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How to preorder the Apple Watch Series 3

Preorders have opened for Apple's latest smartwatch. Here's what you need to know.

James Martin/CNET

The Apple Watch is now the number one watch in the world, according to Apple, with a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate to boot. Its latest version, available for preorder now, adds an LTE cellular connection so you can make calls and stream songs without having to be carrying your iPhone.

So you're excited for the new Apple Watch 3? Here's what you need to know and where to get your preorder.

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Price

In 2016, the Watch Series 2 ($399.00 at JB Hi-Fi HOME) was released with a starting price of $369. This was $20 higher than the price of the original model. This time around, the 3 is priced at $399, with LTE and $329 without. That's £399 or £329 in the UK, and AU$559 or AU$459 in Australia. 

This price is comparable to others in the space. Fitbit, one of the Watch's biggest competitors, just launched its new Ionic smartwatch for $300, £300 or AU$450, and it ships in October. 

As usual, there are fancier versions of the Series 3 that cost a premium. For example, the stainless steel case with a soft white band starts at $599 (£599, AU$849), the stainless steel case with Milanese loop starts at $699 (£699, AU$979) and the space black stainless steel case with space black Milanese loop starts at $749 (£749, AU $1,049). There are also exclusive Nike faces and bands that start at $329 (£329, AU$459). 

Remember that larger wrist bands adds around $30, £30 or AU$40 to the price. Also, the LTE-equipped Apple Watches require a phone plan on top of the plan for your phone. The service will cost you an extra $10 a month in the US on major carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon or T-Mobile. They are offering three months free, though.

Apple Watch 3 Specs

Here are some of the features of the new Apple Watch 3 you can look forward to:

  • New WatchOS 4 operating system
  • Upgraded heart rate monitor ("Apple Watch is the most used heart rate monitor in the world," Apple says.)
  • Access Apple Music straight from your Apple Watch
  • Smarter Siri that works faster
  • Customizable watch faces
  • Maps
  • Location for Find My Friends, automatically switches to Watch when you're away from your iPhone
  • WeChat is supported
  • Water resistant (well, "swimproof.")
  • 70 percent faster
  • Improved and faster wireless
  • Barometric altimeter added
  • Standalone LTE connectivity (Make calls and get alerts from your apps without your iPhone!)
  • It will use the same phone number as your iPhone
  • The phone antenna is built into the display
  • Compatible with the AirPower charger coming next year
  • All day battery life (up to 18 hours of light use, but only around an hour for a LTE-connected phone call)
  • Plus, you can also choose from new colors. There will be new Hermes bands and watch face styles, and gray ceramic and blush gold finishes.  
apple-watch-series-3-colors

Two new colors for the Apple Watch Series 3.

Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Where to preorder

The Series 3 without cellular will be available in 26 countries. Preorders started Friday, Sept. 15. The Watch will become available on Friday, Sept. 22 in the US and UK, and Oct. 5 in Australia. You can get your preorder in at the Apple Store app on an iOS device or by visiting apple.com/watch.

Discounts

Need a bargain? With the new watch announced, Apple Watch Series 1 ($359.00 at Apple) gets a price cut. Here's how to save money on a Watch

Update, Sept. 15: Updated to reflect preorders opening.