The $199 Apple Watch Series 3 is a shockingly good deal

Last week, Apple revealed the new Series 5 Apple Watch. It follows last year’s new design, with small bezels, better speakers and a great display. It starts at $399 respectively. However, Apple made a move that shocked most of us – they heavily discounted the Series 3 Watch to only $199, moving it into Fitbit range.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is only two years old. It has good performance, compatibility with watchOS 6 (and future updates) compete with a dated but good design. It has thick bezels, squared corners, and it’s thicker, but, it still looks premium other many other brands – Fitbit included.

Although the Series 4 and Series 5 gain more functionality in watchOS software updates, like additional watch faces and noise meter, the Series 3 is still in Apple’s lineup. This new $199 (or lower!) price tag will almost definitely put a dent in Fitbit’s market, and it’s been priced to compete.

Now, Fitbit does offer standard heart rate, steps, calories, and sleep tracking, all that the Apple Watch offers, (bar built-in sleep tracking), but Apple’s is more motivational, easier to track, and most features work to a higher standard. For example, the heart-rate tracking on the Watch can alert you to unexpected rate drops or increases, and even save your life.

Series 3 also brings cellular to your wrist, on selected models, and allows you to do all the basic things that every other Apple Watch can do, including

  • view, respond to and create iMessages
  • answer or start a call
  • read and reply to email
  • set timers, alarms and check clocks

But if you’re coming from Fitbit, it can do so much more:

  • Use Siri to ask about weather, travel and general information
  • Withdraw cash using Apple Pay and Wallet
  • Sync music to or from AirPods or an iPhone, and control it
  • Track endless types of workouts, including yoga, runs, cycling and lots more
  • Control smart home devices using Home app
  • Track swimming and lengths using the water-mode
  • Check News, Maps, Calendar and other iPhone apps
  • Give general heart rate alerts (but not ECG)

In terms of design, it looks so much better, to a level where the Fitbit actually looks ugly. But, feature-wise, the Apple Watch 3 beats every other smartwatch out on the market at this moment (and will continue to do so). It’s so much more advanced in every way and the integration with iPhone is simply flawless.

The verdict – if you’re new to the Apple Watch, and you don’t wish for slightly advanced health-tracking, larger display and numerous smaller changes, the Series 3 at $199 is a no-brainer.

We want to know what you think

Do you own a Series 3 Apple Watch? We want your say on this – do you agree with this move from Apple, to increase lower-end smartwatch competition? Let us know on our social media.

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Ben Ward

Senior Editor, discussing everything Apple and supporting other writers and members of Apple TLD's team of volunteers.

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