Overall, the Apple Watch recommendation is simple: If you use an iPhone and want a smartwatch, staying home with Apple is usually your best bet.
But there are many Apple Watches on the market right now. The introduction of the Apple Watch Series 7 in September 2021 brought the total life of Apple to nine, with the company currently offering three models in stores: Series 7, SE, and Series 3. Among them, there are many variants that differ in size, connectivity, design and price.
Then there are older but still up-to-date generations that you can look up from third-party retailers like Best Buy and Amazon, as well as options to buy refurbished hardware. Everyone has different needs, and you may be able to find an Apple Watch that is less expensive and more in tune with your desires by going down these methods.
The imminent launch of watchOS 9 will complicate these decisions, and as usual, Apple is expected to release new models in the fall. For those seeking to take the initiative todayHowever, we’ve researched the market for old, new, and refurbished Apple Watches and tested current options to help decide what’s best for you. We’ll keep this guide updated over time as new models come out, so if you’d like to upgrade from an older model or jump on board for the first time, let us do the research for you.
The best Apple Watch for most people
Apple Watch Series 7
Buy: From $345 at Amazon, Apple, Target, and Walmart
Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch you can buy right now. It is the most well-equipped and well-supported wearable on the market, making it the true extension of your phone available. The number of apps and integrations is unparalleled, letting you do everything from opening your garage door to checking the tides in the ocean right from your wrist. It’s not the most versatile fitness accessory—we’ve used the Garmin smartwatch for serious athletes and outdoor people who want longer battery life and deeper training features—but the Series 7 closes some of the ground here, too.
Fill-in sensors for monitoring ECG, blood oxygen readings and heart rate, the Series 7 reaches a first-class trifecta of health metrics in wearable devices. You can use GPS, compass, always-on altimeter, fall detection, 50m water resistance and cellular capability option, and you’ll have a fitness buddy that you can bring with you anywhere for tracking and safety purposes. .
Apple’s “Digital Crown” mechanism is still an intuitive way to scroll on the watch, and there are fun case colors and a plethora of bracelet options to suit your style, including Nike sports bandsAnd the Stylish Metal OptionsAnd the woven bandanasand much more.
With the imminent release of watchOS 9 this fall, the Series 7 will also gain the ability to provide advanced running metrics (such as steps, cadence, and pace), heart rate zones, and new multisport tracking patterns, among other features.
The Series 7 also has the largest display of any Apple Watch, thanks to smaller bezels and a 1mm larger watch case than the Series 6. Not a huge difference—except that the larger size makes it easier for a QWERTY keyboard to enter text—but it does allow for larger text formats that can change The rules of the game for those with visual impairments.
With charging coils and a USB-C-based charger, the Series 7 is also the fastest Apple Watch to charge, hitting 0 to 100 percent in just over an hour in our tests. That’s about half the time it takes to charge any other Apple Watch model. This is also the only Apple Watch that is dust-resistant (IP6X) and the only one that supports typing with a full QWERTY keyboard.
To be clear, the Series 7, like every Apple Watch in this guide, isn’t perfect. While Apple smartwatches have the most support for third-party apps (and accessories), you won’t find every iPhone app on your Apple Watch — far from it. And not every application is particularly useful. (Are you truly Want to scroll through Twitter on your wrist?) However, there are any relevant apps for a wrist-based experience.
The biggest sacrifice you’ll make owning any Apple Watch is battery life; It only lasts a day or so. Other smartwatches, like those from Garmin and Fitbit, can last a week or more, although you won’t find the same level of app support (third party or first party) as with your iPhone. And yes, Apple Watches are still only for iPhones, and that likely never changes. But if we look at it as a whole, and especially for iPhone owners, the Apple Watch is almost the most wearable platform on the market — and right now, the Series 7 is the most complete offering for the majority of people.
Who is he: Those who want the latest health and fitness features or those who simply need a bigger screen
Worth an upgrade for: Series 5 and below