For the Last Time, Please Don’t Buy the Apple Watch Series 3


Protect Your Access to the Internet

The Series 3 was a good watch when it came out. Three years ago. Don’t buy one new.
The Series 3 was a good watch when it came out. Three years ago. Don’t buy one new.
Photo: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

Well, well, well. Despite begging every higher power that I wouldn’t have to write yet another blog about why folks shouldn’t buy the Apple Watch Series 3 anymore, a 9to5 Mac report notes that several Series 3 owners have reported that their watches are randomly rebooting since upgrading to watchOS 7. So here we are again.

The gist is that several Series 3 owners have taken to Apple and MacRumors forums complaining that after downloading watchOS 7, their watches have started randomly rebooting multiple times per day. Some report other bugs as well, such as the Series 3 locking itself, failing to load complications, pairing issues with iPhones, and severe battery drain. (Meanwhile, others have stated watchOS 7 actually improved battery life.)

Anecdotally, it seems this isn’t limited to users who’ve had a Series 3 for years. Some users with newly bought Series 3 have also complained of suffering multiple random reboots. It also seems to affect both cellular and GPS-only models. Some theorize that the lower RAM on the Series 3 compared to the Series 4, 5, SE, and 6 might be the culprit. Others swear it has to do with the Series 3 rebooting whenever a user steps outside of wifi range and needs to switch to cellular. Others yet think it might have something to do with third-party app notifications. These are all fine theories, but they’re theories—not proof. For every issue a user has presented, there’s another user in these forums saying “Well, I haven’t had a problem on my Series 3.”

Unless Apple officially weighs in, it’s impossible to know for certain what exactly is causing some Series 3 owners to have such serious reboot issues, while others are perfectly fine. You also have to consider that the final, public version of watchOS 7 is still very new. Apple released watchOS 7.0.1 late last week to fix some bugs, and it’s possible that the issues Series 3 owners are currently experiencing may be patched in a future update.

That said, it is a fair warning that if you try to use older hardware with new software, you’re…