Apple just wrapped up its big iPhone X reveal, but to start off the first ever event at the new Steve Jobs Theater, the company showed off the new Apple Watch Series 3. The big news? For the first time, you can cut the cord from your iPhone entirely, thanks to integrated LTE cellular connectivity.
The new Apple Watch series 3 starts at $329 ($399 if you want that LTE capability) and will be available for pre-order starting September 15.
Image copyright Apple
If you’ve been sitting on the fence about the Apple Watch, this is probably the model to buy. The Series 2 appears to have been discontinued, leaving the original Apple Watch (since renamed the Series 1) at $249 as the alternative option. The Series 3 is claimed to be 70% faster, boasts an improved heart rate sensor and gets a new W2 wireless chip that adds improved Bluetooth. It also has a much brighter display than the original. At $80 more ($150 for the LTE option), it’s going to offer a much more satisfying user experience as well as a longer useful life, so it makes a better choice for most people than the Series 1.
The bigger question may well be facing existing Apple watch owners. If you bought the Apple Watch when it first came out in 2015, or an Apple Watch Series 2 last year, does it make sense to upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 3?
If you own an original Series 1 Apple Watch, it may be worth the upgrade for the hardware improvements alone, including the brighter display, an improved heart rate sensor and much speedier CPU. Apple Watch Series 2 owners won’t see quite the same degree of improvement.
Ultimately, the single biggest factor is going to be that LTE connectivity. If you want to make and take phone calls, send messages, receive notifications, use Siri or stream Apple Music without having your iPhone nearby, then it’s a no brainer. The Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE is the only way you’ll be able to pull that off. Installing the free watchOS 4 upgrade on an older Apple Watch is not going to magically bestow any new capabilities that way. There is no hidden LTE radio waiting to be unlocked…
The new OS is also unlikely to do much to improve the speed and responsiveness of an older Apple Watch —watchOS 3 which was released last fall had the big performance improvements and Apple engineers are unlikely to be able to wring much more out of the older processors.
More Info: www.forbes.com