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The Best Apple Watch Models to Buy in 2024

The Best Apple Watch Models to Buy in 2024

The Apple Watch is undoubtedly one of the best smartwatches you can purchase and one of the more essential iPhone accessories on the market. There’s something for everyone: From affordable Apple Watch models to robust watches that can withstand extreme adventures. You can see our guide to all of the latest Apple smartwatches below to help you decide which one is right for you.

TL;DR – These are the best Apple Watches to buy

No matter whether you’re upgrading an old Apple Watch, or it’s your first time investing in one, there’s a wealth of Apple Watch models for you to choose from. And, to save you from the hassle of picking the best one, we’ve listed them out below.

Looking for discounts? Check out our guide to the best Apple Watch deals right now.

1. Apple Watch Series 9

Best Overall Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 9

Equipped with an S9 SiP chip, the Series 9 can offer tons of tracking, a bright display, and other handy features like double-tap gesture control.

Although no longer sold with a blood oxygen sensor after a patent dispute, the best Apple Watch in 2024 is still the Series 9—the most current model. It features everything we love about the Series 8, including extensive tracking and sensors with a GPS, heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, skin temperature sensor, fertility tracking, crash detection, and more.

This time around, the watch is equipped with an S9 SiP chip that processes machine learning tasks twice as fast as the Series 8 chip, providing even more functionality for features like a double-tap gesture to control the watch one-handed without touching the display, on-device Siri to process requests that don’t require info from the internet, and a brighter display. Despite these improvements, this model offers the same battery life as the last-gen model at 18 hours.

With the Apple Watch Series 9, you get a choice of two case sizes—45mm or 41mm— in either aluminum or stainless steel. Color options include Pink Midnight, (PRODUCT) RED, Silver, and Starlight in aluminum or Silver, Gold, and Graphite in stainless steel. Depending on the case and band you choose, you may even be able to purchase a completely carbon-neutral device.

If you’re thinking about purchasing the higher end model, see how the Apple Watch Series 9 compares to the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

2. Apple Watch Series 8

Runner Up

Apple Watch Series 8

Apple Watch Series 8

Apple’s Series 8 Watch comes with a wealth of useful features. Track your fitness, bloody oxygen levels, ECG, and respond to messages and notifications quickly.

While the Series 9 is the latest and greatest from Apple, it’s still not that big of an upgrade from the Apple Watch Series 8—which is the best runner-up pick in 2023. It features the same GPS, heart rate monitor, sleep tracker, blood oxygen tracker, electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure electrical activity of the heart, and among others.

Released in 2022, the watch comes with a S8 SiP chipset and was the first generation to offer handy features that include crash and fall detection for emergency SOS, a skin temperature sensor, cycle and fertility tracking, and more. The smartwatch also boasts up to 18 hours of battery life per charge.

Meanwhile, it comes in two models—41mm and 45mm “always-on” watch faces—while it also comes in four aluminum or stainless steel case colors with matching sport band—including Midnight, (PRODUCT) RED, Silver, and Starlight. The smartwatch also comes in a cellular option, so it doesn’t have to be tethered to an Apple iPhone for mobile data.

3. Apple Watch SE

Best Budget Apple Watch

Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen)

Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen)

A budget option that runs on the same S8 SiP chipset as the Apple Watch Series 8 for speedy processing at a fraction of the cost.

Looking for an Apple Watch on the cheap? Starting at $249, the Apple Watch SE (second generation) is a fantastic pick if you’re on a budget. Although its exterior design is a bit older, the SE’s interior is blazing-fast with Apple’s S8 SiP chipset—which is the same chipset as the Series 8. This means you’re going to get the same speed as the Series 8, but at a fraction of its price tag.

The wallet-friendly smartwatch also features GPS, fitness and sleep trackers, heart rate monitor, and more. It even comes with crash and fall detection—which isn’t available in the Series 7. However, it doesn’t come with ECG, cycle and fertility tracking, or a skin temperature sensor.

It comes in 40mm and 44mm watch face options (“always-on” displays are not available), while there are three aluminum case color options available—Silver, Midnight, and Starlight. Stainless steel and titanium materials are also not available.

4. Apple Watch Ultra 2

Best Apple Watch for Adventurers, Athletes, and Runners

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Apple Watch Ultra 2

With a durable build, speedy S9 SiP processor, long battery life, and plenty of tracking, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is ideal for athletes and adventurers.

The Apple Watch Ultra gets its first modest upgrade with the Ultra 2 while still offering the same $799 price tag as the last-gen model, but this latest model may be harder to get, as Apple is halting production due to a legal disbute. This watch is ready for adventurers and serious athletes thanks to its aerospace-grade titanium and sapphire crystal display. You even get an extra physical “Action” button that’s customizable for additional control and a water resistance of up to 100m (about 328 feet) underwater.

The latest model of this rugged smartwatch comes with a speedy new processor, so it can power the brighter 3,000-nit display and take on features like double tap gestures and precision finding for the iPhone 15 models. Of course, the Ultra 2 still offers GPS, skin temperature sensors, a heart rate monitor, ECG, a SpO2, and more for all the tracking you could want while maintaining the same impressive 36-hour battery life.

Unfortunately, It only comes in one size, 49mm, and one case color, titanium, but offers an assortment of band and loop colors and types—some of which happen to be carbon neutral.

