These are the Best Apple Watch options right now: Series 6, Watch SE, and more!
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 6
- Best Value for Money Apple Watch: Apple Watch SE
- Best Budget Apple Watch: Series 3
Best Apple Watch: Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch Series 6 is no doubt the best Apple Watch currently available. It isn’t the best value-for-money Apple Watch, but that doesn’t matter if you’re looking for the best. Unveiled in September 2020, the Series 6 comes with features like an always-on display, the new S6 chip, watchOS 7, blood oxygen monitoring, and ECG. It also offers a fast and responsive experience and is pretty comfortable to wear.
The always-on display is one of the biggest aspects of the Series 6 that’s absent from Watch SE, and may cause consumers to pick the Series 6 over Watch SE. The always-on display, which was first introduced on Series 5, as its name suggests, keeps the screen always on, thus allowing you to easily glance at the date, time, and other details. Apple has also managed to increase the brightness of the always-on display in the ambient mode (basically when you are not fiddling with it) without sacrificing the battery life in the Series 6.
Blood oxygen monitoring support and the presence of ECG hardware are the Series 6’s two other features that you’ll miss on the Watch SE. These aren’t necessarily deal-breakers for most people but if you have a history of heart problems, the FDA-approved ECG on the Series 6 can help detect atrial fibrillation. The Series 6 also excels on the general health-tracking and fitness activity tracking fronts. It allows you to track your sleep as well as various workouts, including swimming, yoga, and cycling.
Moreover, Series 6 is the first time when Apple released the (PRODUCT) red and blue colors for its smartwatch, thus increasing the number of available combinations further. You also get the Series 6 in stainless steel and titanium, an option that isn’t available for Apple Watch SE.
Overall, the Apple Watch Series 6 clearly stands tall over any other smartwatch in the company’s portfolio. If you’re looking for the best and aren’t worried about paying a premium, this is it.
Best Value for Money Apple Watch: Apple Watch SE
While the Series 6 may be the best Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE, which was launched alongside the former, 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 6, the Apple Watch SE is water-resistant up to 50 meters, includes fall detection, compass, and always-on altimeter. Moreover, it may pack a generation-old processor but you would hardly notice any real difference in day-to-day usage. The Watch SE is as snappy and responsive as the Series 6.
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 hold on for Series 7, or you can get Series 6 for incremental upgrades. 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: 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 6 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 Apple Watch 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 7. It’s also set to get the watchOS 8 update as well. 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 6 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 6. Both smartwatches look identical, so you don’t have to worry about the looks or design. 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. Also, if you’re curious about how the Series 6 stacks up against Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3, we have a comparison of the two. Lastly, we’ve recently updated our guide on the best phones you can buy right now. It’s worth exploring.