It might come as no surprise to those of you who follow me and also BGR, but I’m a big believer in Apple’s vision for the company’s wearable. While the approach has been ever-so-Appley refined over three generations of devices, the product hasn’t changed much. Until now. You see, the latest update to the Apple Watch, Series 3, completely alters the experience of this wrist-worn device. Something that was so useful to handle notifications, make quick calls, or send a message or email, now has been transformed into a device so powerful that the majority of users will understand the Apple Watch’s potential now, as well as what’s coming in the future.
As a fan of the original Apple Watch Edition, I have weaved in and out of wearing an Apple Watch daily, to not at all, to wearing it while I’m home and wearing another kind of watch when I leave. With the Series 3, however, it’s completely changing that dynamic once again. The Apple Watch Series 3 — which Apple claims is up to 70% faster than the Series 2, which was up to 50% faster than the first Apple Watch — is finally at a point where there are no stutters. There’s no waiting for Siri; it’s literally as fast as the experience on your phone, which if you haven’t noticed, is instantaneous.
Apps open as soon as you tap them, incoming messages and emails don’t get bogged down while you’re trying to triage them. No, everything just feels finally — finally! — like a fluid experience, and the vision that Apple always wanted to be able to execute on. We have seen that the Apple Watch, even in the beginning, has been immensely popular, but I would be willing to bet that the pendulum is only going to continue to swing in its direction, and more and more consumers are going to be wearing an Apple Watch in the near future.
Now that I have briefly touched upon the general Apple Watch experience, let’s move on to the fact that you can buy Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE. What this means is that, for a small additional monthly fee through your carrier, you are able to use your Apple Watch separately from your iPhone wherever you have cellular coverage, with your existing phone number.
Calls, iMessages, texts, emails, apps, and soon even the entire Apple Music library, all work without having your phone near you. The level of freedom this provides is monumental for two big reasons. One is obviously the fact that you can stay connected for extremely important things like a phone call or a text, and you don’t need to carry your phone at all. Think about going for a run without that ridiculous iPhone armband, or an iPhone 8 Plus in the pocket of your running shorts.
Now think about the fact that you don’t have your phone with you. Breathe. Breathe again. It’s going to be fine. In fact, it’s truly great. As cheesy as it sounds, it forces you to live in the moment more and be more present. I went for a walk with my dog yesterday for about an hour and it was a completely emotional rollercoaster. For the first 5 minutes I kept reaching into my pocket to grab my phone just out of habit. To look at Twitter or Instagram (follow me @jonathan and BGR @BGR!) or to see if I had any missed notifications. But after that, I kind of just accepted that I didn’t have my phone and as ridiculous as it is, knowing I could reach someone or they could reach me if needed completely alleviated any kind of concern about it. Instagram could wait (not really, but you know). Important things would get handled, it’s that easy.
Apple claims around 1 hour of LTE talk time on the watch, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but that usage is when your phone isn’t around, and if you’re talking on your Apple Watch for more than an hour a day, you should grab your phone. For someone who’s out and about, though, and who wants to leave their phone behind here and there, you will notice no significant difference in battery life from a previous generation Apple Watch. In fact, there are some who are reporting even better battery life, even with lots of short calls over LTE, workouts, and general LTE usage.
This is the future, on your wrist, with absolutely no shortcomings, for a price that seems like it should be two to three times higher.