You can do better than the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021, even if you want to save money


The Apple Watch Sequence 3.

The Apple Watch Series 3 was a turning level for the Apple Watch line again when it debuted in 2017. The third model of the Apple Watch 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 type 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. Now in 2021, you’ll be able to nonetheless purchase the Apple Watch Sequence 3 for $199 (£199, AU$299) and it is nonetheless actively getting updates from Apple to assist WatchOS 8. 

This makes the Apple Watch Sequence 3 at $199 the most cost effective entry level for the Apple Watch in 2021, because it was final yr in 2020. Although it is the least costly option to get entry to an Apple Watch, 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 worth. At $199 or much less, there are additionally newer competing watches that work with iOS and Android, have fashionable options that the Apple Watch doesn’t have like an always-on show and can seemingly get continued assist years into the long run. The latter level is of appreciable be aware, since there isn’t any assure that the Sequence 3 will see the eventual WatchOS 9 after already receiving 4 years value of assist.

Let’s go over a number of the reason why you need to be cautious if contemplating the Apple Watch Sequence 3, together with comparable alternate options.


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The Apple Watch Sequence 3 continues 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 could be extra hassle than it is value. Apple offers its own support page on what to do for those who shouldn’t have sufficient house to replace your Apple Watch, which includes having to unpair the watch and set it up as new in an effort to make sufficient house for the replace.

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

Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

Older specs

The Apple Watch Sequence 3’s age additionally consists of its general specs, and it isn’t only a cupboard space distinction as talked about within the final part. The Sequence 3 consists of 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 providers like Apple Health Plus, a software program replace doesn’t change that many of those specs are displaying 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 Sequence 3’s show.

Although the Apple Watch SE is $80 greater than the Apple Watch Sequence 3, its characteristic listing additional exhibits off how way more you obtain over that Sequence 3 mannequin. An always-on altimeter can observe your elevation, the watch consists of fall detection, coronary heart well being notifications, Bluetooth 5.0 for higher connections with wi-fi headphones and plenty of different options which are out there within the Apple Watch Sequence 6. The primary variations that preserve the value $120 lower than the Apple Watch Sequence 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 necessary to you, you may wish to forged a wider internet than simply Apple’s watches.


Fitbit Cost 5 consists of lots of the latest well being monitoring sensors right into a wearable that is cheaper than the Apple Watch Sequence 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 finest options and in a number of methods carry out even higher.

Fitbit is especially stacked with merchandise beneath $199 which may do all the things 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 offered on the Apple Watch, however provided that you pay up for the Apple Watch Sequence 6 or the upcoming Sequence 7. In case you are prepared to trim the battery life down to 2 days, you should use 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 can be turning its consideration towards supporting Google’s Put on OS.

For a similar $180, it’s also possible to get the model new Fitbit Charge 5. Whereas this one is extra of a health tracker, it is stacked with practically each fashionable health monitoring characteristic (together with an ECG sensor and stress monitoring) together with GPS.

And whereas we have 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 at present helps the earlier model of Put on OS, consists of well being monitoring options together with the SpO2 sensor and is waterproof with an IP68 rating for pool swimming. It is value 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 finally making their approach into Google’s OS.

Go refurbished

One other option 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 Sequence 4, Sequence 5 or Sequence 6 with a one-year guarantee. Of be aware on the time of this writing, the Apple Watch Sequence 5 in that retailer is at present at $309, which for barely greater than the Apple Watch SE consists of an always-on show.

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

However severely, do not buy the Apple Watch Sequence 3 in 2021. With all of those choices, there may be so significantly better on the market for the cash.

Are you continue to sporting the Apple Watch Sequence 3? Or favor utilizing a distinct watch or health tracker? Tell us within the feedback. | You are able to do higher than the Apple Watch Sequence 3 in 2021, even if you wish to get monetary savings


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