How to choose the best Apple Watch for you
Best Apple Watch Series 6 deals
(Image credit: Apple)(Image credit: Apple)The Apple Watch Series 5 is the latest and greatest Apple Watch model. Interms of upgrades, it’s more like a Series 4.5, with a similar design andspecs to the Series 4.The Series 5 is improved with a always-on display, compass, and upgradedEmergency SOS features.As it’s the newest model, discounts could be difficult to come by. These arethe best prices we can find:These are the best Apple Watch 5 GPS + 4G prices we can find:(Image credit: Apple)Announced alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max at Apple’s September event in2018, the Apple Watch Series 4 was the first time that Apple updated designand size of the Watch since it was first released.The new design featured a larger screen that reaches closer to the edges, aslightly thinner body, and impressive ECG monitor.Now that this model is a year old, you’ll start to see some impressive dealspop up. This could be the model to go for if you’re not interested in the newtitanium model or always-on display.These are the best deals you can get on the cellular Apple Watch Series 4:(Image credit: Apple)The biggest update to the Apple Watch Series 3 was a cellular connection,enabling you to use the smartwatch free from an iPhone or Wi-Fi network.You’ll even be able to make voice calls over cellular, again, without aniPhone present.This is really useful for people who use their Apple Watch for running, andhate taking their iPhones with them – you’ll even be able to stream music fromApple Music.As the Apple Watch Series 3 is now the last generation we can expect somepretty serious discounts, so if you’re looking for an Apple smartwatch, andaren’t fussed about having the latest model, the Apple Watch Series 3 shouldbe the one to go for.(Image credit: Apple)
What is the best smartwatch?
After testing dozens of the best smartwatches, our top pick is the Apple WatchSeries 6 ($399), which builds on the always-on display and built-in compass ofthe Series 5, and all of the advanced health features we loved about theSeries 4, with a SpO2 monitoring and a faster charging.The Apple Watch 3 ($199) remains a very good value as well, although the AppleWatch SE ($279) is a new option worth checking out, too. The SE is a slimmeddown version of the Series 6, but it still has a compass, fall detection andGPS.Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 ($399) is a worthy Apple Watch contender — in fact,it’s the best smartwatch for Android users. It offers a rotating bezel, plus alarger display with slimmer bezels. It introduces some life-saving featureslike FDA-approved ECG tracking and trip detection, all wrapped up in a stylishshell. However, its successor, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, could be comingsoon.The best smartwatch from Fitbit is the Fitbit Sense ($329). We like how itgives you a more rounded view of your body, rather than expecting you to self-administer readings and tests.
How to pick the best smartwatch for you
When looking at the best smartwatches for you, you’re somewhat limited by thesmartphone you own. If you want an Apple Watch, for instance, you’ll need tohave an iPhone. And while Wear OS watches work with both Android and iPhones,you get far less functionality when not connected to an Android device.Samsung’s smartwatches offer the greatest in terms of cross-functionality, buteven here, Android phone owners will get more in terms of replies tonotifications and the ability to make and receive phone calls.After that, when picking a smartwatch, you also want to get one that fits yourwrist comfortably. Those with smaller wrists may find larger smartwatches —ones with case sizes larger than 44mm — to be too bulky and cumbersome towear.After that, you want to find a smartwatch that fits your style. Although theApple Watch is limited to one shape, you can purchase it in differentfinishes. Samsung’s smartwatches offer a little more choice, while Wear OSwatches, which are made by a number of companies including Fossil, Skagen,Kate Spade, Moto, Tag Heuer, Diesel, and others, give you many more optionswhen it comes to their design.
