These are the Best Apple Watch options to buy in 2021
If you have an iPhone, there’s no better smartwatch than the Apple Watch. Other smartwatch makers simply can’t offer the same level of deep integration that Apple provides. Even outside of the Apple Watch, smartwatch options are very limited, and Apple arguably occupies the top spot for wearables. But which of the available Apple Watch models is best for you? Now that’ll require some explaining.
Navigate this guide:
- Best Apple Watch: Series 7
- Best Value for Money Apple Watch: Apple Watch SE
- Best Budget Apple Watch: Series 3
Best Apple Watch: Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 is undoubtedly the best Apple Watch you can buy today. It isn’t a massive upgrade over the Series 6, but that isn’t necessarily bad. The Series 7 builds on its predecessor and packs several incremental upgrades, the biggest of which is its larger screen.
The Series 7 screen is 20 percent larger than the previous generation, and it looks great. There is space for more text and other content, and Apple has optimized the watchOS 8 to use that effectively. The always-on display feature that debuted in Series 5 is also present here, but it’s now brighter.
Another highlight of the smartwatch is its durability. The iPhone maker says the Series 7 is its most durable smartwatch with a thicker and stronger front crystal, IP6X certification for dust resistance, and swim-proof WR50 water resistance.
All the health and fitness features you expect— heart-rate tracking and blood oxygen monitoring to activity tracking across workouts—are also available in the smartwatch.
A lot of what Series 7 can do is possible with the Watch SE, which is our value-for-money pick. But you don’t get an Always-on display, blood oxygen monitoring support, and the ECG hardware. The Series 7 is also snappier than the Watch SE, and supports faster charging.
You can buy the Series 7 in as many as 10 case finishes, three case materials, seven band types, and four variants. This is the most extensive selection of options available for any Apple Watch to date.
Best Value for Money: Apple Watch SE
While the Series 7 may be the best Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE, which was launched alongside the Series 6, is better value-for-money. It does most things that consumers expect from an Apple smartwatch, but the relatively lower price tag also means you do lose some features. The three major things you’ll miss out on when choosing the Watch SE, as mentioned above, are always-on display, blood oxygen sensor, and ECG.
You’ll still get the same design and display as the Series 6. Also, the Watch SE provides the same set of activity tracking features, app selection, and battery life as its more expensive cousin. You’ll be able to track dozens of workouts, including running, yoga, cycling, as well as your sleep.
Like the Series 7, the Apple Watch SE is water-resistant up to 50 meters, includes fall detection, compass, and always-on altimeter. It basically fills the hole left by Series 4 and Series 5 in the company’s portfolio. So if you’re upgrading from either of the two, it’s better to go for the Series 7. The Watch SE is a small downgrade from Series 4 and Series 5.
Overall, if you’re looking for an Apple Watch that gives the most bang for the buck, the Apple Watch SE makes perfect sense.
Best Budget Apple Watch: Series 3
If you can’t afford to or want to spend too much on a smartwatch purchase, the Apple Watch Series 3 is your best bet. If you’re wondering about Series 4 and Series 5, both of those smartwatches have been discontinued by Apple. You might spot an odd listing here and there but the company isn’t selling them officially. The Watch SE is actually a replacement for those two generations.
The Series 3 was originally introduced in September 2017, so it’s quite old. But for an iPhone user, thanks to its modest price tag, it’s the best budget smartwatch. With the Series 3, you get a number of the same features that are present in Series 7 and Watch SE, like water resistance up to 50 meters, a heart rate sensor with the ability to detect irregular rhythms, Ion-x glass display, and GPS. It also provides support for Apple Pay as well as 18 hours battery life.
Moreover, the Series 3 can track your fitness activities and sleep, and offer all the metrics you need. Basically, if you want a cheap workout companion, the Series 3 is great. Also, you get access to Siri and your phone’s notifications, including who’s calling and messaging you.
This isn’t all — given Apple’s great track record with software updates, the Series 3 has got the update to watchOS 8. So you’ll continue to get as many new features as the watch’s hardware supports.
Overall, there is no better option for a budget smartwatch than the Series 3.
Deciding on the best Apple Watch for yourself depends on your needs. If you want the top-on-the-line smartwatch with all its bells and whistles, the Series 7 is for you. But if you don’t really need an always-on display, ECG, or blood oxygen monitoring, the Watch SE can be just as enticing as the Series 7. The Series 3 is mostly for consumers who are tight on budget but still want some of that Apple Watch goodness. Despite being a few years old, the Series 3 does the basics right, and you get access to notifications, fitness tracking, directions, a heart-rate sensor, and lots of apps.
Hopefully, this has helped you figure out the best Apple Watch for you. Which one are you going to buy? Let us know in the comments section. Meanwhile, since you’re buying an Apple Watch, don’t forget to check out our picks for the best Apple Watch bands on the market. Lastly, we’ve recently updated our guide on the best phones you can buy right now. It’s worth exploring.