Apple debuts a watch that can make calls without an iPhone

Randall Craig
September 13, 2017

Apple Watch Series 3 comes in a wide variety of cases and bands including a new space gray shade, sports loop band, and new Nike Plus models. It will run on WatchOS 4 and comes with better fitness tracking.

Today, Apple's 2017 Special Event debuted a segment on their latest major product from the past few years, the Apple Watch.

Apple Inc. on Tuesday unveiled a new smartwatch capable of connecting to cellular networks for calls, messages and streaming music, marking the first step toward liberating the Apple Watch and users from dependency on the iPhone. In the Apple Watch's last upgrade, the second-generation model gained a faster processor, a larger battery and Global Positioning System, as well as becoming waterproof.

To go along with this new addition, Apple announced the Apple Heart Study to look at irregular heart rhythms using data from the Apple Watch and in partnership with Stanford medicine. It's an important feature, and turns the watch into a veritable iPhone Light, allowing you to leave the phone behind while going out for a quick workout or running an unexpected errand.

There are two versions of the Apple Watch Series 3, one with cellular for $399 and one without cellular for $329. The Watch will connect to the current phone number used with an iPhone.

The watch's antenna is built into the screen, and it uses a smaller electronic SIM card rather than a standard SIM. Users can also ask the digital voice assistant Siri for other information. The knock on LTE-enabled smartwatches are they're even bulkier than regular smartwatches, and suffer from weaker battery life.

The watch will be available on September 22, with orders beginning on September 15.

The new proactive Siri watch face displays information that users need the most throughout the day. It has a new processor that is 70% faster than last year's chip, Apple executive Jeff Williams said at the product's introduction.

The Series 1 will remain available at a lower cost at $249. The biggest highlight of the Apple Watch 3 is that it comes with built-in cellular connectivity.

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