Apple Watch Series 3 Review

Apple Watch Series 3 Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The headline feature of Apple Watch Series 3 is LTE connectivity
  • But the LTE model is not available in India
  • The new Apple Watch delivers improvements in overall performance

Apple announced its entry into the wearables market when it unveiled the Apple Watch a little over three years ago. At the launch event, Apple positioned the Watch as a bit of an all-in-one accessory that could be your comprehensive health and fitness device, but it was also designed to let you “connect and communicate directly from your wrist” using new “intimate ways” like the rather awkward Digital Touch. In many ways, the original Apple Watch tried to be too many things for too many people; a departure from most first-generation Apple products that typically have fewer features than the competition, but rely on execution and attention to detail to win customers over.

The product was largely well-reviewed, though many, including us, questioned whether most people actually need a smartwatch. While Apple has been silent on the number of units it has sold to date, the Apple Watch seems to be the best selling smartwatch by all accounts, with some even saying Apple is now the biggest watchmaker in the world.

Physically, the Apple Watch might not have changed much, but there’s no doubt that both Apple and the consumers now see the smartwatch as a fitness-focussed device, with everything else intended to complement those functions. Apple has admitted this has been in response to user feedback based on how people were actually using the Watch out in the wild.

Last year, Apple enhanced the fitness credentials of the Apple Watch by adding GPS and water resistance, making the Series 2 a better standalone companion for runners, while opening it up to use by swimmers. This year’s big update – called Apple Watch Series 3 – brings optional cellular connectivity, an altimeter, and a faster Apple S3 chip as well as more RAM, all of which pave the way for some cool new features. Note that the GPS + Cellular variant of the new Apple Watch isn’t available in India (yet) as it uses a built-in eSIM that doesn’t seem to be very popular with the Indian telcos. For this review, we received the non-cellular variant (or GPS, as Apple calls it) of the Apple Watch Series 3.

apple watch series 3 back Apple Watch

We noted in our review of the original Apple Watch that the 42mm model is rather chunky and something that will definitely be noticed on your wrist. We also predicted that this would improve as the Watch goes down the path of ‘thinner and lighter’ that’s almost inevitable for most Apple products. A little more two years later, we are still waiting for that evolution, since Apple has stuck to the same design language, and, in fact, the 42mm Stainless Steel Apple Watch Series 3 is marginally bigger and heavier than its counterpart from a couple of years ago.

As we mentioned earlier, since the original launch, Apple has managed to cram a GPS sensor, an LTE modem, and an altimeter into the Apple Watch, while also updating it with faster processors and more RAM, and making it water resistant. Given these additions, we are not surprised that the Apple Watch retains its ‘bulk’, though we believe that a new design might well arrive with the next iteration.

The new Watch is powered by Apple’s brand new S3 dual-core processor, which promises up to 70 percent more performance, and in our experience, the Watch delivered on this promise. Apps launch a lot faster than before, and switching between apps via the Dock no longer feels like a painful process. The speed benefits are especially evident when using Siri. While on our first-generation Apple Watch it wasn’t uncommon to have to wait a couple of seconds after saying ‘Hey Siri’, the newest Watch is ready to listen to your command almost instantly.

Processing the commands themselves isn’t that much faster, as we found in side-by-side comparisons with the original Watch, but the entire process definitely feels a lot more responsive, which can be the difference between people giving Siri a try one time and then forgetting about it, and them coming back to it every day. We found ourselves using Siri a lot more with the Series 3 Watch, be it for setting a quick reminder, or to check when Liverpool FC is playing next.

apple watch series 3 siri Apple Watch

Another big change with Siri is that it can now talk back to you, just like on the iPhone and iPad, which is great, as you no longer need to keep staring at the Watch to see its response. If you are not a fan of this feature, or if you don’t want others eavesdropping on your conversations with Siri, you can set it to speak only when you have your headphones on, or to take its cue from the silent mode on your Watch, via the Settings in the Watch app on your iPhone.

