If You Want Apple Watch Series 3 in Stainless Steel or Ceramic, LTE Models Are Your Only Option

With the launch of a new Apple Watch comes a few refreshed collections that the device is available in, requiring users to choose from specific case/band combinations to enter the Apple Watch ecosystem. The Apple Watch Series 3 is available in both non-LTE and LTE-capable models, but there is one downside: if you want a Series 3 in Stainless Steel or Ceramic, you have no choice but to buy a cellular-enabled Apple Watch.

Apple's non-LTE Series 3 Apple Watch brings about all of the usual performance improvements over the previous generation, including a faster processor, W2 chip, barometric altimeter, and more. The LTE models include all of this, on top of cellular capabilities that further de-tether your iPhone from your Apple Watch, so you can make calls, send messages, stream Apple Music, and more right on your wrist.


Apple added in non-LTE versions of the Series 3 for those users who don't think they need a cellular Apple Watch, but it's limited collections for these models to just Aluminum cases. All Series 3 collections in Stainless Steel -- of which there are only four non-Hermés models -- come with LTE, as do both White Ceramic and Gray Ceramic collections. There are also eight Hermés collections with Stainless Steel cases, each one backing the new cellular features.

If you want the improved features of a new Apple Watch Series 3 without LTE, you'll have to choose from four Apple Watch Sport models: one Silver Aluminum Case with Fog Sport Band, one Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sand Sport Band, and two Space Gray Aluminum Cases (one with a Gray Sport Band and one with a Black Sport Band).


There are also two Series 3 Nike+ collections without LTE, both in Aluminum: a Silver Aluminum Case with Pure Platinum/Black Nike Sport Band and a Space Gray Aluminum Case with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Band.


That makes six total Apple Watch Series 3 collections without LTE among Apple's 31 new collections of the revamped wearable device. Also of note is that in launch countries where Apple isn't yet offering cellular support, buyers will then be left with Aluminum as their only option.

Launch Countries


Non-cellular available: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, the US and US Virgin Islands.

Cellular available: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, the UK and the US

The first impressions of the Apple Watch Series 3 have been largely positive, particularly thanks to its improved performance, Siri's ability to speak aloud, and new heart rate detection metrics. Some initial hands-on reports have noted uncertainty about LTE, but like most premium features the usefulness of a cellular-capable Apple Watch will vary greatly person-to-person.

For a look at all of the new bands that Apple launched yesterday, check out our blog post right here.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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23 weeks ago
And with an ugly red dot on the crown :(
Rating: 21 Votes
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23 weeks ago

I guess that makes sense. If you’re willing to pay up for the more expensive model, you’re going to go all in.

No, there are plenty of us who want a nicer looking watch, especially one that matches our SS bands, who don't want to pay for LTE or service plans because we don't need it. We also don't want a stupid red dot that clashes with our bands.
Rating: 8 Votes
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23 weeks ago
Ugh... can't think of replacing my steel/sapphire model with the aluminium/glass one, and I don't really need LTE.
Rating: 5 Votes
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23 weeks ago
I guess that makes sense. If you’re willing to pay up for the more expensive model, you’re going to go all in.
Rating: 5 Votes
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23 weeks ago
Was looking to upgrade from an S0 SS and while I don't mind LTE at all, I dislike the red dot.
Rating: 4 Votes
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23 weeks ago

Quite disappointing considering they all feature this annoying red dot.

That red dot is annoying though, people are saying just put a sticker over it but that'll get worn so fast and fall off or start half peeling, especially when you go swimming with it.


Was looking to upgrade from an S0 SS and while I don't mind LTE at all, I dislike the red dot.


I love the red dot.
Rating: 4 Votes
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23 weeks ago
The red dot on the crown, IMHO, was actually the single worst part of anything announced yesterday. For as much as they hype the Apple Watch up as a fashion item, it seems a stupid move.

That said, lately they've been focusing more on the fitness/health aspects of the watch than the fashion side of things, so maybe it's in line with their current philosophy after all. I still don't like how it looks on an otherwise beautiful watch.
Rating: 3 Votes
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23 weeks ago
Being from the Netherlands, one of the countries that has no provider that supports the LTE version yet, it's horrible we're unable to even buy a SS or ceramic watch... Because none of the LTE watches are even sold here! So before you cry about having to spend $30 extra and have a red dot you slightly dislike more or less, remember you at least have some options :rolleyes: unlike most other countries. Only aluminum for us... Unable to even future proof myself for when providers do start to support it.
Rating: 3 Votes
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23 weeks ago
if you buy the SS, do you have to Activate LTE? can't you just choose not to use it?
Rating: 3 Votes
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23 weeks ago

And with an ugly red dot on the crown :(

Rating: 2 Votes
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