A lot of the hype from Apple’s big launch event focused on the sexy new iPhone X which marks a totally new direction in iPhone design. However, we got a lot of great new products from Apple that didn’t get quite as much love as the iPhone X. For example, the Apple TV 4K now puts Apple on a level playing field with the likes of Roku. And, of course, don’t forget about the new, fitness focused Apple Watch Series 3. Wondering if you should make the upgrade? Let’s compare the Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch Series 2 and see how they stack up against each other.

Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch Series 2
Image: Screenshot from Keynote

First, it should be noted that the Apple Watch Series 2 has been discontinued. The Apple Watch Series 3 takes its place and the Apple Watch Series 1 is still around as the budget model. So, unless you can find an Apple Watch Series 2 on sale somewhere before they disappear then this comparison is more geared toward those who are thinking of upgrading their existing Apple Watch Series 2 to the newest offering.

Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch Series 2

The biggest difference when comparing the Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch Series 2 is the LTE connectivity introduced in the new model. That’s right! You can finally leave your iPhone at home or in your gym locker and still enjoy the ability to make calls and send texts right from your Apple Watch Series 3. This should be a huge feature for fitness nuts who find it cumbersome to carry around their iPhone wherever they go. If you want to be nimble and minimalist on the go then the Apple Watch Series 3 is a great upgrade.

In terms of display and size, the Apple Watch Series 3 did not get a major redesign. The device will feel pretty much the same on your wrist as the Apple Watch Series 2. Water resistance is still offered which is the biggest reason to choose the Series 3 over the budget model Series 1.

Another big difference when comparing the Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch Series 2 is the additional storage available on the Series 3. This added storage is only available with the LTE capable model which puts the price tag up to $399. Still, that’s a reasonable price for a fitness fanatic who wants music and power on the go with just their Apple Watch Series 3 doing all the legwork. No iPhone needed during this workout!

The price of the Apple Watch Series 3 is a nice surprise. When compared with the base model of the Apple Watch Series 2, the newest version seems to have received a bit of a price cut. Of course, there is the more expensive LTE connected model which pushes the price up to a hair below $400. All things considered, though: if you think you will make use of the portability of the LTE model then that price is a small increase for a whole lot more function. Of course, if you aren’t out running marathons, hitting the gym twice a day, or surfing with your Apple Watch Series 3 then you will probably do just fine with the less expensive non-LTE version.

WatchOS 4 brings some new features to the Apple Watch Series 3. There will be support for new workouts including HIIT (high intensity interval training). Also, if you loved the battery life on your Apple Watch Series 2 then you will be happy to know that you should get the same life out of the newest model as well.

So, what’s the verdict between the Apple Watch Series 3 vs Apple Watch Series 2? The upgrade is likely worth it for fitness-minded folks. The added features and functionality are clearly aimed at the health and fitness market. If you are happy with your Series 2 watch and you don’t think you will make use of the new features then hold onto your money and see what Apple has in store for the next generation. The upgrades are nice but not essential.

Luckily, the price is reasonable for an upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 3 so it won’t break the bank if you pull the trigger on a new wearable for yourself. If you have the cash then go ahead and treat yourself – you deserve it!