With the launch of Apple Watch Series 5 last month, Apple has decided to slash the prices of its Series 3 Apple Watch worldwide. The Apple Watch Series 5 comes with a new Always-on Retina display, an in-built App Store, and other new features. But the Series 3 watch from 2017 can also attract those who are in search of a premium smartwatch in the market.
At this point, the Apple Watch Series 3 is two years old now. However, it still offers a ton of features, especially when it comes to fitness tracking. The 38mm base GPS model is currently priced at Rs.24,999 in India, making it the cheapest smartwatch from Apple. It’s still expensive for most people, but the convenience of Apple’s watchOS and iOS integration makes up for the price. iPhone users can see this as a viable option.
If you are confused about whether you should buy an Apple Watch Series 3 or not, continue reading this article as we have the answer to your question.
Apple Watch Series 3 Specifications
Before we start, let’s see what the Apple Watch Series 3 has to offer in 2019:
Apple Watch Series 3 (2017)
38mm / 42mm
38.6 x 33.3 x 11.4 mm (38mm)
42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm (42mm)
272 x 340 (38mm) & 312 x 390 (42mm) pressure-sensitive OLED with 1000 nits of peak brightness
Apple S3 dual-core CPU with PowerVR GPU
8GB, 16GB(Cellular Model)
341 mAh battery with 18 hours of standby, Wireless charging supported
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC
Accelerometer, heart rate monitor, gyro, barometer
watchOS (Upgradable to 6.0.1)
Design & Build Quality
The Apple Watch hasn’t really seen a revamp in terms of looks. From a distance, you won’t be able to make up between a Series 3 and Series 5 Apple Watch. Though it should be told that the Series 3 watch is only available in an aluminum case, whereas the Series 5 comes with four different cases: Aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic, and titanium. You can get the Series 3 watch in either Space Gray Aluminum or Silver Aluminum, and with either a black sport band or a white sport band.
On the front, you find the square watch face. The screen is OLED and comes with Ion-X strengthened glass protection. The glass seamlessly curves and melts to the aluminum body, which makes the Apple Watch Series 3 far more premium when compared to other smartwatches in the same price segment. The right side of the device consists of Apple’s iconic Digital Crown and a side button. The watch also comes with a water-resistance rating of up to 50m.
Overall in terms of design and build quality, the Apple Watch Series 3 retains its title of a premium and durable smartwatch.
The touch-sensitive display of the Apple Watch Series 3 is still comparable to some of the latest premium smartwatches from other brands. It obviously falls short to the display of the latest Series 5 Apple Watch, but it is still respectable. The 38mm variant comes with a resolution of 272 x 340 pixels & for 42mm it’s 312 x 390 pixels. The screen is sharp and colorful. It produces pitch blacks, something you would normally expect from an OLED screen. The screen is perfectly visible in direct sunlight because of its max 1000 nits of brightness. It also supports 3D Touch. However, the absence of an always-on display is impossible to imagine in 2019.
The bezels around the display of the Series 3 are quite wide when compared to the edge-to-edge displays of Series 4 or 5 models, but it is not a dealbreaker and mostly goes unnoticed in regular use.
Hardware & Software
The Apple Watch Series 3 was shipped with Apple’s watchOS 4. It was a great upgrade over the previous iterations of watchOS but still lacked in some aspects nonetheless. The Apple S3 dual-core chipset turned out to be more than enough to run a smartwatch, but the software was unpolished and inconsistent. The animations tended to drop frames frequently and it took several seconds to open simple apps like the timer. This also applies to Siri, often resulting in inaccurate voice recognition and incorrect results.
Though Apple has kept its promise and pushed watchOS 5 updates to the Apple Watch Series 3 last year. It also received the latest watchOS 6 software update. The watchOS 6 brings a slew of new features such as new watch faces, enhanced Siri, built-in App Store, redesigned system apps and more. The Apple Watch Series 3 was an excellent fitness tracker in 2017. But now with the addition of new health-related features such as the menstrual cycle tracking, activity trends, and ambient noise detector that shows current decibel levels, it has improved quite a lot. You can manage your notifications and pick up calls using your watch too. Siri now also works as intended. With the updates, Apple has managed to sort out the performance issues and improved the taptic engine in the Series 3 watch to provide greater haptic feedback.
But in typical Apple fashion, they have chosen not to add the new watch faces except the Numeral Mono and Duo in the Series 3 Apple Watch.
If you are buying the Apple Watch Series 3, you don’t have to worry about the battery life. It can last all day long in a single charge with continuous fitness and GPS tracking, even two days with average usage in some cases. In the case of music playback on the watch, the battery will deplete quickly because of the continuous use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connection. If you are thinking to opt for the LTE version, expect less battery life on it. The magnetic charging dock shipped with the Apple Watch Series 3 takes two hours to charge the watch from 0 to 100%. You can also get a Qi wireless charging pad and charge it. The latest Apple Watch Series 5 is definitely an upgrade in this regard because of its updated chipset and efficient sensors.
There are 4 variants of the Apple Watch Series 3 to choose from:
- 38mm GPS Space Grey / Silver Aluminium Case with Black / Fog Sport Band at ₹24,999 [Amazon] [Flipkart]
- 42mm GPS Space Grey / Silver Aluminium Case with Black / White Sport Band at ₹26,999 [Amazon] [Flipkart]
- 38mm GPS + LTE Cellular Space Grey / Silver Aluminium Case at ₹32,900 [Amazon] [Flipkart]
- 42mm GPS + LTE Cellular Space Grey / Silver Aluminium Case at ₹34,900 [Amazon] [Flipkart]
If you are an iPhone user, the Apple Watch Series 3 is recommended for you because of its first-party compatibility with iOS. When compared to the Series 3 watch, the always-on retina display, efficient Apple S5 chipset, improved GPS and water-resistance on the Apple Watch Series 5 is a major uplift. But all of this comes with a starting price tag of Rs.40,900 (GPS, 40mm).
So if you are in the market for the cheapest Apple Watch, make sure to go with the GPS variant of the Apple Watch Series 3. The LTE variant isn’t worth the asking price.
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