Best Apple Watch for Seniors iMore 2020
Apple Watches are available in various styles and price points. For seniors, we recommend the flagship Apple Watch Series 5, which offers all the latest features at a great price. We've also included other models to help you make a better-informed decision.
- Best Overall: Apple Watch Series 5
- Best for Sport: Apple Watch Series 5 Nike+
- Best Budget: Apple Watch Series 3
- Best Premium: Apple Watch Edition
- Best for Fashion: Apple Watch Hermès
Best Overall: Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 is Apple's current flagship wearable device. It includes a larger display, thinner bezels, and more rounded corners than previous versions. New this year is an always-on display and built-in compass. With an S5 64-bit dual-core processor, the Apple Watch Series 5 doubles the performance of the Apple Watch Series 3.
This Apple Watch version also features an electrocardiogram (ECG) system that's capable of detecting whether you're experiencing cardiac abnormalities such as atrial fibrillation. There's also a built-in fall detection tool that automatically contacts emergency services if you fall. The Apple Watch Series 5 also includes a louder speaker (which is ideal when receiving calls), a ceramic and sapphire crystal back, and increased storage capacity. It's up to you to decide whether all these features are worth the extra price.
If there's one downside to buying the Apple Watch Series 5, it's the price. Depending on the model, the newer version is at least $200 more than the Apple Watch Series 3.
- Large display
- Two times faster than Apple Watch 3
- Includes always-on display
- Built-in ECG
- Fall detection tool
The current flagship
The Apple Watch Series 5 is available in various styles and price points. New for this year is an always-on display and compass.
Best for Sport: Apple Watch Series 5 Nike+
The Apple Watch Series 5 Nike+ is precisely the same as the regular Series 5 model in terms of features. However, with this model, you'll also get an already installed Nike Run Club app with audio-guided runs, and exclusive Nike+ Analog and Digital watch faces.
Hardware-wise, the Nike+ version is only available with an aluminum case, and there's no gold finish option. The Apple Watch Series 5 Nike+ is available in 44mm and 40mm with GPS only and GPS + Cellular options available.
- Same price, more faces that regular Series 5
- Works with the same bands
- Access to Nike Run Club app
- Exclusive watch faces
- Only available with aluminum case
- No gold finish
Best for Sport
More watch faces
If you're indifferent to which Apple Watch Series 5 to choose from, you might want to get this one. For the same price, you'll get extra watch faces.
Best Budget: Apple Watch Series 3
The Apple Watch Series 3 includes a smaller display area than the more recent model and older internals. However, it's still packed with many of the same features that make it worth considering, especially for students and young people looking for a deal. These include an onboard optical heart sensor, water-resistance up to 50m, a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 18 hours between charges, and a barometric altimeter.
The Series 3 doesn't include the refreshed design first introduced with the now-discontinued Apple Watch 4, and there's no gold finish option. Despite this, you can't deny the awesome price on this still impressive wearable device.
- Price is right
- Supports watchOS 6
- Great for swimming
- Good battery
- Limited selection
- Older design
It still packs a punch
The 2017 Apple Watch Series 3 is still a great choice that's available at a steep discount.
Best Premium: Apple Watch Edition
If you're looking for something perhaps more durable than a regular Apple Watch, or want something different than previous models, consider the 2019/20 Watch Edition. Available in titanium, space black titanium, and white ceramic, this a beautiful option that will turn some heads. Inside, however, it's precisely the same as the regular Apple Watch Series 5 despite the higher price.
- Premium materials
- Multiple color options
- Same features as regular Apple Watch Series 5
Whether as a gift or for yourself, the Apple Watch Edition is terrific. Choose your band wisely.
Best for Fashion: Apple Watch Hermès
If you're looking to spend the most bling possible on an Apple Watch Series 5, the Apple Watch Hermès is here. These watches start at $1,249 and go up to $1,499. Each features a stainless case and GPS + Cellular. The main differences are the display size (44mm or 40mm) and the leather band you select.
Besides offering high-end leather bands, each Apple Watch Hermès includes an exclusive Hermès orange Sport Band. There are also distinctive Hermès watch faces. Beyond this, the features are identical to what you will find on other Apple Watch Series 5 models.
- Unique watch faces
- Premium leather bands
- All models ship with an exclusive Hermès Sport Band
- GPS + Cellular on each
- Very expensive
- Limited selection
Best for Fashion
When you want to knock your purchase out of the park, consider the Apple Watch Hermès, which is always a winner.
If you're a senior looking for a new Apple Watch, you'll quickly notice there's a wide selection of versions available. Our favorite model for most folks is the flagship Apple Watch Series 5, which offers the latest bells and whistles, including an always-on display and even fall detection,
Available in multiple styles and price points, the Apple Watch Series 5 features the largest displays to-date on the wearable device and the best internals. Find the one that's perfect for you and have fun buying new bands to complement your purchase.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Bryan M. Wolfe is a dad who loves technology, especially anything new from Apple. Penn State (go Nittany Lions) graduate here, also a huge fan of the New England Patriots. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe
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