The Apple Watch Series 3 also includes an Apple-designed W2 wireless chip that claims to boost Wi-Fi speeds up to 85 percent, while making both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi communication up to 50 percent more power efficient. While it’s hard to test some of these claims, we did find that the Series 3 Watch did a better job at things like handling calls over Wi-Fi when we were away from our iPhone.

In our review of the Apple Watch Series 2, we pointed out that the lack of an altimeter was a problem for serious runners, as elevation changes during workouts couldn’t be recorded unless you carried your iPhone along. The Series 3 fixes that, with the addition of a barometric altimeter. Not only can your Watch now track elevation changes during a run, but your daily activity summary now also includes “Flights Climbed” data that is being sourced from the Watch itself. If it sounds like this feature isn’t exactly new, it’s because your Watch was earlier capable of reading this data from your paired iPhone, which has included a barometer since the iPhone 6.

We found the flights climbed data tracking to be fairly accurate, and our experience with GPS accuracy and the rest of the activity tracking and fitness-focussed features was pretty similar to what we’ve seen with previous Apple Watch variants. We encourage you to read our reviews of the original Apple Watchand the Series 2 if you are curious about the subject.

The Apple Watch Series 3 ships with watchOS 4, which we’ve covered elsewhere, but it does have a couple of features worth touching upon here. Instead of the ‘boring’ pop-ups that simply updated you on your activity for the day, the Watch now mixes things up by telling you whether you are making good progress compared to an average day, or if you are “usually further along” on most days. Towards the end of the day, it gives even more specific messages such as telling you that a brisk 11 minute walk will close all your rings, which can be pretty motivating. The animations that you see as a ‘reward’ for closing your ring(s) are now a lot more elaborate, something we came to appreciate.

watchOS 4 introduces new watch faces including the Siri watch face, Toy Story, and Kaleidoscope. You also get a redesigned Workout app and a new High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout type. Your Apple Watch (including Series 2) is now also able to automatically detect the kind of swimming stroke you used during a session. This lets you see a neat breakdown with the time and distance you spent alternating between different kinds of strokes; a touch that swimmers will really appreciate.

apple watch swimming Apple Watch

The watchOS 4.1 update also added the ability to stream music from the cloud via Apple Music directly on the Apple Watch. The feature works on both Wi-Fi and LTE variants of the Watch, but in our opinion, it would be a lot more useful on the latter.

We’d like to see watchOS open a little bit more and add support for third-party watch faces, similar to Android Wear. So far, Apple has done a good job of finding the right balance between adding features and optimising battery life, and one wonders if a future Apple Watch will have features like an (optional) always-on display.

Apple claims all-day battery life with the Series 3, and the Watch constantly topped that expectation during our review period. We easily got two days of life out of each full charge, with tons of notifications popping up on our Watch throughout the day, but with admittedly limited workout sessions, so we weren’t really using GPS for the most part. Our long-term experience with the Series 2 and the original Apple Watch shows that even after one and two years respectively, you should get at least one-day battery life without any problems even if you lead a more active lifestyle.

The process of untethering the Apple Watch from the iPhone started when the Series 2 added GPS functionality, and it continues with the Series 3 bringing in an altimeter and LTE, though the latter isn’t available in India yet. Starting at Rs. 29,900 for the 38mm model with Aluminium Case and Sport Band (the one pictured above is the Anthracite/ Black Nike Sport Band) and Rs. 31,900 for the 42mm equivalent, the Series 3 Apple Watch isn’t exactly cheap, but the launch prices are lower than that of the previous generation. As with earlier models, you will need to have an iPhone to set up and use the Apple Watch.