5. Apple Watch Hermès

Best Luxury Apple Watch

Apple Watch Hermes

Apple Watch Hermes

Keep it classy with this Hermes collaboration that pairs the powerful Series 9 watch and stylish Hermes bands for a high price tag.

Want to splurge? The Apple Watch Hermès is the tech company’s most expensive smartwatch. Apple partnered with Hermès, a Paris-based design house, to deliver an Apple Watch that’s luxurious and chic for high-end and fashionable shoppers.

The watch itself is a 41mm or 45mm Apple Watch Series 9 with stainless steel case, so you’re going to get the same features, functions, and usage as our best overall pick. But, Hermès makes the packaging, exclusive watch faces, and watch bands—which are made from high quality leather or woven nylon and cut and stitched by hand.

However, that kind of opulence is not cheap. The Apple Watch Hermès starts at $1,249 and goes up in price from there depending on the size and band style chosen.

1. Samsung Galaxy Watch6

The Best Apple Watch Alternative

Samsung Galaxy Watch6

Samsung Galaxy Watch6

Google Wear OS-powered smartwatch with advanced tracking, a bright AMOLED display, and decent battery life.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 is the best Apple Watch alternative on the market. It has everything you’d expect from an Apple product, including comfort, style, and functionality, but it’s built for Android. It has a sleek, simple band with a sharp, circular, and responsive touch display that’s slightly bigger and brighter than the last-gen model. There’s even a handy touch-sensitive bezel for scrolling. However, this model does see a drop in battery life from 50 to 30 hours, but it still beats the Apple Watch Series 9 in that department and pairs great with the new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

This smartwatch also doubles as a fitness tracker, similar to any of the Apple Watch models listed. There’s a wide range of advanced sensors, including skin temperature, ECG, and blood oxygen saturation, along with reliable automatic exercise detection and solid sleep tracking. The Galaxy Watch6 also supports a wide range of Android apps and lets you send messages, answer calls, get app alerts, and make payments.

With various color options, 40mm and 44mm sizes, and swappable watch bands and faces, the Galaxy Watch6 is highly customizable. It’s possible to connect with your phone via Bluetooth and the Samsung Galaxy Wearable app, or you can enjoy cellular connectivity. Though if you have an iPhone you won’t be able to pair the two devices.

What to Look for in an Apple Watch

Although there are more Apple Watch models than ever before, it’s not as overwhelming to pick the best one. While models vary from size, durability, and price, its user experience stays just about the same—thanks to the current watchOS 10 software.

Each model will run at its best, while delivering notifications, tracking health vitals and sleep, taking phone calls, sending text messages, and, of course, displaying the time all from the convenience of your wrist. But, there are differences in the hardware itself that could make it tough to navigate, so here’s what to look for in an Apple Watch in 2024.

From casual everyday use to the rugged outdoors, there’s now an Apple Watch for just about all users. Starting at $399, the Apple Watch Series 9 is the model most people will gravitate to—thanks to its sleek design, wide range of features and apps, and usefulness when paired with an Apple iPhone. It’s the all-around favorite for its speed, long battery life, and utility when tracking health and sleep. It’s the gold standard.

However, if you’re on a budget, then go with the previous model Apple Watch Series 8 or the wallet-friendly Apple Watch SE (second generation). The Series 8 has just about the same features and usability than the latest Series 9, except it’s slower and doesn’t have a few features.

As for the SE, which starts at $249, it features an older design on the outside, but the S8 SiP chipset on the inside. This means it will run as smooth and fast as the Series 8, but without the latest features, such as an ECG, cycle and fertility tracking, and a skin temperature sensor.

For the serious athlete or the outdoorsy among us, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 will satisfy. Apple created the Ultra line specifically for adventurers, athletes, and runners who want precision and detailed tracking and utility. This model is rugged enough for even the harshest of conditions and activities, such as mountain climbing and deep sea diving.

Meanwhile, most Apple Watch models come in two sizes—either 41mm or 45mm “always-on” watch faces—except for the Apple Watch SE, which comes in 40mm or 44mm, and the Ultra, which comes in only one size, a generous 49mm “always-on” display. Picking the best size for you depends on the size of your wrist.

As for connectivity, there are only three Apple Watches that have a GPS-only model option—the Series 9, Series 8, and the SE. This means you’d have to be tethered to an Apple iPhone for mobile data. But, all the models we’ve selected have GPS and cellular connectivity options. This means you don’t need an iPhone for mobile data to use these models. They have their own cellular antennas and work independently. But, this also means you’d have to get a separate mobile plan line for the Apple Watch.

Overall, the Apple Watch Series 9 is the best option for most people. It hits the mark when it comes to the newest features and price. But, if this model is too expensive, then the Series 8 is a worthy runner-up pick—especially since it has just about the same design as the Series 9 at a discounted price.

Apple Watch FAQ

Which generation Apple Watch is the best?

The Apple Watch with the latest tech, advanced health tracking, and an always-on display is hands-down the Apple Watch Series 9. It has everything you need in a smartwatch and features Apple’s most powerful chip in an Apple Watch.

Can you use an Apple Watch with an Android phone?

Unfortunately, if you don’t have an iPhone then you will be unable to activate an Apple Watch. The two platforms are unable to pair together, so you will need one of the best iPhones to be able to use any of these Apple Watch models.

The article was first published here

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