Apple Watch Series 3 review

Still the best smartwatch, however the Fitbit Versa is a nearby second


The Good / Cellular association functions admirably for telephone calls, email, Siri and messages. Music presently adjusts all the more effortlessly. Changes in wellness following and included watch faces. Adds gauge to GPS and swimproofing. Same general size as a year ago’s watch.

The Bad / Battery life takes a noteworthy hit when making calls or amid GPS exercises. 42mm cell demonstrate is costly, and that is before month to month remote administration and Apple Music charges. Still requires an iPhone to set up and match with. Another Watch is normal not long from now.

The Bottom Line / The Apple Watch Series 3 is the best general smartwatch you can purchase, yet battery confinements and extra charges shield it from being an unquestionable requirement have overhaul. Apple with likely discharge an overhaul in the not so distant future.

Refresh, 2018:

Apple propelled the Apple Watch Series 3 in September 2017 out of an acknowledged expectation that the third time’s the appeal. With enhanced wellness following and music adjusting, in addition to the capacity to associate with a cell arrange as opposed to depending on your telephone, the Apple Watch is as yet the best smartwatch out there.

Rather than duking it out with a cell phone maker, Apple’s principle wellspring of rivalry is the considerably more reasonable Fitbit Versa. Fitbit at last got up to speed with the plan front and the Versa has better battery life, yet it does not have the correspondence highlights of the Apple Watch. While the Versa has just been accessible since April 2018 and won’t get a revive for some time, you can probably expect a refreshed Apple Watch as right on time as this September. We’ll see a Watch OS5 discharge decently soon also.

Look at CR’s best wearables for more data on focused items.

Our audit of the Apple Watch Series 3 – initially distributed on September 20, 2017 and which generally is for the most part unaltered – can be perused beneath.

I invest a great deal of energy with a telephone in my face.That is the reason I was pulled in to the first Apple Watch. It sold the dream of a look as-telephone: An iPhone Micro on my wrist. One less device.

Apple-Watch-Series-3

But since the Apple Watch must be combined to my iPhone to do anything useful, the telephone never left. I simply wound up rotating between gazing at two unique screens.

That is changed now, sort of, with the Apple Watch Series 3 ($340 at Amazon Marketplace). It includes worked in help for cell network. The full Dick Tracy communicator, much like Samsung, LG and others have effectively attempted.

I’ve been trying the Apple Watch Series 3 for seven days, utilizing it as my telephone, wellness tracker, Apple Pay wallet and iPod. Furthermore, indeed, I’ve even been making telephone calls with it. It gives you a chance to remain associated in those few spots where even telephone addicts may avoid the telephone: Going for a stroll around the square. At the rec center. At the pool or the shoreline. In the room, while you’re attempting to nod off.

The incongruity of having a watch that is a telephone implies you’re more fastened, not less. However, you’re more restricted, as well. Regardless, this is certainly not a full smaller scale iPhone. There’s no camera. It is difficult to react to messages and messages. I can’t generally tweet, read stories or watch recordings. Regardless you require an iPhone to set it up and receive the most in return.

Different provisos flourish. Battery life confinements extremely shorten telephone calls and GPS-supported exercises. There’s still more Apple needs to do to expand wellness following and streamline the product. What’s more, you’ll be paying month to month membership charges (for remote administration and for Apple Music) to receive the most in return.

All that stated, the Apple Watch Series 3 is the best telephone watch I’ve attempted. Setup is simple, and flipping from cell to Bluetooth and back again is for the most part consistent.

Be that as it may, regardless I wind up going after the iPhone.

Editor’s note: See the “Association characteristics” segment underneath for data on a Wi-Fi issue on the cell Series 3 models. Additional testing is still to come. Evaluations are temporary until the point that those tests are finished.

Cell, and how it works

The enormous redesign on the Apple Watch Series 3 is that it includes constantly associated cell usefulness. It works chips away at all major cell bearers – in the US, at any rate – which is pleasant.

Cell bolsters information and voice – where there’s the correct scope, obviously – and the Watch utilizes an indistinguishable number from your iPhone. The catch, obviously, is that it costs cash: $10 every month in the US, well beyond your current remote expense. Also, in spite of the way that the Watch is intended to free you up from your telephone, regardless you’ll require your iPhone to set it up and to introduce applications. Furthermore, no, it doesn’t work with Android telephones.