If you lead an active lifestyle and fitness-focussed features are the main attraction, the latest Apple Watch is a great pick. Apple also still officially sells the slightly less expensive (but slower) Series 1, but you would miss out on features like GPS, altimeter, water resistance, and Siri that talks, so you are better off buying the latest model if you can afford it.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Improved performance
  • Altimeter
  • watchOS 4 adds useful features

Cons

  • LTE version not available in India

Ratings

  • Design: 4
  • Performance: 4.5
  • Value for money: 4
  • Overall: 4.5

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Things 3 Is Great at Helping You Get the Job Done

Things 3 Is Great at Helping You Get the Job Done

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Things 3 is a “getting things done” app
  • It’s available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
  • It’s expensive, but the design is excellent and it works very well

Every single day, we find ourselves saddled with countless small tasks to complete, errands to run, mails to send, and in general — things to do. Almost always, we end up forgetting one thing or another and that wastes a lot of time. We’ve tried a lot of different ways to avoid this — a to-do list in a notebook, basic reminder apps, and even a proper “getting things done” (GTD) app in Todoist.

For various reasons, all of these approaches have failed us eventually. We kept forgetting to write things down in our notebook, Apple’s Reminders app was too basic, and we aren’t big fans of Todoist’s design – or its subscription model. Things weren’t looking good, at least until Cultured Code released Things 3.

Cultured Code’s design prowess is well-known and the company has done a stellar job yet again with Things 3. This writer been using the app on iPhone and Mac for over a month and it’s certainly become a vital part of his life.

When you first fire up Things 3 on any platform, you’re going to notice how clean it looks. You’ll see “Today” or “Upcoming” or the title of your project in a large font size right at the top and all of your tasks below. There’s just the right amount of gap between the heading and your tasks, and between different tasks themselves. It doesn’t feel like these are sticking to each other and it definitely doesn’t feel like there’s a massive chasm between these either.

things 3 iphone projects Things 3

The way Cultured Code has used white space is commendable as it keeps the design from feeling cluttered. Ideally, a GTD app should remind you about pending tasks, but if it’s cluttered it starts to feel intimidating and then we feel there’s a high chance of people abandoning the app altogether. Not with Things 3, where every design choice feels deliberate and tastefully executed.

On the iPhone, Things 3 is a pretty straightforward app. It lets you add tasks, create projects, and you can even use the share sheet to add tasks from other apps. If you’re browsing the Web or watching videos online, you can send the link straight to Things 3 via the share sheet. You can even share your tasks and checklists to other apps.

One of the best features of Things 3 on iPhone is its 3D Touch implementation. If you have an iPhone 6S or a newer iPhone, you can hard press the Things 3 icon hard to reveal a neat widget where you can mark up to two tasks as complete. You can also use 3D Touch to create a new task, jump to the Today page, and jump to Quick Find (for searching within the app).

Things 3 for Mac

We love using Things 3 on iPhone, but the Mac app is where it really shines. Not only have the developers used the extra screen space very well, but they’ve also added a bunch of small features that wouldn’t be possible on iPhone. For instance, pressing Ctrl + option + space in certain apps such as Safari or Mail, opens a Things 3 pop-up with a link to the website or email added. You can quickly add webpages or emails to your to-do list via this shortcut.

things 3 mac logbook Things 3

Similarly, you can use the Ctrl + space shortcut in any app to add a task manually to Things 3. When you set a reminder for a task, the notification stays on your Mac’s screen until you either snooze or dismiss it. We feel any good GTD app should be good at nagging you until you get the job done, and based on our experience of using it to manage work tasks, Things 3 is good at this.

The developers have created neat tutorial projects to familiarise new users with the app and all its features. We found these extremely useful and learned about several advanced features that have now become a part of our daily workflow.

When you mark a task complete, it changes the font colour from black to grey for a couple of seconds, before moving to the the Logbook (where all completed tasks go). This allows you time to uncheck the task if you’ve accidentally marked it complete. When you create a project, the icon is a circle which slowly fills up like a pie chart as you complete tasks under that project. Lots of small touches like this make Things 3’s design feel tastefully designed.