The best smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 6
Apple Watch Series 6 with blue Sport Band Andy Boxall/Digital TrendsWhy you should buy this: It’s the best smartwatch. That’s all.Who it’s for: Anyone with an iPhone who wants a smartwatch.Why we picked the Apple Watch Series 6:Apple has made it a little more difficult than usual to decide which AppleWatch to purchase this year. Normally, it’d just be about the case materialand strap, but now you can pick between the Apple Watch Series 6 and the AppleWatch SE. There are four primary differences between them. If you buy theSeries 6 you get the new S6 processor, an electrocardiogram (ECG) and bloodoxygen (SpO2) sensor, plus the always-on screen.If you buy the SE it doesn’t have these features and uses the S5 chip, but itcosts $120 less. The S6 processor and the always-on display are genuinereasons to buy the Series 6, but the ECG and SpO2 sensors aren’t. These areuseful in very specific cases, rather than being features you’ll use on adaily basis.The majority of people will be satisfied with the Apple Watch SE, but if moneyisn’t a problem the Series 6 does more, and may end up lasting longer becauseof it. This list is all about the best smartwatches, and looking at the AppleWatch on both a technical level and a software and usability level, the Series6 is the “best” version, but you can save a little money and get one that’salmost as good if you’d prefer. That’s a great position to be in, and onlycements the Apple Watch’s position on our list.Let’s talk about the Apple Watch’s benefits across both models. It comes ineither a 40mm or 44mm case size, and we recommend getting the 100% recycledaluminum body, with your strap of choice. The always-on screen (Series 6 only)means you don’t have to raise your wrist to see the time, and it looks superb.Fitness features are comprehensive and motivational. Activity Rings showprogress towards daily goals, it can track your sleep, the watch reminds youto stand up, it has an automatic hand wash timer, GPS, a heart rate sensor,the option to track period cycles for women, and even a noise app that canwarn you when you’re at risk of hearing damage. The case is swim-proof, andthe prebuilt workout plans include cycling, swimming, yoga, hiking, and more.All this combines to make the Apple Watch an easy-to-use and highly accessiblefitness tracker, with plenty of motivational alerts to keep you going.Battery life is good with both models lasting up to two days even with sleeptracking enabled, but you’ll get more out of the SE due to the lack of analways-on screen. The software is fast and reliable, there are multiple appsavailable, you can make and receive calls from the basic model or buy one witha cellular connection for use without your phone, and there’s a very healthythird-party strap ecosystem to personalize your watch too.Simply, if you own an iPhone, the Apple Watch is the only smartwatch to buy.If you own an Apple Watch Series 5 there aren’t many reasons to upgrade thisyear, but if you own any model older than this it’s well worth picking up aApple Watch Series 6 or SE.Read our full Apple Watch Series 6 review, and our full Apple Watch SE review
About the Apple Watch Series 6
Setting up and using the Apple Watch is an absolute breeze—and because ofthat, the most difficult Watch-related task is figuring out which model toget. Do you save your cash and go for the entry-level model? You could, butthat Stainless Steel model just looks so…shiny. Here’s a rundown of AppleWatch Series 6 pricing:*40mm Aluminum Case with Sport Loop: $399 *44mm Aluminum Case with Sport Loop: $429 *40mm Stainless Steel Case with Sport Loop: $699 *44mm Stainless Steel Case with Sport Loop: $749 *40mm Titanium Case with Sport Sport Loop: $799 *44mm Titanium Case with Sport Sport Loop: $849Head swimming yet? There are even more decisions to make. The prices above areentry-level, and if you want a fancier band, you’re going to have to shell outmore cash. Then, there’s the fact that if you’re planning on leaving yourphone at home from time to time, like if you go out on a run, you may want toconsider the cellular model so you can still get calls and messages. That willrun you an extra $100 for the Aluminum models—though, thankfully the StainlessSteel and Titanium models come with cellular connectivity by default, andthere is no non-cellular option. It’s also important to keep in mind that ifyou get the cellular model, you’ll need to link it to your carrier’s plan,which usually costs around an extra $10-20 per month.Credit: Christian de Looper / ReviewedAll the decisions you’ll make about models have to do with size and style, notthe specs under the hood. All Apple Watch Series 6 models have the same actualspecs. Here’s what you’ll get:Display: LTPO OLED display with 1,000 nit brightness Processor: Apple S6 64-bit dual-core processor Connectivity: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE and UMTS (on cellular models) Water resistance: Up to 50 meters Audio: Microphone and speaker Battery: Up to 18 hours Storage: 32GB Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, compass, always-onaltimeter, blood oxygen sensor, ECG
