Best Cheap Apple Watch 2023

Best cheap Apple Watch
Best cheap Apple Watch (Image credit: iMore)

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

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

Apple Watch S3 Spearmint Sport Loop with Multicolor Modular face (Image credit: iMore)

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.

Apple Watch - Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport Band

Great Apple Watch entry point.

Reasons to buy

Water-resistant (50m)
Fits accessories for older watches

Reasons to avoid

Design is a bit dated
Might feel slow next to newer watches

Apple's entry-level Apple Watch is still a great companion to your iPhone, offering great features at a great price.

Best Step-up Option: Apple Watch Series 4

How to download watchOS 6 beta 1 to your Apple Watch (Image credit: iMore)

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.

Apple Watch Series 4

A step up in every way.

Reasons to buy

Faster than Series 3
Updated design
Bigger displays without much bigger bodies

Reasons to avoid

Only readily available renewed
Cellular option even harder to find

The Apple Watch Series 4 offers new health features like an ECG in a newer design that still fits your old watch bands.

Best New Watch : Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS)

Apple Watch Series 5 (Image credit: iMore)

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.

Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS)

Always on, always ready.

Reasons to buy

Always-on display
Included blood oxygen monitor

Reasons to avoid

Not a massive improvement over Series 5
Cellular option is still expensive

With the inclusion of an always-on display, the Apple Watch Series 6 is a more fully functional watch than it's ever been.

Bottom line

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.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, 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, Apple Watch, and Mac.