A week on the wrist: Apple Watch Series 3 Edition (GPS + Cellular)

“Last week, we saw the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 3 Edition (housed completely in ceramic) – and today, after spending a full week with the latter, I’m here to give you my full thoughts,” Benjamin Clymer writes for Hodinkee. “Series 3 has a barometric altimeter that measures, for the first time, relative elevation. That’s helpful for climbing stairs, skiing and snowboarding, hiking, etc. It has a new W2 wireless chip that was developed by, you guessed it, Apple, and offers better performance using less power. There is an entirely new processor within Series 3 that makes it up to 70% faster than Series 2. This is huge, and if you haven’t tried an Apple Watch since the first generation, you’ll be shocked by the differences in speed. Finally, the biggest change to Apple Watch Series 3 is that now, for the first time, it features cellular capabilities as a stand-alone device, meaning it can operate without your iPhone being within Bluetooth range. Doesn’t sound like a big deal? I didn’t think it was either, until I tried it.”

“One of the most amusing things about doing what I do for a living – writing about and working with mechanical watches – is the reaction that other watch guys expect me, or really any other reasonable watch person, to have about the Apple Watch,” Clymer writes. “They think we should hate it. I don’t hate the Apple Watch, nor should anyone else. If anything, the build quality versus price ratio on the Apple Watch is so embarrassing for the Swiss that I genuinely think it will push mechanical watchmakers to be better.”

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.

“So how does it work? Effortlessly. Your watch connects to your phone using the very same number you’ve likely had for years, and the watch and phone become interchangeable. In fact, one could almost replace the other, and yes I’m talking about the watch replacing your phone. The first time I left my phone on my desk upstairs and went down to the street to make a phone call, I didn’t really believe it would work. It did. And well,” Clymer writes. “And of course, when I placed that first call, my own telephone number showed up, and the call was crystal clear in downtown New York City. I became obsessed, and quickly. The next day, I didn’t even bring my phone to work with me.”

“I don’t know that I ever would’ve guessed I would say this about a smartwatch, but Apple Watch Series 3 might make your life better – you’ll be less connected with the digital world and more connected with the real world around you,” Clymer writes. “Apple Watch Series 3, Edition or not, is the watch we’ve been waiting for from Apple. As mentioned, the cellular capabilities alone elevate this product from a niche peripheral to something that could become instrumental to millions of people’s daily lives.”

Tons more, including many photos of the gorgeous, polished ceramic Apple Watch Series 3 Edition (GPS + Cellular), in the full review – very highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: If you thought previous Apple Watches gave you the gift of extra time, you haven’t seen anything yet! Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) is indeed liberating in more ways than one!

Apple releases watchOS 4.0.1, fixes captive Wi-Fi connectivity issues on Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) – October 4, 2017
Ars Technica reviews Apple Watch Series 3: Despite some teething pains, it’s great to use – September 27, 2017
Jim Dalrymple reviews Apple Watch Series 3: ‘Do yourself a favor and get one’ – 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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David G.” for the heads up.]


  1. “I don’t know that I ever would’ve guessed I would say this about a smartwatch, but Apple Watch Series 3 might make your life better – you’ll be less connected with the digital world and more connected with the real world around you,” Clymer writes.

    No, this is a conscience choice. You have the ability to tune out, if your will is strong enough…sadly for most it isn’t.

    1. My take on this statement is that the Apple Watch enables you to remain connected in important ways, but also pushes/forces you to disconnect in some ways. You can still make phone calls and send voice messages or voice-to-text messages using Siri, but you will not be browsing the web, reading and responding to email, or watching YouTube videos. IMO, that is the concept that the author was trying relate to us — the difference (and benefit) between being fully connected (iPhone) and less connected (Apple Watch).

  2. I’ve had an Apple Watch since day one and one has been on my wrist every single day since. The Series 2 was a nice upgrade with GPS and waterproofing, but the Series 3 with LTE is a game-changer! I did a sprint triathlon with it the very morning after it arrived, between biking to and from the race and tracking all three legs of the race on the watch, plus sending and receiving texts, screening emails, and a phone call thrown in, I was away from my phone from 5am until 11am and will all that, I still had 54% battery life left! Coupled with AirPods, no more phone on runs, bike rides, and time out in the boat. Up until now I could not imagine a time when my iPhone wasn’t the most indispensable device in my life, but now I can see that very clearly!

  3. My first Apple Watch. Getting use to the watch in general but so far it is a hoot. Many surprises. Many great features like getting news updates, phone calls, responding to messages from friends, and so on.

    I’m enjoying the suite of activity measures and looking forward to Apple adding to those measures in the years ahead.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the wristband. I ended up ordering a cheap black rubber one off Amazon for ~$7 because it had a traditional clasp. I prefer the old fashion method of attaching it to my wrist.

    It is definitely fun.

  4. I have been using the first Apple Watch (series 0) stainless steel model since “day one” and I am now wearing the new Apple Watch series 3 stainless steel LTE model while I type this comment. I can concur with ALL the comments made by Mr. Benjamin Clymer. I strongly endorse Apple’s new cloth sport band for comfort and ease of use. And I have used it once without having my iPhone with me on one occasion. What an amazingly liberating experience. In fact, if it wasn’t for the iPhone’s ability to take photos and videos, I could see a time in the “not to distant future” where the Apple Watch supplants the iPhone (or any smartphone) as the number one consumer computer must have device.

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