iPhone owners will undoubtedly find the Apple Watch to be the most popular smartwatch on the market, as well as the best overall choice.
Apple offers three different Apple Watch models, each with a different price tag and set of features, including the Series 7, the Series 3, and the Series 3. The most straightforward option is to purchase the Apple Watch Series 7 in order to benefit from the most recent design; however, because it is the most expensive Apple Watch, it is not suitable for everyone.
In comparison to the $280 Apple Watch Series 3, the $280 Apple Watch SE has a larger screen and more recent processor, but it does not have an always-on display or other newer features, making it a great alternative.
It was a good run for the $200 Apple Watch Series 3, but we wouldn’t recommend purchasing it any longer. Despite the fact that it will technically be able to run the most recent watchOS 8 update, it is already becoming noticeably slower and more difficult to update due to its limited storage space. We were surprised that Apple kept the Apple Watch SE in its lineup after the Series 7 announcement, and we recommend saving up the extra $80 for the Apple Watch SE instead of purchasing it.
The very best Apple Watch total: Apple Watch Series 7
- Series 7 is a minor improvement over Series 6.
- Upgrade from: SE, Series 5, Series 4, and Series 3
- Series 3 and earlier models received a significant upgrade.
It takes the place of the Series 6 in Apple’s lineup, but it isn’t a significant upgrade in terms of capabilities over its predecessor. Because of the larger screen and thinner bezels on the Series 7, the device is mostly a minor design refresh. In terms of health and fitness sensors, however, the Series 7 is virtually identical to the Series 6; in fact, it is essentially the Series 6 with a slightly better design. Fortunately, Apple is charging the same $400 launch price for the Series 7 as it did for the Series 6, and the company isn’t charging a premium for a purely cosmetic redesign.
All of this is to say that the Series 7 Apple Watch is the most technologically advanced model available, with features such as blood oxygen saturation measuring, which refers to the percentage of oxygen carried by your red blood cells throughout your body. It also includes an electrocardiogram (ECG) scanner, which can be used to detect irregularities in the rhythm of your heart.
Additionally, a bright, always-on screen and faster charging (which can charge the Series 7 to 80 percent in 45 minutes) are notable features of the Series 7.
It has the usual array of sensors you’d expect, such as heart rate monitoring, steps tracking, GPS, and fall detection, among other things. When compared to the Apple Watch SE, or even the Apple Watch Series 6, there isn’t much of a difference in battery life or overall performance.
When compared to the Apple Watch SE, the Series 7 is a minor design upgrade, but it is a significant upgrade in terms of key features. For example, the SE is devoid of ECG and blood-oxygen monitoring capabilities, among other things. Perhaps more importantly, it does not have an always-on display, which allows you to quickly glance at the watch to tell the time without having to make a silly checking-the time motion using the opposite arm as you normally would. Having said that, the Apple Watch SE was released at the same time as the Series 6, so if you purchased the Apple Watch SE, you were likely aware of the differences between the two models. As a result, an always-on display and ECG functionality were probably not important considerations in your decision.
It’s worth noting that, while supplies last, you can still purchase the Series 6 from third-party retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and mobile wireless carriers. All that matters is that it is less expensive than the Series 7‘s $400 starting price — otherwise, you might as well just buy the Series 7. For the 40mm Series 6, you should aim for a price of $350 or less, and for the 44mm Series 6, you should aim for a price of $380 or less.
The very best Apple Watch on Budget: Apple Watch SE
- The Series 5 is not an upgrade to:
- Series 4 has received a minor performance boost.
- Series 3 and earlier models received a significant upgrade.
If you want an Apple Watch that feels brand new and fast, you don’t have to spend $400 on it. The $279 Apple Watch SE provides a more condensed version of the Series 7 experience at a cost of $120 less than the Series 7.
The Apple Watch SE has many of the same capabilities as the Series 7: it can track the same types of exercise, monitor sleep, measure heart rate, detect hard falls, and comes with a built-in compass for location tracking as well as an always-on altimeter for logging elevation. It also has a built-in compass for location tracking and an always-on altimeter for logging elevation.
Fitness enthusiasts will not be inconvenienced by the SE, but those who wish to obtain a more detailed picture of their overall health and wellness may find it disappointing. This is due to the fact that the SE is unable to measure blood oxygen levels or take an ECG from the wrist.
The SE is therefore better suited for potential buyers who are looking for a general-purpose smartwatch to track their workouts but do not require a watch that can keep an eye on their cardiac health. The SE is also more affordable than the SE2.
Another important feature that is absent from the SE is an always-on display. This is probably the most significant omission, as it significantly reduces the SE’s capabilities as a wrist watch. However, it still has a screen that is 30 percent larger than the screen on the Series 3 smartphone.
