Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular): Good just became great
June 14, 2018

The cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 3 officially launches in the UAE tomorrow, June 15th, 2018.

Apple’s keynote last September not only introduced the awesome iPhone X but finally announced a cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 3. Cellular connectivity means that you no longer always have to bring your iPhone with you since it can independently operate without an iPhone.

But it doesn’t exactly replace your iPhone. Much like the GPS-only version, the Apple Watch simply acts as an extension of the iPhone. In a scenario where you would need to do your morning jog or afternoon run, you can simply wear your Apple Watch without the need to bring your iPhone. Cellular connectivity on the device means you can receive and make calls, send messages and even stream music.

The Apple Watch Series looks much like its predecessors. I’ve owned the first-gen Apple Watch along with a Series 2 and now the Series 3 and I couldn’t tell them apart when placed side-by-side. What makes the Series 3 better is the upgraded hardware that makes navigation buttery smooth. The internal updates and optimizations also mean you’d get better battery life. The cellular version of the Apple Watch also has a red Digital Crown.

It runs watchOS and is simply the best operating system for a wearable – dare I say even better than Android Wear or Fitbit OS. It offers various ways for you to track your exercise, not to mention subtle app extensions that let you use your favorite apps on the Apple Watch if supported.

Cellular connectivity is possible thanks to the eSIM inside the Apple Watch. It doesn’t use a physical SIM card, but the eSIM is retrofitted to work with any supported carrier. In the case of the UAE, Etisalat is the first network to support it.

Note that both the Apple Watch and your iPhone should be on the same network. You can set up the Apple Watch using the Watch app on the iPhone and that took around a couple of minutes to complete. Once done, there will be a new Cellular option inside the menu where you can activate cellular connectivity.

For Etisalat, you would need to pay a monthly fee of 25 AED (excluding VAT) to enable the service. But there’s good news for early adopters – if you sign up now you’ll get the first three months free. That’s just enough time for you to decide if you really need cellular connectivity on your Apple Watch. Note that cellular connectivity is only limited from within the country, so roaming is not supported. Note that since the eSIM is now tied to your primary number, data allowances and minutes will be charged against your current plan.

In my case, it somehow made everyday routines easier. Especially when I go out for a run, I prefer not to bring my iPhone but since my music is stored there and I wouldn’t want to miss any important calls, I don’t have a choice but to bring it along with me. In the past days, I had with the Apple Watch, bringing my iPhone was no longer necessary.

For such a small device, voice calls through the Apple’s Watch’s tiny speaker was loud, crisp and clear. The OLED screen was bright enough to read even under direct sunlight and the increasing improvements for watchOS will make it even better (I can’t wait to have the Podcast app on watchOS 5).

So is it worth it? For those points I’ve mentioned above, the Apple Watch Series Cellular simply lessens the need to always tether it with an iPhone. Others may find the GPS-only version good enough, and that’s completely fine. In the end, Apple is just giving you options.

It would never replace the iPhone that’s for sure, hence the Apple Watch is still an accessory that will always depend on it. But for the various and upcoming improvements on software along with this new cellular connectivity, the Apple Watch proves that it is one of the best smartwatches available.

The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will officially go on sale tomorrow in the UAE. 38 mm versions start at 1,679 AED while the 42 mm versions start at 1,784 AED.

We Love:

+ Excellent fitness tracking features

+ Intuitive operating system

We Hate:

– Only compatible with iPhones

Final Rating 4.5/5


by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. Passionate for all things tech - you’ll normally find him tinkering with the latest gadgets and computer peripherals. He is an avid collector of Blu-ray discs and occasionally plays on his Xbox.
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