Best smartwatch 2021 – our reviews compared
We’ve run down the pick of our smartwatch reviews, and distilled them into oneread. However, read the full in-depth testing before buying to make sureyou’re getting the right device for your needs.Credit: Wareable
Apple Watch Series 6 key features
* Works with iPhones only * Always-on display * ECG and SpO2 * Available with GPS and GPS/LTE * 40/44mm case options * Optical heart rate sensor * Built-in GPS * Speaker and microphone * Waterproof up to 50 meters * Apple Pay * Price when reviewed: £399 – Official Apple Watch Series 6 page> Buy it if… The Apple Watch Series 6 is the best Apple Watch. But to choose> it over the Apple Watch SE you need to be picking the superior stainless> steel design, new colorways or want the ECG/blood oxygen tracking.The Series 6 is absolutely the best Apple Watch, with the most features andhigh-end health tech.It debuts the SpO2 sensor to keep an eye on blood oxygen saturation, andretains ECG for spot checking your heart rhythm for possible Afib. If thatdoesn’t mean much to you, perhaps the Apple Watch SE is the smarter purchase.At £379.99 for the 40mm model it’s pricier, but the always-on display alsomakes it worth choosing over the Apple Watch SE. If you’re into aesthetics,choosing a stainless steel Series 6 is a big visual step up over the aluminumcase and another reason to pay more.Elsewhere, it’s the same story and it’s a minor upgrade from the Series 5.There’s GPS, sports tracking, 5ATM water resistance and all the key AppleWatch features. There’s also an always-on altimeter for you climbers andhikers.The App Store is bustling with third-party offerings, and if there’s somethingthe Apple Watch doesn’t do, there’s usually an app for that.Sadly, it’s also the same Apple Watch battery life story. Apple promises 18hours, but we found around 36 hours. Of course that heavily depends on use.But using the Apple Watch for sleep tracking means you need to think aboutwhen to charge, and that’s now a problematic side to the watch.In short, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the best version of the best smartwatch.But ask yourself how much you care about SpO2 and ECG. If you don’t, it’s onlythe stainless steel finishes and always-on display that makes the Series 6worth the extra money.Read our in-depth Apple Watch Series 6 review.
3. Apple Watch Series 3: Best value Apple Watch
Price: £197 | Buy now from Amazon Admittedly, a £195 price tag stretches the boundaries of what we consider tobe a ‘cheap’ smartwatch but, if you’re already invested in the iOS ecosystem,then the Apple Watch 3 is undoubtedly the best way to go. Why? Because it’sstill one of the very best smartwatches money can buy but it’s considerablycheaper than the newer Watch 5.As well as doing practically everything its successors can do, the Apple Watch3 is small, lightweight and beautifully designed. Notable features includeGPS, in-depth fitness tracking (including swim tracking), contactless paymentsand music playback via Spotify. Following last year’s watchOS 5 softwareupgrade, there are additional workouts to choose from as well as a newcompetition mode, so you can challenge your friends. Digital assistant Sirihas also been refined.Put simply, Apple’s smartwatches continue to set the gold standard forwearable technology, and the Series 3 currently offers the best value ofanything in the California-based company’s range.Read our full Apple Watch Series 3 reviewKey specs – Operating system: watchOS; Screen size and type: 1.5in 272 x 340OLED; Battery life: 18 hours; Replaceable strap: No; GPS: Built-in; Heartrate: Yes; NFC: No* * *
7. Huawei Watch GT 2e: Best budget smartwatch for runners
