It’s the time of year that Apple fans worldwide have been waiting for! Tim Cook took to the stage yesterday to make some incredibly exciting announcements. One of these announcements is that the latest series of Apple devices will be available for release soon and I’m sure there are already people queuing up outside Apple Stores up and down the country to get their hands on one!
We will check out all of Apple’s latest announcements at the end of this post. But first of all we have a very important question to answer – is the Apple Watch Series 3 worth buying?
What’s New in the Apple Watch Series 3?
One of the biggest additions to the Apple Watch Series 3 is something that many people have been predicting – cellular connectivity. This addition starts to allow for the watch to stand alone as a “smart watch” without needing a connection to your iPhone. While this addition is hardly revolutionary (this function has been available in some Samsung and Android Wear watches for years) it is a welcome step forward for Apple. This new feature will allow you to receive calls, messages and use the internet while away from your iPhone.
A very exciting feature on the Apple Watch Series 3 is that you can still receive calls and messages using your mobile phone number rather than providing you with a separate number to use on your Apple Watch.
The cellular data is useful for runners freaks who will be happy to know they can leave their phone at home and still track their run using cellular data. For the rest of us, we can enjoy listening to Apple Music even if our mobile is out of charge (or out of data!) thanks to the cellular data connection.
As usual, the latest Apple Watch has been given a welcome boost internally, with an exciting new dual-core processor which gives an performance improvement of 70%! There is also a new “W2” chip inside the watch which boosts Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. This chip also provides welcome improvements in power efficiency, which will hopefully stop the usual complaints that the Apple Watch runs out of charge far too quickly!
If you love using Siri then you’ll be happy to learn that it can now talk through the built in speaker – which makes using Siri much more convenient. There are some fun new watch faces to look forward to (including a Toy Story one I can’t wait to see!) and a number of improvements to the heart rate sensor in the watch. Apple will use the heart rate monitor inside the Apple Watch Series 3 in a study with Stanford University later this year. The hope is that the heart rate monitor can help people spot health problems much earlier, which should help save lives.
When Is It Available and How Much Does It Cost?
If you want to guarantee that you will get your hands on the Apple Watch Series 3 then you can pre-order one this Friday. The watch will be available for sale here in the UK on Friday September 22nd – so you won’t have to wait too long to have one on your wrist! Unfortunately, if you don’t live in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland or Puerto Rico then you will need to wait until 2018 to pick up the new Apple Watch.
Apple lovers who want the cellular option will need to be on the EE network for their mobile phone. EE have exclusive rights to the Apple Watch Series 3 cellular option and they are allowing customers to register their interest now. Customers who want to pick one up will need to have an iPhone 6 of newer on a pay monthly or SIM only contract with EE. The contract for the Apple Watch Series 3 will run for 24 months regardless of how long is left on the phone contract.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is going to cost £399 for the Cellular + GPS model (contract pricing with EE is not yet available) and GPS only will cost you £329. Some customers have complained that the UK is getting a worse deal once again with pricing of the Apple Watch in pounds directly matching the cost in dollars. This has been the case with previous Apple Watches, too, and is unlikely to put too many people off buying one!
Is The Apple Watch Series 3 Worth Buying?
There are many customers who would have been buying an Apple Watch Series 3 regardless of the upgraded features (or lack thereof). So, for those, the announced improvements are a complete bonus. But for those of us who are looking for a top quality smart watch, it can be hard to decide whether to buy an Apple Watch or look elsewhere.
Once again, the Apple Watch does look fantastic and will excite anyone who gets their hands on one. The design and build quality of the watch is top notch and the choice of watch faces has been expanded once again. On this side of things, there is very little competition from other watch manufacturers.
The benefits become a little less certain when it comes to the features inside the watch. You can find top quality heart rate monitors and exercise tracking with other watch manufacturers. Although, it does seem that Apple may have improved this feature considerably when you take into account the decision for Stanford to team with Apple on a study.
Cheaper Android Wear and Samsung watches have already provided cellular connectivity. There is also very little new in terms of the features inside WatchOS itself. For this reason, it is hard to know whether you should buy an Apple Watch Series 3.
If you loved the previous versions of the Apple Watch then the new features are very welcome. By the same token, if you want a very stylish smart watch then the Apple Watch Series 3 is absolutely the best option. But if features are more important than form – and you’re still not 100% convinced with Apple – then there are a lot of options out there, many which are more affordable.
Apple have gone all out on announcements this year, with an exciting additional model of phone being announced! As expected, the new Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have been announced and will hit shelves very shortly. The new model features an all-glass design and it will even be able to charge up wirelessly.
However, the iPhone 8 is probably the least exciting iPhone announcement of all time. This is because Apple have gone all out with a new iPhone which is being released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Apple’s first steps into the mobile phone market. The Apple iPhone X brings a complete redesign of the iPhone and will cost £999 for the entry level 64GB model. Gone is the traditional iPhone home button as the OLED screen now fits the entire front of the device. FaceID is the latest Apple feature and it uses facial recognition to unlock the phone and authenticate Apple Pay payments. Although worryingly, the demonstration of this feature didn’t quite go to plan yesterday as Craig Federighi struggled to unlock the device! This new phone will hit shelves in November, with pre-orders available from October 27th.
Apple have also announced a 4K version of Apple TV which will be welcome to customers who have recently upgraded their television.
Many people have talked about Apple losing their magic in recent years but nobody does product announcements quite like Apple do! It’ll be interesting to see just how successful these new products are when they finally do hit the shelves.
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