Apple Watch Series 3, 6 months on

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Series 3 6 months on
Time has flown with the Apple Watch Series 3.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Surprisingly, the Apple Watch Series 3 has been out for six months already. While time has flown by (pun intended), the Series 3 watch has easily become one of my favourite Apple releases of the past year. Although I’ve already done a full review, I wanted to revisit it now that half a year has passed to tell you about my experience with it, what I like, what I don’t and if it’s worth it.

Check out the video below.

6 Months with the Apple Watch Series 3

Six months in and my Apple Watch Series 3 has held up brilliantly, there’s no scuffs and only one or two very light scratches. I tend to look after my stuff anyway but I’ve been going to the gym, swimming, playing with my daughter so there’s been plenty of times I’ve knocked the watch against something and it’s still looking great. 

As I mentioned, there are one or two very slight scratches – which are more than hard to see – but I do kinda wish I spent just a little bit more for the stainless steel version Instead of picking up the cheaper aluminium one. Not only do I prefer the look of the stainless steel model, but they also come with the sapphire crystal screen rather than the cheaper Ion-X Glass, or whatever Apple calls it. I still have and occasionally use my original Apple Watch, which is the stainless steel version with the sapphire and there isn’t a single scratch on that after 3 years of use. 

The ideal training partner

Apple Watch Series 3
The Apple Watch is the perfect swimming tracker.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I mainly use the Apple Watch for workouts and for notifications. I’ve recently been trying to shift some pounds so the Series 3 is perfect for keeping me on track and motivating me to keep going.

The only real exercise I actually enjoy is swimming, and for that – the watch is perfect. I can head to my local gym with just my Apple Watch, no need to risk leaving my $1000 iPhone X in a locker or my car. If I’ve forced myself to the gym, it works flawlessly and it’s now actually fast enough to be useful. Previous iterations of the Watch could take far too long to load apps and would leave me standing in the gym just staring at my wrist. Now the watch is fast enough to load anything and get straight to it. It’s how the original Apple Watch should have been.  As I’m also an Apple Music user – I sync my music automatically and use my BeatsX or AirPods to listen to music without having to have my iPhone nearby. 

For when I’m swimming I can just wear my watch, set the length of the pool, click go and not worry about it. It tracks how many lengths I do super accurately, how quickly I do them, how many calories I’ve burnt and the different swimming strokes brilliantly. Having the watch keep count of what length I’m on is super helpful as I’m always forgetting whenever the pool is busy and whilst I build my fitness up, I’m always trying to reach a certain goal in terms of length and time.

LTE Connectivity

Another feature I actually love with my Apple Watch Series 3 is having cellular. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining that they don’t use it. But whilst I’m swimming or at the gym, when I don’t have my phone with me  – it’s super handy.  Being able to reply to a text whilst working out or take a call during swimming just helps me keep in contact with people and not carry anything extra. It also comes in handy for when my phone has died and I still need to make calls and texts – or even use maps. Plus as I mentioned, it’s now fast enough to do what it needs to do, so things like dictating messages is not a problem.

The downside of this is obviously the cost. You get the first six months of LTE free and then after that, there’s a monthly cost. For me personally, it’s not too bad – it’s an additional £5 per month which works out to $7 or so. But in the states, it can cost over $10 per month. What frustrates me is there’s only the one price option with each carrier. For example, with mine that £5 gives me 10GB of data, which seems way too much for what I need on the watch. But I can’t just use any leftovers from my existing plan or have the option to downgrade the amount of data. Thankfully it is just a monthly rolling contract, so if I feel that I’m not making use of the LTE on my Apple Watch, I can cancel at any time. 

More than just a fitness band

Apple Watch Series 3
While it’s fitness and heart rate tracking features are great, there’s more to it.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The watch has always been good at giving nudges to do just that little bit of extra exercise to close rings by taking a short walk or to stand up every hour if you’ve been hunched over a desk and the series 3 is really no different there. But it does now have heart rate tracking and even resting heart rate which isn’t something I personally use very often but I’m sure it’s useful to a lot of people.

Outside of workouts, the Apple Watch is still handy for quickly checking notifications, using Siri is surprisingly good on the watch now and then it’s also great just as a watch for telling the time. Although the faces that are available are starting to feel a little tired. It still baffles me that Apple hasn’t made some sort of watch face store for third-party developers and brands to sell their designs.  In general use, there’s a lot of features I don’t use enough like Apple Pay, but that’s because I still feel a little strange raising my wrist to the terminal.

Enough juice to keep on going

Apple Watch Series 3
The Series 3 has enough juice to keep going for over 2 days.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Battery life has also really surprised me on the Series 3, giving me 2 full days on average. Of course, I’d love it to last even longer again but compared to my original watch which barely lasts a day, this is a massive improvement. I tend to put my watch on charge every night, just out of habit but it’s nice when I’ve forgotten to put it on charge and I wake up to find it’s still got 60% or so left – which is plenty for a full day of use.

Final thoughts

Apple Watch Series 3
With the Series 3 LTE, you don’t need your iPhone to use your AirPods.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With the past two series of the Apple Watch, they were more of a luxury. One that could be infuriating to use. But with the Series 3, it’s actually something functional and useful; generally helping add to the whole Apple ecosystem. It’s the first Apple Watch that’s really worth buying for most people.

Let us know your thoughts on the Apple Watch Series 3 in the comments section down below and what you’d like to see in the next generation.

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