Apple Watch 3 LTE’s First Impressions: A Mirror of Your Phone, Without Your Phone: It is like all your childhood fantasies coming alive in one go. How else will you explain a watch that is smart and connecting to the internet and mobile networks on its own?
Apple Watch 3 LTE’s First Impressions: A Mirror of Your Phone, Without Your Phone
Buying of one is like buying into a world where James Bond, Dick Tracy, and Richie Rich will feel more than at home. Such are the times we live.
After the success of first two generations of Apple Watches.
The third generation was launching last year with a new LTE version too.
The LTE version, because of the network and service provider integration requires, has taken some time coming to India.
But as of this week, the LTE version of the Apple Watch 3 is available in India for subscribers of Reliance Jio and Airtel.
I have used the watch for a few weeks and here are my first impressions.
Apple Watch 3 LTE first impressions: Set up
The set-up is comfortable and very similar to that of the regular watch.
However, there is one additional step that is needing. Somewhere in the middle, you are asking to set up mobile data, after which the watch app takes you to your service provider’s log in to link to your account.
One that is doing, the watch syncs like it did in the regular version. About 20 minutes on, the service provider Airtel in my case sent messages saying the e-SIM on the watch has linked to my number.
It takes a few more minutes before I can see towers on the watch.
The entire process was seamless, except for the flurry of messages to communicate the linking of the watch to your number.
The best thing for users in India is that both services provide considering the data as an add-on to your existing number and you don’t need to pay extra for using data or voice calls on the watch.
Apple Watch 3 first impressions: Design
The LTE version has the same design as the regular Apple Watch 3, excepting for a red dot on the crown.
The other changes are on the software side. The quick settings tray now has buttons for the network and Wi-Fi.
There is a new watch face too with a tap to call option.
If the watch is running on data, then you see four dots in the middle, like you have the tower icon on the phone to show the signal strength.
Apple Watch 3 first impressions: What is good?
I have an Apple Watch user since the first generation, switching to other smart bands and watches once in a while.
Giving my line of work, I cannot afford to away from the phone at any time, not even my early morning walks.
Since I do lug around my smartphone for these walks, I have to develop the habit of reading news while walking and even writing the occasional review on the move.
Before your mouth gapes in awe, let me tell you this is not something I am proud of as my eyes are in a horrible state because of this unnecessary strain.
Also, the one time I can genuinely be cut off is also used up as screen time.
With the new Apple Watch 3 LTE, I was able to go for a morning walk with the phone safely charging up for the rigors of the day on my chest of drawers.
But keeping the phone at home, far away from the Bluetooth range of the watch, did not mean I was cut off.
I can receive calls and SMSes that were coming on my phone, all well as check emails and FaceBook messages.
The audio quality is right for you to speak to the watch in a park and for the other side to understand what you are trying to say.
But I will instead use it with a pair of Bluetooth earphones.
Talking of Bluetooth earphones, one significant feature of the Apple Watch 3 LTE is that you can now stream music on iTunes directly on the watch.
Earlier, you can move your playlist here, but now you can stream playlists directly without saving them on the device.
Apple has curated some playlists for you to tap and stream easily.
You can also choose to hear storing music or pull in playlists from the iPhone.
However, you cannot do this on any other music streaming app at the moment.
But then you can play radio directly from the watch into your ears.
In the middle of the run, if you want to get back home in a hurry, you can call a cab directly from the watch.
I am not sure I will use this, but this is a good backup to have to give that often when I am out of a plane after a day in another city, I am out of juice in the phone with no way to summon a radio cab.
Apple Watch 3 first impressions: What’s not right?
Apple does not foresee a use case where the phone is live at home for a full day just with the watch.
So the clock really cannot give you more than three-four hours solely on LTE.
The cellular part of the watch is meant to use at various times of the day, but not for the entire day.
Also, when I was beyond the Bluetooth range of the phone, there were times when the calls did not move to the watch.
It is not an issue if the phone is out of network or switched off, but at times when both devices are active.
There is seems to an issue switching the call to the watch. But then these are early days when it comes to network optimisation for something that is really new.
Apple Watch 3 first impressions: Should you buy?
In case you have a specific use case for day parts when you will rather be away from the phone.
Then small extra you pay for the Apple Watch 3 LTE version might not be much.
For others, the regular Apple Watch 3 should more than right; you need to keep your iPhone nearby.
So, these are the points to describes on the Apple Watch 3 LTE’s first impressions: A mirror of your phone, without your phone.
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