Price: £105 | Buy now from Amazon It might not be that smart – it lacks an app store and features such as NFC,for instance – but the Huawei Watch GT 2e is a great option for runners. Infact, we like it so much that we featured it in our best running watchroundup.After its Watch 2, Huawei said goodbye to Google’s Wear OS in favour of itsown Lite OS software. This explains the lack of some smart features, but it’salso the reason the Watch GT2e boasts an impressive two-week battery life.Coupled with excellent sports tracking, with 100 workout modes available, it’san all-round solid exercise companion. Runners are best catered for, however,with a range of preset workouts to choose from including training plans forevents from 5K to marathon distance. Huawei has also partnered with Firstbeat(which provides training analysis for Garmin’s products) to offer insightssuch as VO2 max, training effectiveness and recovery times.If you’re a runner in need of a smartwatch for your workouts, the GT 2e is anabsolute bargain. Just bear in mind that it’s better paired with Androiddevices, as you’re able to load it with music. At present, it’s also notpossible to sync the GT series of smartwatches with Strava.Key specs – Operating system: Lite OS; Screen size and type: 1.39in 454 x 454AMOLED HD; Battery life: Up to 20 days; Replaceable strap: Yes; GPS: Yes;Heart rate: Yes; NFC: NoBest Apple Watch 2021: which model should you buy?If you have had your eye on an Apple Watch for a while, you’re probablyexcited to get your hands on the new Apple Watch Series 6, which replaces theSeries 5 as the new flagship. Before you hit that buy button, however, andburn a £399/$399 (or more) hole in your pocket, you might want to stop andconsider which is the best Apple Watch for you, first.We get it. It sounds easier to just get the highest model to make sure thatyou’re getting the best of the best smartwatches around. After all, choosingthe right model for you is a tougher decision. But here’s the thing: justbecause the Series 6 has the most features, that doesn’t mean that it’s thebest value for your money – especially if you don’t need those extra features.
How to choose the best Apple Watch for you
As we mentioned before, the latest, greatest, and therefore best Apple Watchis the Apple Watch Series 6. It features a stunning design and a brighteralways-on display. It’s not the biggest update over the Series 5, but thesmall things make a difference.Apple also still sells the Series 3, and despite looking pretty similar, thereare lots of differences between the Series 3 and Series 6 watches – not leastthe price, as the Apple Watch Series 3 can now be picked up for a veryreasonable price, making it one of the very best Apple Watch deals around.Aesthetically, the Series 6 and 5 are considered to be better looking. Theyhave a 30% larger screen and are thinner, with more metallic colour options, alouder speaker, a ceramic backplate that’s meant to boost reception and thenew digital crown with haptic feedback, which is used to navigate the watch’sfeatures.One other big difference is what’s inside the watches. The Series 6 one has anS6 64-bit dual-core processor and is massively faster than the S3 processor inthe Series 3 Apple Watch. It also comes with a second-generation optical heartsensor, an electrical heart sensor and blood oxygen monitor, allowing it to doa whole lot more health monitoring including ECG tests.However, there are lots of similarities too, which are worth considering ifyou are not hell-bent on having the latest model and are looking for extravalue for money.Once you’ve chosen between the two available models (Series 1 and 2 have beendiscontinued) you’ll need to consider which size of watch face you prefer(there are two choices) and whether you want it to have the ability to makecalls via your phone network, as cellular connectivity comes at a price.The standard GPS Watches are cheaper (although not as cheap as the best cheapsmartwatches), while the cellular equivalents are $100 more expensive in allcases. So just what do you get for the money? The cool ability to make phonecalls from your watch, thanks to an electronic SIM card inside the GPS +Cellular models.As well as the higher price of the watch itself, you’ll incur extra runningcosts for data usage and network fees, so it’s worthwhile thinking aboutwhether you really want this feature.But if you’re someone who has their phone with them all the time, you’llprobably want to plump for the cheaper GPS versions and save your pennies.Last but not least, you’ll want your watch to look good, and there are a lotof decisions to make. The watch’s body comes in aluminium, which is thecheapest option, or stainless steel, with lots of colours and materials tochoose from for straps. The most expensive options are made from titanium andthere are even offerings from Nike and luxury fashion house Hermès. Read ourguide to the best Apple Watch case material.Oh, and if you’re thinking about waiting for the Apple Watch Series 7, thenyou can read our guide to find out the release date, price, and new featuresto expect.(Image credit: Apple)
