Best Apple Watch for teens 2022

Apple Watch SE 2
(Image credit: Apple)

Investing in an Apple Watch for your teen or as a teen is a smart idea. Apple Watch can help teens meet their health and fitness goals. It can enable them to listen to their favorite tunes, podcasts, and make or take calls completely phone-free, and an Apple Watch can provide an invaluable safety net should the situation ever arise.

Apple just released their newest lineup of Apple Watches making this year an impressive year of advancement for Apple Watch. With the latest release of Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, and the second-generation Apple Watch SE (2022), it can be hard to determine which wearable is the best Apple Watch for your teen.

We’re partial to the second-generation Apple Watch SE (2022) for teens. It has all the important features teens need, without the super hefty price tag. The latest Apple Watch SE provides more metrics and motivation in the health and fitness department, it features crash detection — a safety feature we hope you’ll never need, but is nice to have, and advanced features for media, sleep, family connection, and more. This is the best Apple Watch for teens of the year!  

Best Overall: Apple Watch SE (2022) 

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Apple Watch SE (2022)

(Image credit: Apple )

Apple Watch SE (2022), Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra were all released this year, and while the SE (2022) may be lacking some of the fancier features on Series 8 and Ultra, it has the features most important to teens, at a more affordable price point, making it our pick for best Apple Watch for teens overall.

The most notable upgrade between Apple Watch SE (2022) and the first-generation Apple Watch SE, is the inclusion of the powerful S8 chip. This is the same processor in the latest Apple Watch Series 8, making the second-generation SE 20% faster than the first-generation SE. Other upgrades include an updated accelerometer and gyroscope, for better fall detection and performance metrics.

Apple Watch SE (2022) features all-day activity tracking, crash detection, heart health, mindfulness, sleep tracking, optional built-in cellular, and Family Setup so you can have your family joined at the wrist. You can listen to all your favorite music, podcasts, and audiobooks, and with a variety of watch faces, bands, and hardware materials to choose from, you can make your Apple Watch SE (2022) uniquely your own.

Apple Watch SE (2022)

Almost all the features at a lower cost

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful S8 chip
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Updated accelerometer and gyroscope
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Improved heart health monitoring
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Sleep tracking
+
Optional built-in cellular

Reasons to avoid

-
Still pricey
-
No Sp02
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No ECG

Runner-up: Apple Watch Series 7 

Apple Watch Series 7

(Image credit: Apple )

Apple Watch Series 7 is a year old at this point, but since the upgrades on Apple Watch Series 8 were underwhelming, it’s our pick for runner-up. Series 7 features a large, advanced display with reduced boarders. The shape of the watch was refined from its predecessor Series 6, as the case and display have softer, more rounded corners. The buttons were redesigned and enlarged to compliment the new design of the display and you can fit 50% more text on-screen than Apple Watch Series 6.

Series 7 is outfitted with a full keyboard so you can tap or slide from letter to letter with QuickPath and you can fully customize it with watch faces specifically designed for this model. It’s made of crack resistant crystal and has an IPX certification making it an incredibly durable piece of hardware. 

It comes in a large array of colors and materials, is fast-charging, and now that it’s a year old, is a much better value than the latest Series 8. Aside from improved crash detection, satellite emergency SOS, and women’s health tracking, you’re getting the same premium features you would get with Series 8, at a more affordable price.

Apple Watch Series 7

Essentially a Series 8 but at a lower cost

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek design
+
Better value
+
Large, bright display
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Keyboard
+
Improved durability

Reasons to avoid

-
Still pricey
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Limited upgrade over Series 6

Best value: Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch Series 6 is a bit dated at this point, but as the Series 7 and Series 8 did not receive a whole lot of upgraded features, it's an excellent value right now. It's less expensive than Apple Watch SE (2022). Series 6 features a third-generation optical heart sensor, blood oxygen monitor (Sp02), and electrocardiogram (ECG) system capable of detecting whether you're experiencing cardiac abnormalities such as atrial fibrillation. 

The Apple Watch Series 6 also includes an S6 SiP with a 64-bit dual-core processor, a relatively loud speaker (which is ideal when receiving calls), a ceramic and sapphire crystal back, and plenty of storage capacity for your teen's favorite photos, podcasts, and music tracks.

Apple Watch Series 6

The one with extras

Reasons to buy

+
Best value
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Comprehensive health and fitness tracking
+
ECG monitor
+
Sp02 monitor
+
Always-on altimeter

Reasons to avoid

-
Dated S6 chip
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Dated design

Best Gift: Apple Watch Ultra

Apple Watch Ultra

(Image credit: Apple)

Like iMore staff writer Bryan M Wolfe states in his review of Apple Watch Ultra, “Apple Watch Ultra is unlike any wearable device Apple has ever released. Thanks to its rugged design and loads of unique features, the Ultra is intended to compete with adventure-based watches from companies like Garmin, Polar, Coros, and Suunto, among others.”

Are the Apple Watch Ultra features overkill for your teen? — probably, but that’s why it’s an ultra-cool, amazing gift. It features the all-new Action Button that gives users quick control over a variety of functions. It’s completely customizable so you can do things like control a workout, mark a GPS point, or begin a dive.

It boasts insanely good battery life for an Apple Watch of up to 36 hours of normal use and up to 60 hours of low power setting use. It comes with a variety of unqiue, rugged, looking bands, and is the right training partner to really push your teen’s limits. It’s a gift that will keep on giving once your teen becomes a young adult.

Apple Watch Ultra

Ultra-cool

Reasons to buy

+
Loaded with premium, unique, features
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Battery life
+
Lightweight
+
Action button

Reasons to avoid

-
Ultra pricey
-
Large, bulky

Bottom line

If you're a teen looking for a new Apple Watch, you'll quickly notice there's a wide selection of versions available. Our favorite model for those under 20 is the Apple Watch SE (2022). It lacks some of the features found on Apple's current flagship model. And yet, the differences probably won't mean much to younger wearers. You certainly can't deny its impressive price point. Apple Watch SE (2022) provides everything your teen needs to conquer their health and fitness goals, improve mindfulness and sleep, and stay connected.