Cultured Code uses its own Things Cloud to sync your tasks across devices. It works just fine and we had no issues whatsoever with syncing tasks and projects across devices.

things 3 mac quick entry Things 3

At the moment, Things 3 doesn’t let you attach images or other files to your tasks. This feature would allow us to attach screenshots or important documents to our tasks, which would help a lot while researching for stories.

It also doesn’t allow you to create repeating reminders on an hourly basis. You can create daily, weekly, or monthly repeating reminders but not hourly ones. That makes it less useful if you want to set reminders for drinking water or to remind yourself to stop working nonstop and take a break.

Things 3 is not for everyone. It’s available only on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. You need to buy it separately on iPhone (Rs. 800), iPad (Rs. 1,600), and Mac (Rs. 4,000), so it’s definitely not cheap. But if you value good design and you need a GTD app for your Apple devices, Things 3 is an absolute must-have.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has promised to expand manufacturing in the US with 3 new plants
  • Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund
  • Apple has 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that US President Donald Trump said Apple has promised to expand manufacturing at home with three new US plants.

The Journal quoted Trump as saying that Apple chief executive Tim Cook committed to building “three big plants,” in the United States.

No details were provided, and Apple did not respond to an AFP request for comment.

Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund to get more people in the US to do “advanced manufacturing,” kicking it off with a billion dollars.

Apple building plants in the United States would come as rare common ground with Trump.

Cook has pointed out that Apple spent more than $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,22,155 crores) in the United States last year – buying from suppliers such as Corning Glass, working with developers behind applications for the California company’s devices and more.

Apple has about 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more “in the future,” according to Cook.

It is a sign of Apple’s success but also a thorny problem: a cash stockpile topping a quarter of a trillion dollars, sparking debate on what do with such massive reserves.

The tech giant has resisted the idea of bringing the cash home, because the US tax code allows multinational firms to defer profits while they are held overseas but taxes income at up to 35 percent when repatriated.

Trump vowed while campaigning that he would force Apple to bring production to US soil.

Apple is not in the same position as automakers which relocated US factories overseas to cut costs, IHS manufacturing processes chief analyst Dan Panzica told AFP earlier this year. Apple never moved jobs offshore, it created them there.

“The Apple jobs were never here,” Panzica said.

“The entire supply chain grew in China.”

Apple benefits in Asia from a network that goes beyond subcontractors assembling smartphones, tablets or laptops. The firm relies on a dense ecosystem of companies that make components and spare parts for its devices as well.

China also offers sources of important raw materials, along with cheap, flexible and abundant labor to keep iPhone assembly lines cranking along.

It would be challenging to replicate that situation with US workers without using more robotics, undermining the political aim of creating jobs here, according to some analysts.

Moving iPhone manufacturing to the US would also likely push up costs, which is not in Apple’s interests.

It was seen as more likely that Apple would make a symbolic move to appease Washington, such as investing more in making Mac Pro computers here, or in a facility for higher-priced, limited-edition devices such as an “anniversary edition iPhone” to mark the handset’s 10th birthday this year.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Nokia 3 Review

Nokia 3 Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Nokia 3 is priced at Rs. 9,499
  • It is only available at offline stores
  • Gadgets 360 rates the phone 6 out of 10

The Nokia 3, the most affordable of the three new Nokia-branded Android smartphones, was launched in India last month. It is the first smartphone with the Nokia name to hit the Indian market in a long time, but it’s worth pointing out that it hasn’t been manufactured by Nokia itself. The company that once dominated global smartphone sales is getting a second shot at the mobile business thanks to a brand licensing agreement with HMD Global, a Helsinki-based company run largely by former Nokia and Microsoft employees. As per the deal announced last year, HMD Global has an exclusive global license to create and sell Nokia-branded phones for 10 years. The company has been betting heavily on the Nokia brand’s power, and fans have been looking forward to the devices which are now finally here.

The rebooted Nokia 3310 was the first to be made available in India and received mixed response. The other two Android smartphones are the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, which are yet to be made available in India. These four Nokia phones were the biggest announcements at MWC 2017, but it will only translate into sales if the products are good enough.

