December 7, 2023

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

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

Apple Watch series 3.

from Apple Watch-series 3 It’s still available in 2021 for $199 (£199, AU$299), making it the cheapest entry point for the Apple Watch. When this watch was released in 2017, it was a turning point for the device, as it was the first with a cellular option that didn’t require an iPhone soon to work. This makes it work with Dick Tracy-style phone calls, and CNET’s Scott Stein described in his review that when paired with Apple Music, the watch began to feel like an iPod Shuffle on his wrist.

While the Apple Watch still receives software updates and is the cheapest way to access WatchOS 8 and the world of watch bands that connect to the Apple Watch, it’s also questionable whether it’s a good value at this price point. For $199 or less, there are newer competing watches that work with iOS and Android, have modern features that the Apple Watch doesn’t have like the always-on display, and will likely get ongoing support from now on. The last point is noteworthy, as there is no guarantee that the Series 3 will see the final WatchOS 9 after already receiving support for four years.

Let’s go over some reasons to be wary if you’re considering the Apple Watch Series 3, along with similar alternatives.

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The Apple Watch Series 3 can still be updated to the new WatchOS 8 operating system, but installing this update can be more difficult than it’s worth. Apple offers its own support page About what to do if you don’t have enough space to update your Apple Watch, including unpairing the watch and setting it up as new to make enough space for the update.

That’s because the Apple Watch Series 3 includes 8GB of internal space for the non-cellular version, while the high-end Apple Watch SE comes with 32GB for $279. The mobile version of the Apple Watch Series 3 has 16GB of space, but that has been discontinued. We don’t have the technical specifications for the Apple Watch Series 7 yet, but last year’s Series 6 also had 32GB of storage.

Most Apple Watch users probably won’t use all of their storage, but to download and install the update, the Apple Watch Series 3 obviously doesn’t have enough space to facilitate the update. In comparison, when I updated a file Apple Watch SE Or the $180 Fitbit Versa 2 released in 2019, I just plug the watch into the charger and run the respective app for the watch from my phone and run the update from there. After about 10 to 20 minutes, the process is complete.

The Apple Watch SE comes amidst the latest Apple Watch specs at a lower price than the upcoming Series 6 or Series 7.

Vanessa Hand Oriana / CNET

Older Specifications

The longevity of the Apple Watch Series 3 also includes the general specifications, not just a difference in storage space as mentioned in the last section. The Series 3 includes the dual-core S3 SiP, a version of the optical core sensor available in 2017, and in the 38mm version, the display area is 563 square millimeters. While newer updates add compatibility with services like Apple Fitness Plus, a software update doesn’t change that many of these specifications indicate their age. Compare the Apple Watch SE with a newer chip with a 64-bit dual-core processor, the second generation version of the optical heart sensor, and in the 40mm version, the display area is 759 square mm which is much larger than the Apple Watch series. 3 show.

While the Apple Watch SE costs $80 more than the Apple Watch Series 3, the list of features also shows how much you get with this Series 3 model. An always-on altimeter can track your altitude, the watch includes fall detection, heart health notifications, Bluetooth 5.0 for better wireless headphone connections, and many other features available on the Apple Watch Series 6. The main differences that keep the price under $120 Apple Watch Series 6 is No always-on display and some healthy features like no EKG sensor. However, if those sensors and an always-on display are important to you, you might want to check out a wider network than just an Apple Watch.


The Fitbit Charge 5 packs many of the latest health tracking sensors into a wearable device that’s cheaper than the Apple Watch Series 3.

Lexi Savides/CNET

Better options for $199 or less

Once you stop thinking about the Apple Watch, there are many other options that can handle many of the Apple Watch’s best features and work better in some ways.

Fitbit is particularly filled with products under $199 that can do what you want your Apple Watch to do. The aforementioned $180 Fitbit Versa 2 has six days of battery life, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and an oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensor. The latter sensor is available on the Apple Watch, but only if you’ve paid for an Apple Watch Series 6 or Series 7. If you’re willing to cut battery life down to two days, you can use this always-on display. Versa 2’s weaknesses are limited support for third-party apps, which isn’t likely to grow now that Fitbit has turned its attention to Google Wear OS support.

For $180, you can also get a brand new Fitbit Charge 5. Although this device is more than just a fitness tracker, it comes with almost every modern fitness tracking feature (including ECG sensor and stress tracking) along with GPS.

And although we haven’t tested it, Mobvoi $199 off TicWatch E3 planned to be Updated to the next version of Google Wear OS This is the code on Samsung. This watch currently supports the previous version of Wear OS, and includes health tracking features along with the SpO2 sensor, which is Waterproof with IP68 (rating) To swim in the pool. It’s worth noting that we’re still learning more about the new version of Wear OS, including its compatibility with iPhone and Fitbit Features They eventually found their way into the Google operating system.

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Another way to get a better Apple Watch and save some money is to go there Apple Store RenovationWhich allows you to get a discounted Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, or Series 6 with a one-year warranty. At the time of writing, the Apple Watch Series 5 in this store is currently $309, including an always-on display for just over the Apple Watch SE.

However, if you are really looking for the cheapest way to enter the world of Apple Watch and still think that the Apple Watch Series 3 is right for you despite the technical limitations, you can shop as well. Since Apple has been selling this watch for four years, you can find deals on it online. You can buy refurbished at Walmart Apple Watch Series 3 for $140 with LTE support. If you want to use it, You can find others on eBay for between $100 and $130. If you want to buy it in a store, you may be able to get an open box form from Best Buy, which includes a list: Apple Watch $165.

But seriously, don’t buy an Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021. With all of these options, there’s a lot better for the money.

Are you still wearing your Apple Watch Series 3? Or would you rather use a different watch or fitness tracker? Let us know in the comments.

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