Friday, 22 September 2017 12:18

VIDEO Interview: Apple Watch Series 3 LTE demo at Telstra, now on sale!

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The LTE e-SIM in the Apple Watch 3 is up and running, and I received a demo at the Telstra Store across from Apple’s flagship Sydney store.

If you’ve been waiting for the new Apple Watch Series 3 with built-in LTE e-SIM, it has finally arrived in store at Telstra.

It’s also available for Optus users, with Vodafone to get it later this year.

iTWire covered Telstra’s e-SIM announcement here, as well as the original Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Apple Watch Series 3 availability here.

Now, it is interesting to note that The Verge, WSJ and presumably others discovered that the newest Apple Watch can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots that require additional authentication for Internet access, and this caused those iPhones to get stuck on non-Net-connected Wi-Fi connectivity, and not switch over to LTE.

Funnily enough, that’s exactly how iPhones work today, with the difference being that the iPhone or iPad will bring up a screen letting you authenticate to get Wi-Fi access, via a hotspot that requires an addition screen where you log in.

Apple has stated it will fix this in an upcoming software update, with Apple Insider noting how to clear out your list of Wi-Fi hotspots to stop this from happening. 

All of that aside, I had the chance to speak to Telstra's Anna Seider, general manager for Consumer Postpaid Mobile products, who had, at the time of the interview, been using the new Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE for approximately 12 or so hours, with Telstra’s One Number system.

This allows your Apple Watch to work with your existing phone number, so your e-SIM device (which at the moment is only an Apple Watch, but which Telstra says will work with other e-SIM devices over the next 12 months, with Telstra expecting to be the e-SIM category leader amongst its competitors), but also your messages, data and more.

It will cost $5 per month to access the service, less than half the $10 per month US carriers are charging when you take into account the weaker Australian dollar, so thankfully, Aussies will pay less for the service.

Whether this fee will ever simply be eliminated is yet to be seen, but for now, there his a cost attached.

Seider being already an Apple Watch user was familiar with the fitness aspects, but was definitely able to test her LTE, e-SIM enabled Apple Watch at the football, leaving her phone in the car and thus far too far away for watch to iPhone connectivity.

Naturally, she found that it worked as advertised, and was impressed that the people she was speaking to could hear her clearly. Of course, in a noisy environment, the audio from Apple Watch can be drowned out be that around you, but if you have AirPods, you can use these just as you would with your iPhone.

And as you’d expect, in a quiet environment as we were when we filmed the video, the audio from the Apple Watch is loud enough to have an easy conversation.

Just don’t expect to hear much if you’re walking down George St in Sydney wiht all the light rail construction going on and jackhammers hammering away, but even regular phone use will have challenges here.

So, without further ado, here’s the video I took with Anna Seider earlier this morning!

Apple Watch LTE Series 3 with Anna Seider, Telstra genral manager for Consumer Postpaid

 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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