Apple today unveiled an updated version of the Apple Watch with one big new feature: 4G connectivity. Dubbed the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple's latest wearable can be used independent of its paired smartphone thanks to an embedded eSIM.
Most of the Apple Watch Series 3's functionality will work over 4G: friends will still be able to call you and text you on the same number as your phone, you can access Maps, send messages through third party apps, and notably, you'll be able to stream music directly through Apple Music without having to store tracks on the Watch's internal storage (provided you've got a pair of Bluetooth headphones with you).
Other than 4G connectivity, the Apple Watch Series 3 is mostly a minor refresh. The only other notable improvements include a new processor that’s 70% faster than last year's model, and a barometric altimeter for extra fitness data. The Apple Watch Series 3 is almost identical in design to previous models, and is still compatible with the same bands.
Telstra and Optus will both support the 4G Apple Watch at launch, and Vodafone will join in later this year. We're not yet sure what the go will be when it comes to other telcos. If you actually want to use your Apple Watch on a phone network, it will need to be with the same provider as your iPhone. Local telcos have yet to provide any details on what you'll need to pay to get your Apple Watch connected to their networks.
As with the new iPhones, Apple Watch Series 3 pre-orders will kick off on September 15 ahead of a release on September 22. The 4G version will initially be available through Telstra and Optus, and Vodafone will range it at a later date.
Pricing for the 4G Apple Watch Series 3 is as follows:
- 38mm 4G Apple Watch Series 3 (Aluminum): $559
- 42mm 4G Apple Watch Series 3 (Aluminum): $599
- 38mm 4G Apple Watch Series 3 (Stainless Steel): From $849
- 42mm 4G Apple Watch Series 3 (Stainless Steel): From $919
- 38mm 4G Apple Watch Edition Series 3 (Ceramic): $1,829
- 42mm 4G Apple Watch Edition Series 3 (Ceramic): $1,899
Opting for the non-4G variant will save you a little:
- 38mm Apple Watch Series 3 (Aluminum): $459
- 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 (Aluminum): $499
Apple will also continue to sell the Apple Watch Series 1 as a entry-level product.
- 38mm Apple Watch Series 1 (Aluminum): $359
- 42mm Apple Watch Series 1 (Aluminum): $399