Wearable Wednesdays: Take a Pass on the Apple Watch 3 with LTE

Forgive the sass, but when iVerge is critical of an Apple product there must be something seriously wrong with it. And that appears to be the case with the LTE edition of the Apple Watch Series 3.

The issues stem entirely from that garish red dot on the LTE’s version of the digital crown—or rather, the technology that comes with it. If you didn’t know, the red dot is basically a status symbol telling the world that your watch has a cellular radio. What a time to be alive… Anyway, Lauren Goode ran extensive tests on two LTE-enabled units; both fell well short of Apple’s claims.

Here’s what happened with the first watch:

I went for a walk with the phone on airplane mode, and tried to send text messages and use Siri to initiate phone calls through the Watch. Those didn’t work. I tried asking Siri basic questions. That didn’t work. Siri also wasn’t “talking back” to me, something that’s supposed to be a new feature on the Series 3 Watch.

So Apple sent her another one. Here’s how that went:

On more than one occasion, I detached myself from the phone, traveled blocks away from my home or office, and watched the Watch struggle to connect to LTE. It would appear to pick up a single bar of some random Wi-Fi signal, and hang on that, rather than switching to LTE.

Apparently the watch has a preference for WiFi networks over LTE signals, probably because using LTE drains the battery much quicker than you’d expect. Apple’s promises for untethered battery life are based on 30-minute workouts, so if you head out for a two-hour run you may be surprised to find that you have to charge your watch soon after you get back.

Keep in mind also that these headaches come at an extra cost; $399 USD vs. $329 for a non-LTE watch plus $10 extra per month from your carrier for cellular connectivity on your wrist. And at launch, this particular Apple Watch doesn’t even support music streaming through the network, which you’d kind of expect for a no-compromises fitness product.

It definitely seems like the non-LTE Apple Watch is the better buy. As an added bonus, it doesn’t come with the stupid red dot…

Source: The Verge

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