The Apple Watch imparts to the outside world in three stages. It searches for your iPhone in the first place, blending through a Bluetooth association if it’s adjacent. If not, it attempts Wi-Fi (new systems can’t be included the Apple Watch specifically, yet it synchronizes and knows organizes that your iPhone does). On the off chance that neither of those choices are accessible – say, in case you’re out climbing – the Watch at that point empowers LTE cell, which is generally changed off to save control.

Apple-Watch-Series-3

That auto-exchanging between Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cell is overseen by Apple’s new W2 remote chip. It spares some battery life, however it takes becoming acclimated to. In my tests, a red “X” showed up in some cases over the watch screen to propose disengaging from Wi-Fi, however vanished once LTE had kicked in. Another Apple watch confront, Explorer, indicates flag quality as from one to four green specks. Something else, flag quality flies up in the swipe-up control focus where Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and other speedy settings live.

I could check things on Apple’s applications, yet outsider applications wouldn’t generally work. And furthermore, to get warnings from outsider applications in the cloud, your iPhone should be controlled up some place so the Watch can speak with it by means of the cloud. In this way, definitely: regardless of whether you’re out running without your iPhone, despite everything it should be controlled up and online some place. Abnormal, yet obvious.

Applications can’t be introduced straightforwardly from the watch, either, dissimilar to on Android Wear and Samsung Gear watches. In any case, I could without much of a stretch browse my email, even on my work account (which naturally foreign settings from my iPhone amid setup).

Calls can be dialed straightforwardly on-watch with a keypad, or made by means of tapping existing contacts. Composing messages is as yet constrained to writing letters, tapping emoticon, or correspondence. Siri talks now, as well – she’s never again restricted to on-screen content reactions. All things considered, Siri is definitely not an awesome conversationalist, and frequently requesting that I “check my iPhone.” Again, that is not an extraordinary affair if the telephone is five miles away.

Associating eccentricities

A few surveys have noticed that the LTE form of the Series 3 has issues interfacing with LTE when open Wi-Fi systems are adjacent, a bug that Apple has admitted to. Apple affirmed these issues to CR, as well. It’s indistinct precisely when the issue will be settled by means of programming refresh, however I was let it know would be soon. (Meanwhile, to separate from an issue Wi-Fi arrange, you have to overlook the system utilizing your telephone.)

I didn’t encounter those particular issues, however I had odd encounters with warnings. iMessages now and then flew in at the same time or not under any condition. What’s more, outsider warnings, similar to Twitter, require your telephone to be on and associated with a system some place, regardless of whether it’s not close-by. On the off chance that it’s not, you won’t get those pings on the watch. Likewise, some outsider applications don’t at present help LTE association yet. We’ll continue testing this. AirPod network now and again didn’t consequently work, either.

It’s hazy what number of these will be covered up in programming refreshes. Telephone capacities were by and large fine, as was email. Messages and notices came in fits and spurts.

Music: iPod on your wrist, finally

Apple Watches could simply store music, yet they were awful at it: matching up music from a cloud-based Apple Music account was dependably a tedious difficulty. Most different smartwatches are the same. WatchOS 4 currently matches up music all the more consequently, and it’s a gigantic distinction. The first occasion when I utilized the watch, after a medium-term charge I found a couple of playlists and collections sitting tight for me when I went strolling. Others can be included and matched up when the watch is charging.


In any case, music is successfully an Apple Music-just suggestion. Your iTunes library is constantly accessible to you, however for the more refined playlist administration – and ongoing music gushing, which isn’t desiring a couple of more weeks – you require an Apple Music membership. Spotify, Pandora and Google Play Music supporters require not make a difference. Nor, strangely, can digital broadcasts be downloaded to the Watch.

Remote earphones are likewise required. AirPods ($156 at Amazon.com) are an ideal fit for the cell watch, to such an extent that they feel like a basic embellishment. Generally, they match in a split second. Now and then, be that as it may, I expected to swipe up and select them from the watch control focus.

Provisos in any case, the Apple Watch at long last feels like that iPod Shuffle on my wrist that I used to wear years prior.

Wellness making more walks, especially with heart

The vast majority utilize Apple Watch as a wellness tracker. The on-observe additional sensor this time is a barometric altimeter, which records stair-climbing details like a Fitbit. Also, the Series 3 still incorporates the huge wellness enhancements from 2016: GPS and “swimproofing” – it’s waterproof to 50 meters, even in seawater.

