Picking It used to be easy to choose an Apple Watch. You just had to pick the size you wanted. Then, in 2017, the Series 3 got cellular connectivity, which was another thing to think about. Then, in 2020, Apple released another model called the Apple Watch SE, which was cheaper. Later this year, there are rumors that Apple will add a rugged Apple Watch for people who like to be outdoors. So, what do you do if you want to buy an Apple Watch right now?
Don’t be afraid. We’ve tried every Apple Watch model you can buy right now, so we can point you in the right direction.
It’s easy to see why you’d choose an Apple Watch over its rivals. It is the best iPhone smartwatch in general. Many smartwatches are better than the Apple Watch for serious athletes, but they fall short when it comes to productivity, safety features, controlling your smart home, and interacting with other Apple devices and services. It also has the most apps from outside developers than any other smartwatch on the market.
Wearables, like the Apple Watch, are very personal devices. If you don’t wear it often, you won’t get the most out of it. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that will just sit in a drawer and gather dust.
The best way to avoid this is to play your cards right and put comfort first. Before you start thinking about which Apple Watch model you should get, take a moment to figure out which size and strap material will fit your wrist the best.
Each type of Apple Watch comes in two different sizes. The bigger one is easier to read, but the smaller one is better for people with small wrists. The case is also made of different materials. Most people will be fine with the standard aluminium case, but if you’re clumsy or very active, stainless steel models will be a better choice.
You might also like the way stainless steel looks better, which is fine since watches are personal tech. Just be ready to pay a very high price for it. When it comes to straps, we recommend the nylon sport loop because it’s the most breathable, has the easiest clasp, and won’t irritate sensitive skin. If you want more stylish options, Amazon or Etsy are good places to look because they have a wider range of styles and more affordable prices.
But no matter what you do, don’t buy an Apple Watch Series 3 in any configuration. This smartwatch was great when it came out in 2017, but it’s having trouble keeping up in 2022. Even though it can run watchOS 8, it’s often more trouble than it’s worth to update the software. It’s also not certain that its old hardware will be able to run watchOS 9 when it comes out later this year.
Even though the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch for iPhone users, you can also check out our buying guide for fitness trackers.
Apple Watch Series 7 Versus Apple Watch SE
We recommend the Apple Watch SE for younger people in good health and anyone who isn’t sure if they want to spend at least $400 on their first smartwatch. But we recommend the Series 7 to people who care most about health features and want a display that stays on all the time. It’s also our top choice for people who already have an Apple Watch but want to upgrade.
The Series 7 is Apple’s best smartwatch right now. It will give you the fastest processor, fast charging, a bigger screen, and the most up-to-date sensors. (At least until later this year, when the Series 8 comes out.) The 41mm version starts at $399, and the 45mm version starts at $429. Adding LTE will cost an extra $100, plus whatever your carrier charges for the service.
The SE is like a Frankenstein’s monster of an Apple Watch. It has the processor from the Series 5 along with the always-on altimeter, motion sensors, and optical heart rate sensor from the Series 6. You can get a cellular version, and it has many of the same advanced features as the Series 7, like fall detection, emergency calling, Fitness Plus, Apple Pay, and Family Setup.
The main difference is that it doesn’t have a screen that stays on all the time, an EKG sensor, or a SpO2 sensor. On both sizes of the SE, the screen is also a little bit smaller. The 40mm costs $279 and the 44mm costs $309. Adding LTE will cost an extra $50 on top of what your carrier already charges.
To be honest, you don’t need the Series 7’s advanced health sensors if you’re young and healthy. This is especially true since SE can still send alerts when the heart rate is too high or too low. Spot checks are all that Apple’s SpO2 features can do right now. You can’t do much with that information, and unlike EKGs, it’s only approved for general health reasons. It can’t replace a fingertip pulse oximeter, and you should never use it that way.
The EKG sensor’s main job is to help find atrial fibrillation. If your doctor has given you a clean bill of health, you probably won’t use this feature more than once or twice. According to the American Heart Association, the biggest risk factors for AFib are getting older, having a heart condition, having high blood pressure, having a history of high blood pressure in the family, and having sleep apnea, among other things. If this doesn’t apply to you, the SE will still give you a great way to track your health and the same smart features. You might as well save the extra $129, as long as the lack of an always-on display isn’t a deal-breaker.