Apple Watch Series 3 Review

Matt By: Matt | Last updated March 16, 2018

Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch splashed water black sport band
Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch
Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch

9.8 / 10


Our editorial staff evaluates products and services independently, but Best Review Guide may earn money when you click on links. Read our advertising disclosure.


  • Available as GPS only or GPS + cellular (LTE connectivity)
  • One of the best designs and feel in a smartwatch; tasteful, elegant, comfortable
  • Ultra bright, high-quality OLED display
  • Built-in altimeter that measures elevation
  • Improved SIRI digital assistant with audio reply


  • Expensive
  • Short battery life
  • A bit tricky to set up the cellular version of the watch
Show More


The Apple Watch needs no presentation: it is one of the best smartwatches you can find. The Watch Series 3 is as competitive as always in design and capabilities. It comes in 2 version: GPS only or GPS + Cellular (has an eSIM), which basically frees you up from your iPhone even more. It is twice as brighter and has a CPU which is 70% faster. There’s not much to dislike about the new Apple Watch Series 3, except maybe for the steep price and the short battery life.



The Apple 3 smartwatch, which is the third generation of Apple watches, was released in September 2017. Its design is pretty similar to the previous model and the main changes are related to its improved set of features. One of the most important is the LTE cellular connectivity. It is built in and it allows you to communicate independently of your iPhone.

The Apple 3 has an eSIM that has the same phone number as your iPhone. Of course, you have to sign up for an additional smartwatch plan that will cost you somewhere around $10/month or more, depending on the plan you choose. The LTE set up is done from your iPhone, via the Watch app.

You can opt for the Series 3 just with GPS, or Cellular + GPS. The only big difference between them, aside from the cellular connectivity, is their capacity. The LTE version has 16 GB vs only 8 GB in the simple GPS only Watch Series 3. If you know you’re not going to need the LTE capabilities of the watch, it is obviously better for your wallet to go with the simple Apple Watch Series 3 GPS only, as there will be a $190 difference in price between them.

Here are the main specs of the new Apple Watch Series 3:

  • 4 different styles to choose from: Apple Watch, Apple Nike+, Hermes or Apple Watch Edition, each with its own design and materials: aluminum/stainless steel/ceramic case, sport band, sport loop or leather band
  • Apple wireless chip
  • S3 Dual core processor (70% faster)
  • Built in GPS and GLONASS
  • HR sensor
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Ambient light sensor
  • 16 GB capacity for the 3 GPS + Cellular and 8 GB for 3 GPS
  • Siri speaks
  • LTE and UMTS connectivity for 3GPS + cellular
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Siri speaks
  • Second-generation OLED Retina display with Force Touch
  • 272 by 340 pixels (38 mm version)
  • 312 by 390 pixels (42 mm version)
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery; run time: up to 18 hours
  • Magnetic charging cable
  • USB power adapter
  • Water resistant (50 meters)

Requirements: The Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS only: iPhone 5s or later; iOS 11 or later

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular: iPhone 6 or later; iOS 11 or later

As we’ve already mentioned, the design of the new Apple Watch hasn’t really changed, which is a good thing in our opinion, as the Apple smartwatch remains one of the most elegant, tasteful and comfortable smartwatches on the market. It is just a bit thicker than the previous model, but that is barely noticeable.

You can opt for the leather, sport band or sport loop, several available colors and choose between the 38 mm or 42 mm model, the latter being approx. $30 more expensive.

Set up:

When it comes to setting up the new Series 3, you might get a little frustrated, if you choose to buy the LTE version, as you might find it hard to activate it according to your iPhone plan. You might have to go through a series of activating, deactivating and rebooting your plan/device before everything starts to run smoothly, so don’t get entirely discouraged if you experience any failed calls in the beginning.

One other disadvantage when it comes to the LTE Series 3 is the battery life. Although Apple promises 18 hours on a charge, with the network connection always on you will drain the battery in no more than 8 hours. Apple was never that generous when it came to the battery life on its mobile gadgets, but the previous generations of smartwatches did last more than the Series 3, which packs a 279mAh battery. If you don’t use it excessively for its exercise features, you can obviously prolong the battery life.

When it comes to the display and features of the watch though, Apple redeems itself. The display of the watch is impressively bright and clear, 2 times brighter than the previous models to be more exact (1000 nits).  

Exercise features

The fitness features are accurate and complex. You can go for a jog knowing that you won’t have to carry your iPhone with you and still get your messages and notifications. The Series 3 has a built-in barometric altimeter that measures elevation, making the watch practical for when you go skiing, snowboarding, climbing and so on. It also has all the features of the previous series, such as HR sensor, built in GPS, etc. One thing we’ve always appreciated about the Apple Watches is the data accuracy, be it for GPS, HR monitor, elevation data and so on. The Apple Watch continues to be one of the most accurate watches on the market.

The new Watch Series 3 can be worn in the pool as it is water resistant (50m), so you can also use it to count your laps and lengths and so on.

The Series 3 runs on watchOS4 and comes with a more complex Siri digital assistant. There is a Siri watchface that shows you all the important info you need during the day and Siri can now also reply in audio form, not just text.

If you want to stream music you have to still use Apple Music, as a Spotify app is still not available.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is undoubtedly one of the best smartwatches you can buy, if you can afford it. It has one of the most appealing and elegant looks, thousands of available apps, a ton of useful and most importantly, accurate features and now, with the new model, LTE connectivity. However, the LTE version does imply additional monthly costs and if using your watch as a phone is not your most stringent need, we recommend you go for the GPS only version, which is almost the same thing, only with half the capacity (8 GB instead of 16 GB), but with a more affordable price and a longer lasting battery.


The Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular with aluminum case and a black sport band – 42 mm can be purchased for around $490. The GPS only version with the same band and color costs approx. $300.


US: 1-800-800-2775

Contact support:

The Apple support team can be reached via phone, live chat or email. You can also schedule a repair for your item. The Apple website is very helpful. You can find resources on all their products and documentation and videos on how to set up your device, update, charge or connect it, change the watch faces, what the icons and symbols on your watch mean and so on. All you have to do is take the time to search for the information you need. The Apple Support Community is also an option.

Rate this review!


Our editorial staff evaluates products and services independently, but Best Review Guide may earn money when you click on links. Read our advertising disclosure.


Samsung Gear Sport
Samsung Gear Sport
Read Review
Fitbit Ionic
Fitbit Ionic
Read Review
Huawei Watch 2
Huawei Watch 2
Read Review


Smartwatches Our top picks

Apple Watch Series 3
Read Review
Samsung Gear Sport
Read Review
Fitbit Ionic
Read Review
Huawei Watch 2
Read Review
FitBit Versa
Read Review
LG Watch Style
Read Review
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
Read Review
Asus ZenWatch 3
Read Review
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Read Review
TicWatch Pro
Read Review