Apple Watch buying guide: Which wearable is best for you?

Apple Watch buying guide: Which wearable is best for you?

Generally speaking, recommending an Apple Watch is simple: If you use an iPhone and want a smartwatch, staying home with Apple will generally be your best option.

But right now there are several Apple Watch on the market. The introduction of the Apple Watch Series 7 in September 2021 brought Apple’s lifetime total to nine, and the company currently offers three models in stores: Series 7, SE, and Series 3. Between them, there are multiple variants that differ in size, connectivity, design and price.

Then there are older but still up-to-date generations you can get from third-party retailers like Best Buy and Amazon, as well as options to buy refurbished devices. Everyone has different needs, and you may be able to find an Apple Watch that’s less expensive and more in line with your desires by following these routes.

The imminent release of watchOS 9 will further complicate these decisions, and as usual, Apple is expected to launch new models in the fall. For those looking to take the plunge This dayHowever, we do examine the market for old, new, and refurbished Apple Watches and test current options to help determine which one is best for you. We’ll keep this guide updated over time as new models are introduced, so if you’re looking to upgrade from an older model or jump on board for the first time, let us do your research for you.

The best Apple Watch for most people

apple watch series 7

Shop: Starting at $345 at Amazon, Apple, Target, Walmart

The Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch you can buy right now.
Enlarge / The Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch you can buy right now.

corey gaskins

The Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch you can buy right now. It’s the best-equipped and best-supported handset on the market, making it the truest extension of your phone available. The number of apps and integrations is unparalleled, letting you do everything from opening your garage door to checking ocean tides right from your wrist. It’s not the fanciest fitness accessory – we’d pick a Garmin smartwatch for serious athletes and outdoorsmen who want longer battery life and deeper training features – but the Series 7 is getting a bit closer here too.

With sensors for ECG monitoring, blood oxygen readings, and heart rate, the Series 7 hits the top-tier trifecta for wearable health metrics. Add GPS, a compass, an always-on altimeter, built-in fall detection, 50-meter water resistance, and the option of cellular capability, and you have a fitness buddy you can take anywhere for tracking and safety purposes. .

Apple’s “digital crown” mechanism remains an intuitive way to scroll through the watch, and there are fun case colors and a host of strap options to suit your style, including the nike sports bands, stylish metal options, woven bandsand a ton more.

With the imminent release of watchOS 9 this fall, Series 7 will also gain the ability to provide advanced running metrics (eg, stride, cadence, pace), heart rate zones, and new multi-sport tracking modes, among other features.

The Series 7 also has the largest display of any Apple Watch, thanks to its smaller bezels and 1mm larger watch case compared to the Series 6. Not a huge difference, except that the larger size makes it easier to QWERTY keyboard for text input. —but it allows for larger text formats that can be a game changer for people with visual impairments.

With charging coils and a USB-C-based charger, the Series 7 is also the fastest-charging Apple Watch, charging from 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 dustproof (IP6X) Apple Watch and the only one that supports typing via a full QWERTY keyboard.

To be clear, the Series 7, like every Apple Watch in this guide, isn’t perfect. While Apple smartwatches enjoy the broadest level of compatibility with third-party apps (and accessories), you won’t find every iPhone app on the Apple Watch, far from it. And not all apps are particularly useful. (You Really Do you want to be able to scroll through Twitter on your wrist?) Still, just about every app relevant to a wrist-based experience is there.

The biggest sacrifice you’ll make with 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, though 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 iPhone-only, and that will likely never change. But as a whole, and especially for iPhone owners, Apple Watch is the most complete wearable platform on the market, and right now the Series 7 is the most complete offering for most people.

For whom it is? Those who want the latest in health and fitness features or those who simply need a bigger screen
It’s worth the upgrade for: Series 5 and below

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