Launched in September 2017, the Apple Watch Series 3 keeps the classic design of earlier models but packs in quite a few new features. Alongside improvements, including the faster S3 processor and W2 wireless chip, was a cellular variant for the first time. Today, Apple sells it only in a GPS variant.
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Apple revealed the third generation of the Apple Watch line during Apple”s September 2017 event. The Apple Watch Series 3 improved upon its predecessors with upgraded components and a model with a cellular connection.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is still for sale in 2022, nearly 5 years after its release. Apple kept the device around for a low-priced entry point for consumers. Even when the Apple Watch SE was revealed, Apple didn”t stop selling the aging Series 3.
Rumors suggest the “Apple Watch Series 8” lineup could finally bump the Series 3 out of the market. Although, Apple will still provide watchOS updates to the Series 3 for at least a few more years for customers who may have purchased their watch recently.
From the outside, this Apple Watch has the same familiar design as the Apple Watch Series 2, with a square OLED Retina display, protected by sapphire crystal in the stainless steel and ceramic models, and Ion-X glass for the aluminum versions. Available in two sizes, the 38-millimeter model has a resolution of 272 x 340 pixels, while the 42-millimeter has a 312 x 390-pixel display. Both are capable of 1,000 nits of brightness.
The Apple Watch design hasn”t changed much since its 2015 release
The Side button and Digital Crown are on the device”s right, which is used alongside display taps, swipes, and gestures to navigate watchOS menus. The Digital Crown was one of the few elements to receive a visual change in this generation, with now-obsolete cellular models brandishing a red dot, denoting their added connectivity option.
To the rear is the heart rate sensor, a collection of LEDs and sensors that can detect blood flow in the user”s wrist. It does this via a technology known as photoplethysmography. Apple increased the rear crystal”s size, but only by 0.25 millimeters, making it a barely noticeable change to the vast majority of users.
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The back casing for the Apple Watch was also offered in two different materials, depending on the model. The standard version without cellular connectivity has a “composite back,” while LTE-equipped models used a ceramic back cover.
The heart rate and contact sensors
As is customary, Apple made changes to the internals of the Apple Watch, improving it in both performance and features compared to previous models.
Apple developed the S3 processor for the third-generation smartwatch, a dual-core chip that boasts a 70% performance increase over the S2. As well as providing quicker app launch times and smoother graphics compared to its predecessor, this addition also made it possible for Siri to speak back to the user, using the Apple Watch”s built-in speaker.
Accompanying the S3 is the Apple-designed W2 wireless chip, making Wi-Fi connections 85% faster while at the same time making Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 50% more power-efficient.
Some models had an increase in storage capacity. The standard model has 8 gigabytes of storage, while the cellular version includes 16 gigabytes. Today, Apple only sells the 8GB GPS version.
The barometric altimeter was new to the 2017 release used to sense how high the Apple Watch is from sea level. The sensor is used in various ways for activities, such as elevation gain and counting the flights of stairs climbed.
The Apple Watch also includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, and ambient light sensor alongside its rear heart rate sensor. All models include 802.11n Wi-Fi support, as well as Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.
The Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular is no longer sold
Apple has slowly iterated on watchOS to make it more independent
There are multiple case and band combinations available