Apple Watch 3 returned: There are better LTE and fitness-focused watches

The Apple Watch Series 3 is a very good smartwatch for iPhone users, but daily charging, chunky design, and iOS limitation forced me to return it after a week. Here's a look at other smartwatch market alternatives...
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Video: Apple Watch Series 3

It's not me and it's not really Apple. It's the state of most smartwatches today.

A couple of years ago I wrote that the Apple Watch was the best Apple product I've ever purchased. Yesterday, I sent my Apple Watch Series 3 back to Apple after a week and no longer have an Apple Watch in my collection.

A few days ago, I wrote about my experiences running with the Apple Watch 3 and Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. As you can see in that post, the Gear S3 Frontier offers more than the Apple Watch, with a bit shorter battery life. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier works with iOS and Android, has classic watch styling and design, is stainless steel with a fantastic design, has a rotating bezel and OS optimized for the watch, and works on LTE with no real limitations.

Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch first impressions: in pictures

I have also now spent about three weeks with the new Fitbit Ionic and it is refreshing to charge it up about once a week. It's smartwatch capability is very limited, but it offers what I need for fitness, onboard music, detailed sleep tracking, a large community of family and friends to help motivate me, and a sleek design that looks great while essentially disappearing on my wrist for days.

Fitbit Ionic review: in pictures

Battery life has always been the deciding factor on whether or not a wearable stays on my wrist or ends up in a drawer. The Apple Watch Series 3 has a great battery life, for a high-end smartwatch that is doing a lot. However, charging daily gets to be too much for me. After a period of time, anything that cannot at least get me through a weekend of running, yard work, fly fishing, and entertainment ends up off of my wrist.

I may get an iPhone X just because it's the first time since the first iPhone launched that Apple is bringing us a new phone product, and maybe I will revisit the Apple Watch Series 3 again. In the meantime, the Fitbit Ionic, the Garmin Fenix 3 HR, or maybe another new Garmin will likely be found on my wrist the majority of the time.


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    Fitbit Ionic review: Tops the Apple Watch with fitness focus, long battery life, detailed sleep tracking

    The Fitbit Ionic brings everything I have wanted in a GPS sports watch with essential smart watch functionality in a sleek, attractive form factor.

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