Should You Buy the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021?

Should You Buy the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021?

The Apple Watch Series 3 was first launched by Apple in September 2017. The wearable is over three years now, and after multiple price cuts from Apple over the years, it definitely makes for an attractive buy. However, is the Apple Watch Series 3 worth buying in 2021? Find out below.

The Apple Watch Series 3 officially starts from $199, making it a fair bit cheaper than the $279 Apple Watch SE. If you are looking to buy a new Apple Watch and are on a tight budget, you might be tempted to save a few bucks and go for the Apple Watch Series 3. However, it is best to avoid buying the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021. The wearable is definitely showing its age, and while it will be supported by watchOS 8, it’s best to avoid it as it does not offer the best user experience possible.

Reasons Not to Buy the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021

1. Slow Performance

The biggest issue with the Apple Watch Series 3 is its performance. The dual-core S3 chip inside the watch is showing its age, and it is not enough to run third-party apps. Even the Fitness app runs extremely slow on the Apple Watch Series 3, leading to a frustrating user experience.

2. Chunky Bezels

The Apple Watch Series 3 was the last Apple Watch generation from Apple to feature chunky bezels surrounding its display. While the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6 are available in 40mm and 44mm case sizes, the Apple Watch Series 3 is only available in 38mm and 42mm case sizes. The Apple Watch Series 6 and SE display is 30% larger than the one you’ll find on the Apple Watch Series 3. There’s no Always-On Display here as well.

3. Low Storage

The GPS variant of the Apple Watch Series 3 comes with only 8GB of storage. This is definitely not enough in 2021. You will run out of space on the wearable even if you don’t install many apps. In fact, the situation is so bad that Apple has to force existing Apple Watch Series 3 users to reset their watch before installing a new watchOS update.

The GPS + Cellular variant fares slightly better in this aspect since it comes with 16GB of internal storage. However, Apple no longer sells the cellular variant of the Apple Watch Series 3.

4. No Fall Detection or ECG

The Apple Watch Series 3 features a first-generation optical heart sensor and accelerometer that can detect 16g-forces. This means you miss out on Fall detection, ECG, and Blood oxygen monitoring, which you can find on the Apple Watch Series 6. Other features lacking on the Apple Watch Series 3 include a missing compass and an altimeter that’s not always on.

Apple watch Series 4 with ECG

Who Should Buy the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021?

The Apple Watch Series 3 is only good enough for basic fitness tracking in 2021. You can use it to track your step counts, workout routines, and more, but that’s about it. All the advanced health features you will find on the Apple Watch Series 6 or SE are missing here. You also won’t be able to enjoy all the third-party apps on the Apple Watch Series 3 properly due to performance and storage issues.

Apple is also likely to completely stop selling the Apple Watch Series 3 in just a few months from now, once it launches the Apple Watch Series 7 in September this year.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is available for as low as $169 on Amazon. If you are on a tight budget and really want to experience an Apple Watch, you can go for the wearable. Otherwise, I will strongly recommend you avoid buying it. The performance and storage issues mean the Apple Watch Series 3 just won’t last as long as something that’s a bit more powerful, like the Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch Series 6.

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch Series 3 will be supported by watchOS 8, but it is unlikely that watchOS 9 will continue supporting the wearable. You might save some money by buying the Apple Watch Series 3 now, but in the long run, it will turn out to be a more expensive proposition since Apple could drop support for it by 2022. Check out the best new watchOS 8 features coming to the Apple Watch later this year.

If you can shell out an additional $100 or so, you can get the Apple Watch SE from Amazon. By paying $100 extra, you’ll get a bigger display, more storage, much better performance, better health tracking with fall detection, noise monitoring, and more. You will pay more now, but the Apple Watch SE will be a more future-proof option than the Apple Watch Series 3.

The Apple Watch Series 6 will be an even better option than the Apple Watch SE. It packs all the latest bells and whistles, including an always-on display, ECG, Spo2 monitoring, and more. Post discounts, it can be purchased for as low as $329, which makes it a fair bit expensive than the Apple Watch Series 3.


Do you still plan on buying the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021 despite its poor performance and storage issues? Or will you go for the Apple Watch SE? Drop a comment and let us know!