If you bought a new Apple Watch Series 3, you might find that you will run into some connectivity issues. What’s interesting is that the device, which is LTE enabled, would often struggle to join a cellular network. Instead, it would remain “hung up” on random Wi-Fi signals. Lauren Goode, with The Verge, tested out the new Apple Watch and here is what she had to say.
While writing my review of the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE capabilities, I experienced notable connectivity issues. The new Watch appeared to try to connect to unknown WiFi networks instead of connecting to cellular, when I was out and about without my phone.
The two questions that she poses to readers are the following: How much are you willing to pay for a gadget that offers intermittent convenience? And how much are you willing to pay for what feels like a little bit of insurance, just in case you need cellular connectivity and your phone isn’t nearby or charged? Both valid questions. Which makes me wonder – is that all the Apple Watch 3 is good for? Convenience and a little bit of insurance? Surely, there is more to the new device than just that?
And there is, but Goode is right when it comes to the LTE aspect of the watch. It does all of the things that your other Apple Watch can do (for the most part), but now it also lets you connect to the internet, and make calls without having to access your phone. Apple is promising you an “untethered” experience which can be achieved because of LTE, but how useful is this? Goode characterizes a smartwatch as the ability to let you go for a run, or buy a coffee, or simply step away from your phone and still be connected. She also suggests that this is all “in theory”. Because that’s not what happened in her experience.
Goode explains that the Watch itself felt faster. Apple claims that the watch can perform 70% faster in doing common tasks, and that’s what Goode experienced when it came to switching between apps, opening up calendar appointments and saving her workouts. She notes that the Apple Watch 1 was painfully slow. Which is something that I can attest to. But she emphasizes that there are some serious connectivity issues with the Watch.
“It became apparent after my first full day using the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE that something wasn’t right. My review Watch was paired with an iPhone 8 and was on an AT&T wireless plan. In one of my initial tests, I went for a walk with the phone on airplane mode, and tried to send text messages and use Siri to initiate phone calls through the Watch. Those didn’t work. I tried asking Siri basic questions. That didn’t work. Siri also wasn’t “talking back” to me, something that’s supposed to be a new feature on the Series 3 Watch.”
She got a replacement watch from Apple, and suddenly Siri was now audibly responding. Apple later said that it was attributed to the fact that the first batch of preproduction units hadn’t been set up properly with Siri. She goes on to explain that even though she got the new watch, that doesn’t mean the connectivity issues went away completely. On more than one occasion, she was detached from her phone, and unable to connect to LTE.
Which makes you wonder what’s the point of the new Watch then? Will all the new devices have connectivity issues or just the “preproduction” versions of the devices? I think the device looks incredible, but I have been “concerned” with the LTE all along. And Goode’s review of the Watch makes me wonder if it will, in fact, work. To me that’s going to be a big selling feature with this version. But at this stage of the game, we shouldn’t be asking ourselves if it works. It should work. The reviews should identify how it works and what’s so amazing about it.