Welcome to the Apple Watch Series 3 watch review in 2020. The Apple Watch series 3 is now the cheapest smartwatch you can buy with a Apple brand and in my seeming quest to find the best health fitness wearable I have now got one to match my iPhone. The Series 3 version was released in 2017 so is quite old but still being sold officially at stores as the entry level model.
In terms of build quality the Watch 3 is very good. It’s a minimalist build that is almost 2 rectangles of Lindt chocolates without the wrapping in size. At least for the base 38mm version. The 42mm version is physically bigger yet screen size is not noticeably bigger so pointless. The metal parts look and feel like high quality plastic and the screen reflective when not on but in a high quality plastic way rather than glass.
In terms of design the Apple Watch is not stylish – it is not a ‘timepiece’ it is a piece of tech. It is a noticeably large rectangular piece of tech. The Apple watch looks like a hospital tag or location tracker – which is ironic to non-Apple fans. Beauty is a personal thing but there is no way that you can describe the Apple Watch as good looking or fashionable even with different colors or straps.
The first thing you notice is that the silicone bands that come with the watch feel amazing! They are soft and slippery yet sturdy all at the same time. You will also drop it the first time you try it on as the band design is quite awkward. You do get familiar but you will still need to look at which hole to put the pointy thing into.
There are many problems with the Apple Watch that really need to be fixed. The most serious problem with the Apple Watch is the actual user interface. While it is responsive and smooth it is not logical and not in line with the iPhone. The most obvious example is the menu screen, which is a bunch of icons that can mean any number of things but not what you want. It is not intuitive having to remember the design of App icons. Apple should be sued for causing vision problems.
The next major Apple Watch problem is the inability to play music through the speaker. Try searching the internet on this fatal flaw and problem and all you get are pointless over wordy non-related and complicated non- answers. NO the Apple Watch cannot play music stored on the device through the speaker. It needs a Bluetooth headset or phone. Apple has decided that the sound quality of the Apple Watch built in speaker is not good enough or rather your haven’t paid enough for the function.
There are problems with the watch faces. There are NO third party watch faces you can try or buy. You only have the same set as every other Apple Watch on the planet. Yes you can customize the watch faces with additional info displays which they tell everyone to call ‘complications’. Complications is a watch term used to describe real mechanical complexity rather than just adding another display. No wonder watch fans are furious for Apple to downgrade the term.
There are not many Apps for the Apple Watch despite what every reviewer claims – without any proof. Rather every claimed App is just a reorganized data display available on the standard Apple Health, weather and mapping App. Most are actually 2nd displays for the iPhone App. Also note that you require 2 separate Apps for the Apple Watch to work. Which is the same number as Samsung’s current effort.
In terms of health functions the Apple Watch cannot automatically tell if you are exercising. Sometimes it pops a notification but 99% of the time it simply can’t work it out. You have to manually tell it to turn on and tell it what exercise you are doing.
Don’t get me started about breathing reminders. The Apple Watch is unable to tell if you actually alive. You see the Apple Watch is missing a blood oxygen sensor which other smartwatches have had for years.
As for the heavily publicized ECG – it’s pure marketing. The Apple watch can’t work out your exercising or breathing how can you expect it to work out you have a heart failure? Part of the reason is the battery life of the Apple Watch, which is not very good – 24 hours is all you can expect if you wear it. So you can’t really use it all day then as a sleep tracker without charging it twice a day.
The conclusion to the review is that the Apple Watch is for Apple fans willing to put up with the problems and short falls. The Apple Watch is a basic health tracker in fancy case. Cheaper devices have more functionality as standard. Apart from it’s corporate greed mentality the lack of criticism based on my own research on the internet there is also the big problems of real reviewers fearing backlash from Apple Fans have carefully avoided bringing up it’s shortfalls have really limited it’s development. In the end there are better options for the price.
Apple Watch – Positives
It works well as a basic heart rate, step and distance counter.
It works well as a notification device.
Very good build quality.
Apple Watch – Negatives
User interface is not intuitive – you need to actually learn it specifically.
Battery life is very poor.
You cannot really use it for travel or sleep track.
Health monitoring – under average.
Overpriced for what it is even the – Series 3.
Two different Apps to make it work and 3 if you find the default App lacking.