Best Apple Watch to buy in 2024

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As an iPhone user, if you’re looking for a smartwatch, then the Apple Watch is the best option available. However, if you use an Android phone, the Apple Watch may not be the best fit for you. However, for those using iPhones, there are many choices available when it comes to selecting the best Apple Watch. To help you make the right choice, we have reviewed Apple’s current lineup of watches.

In 2024, Apple’s watches will start at $249 and go up to $799. Of course, the prices may increase depending on the type of case and band you select. These are just the base prices. So, without any delay, let us take a look at the best Apple Watch you can purchase in 2023.

Best Apple Watch you can buy today

Please refer to the table below for our recommended Apple Watches, their prices, and where you can buy them. We only suggest Apple’s current models, including the latest Apple Watch Series 8. The Series 8 is a model that can be found on Amazon and other retailers. We highly recommend adding it to your list of options.

Best overall Apple Watch

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Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is undoubtedly the best Apple Watch that you can buy today. While Apple did make it primarily for those who are athletes, swimmers, and hikers, a lot of others really love this watch. That’s because it’s the biggest watch Apple has ever made, has a titanium casing and a sapphire display. On top of that, the battery life has doubled compared to the regular Apple Watch. This means you can actually use it for sleep tracking.

Personally, I’ve been wearing the Apple Watch Ultra since it came out in 2022. The second-generation model didn’t add many updates. The most significant update was a much brighter display. And I still love this watch. It does seem to hold its battery life cycle much better than previous Apple Watches, with only being down to 98% after about 16 months of daily usage. Whereas, my Apple Watch Series 7 was down to 90% after just under a year of daily usage. A good part of that is the battery life, which I often times charge it every other day, or even longer between charges.

The bigger display on the Apple Watch Ultra also means that you are able to fit more information on the screen, particularly with watch faces. The Modular Ultra watch face that debuted in watchOS 10 is absolutely fantastic. You have so much data you can add to the watch face; in fact, sometimes it turns out to be too much for me as I struggle to find additional complications to add.

One of the downsides to the Apple Watch Ultra 2, however, is that the blood oxygen sensor no longer works on that model. That’s due to the ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Masimo. This forced Apple to suspend sales in the US in December 2023; however, it went back on sale shortly thereafter. Apple did need to disable the blood oxygen sensor, though there is talk about it being reactivated in the future as Apple changes the algorithms. However, the original Apple Watch Ultra isn’t affected.

Buy at Amazon

Best Apple Watch under $500

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Apple Watch Series 9

As usual, Apple didn’t really change the look of the Apple Watch Series 9 when compared to its Series 8 model. Instead, the big redesign is set for Series 10, which will debut later this year. Much like the iPhone X for the iPhone’s 10-year anniversary, which got a massive design change, we expect similar results for the Apple Watch.

But the Apple Watch Series 9 is still a really good watch. It’s under $500, in fact it’s priced at $399 for the 41mm model. This particular watch is available in 41mm and 45mm sizes. So whether you have a smaller wrist or a slightly larger one, Apple has you covered here.

The new feature of the Apple Watch Series 9 is the Double Tap feature. This feature lets you scroll through the OS without actually touching your watch. You can double tap your finger and thumb together on the arm that the watch is on, to tap on buttons. It sounds cool, however, this is not available in all apps. It’s mostly limited to Apple apps right now. That’s only because other app developers have not updated their apps just yet.

Much like the Apple Watch Ultra 2, the display is brighter here too. That makes it much easier to use outdoors in direct sunlight, especially if you’re out on a hike.

Also, like the Apple Watch Ultra 2, the blood oxygen sensor on the Series 9 is disabled. That’s due to the ongoing patent dispute between Apple and Masimo. This forced Apple to suspend sales in the US in December 2023; however, it went back on sale shortly thereafter. Apple did need to disable the blood oxygen sensor, though there is talk about it being reactivated in the future as Apple changes the algorithms. However, the Apple Watch Series 8 isn’t affected. The ruling only affected models that Apple currently sells, and you can find Series 8 models at other retailers still.

Buy at Amazon

Best for first-timers

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Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)

The Apple Watch SE is perfect for those that are just thinking about getting a watch, but aren’t really sure. With this model, Apple has stripped out some features, like the glass back and the always-on display, which makes it much cheaper, starting at $249. It comes in 40mm and 44mm, with the larger size being $299, and you can add $30 more for a cellular model.

These are slightly different sizes compared to the Series 9, but keep in mind that 38mm to 41mm bands fit the same size watches, while the 42mm to 45mm bands all fit the same size watches, too. So older bands will still work here – a great perk if you’re upgrading from a previous Apple Watch!

Despite using older technology, the Apple Watch SE does come with a bright and vibrant 1,000-nit display. And trust me, you won’t have any issue using it outdoors. It looks great, and the only real omission is the always-on display (AOD). Honestly, many users (including myself, even on my Apple Watch Ultra) turn AOD off anyway to save battery, so you’re not missing much there.

There’s no blood oxygen sensor included here, which is fine since it is disabled on the newer, more expensive watches anyway. But don’t worry, many of the other essential health features are still here! That includes tracking your steps, calories, sleep, and so much more. It seamlessly integrates with Apple Health and Apple Fitness for a complete wellness picture. Plus, you can still try out Apple Fitness Plus, the subscription workout service, and get motivated with a huge range of guided workouts.

The Bottom line is that the Apple Watch SE delivers the core Apple Watch experience – notifications, fitness tracking, and deep integration with your iPhone – all at a super accessible price. If you’re looking for a solid smartwatch without unnecessary bells and whistles, the SE is still a fantastic choice.

Buy at Amazon

Best sub-$300 Apple Watch

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Apple Watch Series 8

Even in 2024, the Apple Watch Series 8 will likely remain a compelling smartwatch option for several reasons. While newer models might be out, the Series 8 will likely become even more affordable by 2024. Apple Watches are known for their excellent build quality and software support that extends for several years, meaning a Series 8 will function flawlessly and offer cutting-edge features for a significant time.

The Series 8 will still boast an array of health sensors, including heart rate monitoring, ECG capabilities, and blood oxygen tracking. These features are invaluable tools for staying on top of your well-being, detecting potential health issues, and keeping a proactive eye on your fitness goals.

For those deeply invested in Apple products, the Series 8 offers unparalleled integration. You can receive notifications, control music playback, use Apple Pay, and even unlock your Mac directly from your wrist. This seamless connectivity creates a smoother, more efficient user experience within the Apple environment.

The Series 8 offers features like fall detection and emergency SOS, which can be lifesavers in critical moments. These features provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones, knowing that help is just a touch away.

Even without the latest bells and whistles, the Series 8 will excel as a workout companion. Track your workouts, get motivated by closing your activity rings, and tap into the rich Apple Fitness+ ecosystem for guided training sessions.

Buy at Amazon

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