New iPhones weren’t the only gadgets launched at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino. Apple also unveiled the Apple Watch Series 3 and we have all the details.
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The Apple Watch Series 3 is a radical improvement over the previous iteration thanks to a number of features that allows users to use it without an iPhone pairing. It supports a faster CPU with cellular capabilities that let you make and receive phone calls, chat via text messages, and use Internet-connected apps without having an iPhone in close range.
An integrated eSIM card enables sharing the user’s phone number as well. Despite this, the new Apple Watch is still not a completely standalone device. Here’s more on the new Apple Watch Series 3.
What’s New with the Apple Watch Series 3
– LTE Version
One noticeable difference you’re likely to see with the Apple Watch Series 3 is the bright red dot on its Digital Crown. As far as the features go, users can now choose between the GPS version and the all new LTE radio version. The LTE Radio feature enables users to continue using a network connection when the Watch is out of range of the paired iPhone.
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The LTE version also has a new Watch Face called Explorer. This face displays the LTE signal strength when your Apple Watch is not within range of its paired iPhone. watchOS will automatically switch to LTE connectivity when it loses connection with your iPhone. It will also constantly monitor your device for the best connection. A new button has also been included in the Control Center to toggle the cellular radio on and off.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is designed to switch seamlessly to cellular when separated from its paired iPhone. The LTE radio allows you to make calls with the same phone number as your iPhone, send iMessages and receive notifications. Apple says that the cellular capabilities combined with the Music app will also allow users to stream music and radio stations from Apple Music. That’s over 40 million songs on your wrist at any point in time!
The Apple Watch Series 3 is powered by a new new dual-core processor that delivers 70% faster performance than the previous iteration. The new S3 chip brings down app launch times and enables Siri to speak via the built-in speaker.
The new Watch also includes a custom W2 chip that is 50 percent more power efficient and increases Wi-Fi speeds by up to 85 percent. Apple has also introduced a feature that skiers and snowboarders will appreciate – a barometric altimeter that tracks relative elevation.
– Battery Life
The Apple Watch Series 3 has an estimated battery life of 18 hours, depending on what you’re using it for. GPS and cellular functionalities are probably going to be a huge drain on your watch’s battery life though. GPS talks to satellites and local cell towers to get your location. LTE also needs constant data flow between your watch and cell towers.
If you use GPS features like run-tracking without your iPhone nearby, you could end up with about 10 hours (using iPhone) and up to 5 hours (without iPhone). If you use the GPS + Cellular version, you’re likely to get just 4 hours of battery life on average. However GPS and LTE isn’t Always-On, so battery drain may not be too much of an issue unless you set it to always on.
– Water Proof
Series 3 models are Swim-Proof, with water resistance ratings up to 50m/150 feet. Plus, the speaker/microphone areas of the Watch have a “direct fire” feature that lets you vibrate the water out of the casing after a swim or exposure to water.
– Price & Availability
The Apple Watch Series 3 is available in 2 sizes, 38mm and 42mm.
- GPS + Cellular – will be available in gold, silver, space gray aluminum, silver or space black stainless steel at prices starting at $399.
- GPS – will be available in gold, silver, space gray aluminum at prices starting $329.
- Apple Watch Edition in gray or white ceramic will be available starting at $1,299.
- The Apple Watch Hermès starts at $1,149.
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will require a data plan. All U.S. carriers are charging $10 per month for this service. Initial discounts are also available.
The regular, Hermès, and Edition Apple Watch Series 3 versions begin arriving on Sept. 22. The Nike+ versions start shipping on Oct. 5.
Visit Apple.com for more details.