Since its introduction in 2015, the Apple watch has undergone what most would consider pretty minor physical changes. That said, its internal components, tracking capabilities, and connectivity options have continued to evolve. Apple’s focus on cutting-edge capabilities and ever-expanding use cases has kept the Apple Watch at the head of the pack over the better part of a decade. But, despite the introduction of cheaper Apple Watch SE, any Apple Watch model remains a significant investment. Let us help you find the best possible price for whichever model you choose, whether its the latest Apple Watch Series 7, the mid-range Apple Watch SE, or the still-great Apple Watch Series 3. We’ve gathered the best deals currently available below to help you purchase your iPhone’s new best friend for the lowest possible price.
Save $30 to $50
The newest, and arguably best, Apple Watch features a larger display that actually curves around the edges. This extra screen real estate allows for a new on-screen swipe keyboard and a series of watch faces designed to take advantage of the additional space. Our Jason Cipriani praised the “large, vibrant display” and faster charging offered by this generation. Right now, your best bet for all versions of the Series 7 is Amazon, where you can score a 41mm or 45mm version in GPS-only or LTE for between $30 and $50 off.
$30 to $40 off
The Apple Watch SE is Apple’s mid-range model. Although it was designed to be a budget-friendly alternative to the numbered Series releases, the Series 3’s continued popularity as the cheapest option has seen the SE being positioned as something of a happy medium between modern features and lowered pricing. Right now there’s a mix of deals at Amazon that can help you save as much as $40, with offers available for the GPS and LTE models in 40mm and 44mm sizes.
Despite being a few years old now, the Apple Watch Series 3 still provides an exceptional smartwatch experience at the lowest cost you can currently buy one of Apple’s wearables. This makes it the perfect solution for those unsure of how much they’ll really use a smartwatch, or those buying an Apple Watch for younger relatives. Best Buy and Walmart both have your back right now if you’re looking to save $30 on both sizes of the already budget-friendly Series 3.
Common Apple Watch questions answered
What are the main differences between the Series 7 and cheaper models?
The defining upgrade of the Series 7 is its new, larger display that actually spills over the curved edges of the Apple Watch’s glass a bit. It is also the only one of the three that offers an always-on display, with both the SE and Series 3 requiring you to lift your wrist to use the display.
The Series 7 also supports blood oxygen measurements and ECGs, whereas both of the others are limited to standard heart rate tracking.
The main variables the SE maintains over the Series 3, meanwhile, include the SE’s optional LTE support, the addition of fall detection on the SE, and support for Apple’s Family Setup feature, which allows families to share app and platform access across supported devices.
Battery life for all three devices is identical at 18 hours.
Should I pay extra for one of the LTE models?
This depends entirely on a few factors.
First, are you the kind of person that has your iPhone on you at ALL times? If so, the usefulness of an LTE model is questionable, and probably something you can skip.
Second, do you enjoy running, biking, or doing other outdoor activities? If you do, an LTE-enabled Apple Watch can be a great way to make sure you stay connected in case of an emergency, without having to endanger your iPhone, or have the extra weight and bulk on you during your athletic pursuits.
Lastly, are you willing to pay for a separate LTE connection on a monthly basis? Some potential buyers don’t realize that carriers require a separate subscription for LTE support. While this is usually only around $10-$15, depending on the provider, it is an added expensive that will significantly raise the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of an Apple Watch.
Are Apple’s alternative bands really worth the price?
Aside from the standard silicone Sport Band that’s been coming with the Apple Watch since its debut, most other bands add a significant amount to the cost of the device. Options are available ranging from the no-clasp silicone and Braided Solo Loops ($50 to $100), to designer options in leather and steel that can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of the device.
If you’re looking to save some cash on your Apple Watch, we’d recommend buying one of the widely-available options with a Sport Loop band and upgrading to a band of your choice after purchase. Many, many third party manufacturers are now making bands that fit the Apple Watch. And, even if they don’t, its easy to acquire a third-party adapter that will match your Apple Watch’s case while allowing it to accept traditional watch bands as well. This not only opens up your Apple Watch to a much wider selection of looks, but also provides access to far cheaper alternatives that are nearly identical to Apple’s offerings.
Whether you opt for one of Apple’s first-party offerings or a third-party band or adapter, it is vital that you ensure you’re choosing one designed for your specific case size. The Apple Watch has diverged by the better part of a centimeter in size over the course of its generations, and an incorrectly sized band will either look completely out of place, or simply not fit at all. Also, make sure what you choose is of good quality. Losing a $400+ smartwatch because you wanted to save an extra $10 on a cheaper band isn’t going to make you happy in the long run.