Best Cheap Apple Watch iMore 2021
The Apple Watch Series 3 is the Apple Watch to get if you're looking for the best cheap Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 3 is still an excellent Apple Watch, and while it lacks features of the Series 4 such as the new and improved heart rate monitor, ECG, and fall detection, it will still do everything else you'd expect an Apple Watch to do.
Best Overall: Apple Watch Series 3
An Apple Watch is an excellent accessory for any iPhone owner, whether you're looking for a device that tracks your general fitness and workouts or something that will make your notifications even easier to view. If you're looking for an Apple Watch but don't want to shell out for the absolute latest and greatest, you should get the Apple Watch Series 3.
When it was released in September 2017, the Apple Watch Series 3 was said to be up to 70% faster than the previous year's Series 2. Even now, its performance should still be enough to carry it through several years of workout-tracking, notifications, and app usage, even though it is not the latest and greatest Apple Watch.
- Water-resistant (50m)
- Fits accessories for older watches
- Design is a bit dated
- Might feel slow next to newer watches
Best Step-up Option: Apple Watch Series 4
If you want something newer than the Series 3 but don't want to pay full price for the Series 5 and don't mind getting a refurbished product, check out the Apple Watch Series 4. It has features like fall detection and the ECG; the Series 4 is more focused on your health than any Apple Watch before it.
The unfortunate thing here is that, unlike previous years where the older model has become the entry-level Apple Watch, Apple is no longer making the Apple Watch Series 4. That being said, you can still get your hands on it if you don't mind buying a refurbished product. While that's less than an ideal scenario, if you can trust where you're buying it from, the Series 4 is a great watch to get and will serve you well for years to come.
- Faster than Series 3
- Updated design
- Bigger displays without much bigger bodies
- Only readily available renewed
- Cellular option even harder to find
Best New Watch : Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS)
If you still want the latest and greatest Apple Watch, but don't want to pay full price, now is the time to get it. You can find the Apple Watch Series 6 at a discount at certain retailers, which is great if you want the best watch Apple makes right now.
In terms of performance, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the most advanced in history. It features an always-on altimeter and a blood oxygen monitor (Sp02), two new advancements that were not available in the Apple Watch Series 5.
The real star of the Series 6 show is the always-on display. Apple did a lot of work to bring this display to the Apple Watch in a way that is supposed to minimize the impact on battery life. Apple's watch faces and built-in apps have all been updated to support low-refresh operation for when you're not looking at the watch, and then immediately resume normal operations when you are.
Features like the built-in magnetometer allow for the inclusion of the new Compass app, as well as for compass-aided navigation using your Apple Watch.
- Always-on display
- Included blood oxygen monitor
- Not a massive improvement over Series 5
- Cellular option is still expensive
The Apple Watch Series 3 is still a solid Apple Watch pick in 2020, particularly as the best cheap Apple Watch. It's fast, runs the latest version of watchOS well, and is a great companion to your iPhone to track your workouts, get notifications, and quickly pay for purchases using Apple Pay.
It's outstripped in performance and features by the Apple Watch Series 6, with features like fall detection, the ECG, and the always-on display only available on the newer watch. But the Series 3 remains a worthy purchase if you're looking for an Apple Watch that won't break the bank. It's still a great fitness tracker and notification center and a perfect companion to any iPhone.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Joseph Keller is a senior writer at iMore. An Apple user for more than a decade and a half, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Karen S. Freeman is a travel enthusiast, teacher, writer, and an early adopter who has stood in more release-day lines than she can count. She's a former Apple retail store Specialist and has been writing Apple-focused product reviews for over seven years. You can find her on Twitter as @KarenSFreeman and Instagram as @Karefree2.
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