If you're shopping for a new Apple Watch right now, your choices at the Apple Store are the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch SE, or Apple Watch Series 6. Here's why I chose the Apple Watch Series 6 for myself.
I used to be a Specialist at the Apple Store, and a big part of my job was helping customers decide which iPhone, iPad, Mac/MacBook, or Apple Watch they should buy. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to these decisions. But my belief, in general, is that you should buy the newest tech that fits into your budget. Why not buy older, cheaper tech? Because you're likely to have to replace it sooner, negating your savings.
The Apple Watch Series 3, as the entry-level Apple Watch, looks like a bargain. It is, and if you're buying an Apple Watch for a child, this might be the way to go. You might be able to do even better going with a gently used or refurbished Apple Watch.
If you already own an Apple Watch Series 3, you certainly don't "need" to upgrade at all. It's still a fantastic piece of tech! After all, when you do really need to replace it, who knows what Apple will have released by then. I've been rocking the 38mm Apple Watch Series 3 for years and it's still got plenty of life left in it, which is why I'm handing down to my daughter.
But if you're buying new, now, I probably wouldn't recommend buying the Apple Watch Series 3. Coming from an Apple Watch Series 3, the Apple Watch Series 6 is quite a nice jump. I know the Series 4 and 5 both have the thinner form factor and the larger screen, but this is my first watch in the newer 40mm size.
The first thing I noticed was how much easier the screen is to read. I wear a strong glasses prescription and still struggle to read small print. I did ok with the Apple Watch Series 3, having enlarged the text and made it bold as well. But the moment I put on the 40mm Apple Watch Series 6 was a "wow" moment. Everything is noticeably larger and easier to read; and yet more fits on the screen. Just two millimeters make a surprising difference. I appreciate the added health features that the newer model brings, but it was the glorious screen that grabbed me right away.
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.