Apple's newly announced Apple Watch Series 3 is now actually quite a well rounded tool for cyclists
– words by Richard Easton

Last year’s Apple Watch Series 2 added GPS, which was a major bonus for cyclists.

It meant far more accurate distance, speed and route information during rides, as well as the ability to follow mapped navigation straight from your wrist – and without the need to bring your iPhone along for the ride (even if it is a shiny new iPhone 8 or iPhone X).

There was one disappointing omission, though, and that was the lack of any built-in altimeter.

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Apple Watch Series 4

This meant that to track your relative elevation the watch had to piggyback the altimeter in your paired iPhone, so you couldn’t quite leave your phone behind if you wanted as much ride data as possible.

That’s all changed with the Apple Watch Series 3, as it now has its own barometric altimeter, which means all of your gruelling hilly rides will be captured in all their glory.

This will be particularly useful for correlating the heart rate data with the intensity of the route’s gradient.


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The other major addition, and an even greater reason to leave your iPhone behind, is that the Apple Watch Series 3 now has support for cellular LTE connectivity.

This means it can make and receive calls, send messages and access data connectivity without the need for Wi-Fi or your paired iPhone.

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Apple Watch Series 4

It uses an e-SIM and the same phone number is used across both the Apple Watch Series 3 and your iPhone. 

Otherwise, all the great features of previous Apple Watch devices are there, including standalone apps for support for the likes of Strava straight from your wrist.

You can still expect around 18 hours of battery life even if you opt for the cellular model, too. 

The Apple Watch Series 3 will be available from September 22nd for £329 for the GPS model and £399 for the GPS + Cellular option.