Health And Fitness Geeks: Should You Upgrade To The Latest Apple Watch?

Apple is not the only big player in the technology market, so is their new fitness offering - the Apple Watch Series 3 - worth your $498?

The market is abuzz with Apple's latest offerings, following their Keynote address at the Steve Jobs theatre. But in an industry where competitors are one-uping each other with technological marvels, is Apple still the market leader? 

The MH team looks at Apple's latest fitness offering - the Apple Watch Series 3 - and see if it is worth your buck. Or whether you should save it for their iPhone X. 

Related: Apple Watch: One Of Its Features Helped Save This Guy From A Car Crash

So what's new?

watchOS 4

The watchOS 4 has an updated Heart Rate app, which gives you more insight to heart rate, including measurements during your resting, workout, recovery, walking and Breathe sessions. It has also been enhanced with a new interface, including custom High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout type and auto-sets for pool swims. And for those who are really monitoring your heart rates, you can choose to receive a notification when your heart rate is elevated above a specific threshold while inactive.

Say goodbye to weird groans and moans 

The watch's redesigned Music app automatically syncs your playlists like New Music Mix and Favourites Mix, along with your most listened to music, sparing you the agony of hearing that gym-goer slamming down of his weights for the umpteenth time. The new Radio app will also enable you to be able to access Beats 1® live or any Apple Music radio station while away from iPhone or Wi-Fi. 

The Nike Run app has been upgraded too - features like Audio Guided Runs deliver world-class coaching and motivation from Nike’s elite coaches, athletes and entertainers, while the Cheers feature makes running more fun by allowing your friends to send audio-based cheers, which will motivate you during a run. Or when you're feeling down and wondering why you're torturing yourself by clocking mileage for your IPPT in the evenings after work.

Waterproofing (finally)

After complaints about the predecessor being not waterproof, the Series 3 now boasts water resistance of up to 50 metres. This allows you to bring it go swimming with in the pool or in the ocean, or in the showers too. Just don't bring it to your scuba diving expeditions, water-skiing outings or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth. And don't forget, the watches' stainless steel and leather bands are not water resistant.

Functionality

Say goodbye to lugging your iPhone around during your jogs and runs - with the built-in eSIM card, you are able to make cellular calls directly with the watch! And since the watch's eSIM card and your iPhone shares the same number, there is no need to tell the whole world that you've changed your number. Unless, of course, you want to do it on purpose. Needless to say, both the watch and the iPhone has to be of the same service provider in order to for them to sync seamlessly. 

Related: Treadmill Vs Outdoor Running: Which Is Better?

So who else is out there?

Apple should be wary of their Korean conglomerate rival - Samsung, and for good reason too. A corruption and bribery scandal aside, their fitness gear boasts features that can rival that of Apple's. Their Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch, for instance, has pretty much similar features that their Apple Watch has: the LTE model has built-in eSIM cards for making calls without the phone, whilst the other models are all equipped with GPS tracking systems for your jogs, streaming services for your Spotify playlists, and the mandatory fitness tracking apps. Their price tag, however, is on the high side, at close to $600. 

The American multinational technology company - Garmin - shouldn't be discounted either. Their Fenix 5 and 5S models, released early this year, are jam-packed with sporting features that cater to the serious, hardcore fitness buffs. With 6 different features that are running-related alone, 11 (!) performance-related features, and 4 swimming features (including a stroke type identification), the Fenix models should be taken into consideration as well. However, the absence of an eSIM would prove to be cumbersome, as you'd have to bring your smartphone out with you during your workouts. And with a hefty price tag that's close to $1,000, it may seem pricy for some.  

Conclusion: Apple may have made significant improvements on the Apple Watch 3, but don't discount on their rivals too. 

Image courtesy of Apple

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