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Best Apple Watch: which smartwatch should you buy?

The Apple Watch 7 joined a fantastic line-up of Apple smartwatches at the end of last year, but which Apple Watch should you buy in 2022?

Apple Watch 7
Published: Wednesday, 12th January 2022 at 1:18 pm

Since the release of the first Apple Watch in 2015, Apple Watches have been ideal companion devices for any iPhone user. They're hugely popular devices with a user base now exceeding 100 million people, but which one is right for you?

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The release of the Apple Watch 7 in October last year added a new device to the line-up. The improvements that the Series 7 made on the Series 6 weren't huge, but it's the best Apple smartwatch we've seen so far and impressed our experts during testing.

It bagged a 4.3-star rating and our reviewer said: "Comfortable and jam-packed with features, the Apple Watch Series 7 is an iterative update to the wearable family that won’t leave Series 6 wearers too jealous but could be a compelling upgrade for anyone with an older model on their wrist." Take a look at the full Apple Watch 7 review for more information on the latest Apple wearable.

The fact that Apple Watches remain incompatible with Android phones is a longstanding bugbear, but if you've bought into the Apple ecosystem, then an Apple Watch is likely the ideal smartwatch for you.

What's the latest Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch Series 7 is the brand's latest smartwatch but there are a number of models (and price points to choose from). Here's a full list of all models currently available.

The older Apple Watches, such as the Series 4, 2, and 1, are no longer readily available. Apple only currently produces the Apple Watch Series 7, 3, and SE. As a result, these three are the best options for someone looking to purchase a new Apple Watch. These models are more likely to get regular software updates going forward, extending their useful lifespans.

Best Apple Watch at a glance

Which is the best Apple Watch to buy?

Apple Watch Series 7

Best Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 7

The Apple Watch 7 is the best Apple wearable available today. It's got a bigger, brighter display than its predecessors, so it's easier to use indoors. That display is also more hard-wearing with a crack-resistant surface and the device has an IP6X dust-resistance rating too.

As the newest device, it packs all the features its predecessors did, plus the newly improved screen, faster charging, new colours, and more.

Of the watches currently sold by Apple (the 3, 7, and SE,) it's also the only one with the heart rate and blood oxygen tracking apps, making it a good choice for fitness freaks and sporty users.

The fall detection, international emergency calling, and SOS features also give users extra peace of mind. This is ideal for those undertaking adventure travel and for older users.

Read the full Apple Watch Series 7 review.

Apple Watch Series 3

Best budget Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple Watch Series 3 is the cheapest of the three Apple Watches still being manufactured by Apple. It lacks one or two of the features seen on the SE and Series 7, the other watches from the current range.

For example, while the SE and Series 7 are available in both WiFi and cellular models, the Series 3 is only available as the WiFi model. It also lacks fall detection and international emergency calling.

It still packs a wide range of features though. It's swim-proof, has an emergency SOS function, and costs much less than the newest model.

Apple Watch SE

Best mid-range Apple Watch

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE is an ideal compromise if you're caught between buying the Series 7 and Series 3. This 2020 smartwatch packs many of the features of the newer model but doesn't cost quite as much. Currently, it's selling for £249. That's £120 cheaper than the Series 7.

Its display is 30% larger than that of the Series 3 and it offers international emergency calling and fall detection, also lacking on the Series 3.

However, if you're keen to get the ECG app and blood oxygen app, you'll need to invest in a Series 6 or Series 7.

Read the full Apple Watch SE review.

Apple Watch Series 6

Best Apple Watch for sport

Apple Watch 7

The heart-rate and blood oxygen apps — which Apple shouted about during the launch of the Apple Watch Series 7 — were actually introduced with the Apple Watch Series 6. That makes the Series 6 a fantastic sporting Apple Watch, giving you detailed data on your fitness and performance.

The Series 6 may have been discontinued by Apple, but it's still readily available on Amazon, OnBuy, and other retailers. Also, the fact that it was only released in 2020 means it still feels fairly fresh as a device and is unlikely to suffer in terms of software updates anytime soon.

In reality, the difference between the Series 6 and Series 7 are minimal. The main ones being that the 7 is harder-wearing with a larger screen. If those sound appealing and you can afford the extra outlay, then the latest Apple Watch is also a brilliant sporting option.

Read our full Apple Watch 6 review to get an in-depth look at the Series 6. It's an impressive offering from Apple and can currently be picked up for around £279.

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For more on the world of wearables check out our best smartwatch page. Or, for more on your favourite Apple products, why not check out our iPhone 13 review

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