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A Step Forward

With watchOS 4 and improved hardware, the Apple Watch Series 3 is a better fitness companion.
twitter-logo Nidhi Singal   New Delhi     Print Edition: November 5, 2017
A Step Forward

The Apple Watch has been a reliable smartwatch for workouts (despite competition from Fitbit bands), and now, with the Apple Watch Series 3, the company has taken it a notch higher.

The one launched in India has updated features and GPS. Apple has also launched a cellular variant abroad which can receive calls and SMSes even when the iPhone is not around, but at an additional cost.

It is ideal for tracking indoor walk, outdoor walk, outdoor run, outdoor cycling, indoor run, indoor cycling, workouts using elliptical and rower trainers, stair stepper machines, high-intensity interval training and swimming. I was able to add multiple workouts in a single session and also change the music track with a single swipe. The watch was smart enough to pause the workout when I stopped moving and resumed as soon as I started again. At the end of the session, the smartwatch showed the number of calories burned in individual sessions, total workout time, active calories and total calories, among other stats.

The barometric altimeter is capable of measuring your altitude when hiking, climbing stairs or skiing. The watchOS 4 has an updated Heart Rate app which measures heart rate during rest, workout, recovery, walk and also when using the Breathe app. It also sends a notification if your heart rate is elevated or abnormal when you are inactive. It pairs instantly with select gym equipment that have NFC readers making seamless data exchange possible.

With the updated OS comes a proactive Siri watch face that provides relevant information on the go. For instance, it suggested that I walk for another five minutes to close the workout circuit, showed me upcoming events, fetched weather forecast and more.

While the Apple Watch Series 3 looks similar to the previous generation watches, it is significantly faster in launching apps and even while responding to touch input, thanks to the S3 dual-core processor. The new W2 wireless chip is said to deliver faster Wi-Fi performance. True to its claim of offering a full-day battery life, the Apple Watch Series 3 lasted a day with 30 per cent charge still left.

Though the Apple Watch Series 3 boasts significant updates, users of the previous gen Apple smartwatch (Watch Series 2) can give it a miss.

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