very own different formulas to determine the range and also actions. Despite that, there was usually a distinction of 500-1,000 actions while range covered was basically place on.
Inactivity alerts and landmark pens turned up around the exact same time also. We never ever anticipated both to be the same, yet there does not appear to be any type of factor to appear the alarm system that the Watch Series 3 is refraining from doing an excellent work of monitoring.
Apple does great work, yet perhaps it’s time for a much more workable technique to the information it’s recording, to give the type of inspiration that will certainly settle in the long-term.
On the Series 2, we obtained the built-in GPS we longed for, and on the Watch Series 3 it’s as rapid to grab a signal as it got on the now-retired precursor. Performance – smart, points, fortunately, have not altered all that a lot, though the Watch does currently track altitude gain. From a software application point of view, however, we still believe there’s some job to be done.
The Workout application is still your port of phone call to track a run, yet you do have the choice of a host of third-party applications and you’ll most likely intend to check out those choices. There’s absolutely nothing naturally incorrect with the method and the ui it presents run information, yet it’s what takes place afterward’s the trouble. You still can not review an operate on the watch, and also it seems like there ought to be the choice to do so.
To contrast GPS monitoring and running metrics precision we placed it up versus the Garmin Forerunner 935 and the Polar Beat Apple iPhone application for numerous runs and were usually pleased with what it supplies. As you can see from the screenshots over, range and also ordinary speed are basically according to the Garmin and the Polar application.
Is it an all set made substitute for an operating watch? We’d still state no, yet it does a much better work of incorporating run monitoring than any type of various other smartwatches we’ve attempted. We simply want that Workout application was offered a little bit extra love.
The Apple Watch Series 2 was proficient at counting sizes, and we’re delighted to state the Series 3 is remarkably precise as well. The trick is to make certain you established the swimming pool size properly prior to your exercise so the Watch can adjust.
In an examination versus the Fitbit Ionic, the Apple Watch was bang-on in spotting our various stroke kinds. It did miss out on one lap, yet still matched the Fitbit on yardage, so we weren’t burglarized of the initiative. This remained in an active swimming pool, with great deals of walking water in between laps, so it did an excellent work of maintaining upon the range and toenailing those strokes.
Green optical sensing units and also water do not blend well, so do not count on the Watch for heart rate analyses, though it does attempt, and we might still see our analyses throughout our swim, if they were a little bit erratic. Hard to state just how trustworthy any of this is.
There’s an additional advantage the Series 3 gives the swimming pool, which’s the LTE. We were still able to get messages while in the swimming pool, which was weird, yet in a great way. Perhaps you would certainly like to turn off in those minutes, and there’s absolutely nothing quitting you from shutting off mobile anytime, but for individuals that can not experience being divided from their alerts for also long, you can place that anxiousness to the remainder.
Heart Rate Precision
Apple is taking on heart rate in 2 methods on the Watch Series 3. The initial is still greatly tailored in the direction of health and fitness, providing you a much better dimension of exercise strength, and currently it can likewise determine relaxing heart rate throughout the day. Since it’s a solid indication of your existing state of wellness, That’s an important item of information. A reduced relaxing heart rate is absolutely a good idea, in the situation you were asking yourself.
The sensing unit configuration that’s making that checking occur is near the same to the one on the Watch Series 2, so results ought to be basically the exact same. Good and also trustworthy, yet not ideal. That declaration might use to a great deal of wrist-based heart rate keeps track of. Apple has actually presented a boosted optical sensing unit on the Series 5, however in our time checking it, there’s not an enormous quantity of distinction inefficiency.
What we discovered is that the heart rate screen is an additional strong entertainer, whether it’s signing in on your relaxing heart rate or real-time information throughout a treadmill session. Average heart rate analyses usually appear to be greater in contrast to the Polar H10 breast band we examined it versus, about 5-6 bpm.
For max heart analyses, it created analyses that were just 1 or 2 bpm off the H10. So overall it’s one of the far better optical sensing units we’ve examined. We do still have bookings concerning its capability to deal with truly high-intensity exercise sessions in brief ruptured. Over much longer durations, it still appears quite trustworthy, yet HIIT followers may be left a little dissatisfied.
Apple Watch Series 3: Battery Life
As we stated, Apple does not jeopardize battery life considerably with the Series 3, and when checking a mix of non-cellular and mobile functions, we’ve still been overcoming a day of usage.
Apple quotes 18 hrs, and you can most likely strike that conveniently adequate with modest usage, yet, when you begin hammering the LTE, you’ll see a quicker drainpipe.
Calling is particularly battery extensive, and you’ll just obtain an hr of talk time when utilizing the Watch as a standalone phone; approximately 3 if it’s combined to the apple iphone.
So this isn’t suggested for that lengthy catch-up phone calls with your Auntie Nora, extra simply a couple of mins occasionally.
Apple Watch Series 3 v Series 4 v Series 5
Perhaps the hardest option around currently for possible Apple Watch customers is which one to really get – a tantalizing Apple Watch Series 3 offer ought to be of rate of interest to plenty of individuals.
The Series 3 includes watchOS 5 (upgradeable to watchOS 6), GPS, and if you require, LTE assistance…
Only those that like the tweaked style of the Apple Watch Series 4 or the Always-On setting or the ECG modern technology on the Series 5, ought to forget a good Series 3 offer that contends otherwise betters what else is readily available at this rate.