Out of the crate, the Apple Watch Series 3 runs WatchOS 4, the product refresh that is currently accessible to all past Watch proprietors. The new working framework amps up instructing a bit, on the off chance that you let it. I’d see a ping that I could strive for greater action today. Or on the other hand toward the finish of multi day, I was urged to take a 20 minute stroll to close my red ring. I like instructing in wearables. The Apple Watch is doing it gradually, yet now more on-watch than Fitbit, which depends more on a sidekick cell phone application.

Heart rate, beforehand a ping-as-required apparatus, now records more diagrams for throughout the day midpoints in resting heart rate and strolling heart rate. I found these extremely valuable, and pleasant baselines. Different diagrams and midpoints for exercises are recorded, as well. It’s more similar to what Samsung’s Gear watches offered as far as wellness information on-watch.

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Yet, for steps and exercise sessions, every day charts still aren’t recorded as plainly. Heart-rate recuperation times are computed more than three minutes after exercises, however Apple Watch doesn’t enable me to comprehend what my numbers mean. Is it true that they are great? The main semi restorative exhortation the watch gives is a ping if your heart rate hits a specific number when stationary, showing you should need to unwind (or look for therapeutic consideration). 120bpm, 130bpm, 140bpm… you set it yourself. I fortunately never hit the crisis ping, so I can’t state what it resembles.

Apple’s on-watch movement application is as yet stripped down, as is the iPhone partner. They’re showing signs of improvement, yet more work should be finished. Apple parts your consideration between the Health application and the Activity application, where Fitbit completes a superior occupation of offering a one-stop dashboard on its iPhone application. In like manner, Apple’s applications still does not have the profound social network of Fitbit, which incorporates both Android and iOS clients.

The greatest missing Fitbit highlight is rest following – which conveys me to battery life.

You will need to charge each night

Before Series 3, the greatest Apple Watch disappointment was battery life. Following seven days of wearing the phone display, I can repeat that battery life is as yet the Apple Watch’s Achilles’ foot sole area. However, it changes broadly, contingent upon what you’re doing.

In case you’re driving the interesting highlights of the Series 3 with cell, you will wipe out your battery rapidly. I influenced a half-hour to call to my mother as I strolled into town a half mile away to get a frosted espresso. A stroll there, a stroll back, browsing email and tuning in to music (and utilizing GPS with heart rate for the strolls), I wound up at 50 percent battery by 3 p.m. Without a doubt, I was utilizing everything. However, isn’t that the point?

Then again, the way Apple has taken care of switchoff between Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cell apparently influences the Apple To watch Series 3 a superior throughout the day entertainer than cell empowered contenders like the LG Watch Sport and Samsung Gear S3. I’d simply encourage you to watch out for how you’re associated, or you could in for a shock.

At last, on the off chance that you ever need to dial crisis benefits on your watch – without having your iPhone around – that one five-minute telephone call might be all you require.

Watch OS 4 has loads of additional items, notwithstanding for more established watches

A bunch of new watch faces (“Toy Story,” a trippy kaleidoscope that uses the turning crown, a telephone get to watch confront and a Siri-empowered face) add to the developing Apple Watch confront display. Exercises are less demanding to begin and stop, or switch on the fly. Runs can be auto-delayed. Music controls appear in exercises with a brisk swipe, and music playlists can be set to go naturally.

There still is anything but a legitimate watch confront store yet, which is a disgrace. I ended up flipping between numerous applications, wishing a greater amount of them were accessible as gadgets on a goldilocks watchface.

Apple-Watch-Series-3

A valid example: The new Siri watch confront. It’s simply strange. Its pile of constantly refreshing cards are reminiscent of Android Wear’s Google Now highlight. Once in a while it helps vital things (the climate, news features from Apple News, wellness objectives, arrangements) to surface. In any case, it likewise feels arbitrary. What’s more, it looks somewhat appalling. It’s a little advance towards enhancing dependably on watch mindfulness, yet stacking notices isn’t what I need.

In any case, it’s important that the Series 3 is recognizably zippier than the 2016 Apple Watches. Application propelling and general execution feels snappier. The times of slow Apple Watch stack times are finished.

How Apple Watch looks at to the pack

The Apple Watch Series 3 is highlight pressed, and it ostensibly balances its tradeoffs superior to a large number of its rivals – however some of them may eclipse Apple in particular regions.

