Apple Watch Series 3 has been freed from the tyranny of the iPhone

Showing its face through a wave, on the wrist of a very happy surfer, Apple’s Watch Series 3 is going to be the first of Apple’s Watch offerings to launch with cellular access. That’s right, you won’t need to connect it to an iPhone in order to make full use of it — which could just make the Apple Watch our workout device of choice. Why? Several reasons.

It makes calls

That’s right, you can make calls with the Apple Watch Series 3, right from your wrist — Dick Tracy style, if you’re old enough to remember the cartoon or the live-action movie. Apple demoed a call live, to a young woman operating a paddleboard in the middle of a lake. We didn’t need that much convincing, but we’ll take it.

Apps will work on your wrist

So much for escaping notifications. Users will be able to respond to instant messages, using the Watch’s fiddly little screen if they wish. So much for FOMO, right?

Swimming upstream

The Series 3 has also got the ability to stream music, via a variety of apps. Remember how we said that the Watch Series 3 might become our new favourite workout device? The ability to stream tunes to our ears without having to lug around a phone edges it closer than ever to that lofty position.

Size and performance

The Series 3 has been given a new dual core CPU, giving it up to 70% performance improvement over the Series 2. The bump in speed has given Siri the ability to talk on the Series 3, meaning that you won’t look like quite as much of a loon talking to your watch. The battery life remains unchanged, so there’s up to 18 hours. That means that you’re still going to have to charge it daily but we can’t have everything…

You’d expect that the wristwear would put on a little weight, given that Apple are giving it all these new smarts. Eh… not so much. To save space, Apple has turned the display into an antennae. The Series 3 incorporates its own SIM as well, for the same reasons. The casing has stayed the same size, according to Apple, with only a slight increase in overall thickness of the device.

Coming soon

The Series 3 will arrive in a few versions. The non-cellular edition will start at $330 (R4,300), the cellular Series 3 starts at $400 (R5,200), and will go up for pre-order overseas from 15 September. It’ll be launching internationally on 22 September. The Series 1 sticks around, getting a price drop in the process. Hopefully that translates here.

As for local availability, South Africa won’t be getting the Series 3 Cellular at launch — in fact, it’s not confirmed here at all yet but we’re expecting it to be, soon. Stay tuned.

Stuff South Africa's online editor and print assistant editor, Brett Venter has churned out more words on more titles than most journalists will in a career. He's kind of shy.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the article. Are our cellular providers in South Africa currently able to support the tech required for the new Apple Watch cellular when it is launched? I see that only one provider in the U.K. has the required tech infrastructure.

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