Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch 2: What’s different?

Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch 2: What’s different?

Is the third time really the charm?

Text: Rachel Au

Image: Apple

You’ve seen the new Apple Watch Series 3 but does it sound like it’s worth the upgrade?

Now that our excitement over the new iPhones has simmered down by five percent, we decided to take a closer look at Apple's next wave of smartwatches. The most obviously new feature on the Apple Watch Series 3 is the availability of an option with built-in cellular to truly stay connected on the go without your iPhone tagging along on your morning runs. What else? Read on for a detailed breakdown of the new (and not so new) features. 


The Apple Watch Series 3 comes in two models. 

One with GPS and cellular, and one with GPS.


How does the built-in cellular connection work? 

It requires a tiny eSIM that is over one-hundredth the size of a traditional SIM card. It will share the same number as your iPhone and with an industry-first antenna design, it's able to transmit and receive LTE signals. 

apple watch 3 cellular

What else can you do with the GPS + Cellular model? 

Besides receiving/making calls and sending texts, users will be able to stream music from Apple Music, straight from the wrist (pair it with AirPods for a more immersive experience). Of course, we foresee the list of capabilities growing in due time once app developers see its potential.


What else is new on the Apple Watch Series 3? 

The Watch is now equipped with a barometric altimeter that measures changes in altitude. This helps with tracking activity, flights climbed and outdoor workouts. Both models also feature a 70 percent faster dual-core processor (better performance) and a new wireless chip called W2. The latter makes Wi-Fi 85 percent faster as well as allow Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to be 50 percent more power efficient - essentially providing all-day battery life. 

apple watch 3 vs 2 malaysia specs

Does the Apple Watch Series 3 look different? 

No, not really. Except for the red digital crown on the cellular version, you wouldn't really be able to tell Watch 2 and Watch 3 apart. Like before, you can choose between a 38mm (1.5-inch display) or a 42mm watch case (1.65-inch display). In addition, the cellular model will have an exclusive "Explorer" watch face to show cellular connectivity.


Is the battery life better?

No, it's the same as its predecessor. 


Is its water resistance better?

No, it's the same as its predecessor. Up to 50 meters, users can take it along for "shallow-water activities such as swimming in the pool" but not for scuba diving, waterskiing and activities of the like. 

apple watch 3 hermes

The Apple Watch Series 3 will run on watchOS 4.

You'll be able to update the Apple Watch Series 2 to this OS as well where most of the software upgrades are the most prominent such as an updated Heart Rate app and an enhanced Workout app.


Fun fact: Apple is continuing Series 1 at a new starting price of US$249, making it more affordable, and has silently discontinued (if we may term it that way) Series 2 as the second-gen Watch is nowhere in sight on the Apple site(s). However, we guess the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) model is a great replacement if you're specifically looking for something similar to Series 2.

apple watch series 3 specs

What colours are there?

The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will be available in gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel. 

The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) will be available in gold, silver or space grey aluminium cases with a Sport Band. 


The Apple Watch Series 3 models will be available from as well as select Apple Authorised Resellers and carriers (prices may vary). Dates to be revealed soon so stay tuned. For more info, visit the website.


*Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) beginning 15 September with availability beginning 22 September in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, the UK and the US, with other countries following next year.


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