The Apple smartwatch was really the epitome of all smartwatches when it was introduced all those years ago, but now many other manufacturers have entered the marketplace with their own versions so it’s no wonder that Apple have had to work hard, pulling out all the stops to introduce new features with each version of their iconic watch. The Series 2 expanded on the speed and capabilities of the classic Apple watch, and now, the Series 3 builds on its older brother’s functionality, offering even more features, an even faster processor and a longer battery life.
Although the Series 3 isn’t the newest incarnation of the Apple Watch, it was certainly the first to really impress a wider audience with its capabilities and inbuilt 4G connectivity. Offering buyers the convenience of being able to leave their phone at home, the Apple Watch 3 was an improvement over its two older siblings thanks to its ability to support its own data plan. It also offered some upgrades to the fitness tracking abilities of this smartwatch as well as some tweaks to Siri which make it even more usable on the go.
One of the best features of the Series 3 is its revamped Siri which has its own watch face showing the wearer the information they need most during the day. Not only can the digital assistant respond via text, Siri can also use audio direct on your watch too and this increases its usefulness. This is all due to the S3 CPU which is a lot faster than its predecessor the S2. In fact, the manufacturer promises speeds up to 70% faster. This means this smartwatch is more responsive than any of its older siblings.
You can download plenty of good quality 3rd party apps to the Series 3 but there are also plenty of pre-installed ones too, many of which have been given an overhaul to improve them even more.
Although the Apple Watch Series 3 has a very similar design to the Series 2, it has added LTE connectivity and a dual-core processor. In size and shape, however, it remains the same with a mini-iPhone, sleek aesthetic for its body. Both 42mm and 38mm models are available to suit your wrist size, but both feel quite light on the wrist while the AMOLED screen is easy to read and is big enough to make sure your controls won’t be too difficult to operate. There are many bands to choose from for men and lots of women’s bands as well.
The Fitness Tracking
While the Series 2 was heading in the right direction with fitness and health tracking, the Series 3 takes it to the next level, expanding on the exercise tool choice available. You can still use the activity tracker which monitors your movement and steps, but there are now extra elements incorporated into the Workout app including HIIT, elevation data and swim tracking thanks to its waterproofing. It can also combine several workouts, so if you’re moving between machines in the gym, you can track all your exercises simultaneously.
Furthermore there is the improved heart rate app which doesn’t just measure BPM but also charts average resting and walking rates and recovery time following your workout. There is even an emergency option which tells you to get medical help if your heart rate begins to behave erratically.
What Are The Main Advantages?
- Emergency option for heart rate monitoring
- Suitable for use while swimming thanks to waterproofing up to 30 metres
- A choice of two sizes to suit your wrist
- Intuitive controls on a well-sized face
- Pre-installed apps have been upgraded to improve fitness tracking
- Third party apps can be installed too
- 4G connectivity so you don’t need to take your smartphone out and about
- Siri can communicate verbally through the watch
What Are The Main Disadvantages?
- Not all networks can support the independent 4G data plan for Apple smartwatches
- No integrated sleep tracking functionality
Although the Apple Watch Series 3 has a lot going for it, it can’t quite compete with its younger sibling, the Apple Watch 4. While it’s more costly, it’s still a great choice with outstanding features, an even longer battery life and even better fitness tracking. Another alternative is the Samsung Galaxy Watch, especially if you use an Android smartphone rather than an iOS device. Both watches have a similar cost, but the Galaxy model comes with a much longer battery life and an even faster interface. On the downside, it’s quite thick and can be harder to wear if you’ve got slim wrists, so if style is your ultimate goal you might want to stick with Apple.
How do we test smartwatches?
It isn’t easy to determine which are the best smartwatches available on the market today, so that’s why we’re committed to carrying out rigorous testing on all of the options out there so we can bring you valuable advice that informs your final purchasing decision. So, just how do we go about testing them?
First, we assess the overall design of each watch and its comfort level when worn. Not only does it need to be good looking, it needs to be easy and comfortable to wear on your wrist to achieve top marks from us.
Secondly, we take a closer look at all the different fitness tracking functions. We explore the various options available, check the sensors and test out the GPS tracking, step counting and heart rate monitoring functions to see how they stand up to everyday use.
Thirdly, we install some third-party apps to the device then test them out to see whether the watch’s processing power, storage capacity and memory are capable of handling what we’ve thrown at it. If LTE is available, we test this too, ensuring that calls can be heard perfectly, even if your smartphone has been left back at home.
Finally, we spend some time testing out each device’s battery life. We look at the manufacturer’s promises and then test them out, using various functions, apps and GPS to make sure that they’ve been realistic in their claims.
Once we’re done, we put all that information together and present it to you so you can decide which is the best smartwatch to suit your requirements.
When you want a smartwatch from an iconic brand that won’t fail to impress, the Apple Watch Series 3 is pretty hard to beat, except perhaps by investing in its latest version instead. If you’re an iOS user, it’s a no-brainer to go for the Apple Watch, especially with the 4G functionality that is integrated into this model. While it still doesn’t have all of the functions and fitness tracking capabilities of some of its rivals, it’s well suited to most people’s needs, and only die-hard fitness fanatics will need to look elsewhere for something more hardcore.
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