The iPhone X might have stolen all the headlines when Apple held its annual launch event in September but the Apple Watch also received a significant update.
And, while the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + 4G) isn’t a dramatic departure from what went before (at least, not visually), a raft of new features make it an essential purchase for anyone who owns an EE iPhone.
Still struggling to justify spending £400 on a smartwatch? We’ve put together a list of things that might just change your mind:
1. 4G connectivity with EE
The BIG NEW FEATURE for the latest Apple Watch is 4G cellular connectivity, a feature that frees the Apple Watch from the tyranny of the handset and allows you to leave your iPhone at home. That’s right, you can use the 4G version of the Apple Watch natively, even if your phone isn’t nearby. It’s a feature that’s only on EE right now and means you can continue to receive messages and notifications whenever, wherever you are. The new Apple Watch, uses the same number as your iPhone, so both the iPhone and Apple Watch need to be on EE if you want to call, message, use apps and stream music, without having your iPhone on you. If your iPhone is on another network and you buy the Apple Watch, you simply won’t get access to all of the great 4G functionality.
2. Make and receive phone calls
And, yes, that 4G connectivity also means you can make and receive phone calls on the new Apple Watch, too. Out on a run and still want to be contactable? Take your Apple Watch with you. And, don’t worry, there’s no need to faff around with two phone numbers because EE’s e-SIM technology means you can use your existing phone number across both your iPhone and your Apple Watch. To get the best Apple experience, we recommend the latest iPhone X on EE, partnering the most advanced smartphone with Apple’s most advanced smartwatch.
3. Navigate on the fly
This isn’t technically a new feature, but navigation on the Apple Watch gets a new lease of life thanks to 4G connectivity. Plot a route on your phone (or search for a destination via Siri directly on the Watch), pull up Apple Maps on your watch and you’ll be able to receive turn-by-turn instructions right on your wrist and drag your finger around the screen to see where you are. The GPS radio embedded in the Watch means it tracks your position accurately without having to lean on your phone; it’s especially useful if you’re out for a hike or an exploratory run in a location you’re not familiar with.
4. Stream music from Apple Music
Many modern fitness wearables can stream music via wireless headphones so you can enjoy a backing track while you exercise but these rely on storing music locally, so you need to plan what you’re going to listen to in advance. Not so with the new Apple Watch. Its EE-based 4G connectivity gives you access to millions of tracks on Apple Music, so you can listen to whatever takes your fancy when on the go. it’s also a great way of making the most of your 6 months of free Apple Music that you can get with your iPhone’s EE pay monthly plan.
5. Use Siri
Let’s face it, however well-designed and easy-to-use the Apple Watch’s UI is, its screen is still tiny and that makes some tasks fiddly. Hold the Watch’s Digital Crown down for a moment, however, and Apple’s voice-enabled digital assistant is ready to help out, and now she can talk to you, too, instead of simply displaying text onscreen. You can ask Siri to direct you to your destination, find music to play or even send messages, and because the latest Apple Watch has 4G connectivity thanks to EE, you can do all this completely independently of your phone.
6. More complete activity tracking
The new Apple Watch has always had a big focus on general activity tracking, encouraging you to “close your rings” and hit your Stand, Move and Exercise targets daily. With the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + 4G), Apple has improved this even further by adding a barometric altimeter. No, this isn’t going to turn you into Carol Kirkwood overnight, but it does mean the new Apple Watch can now track how many flights of steps you’ve scaled, in addition to all those other handy metrics. This also means more accurate elevation tracking during outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and running.
7. Track your workouts and use your favourite fitness apps
Once you’re ready to up your fitness game, the latest Apple Watch is ready and raring to go on this front, too. Its built-in exercise profiles include running, walking and cycling outdoors, plus gym-related activities, including rowing, stair-step and treadmill machines. The best thing about the new Apple Watch exercise-tracking abilities, though, is its extensibility: if you prefer using a third party service such as Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal or MapMyRun you’ll likely find it has an Apple Watch-compatible app on the iTunes App Store, which you can use instead of, or in conjunction with, the core Watch fitness tools.
Okay, so this is a feature that’s been available to Watch owners since the Series 2, but you can’t buy that model anymore and no list of reasons to buy would be complete without some mention of its superb swim-tracking capabilities. In short, the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + 4G) is the best general fitness tracker for swimming you can buy. It’s better, in fact, that many dedicated swimming fitness wearables because of its accuracy and the sheer number of fitness parameters it keeps tabs on. It tracks lengths swum, sets of lengths, average heart rate and even the type of stroke you’ve used, whether that be backstroke, front crawl, breaststroke or butterfly. If you swim as part of your regular fitness regime, the new Apple Watch is a great companion. And thanks to that 4G connectivity delivered by EE, you’ll still be able to receive messages and phone calls while you’re in the water, leaving your phone safely stored in your locker or at home.
9. More power, faster wireless
It might look the same on the outside, but the new Apple Watch is more powerful on the inside than its predecessor. That means it not only feels a touch more responsive, but it’s more efficient, too. The most significant upgrade in this new model is to the Watch’s wireless capabilities. It employs Apple’s new W2 wireless chip, which the company says has 85% faster Wi-Fi connectivity and 50% better Bluetooth and Wi-Fi power efficiency than the previous hardware – and that means better battery life.
10. Apps, apps, apps
Technically, this last item is a good reason to buy any Apple Watch, not just the Series 3, but it’s still important; the new Apple Watch platform has a wider selection of smartwatch apps available for it than any other smart- or fitness- wearable you can buy today. Whether you’re a Pokemon Go fan who can’t be bothered getting your phone out of your pocket, you want to keep track of the latest football scores via Forza or you simply want an easier way to start and stop voice memo recording, there’s likely to be an Apple Watch app available to help you do it. No other smartwatch can touch the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + 4G) for sheer flexibility, and you can expect more and more apps to take advantage of that integrated 4G connectivity from EE, too.
The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + 4G) standard 38mm version is available free on a £25 per month Smart Watch plan, including unlimited data.
EE offers the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + 4G) from just £25 per month with unlimited data, and customers require an iPhone 6, SE (or later) on a EE pay monthly or EE SIM Only plan.