The third Apple Watch is here. Apple announced it at a special event held at its new campus in Cupertino.
The Watch itself looks the same, but the big news is that it now has built-in LTE.
When is the Apple Watch 3 release date?
Release date: 22 September
You can pre-order an Apple Watch 3 on 15 September, and it will go on sale (and the first pre-orders will ship) on 22 September.
The cellular version will first go on sale in nine countries including the UK and the US, while the Wi-Fi-only model will be available in 26 countries. In the UK, EE will be the only mobile operator to begin with. You can register interest on EE’s website.
How much does the Apple Watch 3 cost?
The watch starts at US$329 but, as ever, there’s a full range of options with prices rising into the thousands. UK pricing is expected to be £329.
This base price is for the Wi-Fi only model – if you want the LTE version, it starts at US$399 (£399). And there’s a price cut for the Series 1, which is being kept in the range. That will start at $249 (£249).
There are new colours and bands, including a sporty loop band, new colours for the Nike versions and a new rose gold aluminium version. If you have loads of money, then there’s a new grey ceramic finish.
What are the features and specifications?
It’s obvious from the photos that the new wearable is very much like its predecessors. In fact, it’s hard to tell it apart.
LTE for iPhone-less operation
So what’s new? Well, there’s built-in LTE. This means you don’t need your iPhone nearby in order for it to connect to the internet, allowing all apps to work anywhere you go (where there’s a 3G or 4G signal of course).
Plus, it means you can make and receive phone calls and messages: usefully it will share your iPhone’s phone number.
You’ll also be able to stream Apple Music while you’re on a run, and use Siri to find the album or track you’re after.
Apparently, Intel is supplying the modem for the watch, partly because it’s smaller and uses less power than Qualcomm’s, but probably also because Apple is currently suing Qualcomm.
Processor and internals
Inside is a new dual-core processor, the W2. It’s up to 70 percent quicker than the Series 2. As well as making everything generally more responsive this also allows Siri to talk for the first time on a Watch.
There’s also a barometric altimeter which does things such as measuring flights of stairs climbed.
To keep it the same size as the Series 2 even with more packed in, the screen was made into the antenna for Wi-Fi and LTE and an e-SIM is used instead of a nano SIM.
The battery is said to last “all day”. Specifically that’s up to 18 hours of mixed Wi-Fi and LTE use.
This update is focused more on health, but it has quite a few useful changes that make it easier to get stuff done. For example, there’s a new Siri watch face which shows you relevant information as your day progresses.
In terms of health and fitness, you can much more easily start a workout, and you can swipe to see your music controls while exercising.
Plus, you’ll now see your heart rate as a complication when you raise your arm to look at the screen.
It will also measure your resting heart rate throughout the day and also give you notifications when your heart rate is unusually high when you’re not active. Plus, it will tell you about abnormal heart patterns, which often go undiagnosed.
watchOS 4 will be released on 19 September for all Apple Watches.
Read more about the new features in watchOS 4.
What’s not in the Apple Watch 3?
Apple didn’t mention the following features, which we hope will be introduced either in a watchOS update or in the next Watch
- Sleep tracking
- Modular strap
- Respiration tracking