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Apple Watch Series 3 review: Not perfect, but damn close

Apple Watch Series 3 features a clever antenna design that uses the display itself to transmit and receive.
Apple Watch Series 3 features a clever antenna design that uses the display itself to transmit and receive.

APPLE calls it freedom and whether you're swimming in the ocean, or keeping contact with your son while he's fishing on the river, you can see why.

Apple Watch Series 3 is what gadget geeks like me have always dreamed of - the ability to easily make a call or get messages right from your wrist.

In the past couple of weeks, the watch has saved my forgetfulness many times. Taking a dip in the surf, I forgot if I was on school pick-up duty. A quick call to the wife from the waves and it's sorted. Mind you, it can be a little hard to hear when the waves are crashing over you, as I found.

A new watch face gives quick access to the phone via a recent calls menu, favourites, contacts or a keypad large enough to see even in the water. Or even simpler, just ask Siri to call someone in your contacts.

Our son has just got a fishing kayak and putting the Apple Watch on him certainly helped our peace of mind as he ventured out on the river.

This is one super clever piece of technology.

It does have some drawbacks though.

The first is obviously always being connected. Someone at the office can reach you at any time- unless you ignore their call of course.

When reviewing the series 2 watch, I actually had a situation where I was alerted to a major breaking news event via my watch while swimming laps at the local pool.

The messages only started though when the watch was in range of my phone.

Now with a e-sim, providers like Telstra can keep you connected all the time, though there were a few occasions, before I updated the software, where I got failed call messages or lost connections.

Another drawback at the moment, is if you are a Telstra business enterprise customer, your existing company number won't work.

So that means having another number. It's something no doubt major carriers will fix.

However, that can be a blessing, I've found, especially if you don't share the new watch number with your boss.

The basic design of Apple Watch is unchanged. But the tech inside has.

The S3 dual-core processor is up to 70% faster - and it allows Siri to talk back to you.

I've reviewed numerous watches, including Samsung's Gear 3 and Huawei's latest SIM version. While I like the look of the others, when it comes to day to day functionality, voice integration, connectivity with music and navigation apps, the Apple Watch wins easily.

But I must say, when it comes to exercise monitoring, I'm not sure it is as accurate as it could be.

My wife has been using the Series 2 watch and consistently she's killing me when it comes to the daily steps count. I will have to take that up with Apple.

On the serious side, in the lead-up to summer, this is one device that will get you moving.

Even doing laps in the pool, you are encouraged to go further each time.

Like other watches, you also now get more credit for climbing steps and when moving uphill thanks to the new barometric altimeter.

As expected, there are a range of new watch faces which make the world's best selling timepiece more fun and functional.

The Siri face is particularly clever, adjusting the display for the time of day and what you are most likely to need and use.

You can also download your favourite albums and playlists to your watch and listen to great sound via Apple's brilliant AirPods.

The new sport loop bands are super comfortable.
The new sport loop bands are super comfortable.

One of the best improvements is the new sport loop watch band, which the most comfortable I've worn and great for when you are working out, swimming or snorkeling.

Speaking of snorkeling, I did try to see if I could make a call from underwater. No such luck yet. Maybe next year.

Topics:  apple apple watch apple watch series 3 connectivity editors picks games and gadgets technology telecommunications telstra


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