Apple Watch 3 review: A wearable that can double up as your iPhone
The Apple Watch Series 3 LTE reduces dependency on the iPhone and does not compromise overall user experience
Have you ever reached office only to suddenly remember that you’ve forgotten your phone at home? You can breathe easy if you have the newest Apple Watch 3 with cellular connectivity.
The device can do a lot of what your iPhone does—make and receive phone calls, send and receive messages, access social media and instant messaging apps, check and reply to emails, stream Apple Music, and book an Uber, for instance. The magic lies in a tiny piece of hardware in the watch, called the eSIM (embedded SIM). It works exactly the way a standard SIM would work in your phone, electronically storing your credentials, such as your phone number, international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) and necessary authentication key. The Apple Watch Series 3 LTE is the first smartwatch in India to deploy the eSIM technology.
At present, Airtel and Reliance Jio provide cellular services for the Watch. This is how it works: Your Airtel or Jio phone number gets replicated on the Watch, which then becomes an independent cellular device. If your phone is switched off, or not near you, anyone calling you can reach you through the Watch.
It is quite easy to set up cellular services (Watch app -> Cellular). Switching operators (Airtel to Jio, for instance) is almost instantaneous—this is the first time we experienced this kind of convenience on any device.
If you use Airtel, the Watch’s cellular services are a free add-on with any myPlan Infinity post-paid plan. Reliance Jio has a free add-on called “Everywhere Connect” for your existing pre-paid or post-paid subscription. This is unlike the situation in the US, for instance, where the Watch’s cellular services are charged around $10 (around Rs670), over and above the phone’s tariff plan.
The design looks pretty much the same as the standard Watch Series 3. Look closer and you’ll notice a red dot on the digital crown, the visual element that distinguishes the LTE variant. The cellular variant has 16 GB internal storage space (the standard Watch has 8 GB).
The battery life is quite solid. We switched off our phone and used the Watch Series 3 in its place for a day. After a total of 2 hours of voice calls, messaging and fitness tracking, the battery, which had been fully charged at 7am, retained 52% charge at 7pm.
So, can a smartwatch work as a replacement for your iPhone? Yes. The Apple Watch Series 3 LTE reduces dependency on the iPhone and does not compromise overall user experience.
Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular
• Rs39,080 onwards
• OLED display
• Ceramic back
• Heart-rate sensor
• Water resistant (50m)