Versus Samsung Gear: The Apple Watch has the benefit of guiding straightforwardly into iOS for center highlights, dissimilar to Samsung’s Gear watches, which depend on a different application store and some of the time irritating snare in application conductors for Android. All things considered, we haven’t yet evaluated the Samsung Gear Sport, or even the Gear Fit 2 Pro – however the last is all the more a wellness tracker than a smartwatch.

Versus Android Wear watches: Watch OS 4 and the Apple Watch equipment feel significantly more refined, at the present time, than Android Wear 2.0. Android Wear watches are being made crosswise over huge amounts of form brands, be that as it may, and rebates can be had. Yet, no Android Wear watch – up until now, in any case – has a similar blend of heart rate, swimproofing, cell, portable installments and a locally available gauge.

Versus Fitbit: I still extremely like Fitbit’s aggregate bundle of sustenance, rest following and social objectives. Apple doesn’t exactly do a similar thing for Apple Watch. The additional indicator and enhanced heart-rate diagrams are welcome includes, yet the Apple Watch battery life trails most Fitbits, which get four days or much more. In any case, at any rate the Apple Watch can be worn swimming. The imminent Fitbit Ionic has included swimproofing, as well, and versatile installments and applications, however its locally available music and smartwatch capacities feel far, far second rate compared to those on the Apple Watch. Apple Watch is the prevalent smartwatch. Fitbit by and large wins for more easygoing use.

Apple Watch Series 3 versus more established Apple Watches

Numerous individuals don’t see the requirement for an Apple Watch. Among smartwatches, it’s wound up making due as the best of the pack, because of strong plan and programming that is ceaselessly been moving forward. The outline remains a similar this time, however that is really amazing. (The red speck on the crown is the main marker you have the cell Series 3 demonstrate.)

The Series 3 with cell is an indistinguishable essential size from 2016’s Series 2 watch; Apple extended the back of the watch a small amount of a millimeter. My audit unit is a tempered steel venture up show, as opposed to the aluminum benchmark demonstrate. It feels the same as each other Apple Watch I’ve worn. The new watch works with an indistinguishable groups from more seasoned Apple Watches, which is uplifting news in the event that you’ve been building a gathering.

The cell rendition of Series 3 is a $70 move up to the GPS-just Series 3: it costs $400 and up (for the 38mm adaptation) versus $329 and up, contingent upon size and band. Tempered steel models cost $599 and up, Apple still offers Hermes and clay Edition models for a crazy $1,200 to $1,300 and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Fitbit’s freshest Ionic watch is $300, and Samsung’s last-gen Gear S3 costs around $300, as well.

Yet, the additional items will cost you: $10 multi month to guide it into your cell design, $10 multi month for Apple Music. Furthermore, obviously, you require those remote headphones ($160 for AirPods, or locate a more affordable match).

Versus Series 2: This year’s cell show isn’t considerably more than a year ago’s Series 2, however. That model is currently gone. Arrangement 2 proprietors shouldn’t update except if they’re extremely stricken by the cell highlight.

Versus Series 1: Apple has just left the 2016 Series 1 in the line, with a value drop. It needs GPS and LTE and can’t be worn swimming. In any case, it’s a fine alternative in case you’re to a lesser degree a sprinter or exercise center rodent, or in the event that you have no enthusiasm for the Series 3’s telephone highlights.

Versus unique Apple Watch: That first watch is still fine. On the off chance that it works, why redesign? Be that as it may, you do get quicker execution, stair-checking, swim waterproofing, GPS and cell with an overhaul.


For the entire keep-associated bundle, the cell Series 3 has esteem. In any case, its confinements mean it won’t be justified, despite all the trouble for many individuals. The cell free Series 3 might be a decent pick. In any case, simply recollect that you can get the cell demonstrate without appending it to your arrangement – you can simply keep the alternative open for some other time.

The best cell smartwatch, yet not an absolute necessity have

Do you even need an Apple Watch in any case? No. What’s more, the progression back in battery life that the new highlights require, in some cases, influences it to feel like a trade off. In any case, when I ran for strolls with simply the watch, it was entirely fun. Furthermore, I appreciated the sentiment of being unburdened from my telephone. I even left my wallet at home.

At that point I discovered that the bistro down the road didn’t take Apple Pay.

Along these lines, possibly the world hasn’t made up for lost time with Apple’s versatile way of life vision yet. In any case, in the event that it advances to you, the Apple Watch Series 3 is the approach. Simply temper your desires on battery life to the extraordinary – and be prepared to pay up for benefit expenses and remote earphones to have the full understanding.

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