HMD Global has been marketing the Nokia 3 to buyers looking for a good design and “pure Android with regular updates” at a budget price. The Nokia 3 has been priced aggressively to take on the some of the heavyweights in the Indian market. However, it will have a tough fight ahead of it, as HMD Global needs to find its place in the Indian market and compete with popular phones like the Xiaomi Redmi 4, Moto G5, and Yu Yureka Black. The Nokia 3 is being marketed as the “Android phone with all the smartphone essentials” but will that be enough? We take a look.

 

Nokia 3 design

The Nokia 3 arrived at our lab in a playful white retail box which reminded us of the old Nokia days. The phone has a resemblance to the Lumia range of Windows Mobile-powered phones, but only in terms of design as the Nokia 3 runs Android. If you are in the market or searching for a phone online, you will see options priced under Rs. 10,000 with all-metal unibodies and they look more or less similar – whether it’s the Yu Yureka Black or the Xiaomi Redmi 4. In our opinion, the Nokia 3 brings freshness to the budget segment. While the Nokia 3 doesn’t have an all-metal body, the quality of polycarbonate used for the back and its metal frame still make the design good overall. It’s minimalist without feeling cheap.

The feel of the phone in a hand is one of the best we have experienced in this segment. Throughout our review period, we used the Nokia 3 with just one hand without being afraid of dropping it. The squarish shape of the phone offers a great grip from all angles. Our review unit was a Matte Black version of the Nokia 3, and it is also available in Silver White. The power and volume buttons are on the right and were painted black to match the phone’s body.

On the left, you’ll find the dedicated slots for two SIM cards and a microSD card, which is good to see as many other manufacturers offer hybrid slots at this price point. The bottom has the standard charging port plus a speaker grille, while the top has the 3.5mm audio jack. If you look closely, antenna bands are visible on the top and bottom of the Nokia 3, but they blend in with the colour of the phone. There are Nokia logos on the front as well back, just like older Nokia devices.

nokia 3 branding nokia

Typing on this phone was easy enough, and at 8.48mm thick, it’s actually thinner than the Redmi 4, but the latter has a much bigger battery. During the review period, we found that the power and volume rocker buttons were placed slightly too high and we had to stretch to reach them while using the phone with one hand. We also missed a fingerprint scanner, which has become almost a standard feature on smartphones, even at this price level. We feel that this is a significant omission for the Nokia 3. The capacitive Android navigation buttons are not backlit which means you could have a hard time finding them in the dark.

Inside the Nokia 3 retail box, you will get a quick start guide, earphones, a charger, USB cable, and a SIM ejector tool apart from the phone itself.

Nokia 3 specifications and software

The Nokia 3 features a 5-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels and 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. The phone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM. It has 16GB of storage which can be expanded using a microSD card (up to 128GB). There are 8-megapixel cameras at the front and back. The rear camera features an f/2.0 aperture, autofocus, and an LED flash. The front camera, on the other hand, also has autofocus and an 84-degree field of view. The phone packs a non-removable 2630mAh battery. 4G and VoLTE (voice over LTE) are supported, and connectivity options include USB-OTG, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

The Nokia 3 is among few smartphones in the budget category to offer stock Android Nougat. It offers all the bells and whistles one can expect from a stock Android device such as bundled notifications where users get group notifications from a single app instead of multiple ones; the ability to reply to messages from the notification pop-up; notification management, which allows users to disable or silence notifications from individual apps; quick app switching with just a double-tap on the Overview button, and an all-new Settings app. Split-screen multitasking, which allows you to use two apps simultaneously, is also supported. The Nokia 3 supports Google Assistant out-of-the-box, which is yet to arrive on many other phones in the same price segment.

nokia 3 ui nokia

Apart from monthly security updates, HMD Global has also promised that the Nokia 3 (as well as the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6) will receive Android O when it’s available.

