May 22, 2024

The Apple Watch Series 3 is here, has cellular connectivity, and is kinda boring

The big event Tuesday is giving us many Apple reveals: some large, some not so much. Falling squarely in the middle comes the Apple Watch Series 3. Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams proudly showed off the new smartwatch and its many features on stage at the Steve Jobs Theater during the big annual Apple event.

As rumored, the watch has cellular connectivity. Which means, yes, you can get all Dick Tracy on the thing and make phone calls with it — no paired iPhone required. You can also stream directly from Apple Music.

“[The] biggest challenge of all was adding cellular,” Williams told the crowd.

However, that extra LTE-connectivity comes with a price tag: specifically, $399. Meanwhile, the non-cellular version will (only) set you back $329. You can start placing orders on September 15, and the watches will actually be available as of September 22.

If you’re feeling the Series 1, you’ll be able to purchase it now starting at $249.

The case for Series 3 is reportedly almost the exact same size as that of the Series 2, which had Apple fans in the audience cheering with excitement. The watch has a 70 percent faster dual-core processor, according to Williams. Oh, and Siri can now talk from the Apple Watch. The battery on the watch should last up to 18 hours.

It’s not just the hardware that’s getting an overhaul, as Apple told us earlier this year that watchOS 4 comes with a “smarter coach and workout partner” along with “an even more proactive all-day assistant.” We learned today that it will also have new heart-rate monitor features. WatchOS 4 will be available as of September 19.

But here’s the big question: Do these new features alter the Apple Watch’s essential reputation as a great fitness tracker, but not much else? Not really. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Some people will really want a connected fitness tracker (making phone calls on a run is cool, I guess), but it definitely remains to be seen if the Apple Watch will truly become the first must-have smartwatch.

However, even if it’s not a must-have, it certainly is popular. Cook told the gathered crowd that the Apple Watch is the number one smartwatch in the world. It’s not exactly clear what he meant by that, but it’s clear to say that the watches are selling like everyone needs one (at least according to the CEO).

But let’s bring it back to the main Apple Watch update of the day: cellular connectivity. While this means the Series 3 — at least the more expensive version — is more practical than ever before, the watch itself is still just the Apple Watch: i.e., a tad bit boring.

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