“The Apple Watch Series 3 ultimately comes in two types of models: with LTE and without LTE. Those who opt for the $399 LTE models expect the ability to make and take phone calls, respond to text messages, and check alerts even when their iPhones are miles away,” Valentina Palladino writes for Ars Technica. “I’ve spent just about a week with a Series 3 with LTE, and I have gotten glimpses of what it feels like to be successfully free of my iPhone. However, there were some problems for those of us who first tested the device, so I’m also quite familiar with what it feels like to be completely alone when wearable LTE fails.”

“I did have some clear problems over my few days of wearing the Series 3. For the first two days, the Watch worked as I expected. Then for some unknown reason, standalone LTE seemed to stop working,” Palladino writes. “After nearly two days of troubleshooting, the Watch seemed to reconnect to LTE in every instance it should… But in the time that the Watch seemingly didn’t work, it was a headache to figure out why. Ultimately, I never got a full explanation and, because of that, there’s no way to know if these problems will pop up for other users. However, what I can say for sure is that I wish there was a way to manually turn on and off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from the Watch. Currently, you can only toggle cellular on and off through the Cellular icon in the Control Center… Considering the issues I had, and the issues others had with the Watch trying to connect to semi-known Wi-Fi networks, putting a Wi-Fi toggle in the Control Center would be a logical thing to do. This would allow you to refuse Wi-Fi connectivity in favor of LTE.”

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular). The freedom to go with just your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular). The freedom to go with just your Apple Watch.

 
“It’s not easy to thoughtfully integrate cellular and LTE service on a wearable. A number of Android Wear devices have tried in the past, and none of them hit home runs. In my short time with the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, it’s clear that Apple has the software chops to make cellular and LTE a seamless feature in its wearables. When my device worked as expected, it was very easy to understand when the device was running on LTE data alone or only connected to Wi-Fi or my iPhone. The telephone interface on the Watch is great to use as well. With a number pad, your favorite and recent contacts, and your entire contact list, the Phone app isn’t nearly as cumbersome as I anticipated it to be despite the Watch’s small screen… I basically got a taste of what using a regular Series 3 Watch would be like, and it was great. The new S3 processor makes for faster, smoother interactions with on-Watch apps, listening to Siri’s answers rather than reading them frees up your hands and eyes to do other things, and the barometric altimeter consistently reported how many flights of stairs I climbed each day.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, there are teething pains being seen by early reviewers with pre-production units and carriers. We expect it’ll all be sorted out with a watchOS 4 update (to eliminate Apple’s self-inflicted captive Wi-Fi screw up) and with the carriers becoming familiar with integrating LTE Apple Watch units into their networks.

SEE ALSO:
Some reviewers’ Apple Watch Series 3 ‘LTE issues’ due to easily-fixable Wi-Fi bug – September 20, 2017
Jim Dalrymple reviews Apple Watch Series 3: ‘Do yourself a favor and get one’ – September 20, 2017
Some reviewers’ Apple Watch Series 3 ‘LTE issues’ due to easily-fixable Wi-Fi bug – September 20, 2017
Wired reviews Apple Watch Series 3: ‘For the first time ever, I love the Apple Watch’ – September 20, 2017
9to5Mac reviews Apple Watch Series 3: Unlocks new potential with LTE, dramatically improved Siri – September 20, 2017
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple Watch Series 3 LTE models selling much faster than expected – September 18, 2017
Why the carriers must drop the Apple Watch LTE connectivity tax – September 15, 2017
How much Apple Watch Series 3 data plans will cost on Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint – September 14, 2017
Apple Watch, the world’s best-selling watch, can now work without an iPhone – September 12, 2017
New Apple Watch Series 3 delivers built-in cellular with powerful new health and fitness enhancements – September 12, 2017