Despite this, the Apple Watch SE is an excellent value for the money, though we would have preferred if Apple had reduced the price a little given that it has been on the market for a year. It lacks features such as an always-on display, fast charging, ECG, and blood oxygen measurements, but it offers a user experience that is nearly identical to that of the Series 7. Because of its more affordable price, I’ve even referred to it as “the best Apple Watch for the majority of people.”
This is the reason why we are no longer recommending the Apple Watch Series 3.
However, because of its limited 8GB storage capacity — if you have songs and photos synced with your Series 3, there won’t be much room left over for WatchOS to be updated — I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep it up to date. That might not seem like a big deal at first glance. The Apple Watch requires software updates in order to receive new features and, more importantly, to ensure that the device remains secure.
When I had to delete almost every single app from my watch in order to install an important update earlier this year, this was never a major issue for me. To update a Series 3 that does not have enough storage, you must go through the time-consuming process of unpairing and reconnecting your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
Apple continues to support the Series 3 watch, and the device is compatible with the company’s new watchOS 8 operating system. However, due to the fact that the Series 3 is powered by an older processor, it is unable to take advantage of some of the more recent features. When using the Series 3, for example, the new Portraits watch face, which allows you to set photos taken with the iPhone’s Portrait Mode as your watch face, will not function.
Furthermore, the Series 3 has thicker bezels that make it appear dated, and it makes use of out-of-date hardware for its fitness and health tracking features.
According to anecdotal evidence, I’ve also noticed that the performance of my Series 3 has decreased.
The fact that you’re considering purchasing the Series 3 indicates that you’re already anticipating spending between $199 and $200 on an Apple Watch. Investing the extra $80 in a watch that will run faster and last longer because of the newer hardware is well worth it.
Apple only offers the Series 3 in a GPS configuration with 8GB of storage, which is not available elsewhere. The GPS+Cellular model with 16GB of storage space is no longer available for purchase. The Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE both have 32GB of internal storage.
How we put Apple Watches through their paces
The Apple Watches are worn and used as if they were my own for at least a week in order to conduct a thorough evaluation.
When I’m testing a product, I look for things like ease of use, performance, utility, features and sensors, battery life, and the relationship between the product’s price and the overall experience.
In addition, we examine how the new models compare to older models and discuss the advantages of upgrading from various older models in more detail.
Apple Watch Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to use my Apple Watch if I have forgotten my phone at home?
Standard GPS models are severely limited if an iPhone is not nearby. Nonetheless, you can use Bluetooth headphones to listen to audio that has been downloaded to the Apple Watch, use Apple Pay, track workouts with GPS and heart rate, monitor health, and use the timer, stopwatch, alarms, and tell time on the Apple Watch.
All of the features of the GPS + Cellular models are available whether or not an iPhone is in close proximity. This includes messaging, phone calls, notifications, and streaming audio. You simply need to purchase a separate data plan for the Apple Watch from the same carrier as your iPhone.
More information on what you can do with your Apple Watch when you don’t have your iPhone nearby can be found here.
Is it possible to use an Apple Watch without having an iPhone?
It is not possible to use an Apple Watch in conjunction with an Android phone, to put it bluntly. Even if you purchase a GPS + Cellular model that does not require an iPhone connection, you will still require an iPhone to set it up in the first place. In order to download apps onto your iPhone, you’ll also need one.
Does the Apple Watch make use of data?
When you don’t have your iPhone nearby, only the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch models with a separate data plan use data from your carrier. Apple Watches, on the other hand, are simply extensions of your iPhone, and they don’t consume any more data than you would on your iPhone if it’s in close proximity.
What are the advantages of wearing an Apple Watch?
It’s convenient to be able to check notifications without having to use your iPhone, and it’s also convenient to make calls or send messages without having to use your iPhone. Apple Watches are also excellent fitness and health trackers, as demonstrated below. A newer generation of models can also detect and measure atrial fibrillation as well as blood oxygen levels.
When will the next generation of the Apple Watch be released?
As of October 15, 2021, Apple released the seventh generation of the Apple Watch, and we don’t expect a new Apple Watch model to be released anytime in the near future. Apple has been announcing new Apple Watches in September for the past few years, so expect a new model to be released in September 2022, as previously stated.
According to Bloomberg, Apple may also be working on a new rugged version of the Apple Watch, which would be known as the Explorer Edition, that would launch in late 2021 or early 2022, depending on the specifications.
This guide will show you how to get the best deals on Apple Watches.
It’s no surprise that Apple Watches are among the best and most popular smartwatches available, and for good reason. Like the majority of Apple products, they are frequently discounted year-round, and you are not always required to pay full retail price for them. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best days of the year to look for Apple Watch bargains.
A variety of colors and sizes are typically available at a variety of average prices, but you can typically find last year’s Series 6 at a discount of at least $50 across a variety of online retailers. At the time of writing, the Apple Watch SE from last year is also available for purchase on Amazon for a modest $10 discount.