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”]

Moto X4 India Launch Set for Today, Watch Live Stream Here

Moto X4 India Launch Set for Today, Watch Live Stream Here

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Moto X4 price in India is expected to start from Rs. 23,999
  • The smartphone was originally unveiled at IFA 2017
  • Moto X4 was originally planned for an October 3 India launch

Moto X4 India launch is scheduled for Monday, at a New Delhi event scheduled to begin at 2:30pm IST. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for more details from the Moto X4 India launch event, as they happen. The smartphone was one of the first to come with inbuilt support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, and based on Android 7.1 Nougat, it of course also supports Google Assistant. Other highlights include IP68 water and dust resistance. So far, the expected Moto X4 price in India has been leaked – Rs. 23,999. This is significantly lower than the EUR 399 (roughly Rs. 30,300) price tag given to it at its launch during IFA 2017. To note, the Moto X4 was originally supposed to launch on October 3, before being delayed. We also know the smartphone will be a Flipkart exclusive. You can watch the live stream of the Moto X4 launch below.

 

Moto X4 specifications, features

The Moto X4 runs on Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box and sports a single-SIM slot (Nano) – however, the India variant can be expected to come with dual-SIM card support. It bears a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) LTPS IPS display with 424ppi pixel density and Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The smartphone is powered by the 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 octa-core SoC paired with Adreno 508 GPU and 3GB of RAM. Inbuilt storage is at 32GB, but there is scope for further expansion using the microSD card slot (up to 2TB).

ALSO SEEMoto X4 First Impressions

Another highlight of the Moto X4 is its dual rear camera setup, with one 12-megapixel dual autofocus sensor with f/2.0 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels, and one 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor with 120-degree field of view, f/2.2 aperture, and 1.12-micron pixels. The setup features a colour correlated temperature (CCT) dual-LED flash and PDAF. It brings a host of features like ultra-wide angle shot, professional mode, depth detection and depth effects, selective Focus, selective Black & White (beta), background replacement (beta), spot colour, landmark/object recognition, scan barcodes/QR codes/Business cards, panorama mode, slo-motion video, and best shot.

 

The Moto X4 has a 16-megapixel front camera with flash support, f/2.0 aperture, and 1-micron pixels. It comes with features like adaptive low light mode, selfie panorama, face filters, beautification mode, and professional mode.

Connectivity options on the Moto X4 include NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), GPS, GLONASS, 4G LTE, and FM radio support. The dimensions of the Moto X4 are at 148.35×73.4×7.99mm, and the smartphone weighs 163 grams. The smartphone sports an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, and proximity sensor. The Moto X4 packs a 3000mAh battery that claims to last all day, and even supports fast charging (six hours of power in 15 minutes).

moto x4 front gadgets360

The Moto X4 has a new three-finger screenshot gesture (along with other Moto experiences), and comes with an inbuilt password manager called Moto Key. The latest Bluetooth support brings the ability to allow it to sync with four speakers or headphones at one time. Notably, the Moto X4 doesn’t offer Moto Mods support.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Motorola Moto X4

Motorola Moto X4

Rs.20,999
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.20-inch

Processor

2.2GHz octa-core

Front Camera

16-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 7.1.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

BUY AT
  • Motorola Moto X4 (Super Black, 32GB, 3GB RAM)
    Rs.20,999
  • Motorola Moto X4 (Sterling Blue, 64GB, 4GB RAM)
    Rs.22,999
  • Motorola Moto X4 (Super Black, 64GB, 4GB RAM)
    Rs.22,999

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Vivo V7+ India Launch Set for Today, How to Watch Live Stream

Vivo V7+ India Launch Set for Today, How to Watch Live Stream

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Vivo V7+ price in India is not known
  • The Vivo V7+ launch will be live streamed
  • The launch event begins at 12:45pm IST

Vivo V7+, a new selfie-focused smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer, is launching in India on Thursday. The company will be live streaming the launch event, which begins at 12:45pm IST. The live stream can be seen on several platforms, including the company’s YouTubeFacebook, and Twitterpages, as well as on Flipkart and Amazon India. We’ll embed the video below as soon as we get the link.

There’s not much that’s known about the Vivo V7+ for now. We know it’s a selfie-focused smartphone. We also know that the display bezels on the sides are small. With the launch live streaming on both Flipkart and Amazon, we can also gather that the smartphone probably won’t be exclusive to either. Stay tuned to details from the launch event.

Vivo India recently also launched the selfie-focused Vivo V5s smartphone in the country, and priced it at Rs. 18,990. The big highlight of the Vivo V5s is the front camera – it bears a 20-megapixel front camera with a ‘Moonlight Glow’ front light and an f/2.0 aperture, apart from the Face Beauty 6.0 app. On the rear, the smartphone features a 13-megapixel camera with PDAF and dual-LED flash.

The dual-SIM (Micro+Nano) Vivo V5s runs Funtouch OS 3.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It features a fingerprint sensor on its home button. It bears a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with 2.5D Curved Glass, Gorilla Glass protection, and a pixel density of 267ppi. It is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6750 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM.

On the storage front, the Vivo V5s offers 64GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB) in a hybrid dual-SIM format. The Vivo V5s runs on 3000mAh non-removable battery, weighs 154 grams, and measures 153.8×75.5×7.55mm.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Why Twitter Needs to Constantly Change to Create a Positive User Experience (Watch)

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With all the 140-character sentiments being shared online these days, there are bound to be a few that cross over the line and become hateful or otherwise inappropriate. But now, Twitter is trying to do something about it. The social platform just announced plans to slow down abusive accounts and hide abusive tweets from public view.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has had to make adjustments to curb harassment or hate speech on the site. Last year, Twitter rolled out changes that allow users to block certain keywords and conversations from their feeds and report hateful conduct from other users.

But while this latest update is likely a step in the right direction, it probably won’t be the last change Twitter will have to make. Anytime a business like Twitter allows for user-created content, it gives those users the ability to have a big impact on the user experience for others.

So Twitter shouldn’t just let all of that content go unchecked. When certain users get abusive, hateful or otherwise inappropriate, it ruins the experience for everyone else using the site. So even if it’s not something that Twitter itself is doing, it can still lead to a poor experience or even to some users closing their accounts altogether.

The End Goal is Always a Positive User Experience

And since public opinions can vary so widely, that means Twitter will likely have to update its policies and processes constantly so that users have more control over what they see and don’t see. It might seem like a lot of work, but it’s all in the name of creating a positive user experience.

Twitter Photo via Shutterstock

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