The new Apple Watch comes with a lot of goodies, including a much-faster CPU, support for streaming Apple Music and an altimeter.
The biggest upgrade is the inclusion of LTE. Using the same phone number as its paired iPhone, this allows the Watch to receive and make calls on its own. For those of us who run and bike with an Apple Watch, this is a big deal. If I upgrade, I can leave my iPhone behind and know that people can get ahold of me via text or phone call if needed. Moreover, I could call 911 if needed.
In a clever move, the Series 3 uses the display as the antenna. The watch is the same size as the outgoing Series 2, despite the addition of the LTE radio, antenna, embedded SIM and more. Sadly, all LTE Watches use the red Digital Crown, which I don’t think I like.
This data connection also means Siri is always available, and thanks to the new hardware, it can now reply with its voice, not just text on the screen.
Here’s how the pricing breaks down for Series 3 aluminum models:
- 38mm – From $329
- 42mm – From $359
- 38mm with LTE – From $399
- 42mm with LTE – From $429
The Series 1 is still around, from $249.
Stainless steel models are only available with LTE, and start at $599 and $649 for the two sizes.
The Edition models are still for sale. The white ceramic Watch is joined by a gray ceramic model for 2017. The 38mm is $1,299 and the 42 is $1349.
Apple also spoke about watchOS 4, which will be released on September 19. For the first time, Apple shared that the update includes an updated Heart Rate app that includes and shows your heart rate during resting, workout, recovery, walking and even Breathe sessions, if you haven’t rage-quit those things yet. It can even send a notification if a user’s heart rate reaches a certain point without the user being active and detect an irregular heartbeat as part of a forthcoming Apple Heart Study in conjunction with Stanford.