Apple is introducing its first smartwatch with cellular capabilities. The new Apple Watch Series 3 also features a new dual-core processor that the company says is 70 percent faster, and there’s a new W2 wireless chip for WiFi and Bluetooth and a barometric altimeter that can track stairs climbed, among other things for improved fitness tracking.
The Apple Watch Series 3’s biggest change though, is probably the support for cellular, since it allows you to interact with Apple’s ecosystem while leaving your phone at home. The watch uses the same phone number as your iPhone, allowing you to make and take calls without a phone. And you can stream Apple Music to Bluetooth headphones through the watch, allowing you to to listen when you’re at the gym or out for a run, without your phone.
Apple Maps also works on the go (assuming it works at all).
Apple says it packed the cellular features into a watch that’s just a hair thicker than the Apple Watch Series 2, thanks to a cellular antenna built into the display.
Want the faster processor and new wireless chip, but don’t need cellular? Apple will also offer a non-cellular model, with orders going live on September 15th and watches shipping on September 22nd.
The Apple Watch with cellular has a starting price of $399. The Series 3 without Cellular starts at $329. And the Apple Watch Series 1 is sticking around as an entry-level option at $249.
Along with the new watch, Apple is also updating its smartwatch operating system with watchOS 4, which rolls out for existing Apple Watch devices on September 19th.
Among other things, it includes new heart rate tracking features such as the ability to notify you if your heart rate is elevated when you’re inactive.