LTE Apple Watch details: iCloud Music Library streaming, 16GB of storage, LTE talk time and more
After announcing Apple Watch Series 3 onstage at a special media event on Tuesday, Apple provided additional details about its latest wearable, noting increases in onboard storage, music streaming information and expected battery life when connected to an LTE network.
Compared to the outgoing Series 2, and the Series 1, the LTE Series 3 doubles onboard storage to 16GB, a good amount for music, podcasts, apps and other content.
Interestingly, Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS — and no LTE radio — keeps storage at 8GB, meaning customers who buy the LTE version are paying a $70 premium for 8GB of memory and cellular capability. For reference, Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) comes in at $329, while the LTE model starts at $399 and moves up to $1,299 for the high-end Apple Watch Edition.
As for battery life, Apple provides estimates based on testing conducted in its labs in August using preproduction hardware and prerelease software.
For the Series 3, Apple quotes all day battery life of 18 hours under simulated normal use conditions involving 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth. Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) was connected to a host iPhone via Bluetooth for its test, while the Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) ferried data over LTE for 4 hours and Bluetooth for 14 hours.
Moving on to voice calls, Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) lasts a mere hour when connected directly to an LTE network compared to three hours over Bluetooth. By comparison, talk time on the Series 1 is also pegged at three hours over Bluetooth.
Apple's document goes on to say Series 3 can last up to 10 hours in an indoor workout session with heart rate sensor on and GPS off. Outdoor GPS-assisted sessions without a host iPhone can last up to five hours on the GPS-only model, while the GPS with LTE Watch dies after four hours.
Finally, Apple confirmed to AppleInsider that Apple Watch Series 3 is capable of streaming music from a user's iCloud Music Library using iTunes Match, meaning users are not forced into an Apple Music subscription. Of course, users can also load up tunes by syncing with their iPhone, as with past Watch models.
Apple Watch Series 3 goes up for order this Friday, with initial shipments due to arrive on Sept. 22.