Apple Watch Series 3 is plagued by battery issues and LTE problems

New Apple Watch faces on the watchOS 4

A number of reviewers this week have complained that their cellular-enabled, third-generation Apple Watches were having connectivity issues, wreaking havoc on some the watches' most significant new features. Battery life seems to be rather less than was proclaimed at launch, and Apple has also identified LTE issues that prevent the watch from using cellular.

"We are investigating a fix for a future software release", the email said. This feature allows the users to ditch their mobile phones and answer calls with Apple Watch Series 3. With a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, it can make/take calls, activate Siri, send texts and connect to the internet without pairing with an iPhone, as previous variants were required to. In a statement, Apple acknowledged the problem stems from the Watch attaching to "unauthenticated Wi-Fi wireless networks without connectivity". If the cellular connected Series 3 pairs with an iPhone, talk time triples to three hours.

The latest watch, which starts at $399, has been hotly anticipated because its cellular connectivity means people can use it without carrying their phone around.

Although most of us have been conditioned to never let our smartphones out of our sight, there are many times it is not proper or even convenient to have them with us. While Samsung did have a smartwatch with a modem in it, I could never get it to work well and this model never caught on.

The watch doesn't require a new data plan, but an add-on to existing plans.

Reviewers have also criticized a cosmetic change in the Apple Series 3 watch. (The issues are laid out in much more detail in the review.) Within the first couple days of experiencing this, Apple replaced my first review unit with a second one, but that one proved to be problematic, too. There's also a new dual-core CPU that is 70 percent faster than Series 2, and Apple wisely uses the screen itself for the radio's antenna so the device avoid excess bulk. The new Apple Watch is now set to ship on September 22.

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