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Apple Watch Series 3 LTE first impressions: The Watch with the red dot

At first look, the Apple Watch Series 3 Wi-Fi+Cellular seems exactly how a watch is supposed to be. Independent of a phone.


Highlights

  • Apple Watch Series 3 LTE is available in two variants.

  • The 38mm variant is priced at Rs 39,080, while the 42mm variant is available for Rs 41,120.

  • The red dot on the digital crown differentiates it from the standard Apple Watch Series 3.

It’s interesting that the red dot is a symbol of adornment in Indian culture. Apple has launched its latest Watch Series 3 with cellular support in India, and it does stand out compared to the existing Wi-Fi variant currently on sale in India. The one visual differentiator between Series 3 LTE and the normal Series 3 is the red dot on the digital crown. However, magic happens under the hood.

Getting a Watch to place calls

In what it claims as an industry first, Apple has found a way to use the display as an antenna. You don’t need antenna lines anymore. It blends in without taking away or adding any elements to the product’s design language. On day one of using the new Apple Watch Series 3 LTE, I coincidentally found myself in a situation where I had to prematurely rely on its cellular capability. During a trip to New Delhi, my Vodafone connection gave way. Seamless roaming was relative. In retrospect, I simply missed out luck and favor from the networks.

I put in a temporary Airtel SIM into my phone, which resulted in two things. First, I finally got latched on to a home network. I could also place calls that were intelligible. Second, I wasn’t reachable for the world. I hadn’t shared the number yet. But the good thing was I wasn’t switching, and searching for networks anymore. Just when things were seemingly running fine, my phone battery ran out.

Real world test of the cellular capability

It was a choice between two – continuing with my existing Vodafone number with horrible network quality, or connecting via an Airtel number that was serving me well, but no one could reach me. I was stressed because I had to rush to the airport. I had to coordinate with the cab driver, and I’d jotted his number down in my journal, since I’d sensed my battery was low. In case you’re wondering, no I didn’t carry the charger or a power bank with me. Initially skeptical, I tapped on dialer icon on the Watch screen. I dialed in the driver’s number, told him where I was, and he came to pick me up. Since I had the same Apple ID signed in, it retrieved my address book, and I didn’t miss the old number. Only no one could reach me, while I could call anyone I wanted to.

During the ride, I called up another friend who I had to meet on the way. He was surprised to see the new number flash on the screen. But when he heard me at the other end of the call and I explained the situation, he was impressed, not being able to differentiate the call quality between a phone and a watch. Even I found the process a rather smooth one. But that could also probably be because I was in a state of emergency, in a different city.

Potential of connectivity independent of your phone

In addition to the ability to call, you can also use apps such as Uber and Ola, which come in handy. All you need to do is tap the app, select which cab you want through a couple of swipes and you’re ready to go. Besides cab services, features such as Apple Music and Siri ensure that you can seamlessly connect your Apple Watch Series 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular with a pair of Bluetooth speakers and stream music without looking at your phone, independent of your phone. On other fronts, it’s a replica of the Apple Watch Series 3 Wi-Fi.

The past few days of using the Apple Watch Series 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular has been hassle free. The Watch with LTE support is currently available via Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio with a price tag of Rs 39,080 for the 38mm variant, and Rs 41,120 for the 42mm variant. Stay tuned for a more detailed review here at BGR India.

  • Published Date: May 10, 2018 12:39 PM IST