Smart watches have been on the rise over the years, especially when Apple entered the wearables market with the first Apple Watch. In fact, the Apple Watch is the most popular and best-selling smartwatch in the world. Since its launch, the tech company has been refining the wearable with each new iteration.
However, trying to find the perfect spot for your Apple Watch is easier said than done because, as with the Apple iPhone and Apple MacBook, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is where we come in. This buyer’s guide will help you find the best Apple Watch at the best price. Whether you’re planning to buy your first Apple Watch or want to upgrade, we’re here to guide you through the different models that suit you best.
Looking for discounts? Check out our guide to best Apple Watch deals just now.
TL; DR – Here are the best Apple Watches to buy
Apple Watch Series 8
If you want the best Apple Watch in 2023, go for the Series 8, which is the latest model. It has the same features that people have used in the past on the Apple Watch, such as GPS, a heart rate monitor, and a sleep monitor.
But the watch also comes with the new S8 SiP chipset and new features not available on previous models, including crash and fall detection for emergency SOS, skin temperature sensor, cycle and fertility tracking, and more. The smartwatch also offers up to 18 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Meanwhile, it comes in two models – 41mm and 45mm “always on” watch faces – as well as four aluminum or stainless steel case colors with a matching sport band – including Midnight, (PRODUCT) RED, Silver and Starlight. The smartwatch also comes in a cellular option, so it doesn’t need to be connected to an Apple iPhone to use mobile data.
Apple Watch Series 7
While the Series 8 is Apple’s latest and greatest, it’s a pretty minor upgrade from the Apple Watch Series 7 – which is 2023’s best runner-up. It has the same GPS, heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, blood oxygen tracker, electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure the electrical activity of the heart and more, but it does not have the latest chipset (it has the older S7 SiP) and features such as accident and fall detection, cycle and fertility tracking and more.
Released in 2021, the 7 Series is also available in the same two model sizes as the 8 Series – 41mm and 45mm “always on” displays. But it’s available in aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium, instead of the Series 8 aluminum and stainless steel options.
If you don’t need the latest features and want to save some money, go with the Series 7. However, Apple has discontinued the smartwatch, but you can find it in a variety of color options from retailers like Amazon starting at $221.
Apple Watch SE
The best budget
Looking for a cheap Apple Watch? Starting at $249, the Apple Watch SE (second generation) is a fantastic choice if you’re on a budget. While its exterior looks a bit older, the inside of the SE is incredibly fast thanks to Apple’s latest S8 SiP chipset – which is the same chipset in the latest Series 8. This means you’ll get the same speed as the Series 8 but at a fraction of its price.
The wallet-friendly smartwatch also comes with GPS, activity and sleep trackers, a heart rate monitor and more. It even comes with crash and fall detection – something not available on the Series 7. However, it doesn’t come with ECG, cycle and fertility tracking, or a skin temperature sensor.
It comes in 40mm and 44mm watch face options (“always on” displays are not available) and there are three color options for the aluminum case – Silver, Midnight and Star. Stainless steel and titanium materials are also not available.
Apple Watch Ultra
Best for adventurers, athletes and runners
Apple has created a new category with the latest wave of Apple Watch models. Starting at $799, Apple Watch Ultra is designed for adventurers and serious athletes who need something with ultra-long battery life and durability for outdoor pursuits like trail running, mountaineering, deep-sea diving, and more .
Made of titanium and sapphire glass, the rugged smartwatch is designed with an additional physical “Action” button that can be customized for added control. This means you can start a workout, mark a location on the compass, start a dive and more with the touch of a button. It even has enhanced water resistance to 100m (approximately 328ft) underwater and up to 36 hours of battery life to keep up with you.
It’s only available in one size, 49mm, and one case color, titanium, but it’s also available in an assortment of strap and loop colors and types – like Starlight Alpine Loop, Blue and Gray Trial Loop, Midnight Ocean Loop, and much more.
Apple Watch Hermes
The best luxury
Want to go wild? The Apple Watch Hermes it is the tech company’s most expensive smartwatch. Apple has partnered with Hermès, a Parisian design house, to deliver an Apple Watch that is luxurious and chic for luxury and fashionable customers.
The watch itself is a 41mm or 45mm Apple Watch Series 8 with a stainless steel case, so you’ll get the same features, functions, and use as our top overall pick. But Hermès produces packaging, exclusive watch faces and watch straps that are made of high-quality leather or woven nylon and cut and sewn by hand.
However, this kind of wealth does not come cheap. The Apple Watch Hermès starts at $1,229 with a Casaque Single Tour woven nylon strap and goes up to $1,759 with a Gourmette Metal Double Tour leather strap.
What to look for in an Apple Watch
While there are more Apple Watch models out there than ever before, choosing the best one isn’t that overwhelming. While the models vary in size, durability, and price, the user experience remains pretty much the same — with the current watchOS 9 software.
Each model will perform best delivering notifications, tracking health and sleep, answering phone calls, sending text messages and of course displaying the time, all from the comfort of your wrist. However, there are differences in the hardware itself that can make navigation difficult, so here’s what to look for in an Apple Watch in 2023.
From simple everyday use to tough outdoor conditions, there is now an Apple Watch for almost everyone. Starting at $399, the Apple Watch Series 8 is the model most people will be drawn to, thanks to its sleek design, wide range of features and apps, and its usability when paired with the Apple iPhone. It’s an all-around favorite for its speed, long battery life, and usability for health and sleep tracking. It’s the gold standard.
However, if you’re on a budget, choose the previous Apple Watch Series 7 or the wallet-friendly Apple Watch SE (2nd generation). The Series 7 has almost the same features and usability as the latest Series 8 except it is slower and has no crash and fall detection or cycle and fertility tracking. Apple has discontinued the Series 7, but you can still find it at retailers like Amazon and Walmart for slightly lower prices.
As for the SE, which starts at $249, it has an older design on the outside but the latest S8 SiP chipset on the inside. This means it will run as smooth and fast as the Series 8, but without the latest features like ECG, cycle and fertility tracking, and a skin temperature sensor.
For the serious athlete or outdoorsman, the Apple Watch Ultra will be satisfying. Apple created the Ultra line specifically for adventurers, athletes, and runners who want precision, detailed tracking, and usability. This model is durable enough to withstand even the toughest conditions and activities, such as mountaineering and deep sea diving.
Meanwhile, most Apple Watch models come in two sizes – 41mm or 45mm “always on” watch faces – with the exception of the Apple Watch SE, which comes in 40mm or 44mm, and the Ultra, which only comes in one size. , a generous 49mm “always on” display. Choosing the best size depends on your wrist size.
When it comes to connectivity, there are only three Apple Watches that have the option of a GPS-only model – Series 8, Series 7, and SE. This means you have to be tethered to your Apple iPhone to get mobile data. But the other models – Series 8, Series 7 and Ultra – have GPS and cellular connectivity options. This means you don’t need an iPhone for mobile data to use these models. They have their own cellular antennas and work independently. But it also means you’ll need to get a separate mobile plan line for the Apple Watch.
Overall, the Apple Watch Series 8 is the best option for most people. It hits the mark when it comes to the latest features and price. But if that model is too expensive, the Series 7 is a worthy runner-up choice – especially since it has almost the same design as the Series 8 at a discounted price.