Nokia 3 performance and camera

The Nokia 3 fares well in day-to-day usage. Despite using it for GPS navigation and long gaming sessions, the phone didn’t get warm, which is another advantage of the polycarbonate back.

However, we felt could feel the phone slowing down a bit while multitasking and we experienced some lags when switching from one app to another when there were over 12 apps open in the background. The phone was able to handle light games with ease, but graphics-heavy ones like Need for Speed: No Limits did slow down, which was annoying. The phone was able to play a range of video and audio files without any hiccups.

nokia 3 sim slots nokia

The single loudspeaker works well enough in a small room, and its clarity is decent. The bundled earphones are also good enough. We like to point out that the Nokia 3 is one of only a few phones that actually has bundled earphones in the box.

The 5-inch display on the Nokia 3 has excellent colour reproduction and brightness. We liked watching videos on the Nokia 3 and felt that this is among the better screens we’ve seen in the budget segment in terms of sunlight legibility and viewing angles. It’s worth pointing out, however, that phones such as the Yu Yureka Black offer full-HD screens at prices lower than the Nokia 3.

The Nokia 3 didn’t really impress us with its benchmark results. It managed only 27,432 in AnTuTu, 15,020 overall in Quadrant, and 10fps in GFXBench. The Xiaomi Redmi 4 (Review) and Yu Yureka Black (Review) gave better results in the same tests.

The 8-megapixel rear camera does okay in good lighting conditions, and autofocusing is quick as well. The samples we took in good light turned out to have decent levels of detail and controlled noise in the corners when zoomed in. However, we found that darker parts of the samples did lose details while large areas were often overexposed. At times, there were slight white balance inaccuracies in images as well. The Nokia 3 has an HDR mode though we noticed that it didn’t always kick in when required, and we felt that it could have helped in several cases. Unfortunately, low-light shots came out badly. Autofocus locking was slow, and the samples we took lacked detail while there was a lot of noise all over.

Tap to see full-sized Nokia 3 camera samples

The Nokia 3 supports 1080p video recording, and the quality is decent. The front camera on the phone also disappointed us, as despite its autofocus capability photos still came out blurry. You can use the Nokia 3 for a quick video call or casual selfies, but don’t expect a lot in terms of quality.

However, we liked the camera app which had a very easy-to-use interface with all major functions accessible in one tap. In beautify mode, the phone tries to improve photos by applying some corrections, but this isn’t always effective.

Nokia 3 battery life

The battery in the Nokia 3 lasted for roughly 16-18 hours of heavy usage which wasn’t a surprise, considering its 2630mAh capacity. We used the phone for roughly a week and we can say that it gave us better battery life when our usage was less demanding. Our HD video loop test lasted for 10 hours and 25 minutes which is good for a phone of this size. There’s no support for fast charging, and it took roughly two hours to get up to 100 percent which is longer than other phones with bigger batteries usually take.


Nokia 3 Android phone in pictures

Verdict
The Nokia 3 is now available in India priced at Rs. 9,499. It is a good-looking smartphone, and also supports 4G with VoLTE. One big positive point is that the company has promised future Android updates. Overall performance and camera results aren’t its biggest highlights. We also missed a fingerprint scanner, which really should be a standard feature now.

In our opinion, the Nokia 3 is best suited for first-time smartphone buyers and those looking for some experience with Android in general – if you can get this offline-only phone at a store near you. At this price, you could also go for the Xiaomi Redmi 4 or the Yu Yureka Black, both of which offer better all-around performance. The Asus ZenFone Live is another contender in the same price bracket.

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Nokia 3

Nokia 3

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Feels solid
  • Stock Android experience
  • Dedicated slots for SIMs and microSD card
  • Bad
  • Average overall performance
  • Camera quality is below par
  • No fingerprint scanner
Also See
  • Motorola Moto E4 Plus (Fine Gold, 32GB, 3GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 9,999
  • Motorola Moto G4 (White, 16GB) – 
    Rs. 9,999
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (Black, 16GB)
    Rs. 9,999

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