The Apple Watch has become synonymous with cutting-edge wearable technology, setting the benchmark for smartwatches. With the recent launch of the Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, and the Apple Watch SE, Apple continues to push the boundaries of innovation. These new models boast enhanced health-tracking capabilities, including heart health monitoring, body temperature tracking, sleep habit analysis, and cycle-tracking functions.
In addition, the latest Apple Watches feature upgraded sensors and processors that work seamlessly with the new fall and crash detection feature. These models provide added safety by allowing users to contact emergency services when they cannot reach their phones.
In this article, we will explore the latest Apple Watch models and help you decide which one to buy in 2023 based on their features, performance, and value for money.
Apple Watch Ultra
The ultimate choice for adventurers, with its robust features designed for outdoor enthusiasts.
The Ultra model of Apple Watch is the largest, most powerful, and most expensive option available. While its price may seem steep, it offers unique features that justify its cost.
One feature of the Ultra is its large and bright screen, which is the largest among all Apple Watches and boasts an OLED display that produces twice as much light (2,000 nits) as the Series 8 or SE. Additionally, it comes with a MIL-STD 810H-tested titanium case and an extended battery life of 36 hours, double that of the Series 8 and SE. The Ultra also includes an additional Action button for customizable functions.
Where the Ultra truly sets itself apart is its durability and versatility for outdoor adventures. It is designed for various activities like diving, hiking, and more. It features L1 and L5 GPS for improved accuracy when on foot and comes with an EN13319 certification and a depth gauge with a water temperature sensor for underwater treks. It can even function as a dive computer with the Oceanic+ app for recreational dives at depths of up to 40 meters.
Despite its impressive features, the Ultra's higher price point and bulky design may not suit everyone, especially those with smaller wrists. However, for climbers, swimmers, and outdoor enthusiasts, the Apple Watch Ultra stands out as the top choice in terms of performance and durability.
Apple Watch Series 8
The top pick for most people, offering an outstanding balance of performance and affordability.
The Apple Watch Series 8 strikes a perfect balance for most people, sitting comfortably in terms of price and capabilities between the SE and Ultra models. One of its standout features is the always-on OLED screen, which is 20% larger than the SE's, providing a more immersive experience. Powered by Apple's third-generation heart rate sensor, the Series 8 can track blood oxygen, ECG, and heart rate data, offering comprehensive health monitoring.
In addition to its impressive display and heart rate sensor, the Series 8 also includes a new temperature sensor. This sensor provides advanced fitness metrics and even offers ovulation tracking, making it a valuable tool for individuals who prioritize their health and fitness goals.
Compared to the SE, the Series 8 is a premium choice that offers high-end components and an expanded set of features. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of the pricier Ultra model, it provides a compelling option for those who want a full, reliable smartwatch without breaking the bank. If you're looking for a versatile and capable Apple Watch, the Series 8 is a compelling choice that perfectly balances performance and affordability.
Apple Watch Series 7
Series 8 for Adventurers, Series 7 for Affordability
The Apple Watch Series 7, released in October 2021, retains many of the unique features of previous Apple Watches, although it lacks the latest advancements. However, if you are willing to forego the newest features and prefer a more affordable option, the Series 7 is an excellent choice.
The Apple Watch Series 7 offers health-focused features like blood oxygen measurement, ECG monitoring, sleep analysis, and durability for strenuous workouts. It comes in different finishes and colors, including special-edition collections. Connectivity options include GPS or GPS + Cellular, which cost an additional $100.
While the Apple Watch Series 7 may not have the latest advancements, it still offers a range of features that cater to health-conscious users, along with durable construction and stylish design options. If you are looking for a more affordable option without compromising on essential smartwatch capabilities, the Series 7 is worth considering.
Apple Watch SE
The most budget-friendly option among the latest Apple Watch models.
The 2022 Apple Watch SE, priced at $249, is an excellent alternative to the Series 8 for first-time smartwatch buyers and budget-conscious users. It features the same S8 processor, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, fall detection, and water resistance. While it lacks some premium features like an always-on display, blood oxygen and ECG readings, and premium materials, it offers improved battery life and a wide selection of apps.
However, there are some compromises to keep the price low. The OLED screen is smaller at 40/44mm and doesn't have an always-on display option. It also lacks blood oxygen and ECG readings, comes only in aluminum, and has no dust or dirt protection. Nevertheless, the Apple Watch SE performs well and provides a reliable and affordable entry into the Apple Watch lineup for users of all ages.
In conclusion, the 2022 Apple Watch SE is a budget-friendly alternative to the Series 8, offering similar performance and features at a lower price point. While it has some limitations, such as a smaller screen and missing premium features, it provides a reliable and affordable smartwatch option for first-time buyers and those on a budget.
Is an iPhone required to use an Apple Watch?
Yes, an iPhone is required to set up your Apple Watch. However, if you have a newer Apple Watch, you can pair one iPhone with multiple watches with the Family Setup function. It's important to note that other Apple devices, such as iPads, and non-Apple smartphones, are not currently supported for use with the Apple Watch.
Is the Apple Watch SE a good choice for budget-conscious buyers?
Yes, the Apple Watch SE is an excellent option for budget-conscious buyers who want a quality smartwatch without breaking the bank. Despite being less expensive than the latest Apple Watch models, the Apple Watch SE still offers robust health tracking capabilities, connectivity options, and other features that make it a compelling choice for those on a budget.
Is the Apple Watch Series 7 more affordable than the Series 8?
Yes, the Apple Watch Series 7 is more affordable than the Series 8, making it a good choice for users who want essential smartwatch capabilities without the latest advancements.
What is the main difference between the Apple Watch Series 8 and 7?
The Apple Watch Series 8 boasts a larger always-on display and faster charging and introduces new health features unavailable in the Series 7. These advancements in display, charging, and health monitoring make the Series 8 a more advanced and cutting-edge option than the Series 7.