Apple Watch Series 3 may be cheap, but you can do better even if you want to save money


The Apple Watch Collection 3.

The Apple Watch Series 3 remains to be out there in 2021 for $199 (£199, AU$299), making it the most cost effective entry level for the Apple Watch. When that watch launched in 2017 it was a turning level for the system, because it was the primary to incorporate a mobile choice that didn’t require an iPhone to be close by to work. This let it work for Dick Tracy-style telephone calls, and CNET’s Scott Stein touted in his evaluation that when mixed with Apple Music the watch started to really feel like an iPod Shuffle on his wrist. 

Whereas this Apple Watch remains to be getting software program updates and is the least costly approach to get entry to WatchOS 8 and the world of watchbands that clip into the Apple Watch, there’s additionally a query of whether or not or not it is a good worth at that value. At $199 or much less, there are newer competing watches that work with iOS and Android, have trendy options that the Apple Watch doesn’t have like an always-on show and can possible get continued assist years into the longer term. The latter level is of appreciable be aware, since there is not any assure that the Collection 3 will see the eventual WatchOS 9 after already receiving 4 years’ price of assist.

Let’s go over a number of explanation why try to be cautious in case you’re contemplating the Apple Watch Collection 3, together with comparable alternate options.


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The Apple Watch Collection 3 remains to be capable of get up to date to the brand new WatchOS 8 working system, however the technique of getting that replace put in is likely to be extra bother than it is price. Apple offers its own support page on what to do in case you would not have sufficient house to replace your Apple Watch, which includes having to unpair the watch and set it up as new to make sufficient house for the replace.

That is as a result of the Apple Watch Collection 3 contains 8GB of inner house for the model with out mobile, whereas the step-up Apple Watch SE at $279 contains 32GB. The mobile model of the Apple Watch Collection 3 had 16GB of house, however that was discontinued. We do not but have technical specs for the Apple Watch Collection 7, however final yr’s Collection 6 additionally contains 32GB of house. 

It is unlikely that almost all Apple Watch customers will ever use all of their cupboard space, however for downloading and putting in an replace, the Apple Watch Collection 3 clearly doesn’t have sufficient house to make updating easy. By comparability, after I’ve up to date the Apple Watch SE or the $180 Fitbit Versa 2 that launched in 2019, I simply plop the watch right into a charger, fireplace up the respective app for the watch from my telephone and begin the replace from there. Roughly 10 to twenty minutes later, the method is completed.

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE hits a center floor of recent Apple Watch specs at a cheaper price than the Collection 6 or upcoming Collection 7.

Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

Older specs

The Apple Watch Collection 3’s age additionally contains its total specs, and it is not only a cupboard space distinction as talked about within the final part. The Collection 3 contains an S3 SiP with a dual-core processor, a model of the optical coronary heart sensor out there in 2017 and on the 38mm model a 563 sq. millimeter show space. Whereas newer updates do add compatibility with companies like Apple Health Plus, a software program replace doesn’t change that many of those specs are exhibiting their age. The Apple Watch SE by comparability has a more moderen chip with a 64-bit dual-core processor, a second-generation model of the optical coronary heart sensor and on the 40mm model features a 759 sq mm show space that is far roomier than the Apple Watch Collection 3’s show.

Though the Apple Watch SE is $80 greater than the Apple Watch Collection 3, its function checklist additional exhibits off how far more you obtain over that Collection 3 mannequin. An always-on altimeter can monitor your elevation, the watch contains fall detection, coronary heart well being notifications, Bluetooth 5.0 for higher connections with wi-fi headphones and plenty of different options which can be out there within the Apple Watch Collection 6. The principle variations that preserve the value $120 lower than the Apple Watch Collection 6 are the shortage of an always-on show and some well being options like no ECG sensor. That mentioned, if these sensors and an always-on show are vital to you, you would possibly need to forged a wider web than simply Apple’s watches.


Fitbit Cost 5 contains lots of the latest well being monitoring sensors right into a wearable that is cheaper than the Apple Watch Collection 3.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Higher choices for $199 or much less

When you flip away from simply contemplating the Apple Watch, there are a number of different choices that deal with lots of the Apple Watch’s greatest options and in a number of methods carry out even higher.

Fitbit is especially stacked with merchandise beneath $199 which may do every part you need the Apple Watch to do. The aforementioned Fitbit Versa 2 at $180 has six days of battery life, health monitoring, sleep monitoring and an oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensor. That final sensor is obtainable on the Apple Watch, however provided that you pay up for the Apple Watch Collection 6 or the upcoming Collection 7. If you’re keen to trim the battery life down to 2 days, you should utilize that watch’s always-on show. The weaker factors of the Versa 2 are its restricted third-party app assist, which is unlikely to develop now that Fitbit will likely be turning its consideration towards supporting Google’s Put on OS.

For a similar $180, you may as well get the model new Fitbit Charge 5. Whereas this one is extra of a health tracker, it is stacked with almost each trendy health monitoring function (together with an ECG sensor and stress monitoring) together with GPS.

And whereas we’ve not examined it, Mobvoi’s $199 TicWatch E3 is slated to be updated to the next version of Google’s Wear OS that’s codesigned with Samsung. That watch presently helps the earlier model of Put on OS, contains well being monitoring options together with the SpO2 sensor and is waterproof with an IP68 rating for pool swimming. It is price caveating that we’re nonetheless studying extra concerning the new model of Put on OS, together with its compatibility with the iPhone and which Fitbit features are ultimately making their means into Google’s OS.

Go refurbished

One other approach to get a greater Apple Watch and avoid wasting cash is to show to Apple’s refurbished store, which may get you a reduced Apple Watch Collection 4, Collection 5 or Collection 6 with a one-year guarantee. Of be aware on the time of this writing, the Apple Watch Collection 5 in that retailer is presently at $309, which for barely greater than the Apple Watch SE contains an always-on show.

But if you’re actually in search of the most cost effective means into the Apple Watch world and you continue to really feel just like the Apple Watch Collection 3 is for you regardless of the technical limitations, you could as effectively store round. Since Apple has been promoting this look ahead to 4 years, you will discover offers on it everywhere in the web. On Walmart, you should purchase a refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 for $140 with support for LTE. If you’re keen to go used, you can find others on eBay between $100 and $130. If you wish to purchase it from a retailer, you would possibly be capable of get an open field mannequin from Finest Purchase, which is itemizing the Apple Watch at $165.

However significantly, do not buy the Apple Watch Collection 3 in 2021. With all of those choices, there’s so a lot better on the market for the cash.

Are you continue to carrying the Apple Watch Collection 3? Or choose utilizing a special watch or health tracker? Tell us within the feedback. | Apple Watch Collection 3 could also be low-cost, however you are able to do higher even if you wish to get monetary savings


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