5. Apple Watch Series 6: Best sports smartwatch
Price: £379 | Buy now from John Lewis Apple’s latest smartwatch isn’t a massive update on its predecessor, theSeries 5 (which previously occupied this position in our roundup).Nevertheless, it’s arguably the best smartwatch you can buy.Its sports tracking features remain largely unchanged, which is no bad thing.However, in addition to in-built GPS, heart rate monitor and a great workoutapp, there are a couple of new additions. The Series 6 now offers blood-oxygenmeasurements, sleep tracking, and an always-on altimeter. This latter featureallows you to track your altitude in real time whereas, previously, the AppleWatch altimeter would only update every 15 minutes.As with all Apple Watches before it, the battery life is nothing to write homeabout. However, it should be capable of logging all but the longest workouts,and the Series 6 is undoubtedly deserving of its place here.Key specs – Battery life: 18 hours; GPS: Yes; Waterproof: Yes; Heart-ratetracking: Yes; Bluetooth/ANT+: Bluetooth
6. Huawei GT 2e: Best budget sports smartwatch
Price: From £105 | Buy now on Amazon The Huawei GT 2e sits somewhere in between a smartwatch and a sports watch.It’s not a full smartwatch because it doesn’t run Wear OS and so has no appstore, but it has a large, bright AMOLED touchscreen and you can put music onit (Android users only). By not using Google’s software, however, Huawei hasbeen able to massively increase the battery life of the GT 2e compared to mostAndroid smartwatches, with the GT 2e lasting around a week even if regularlyusing it to track outdoor exercise.With 100 workout modes it’s definitely fair to say the GT 2e shines on thesports front, and it offers runners, in particular, impressive insights intotheir training load and overall fitness, using the same Firstbeat technologythat you find in Garmin devices. There are also some preset running workoutsyou can use, and training plans for events ranging from 5K to a marathon.The GT 2e has built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor and can also track your bloodoxygen levels using a SpO2 sensor. Along with sports it does a solid job oftracking everyday activity and Huawei’s sleep tracking is right up there withFitbit and Polar’s as among the best available on any watch. The onlysignificant caveat is that sadly the Watch GT2e won’t interface with Strava.If Huawei fixes that, this is a truly formidable watch for the money.Key specs – Battery life: Up to two weeks; GPS: Yes; Waterproof: Yes; Heart-rate tracking: Yes; Bluetooth/ANT+: BluetoothApple Watch Black Friday 2021: the deals we expect to seeBlack Friday Apple Watch deals are always popular. We’ve been tracking themever since Apple launched its first premium smartwatch back in 2015, and everyNovember this page – where we round up the best Black Friday Apple Watch dealsof the year – receives some of the highest traffic of the month.It’s no surprise, of course: the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch in theworld, and it’s still the best-selling smartwatch too. We expect interest tobe just as high for Black Friday 2021 (which falls on November 26), so to helpyou find the best Black Friday Apple Watch deal then, we’ve pulled togethereverything you need to know now – from which retailers to watch, to ourpredictions for the discounts we might see.We track Apple Watch deals all year round, so we know the difference between agreat offer and, well, one you should avoid. Once the official Apple WatchBlack Friday deals for 2021 start to drop, we’ll be rounding up the best oneson this page – but if you’re keen to buy one now, then the good news is thatsome of this year’s Black Friday deals are still available and you always haveAmazon Prime Day to look forward to.So what have we got? Well, there are plenty of price cuts on most models, fromthe older – but great value – Series 3 watches to the newest Series 6 and SEdevices. Stock levels are turbulent, though, so if you see something you likeit’s worth grabbing it while you can.Today’s best Apple Watch deals