There’s no question that the best smartwatch for iPhone users is the Apple Watch, but there are many versions on the market. If you’re looking to purchase one for yourself, you may be wondering which is the best Apple Watch for your wrist. To help you choose, we sorted through expert reviews to come away with consensus top three according to the experts.
It may come as no surprise that the most recommended are the most recent releases: Series 8, SE and Ultra. Determining which of these is the best watch for you though will depend on your needs.
Back in May 2022, a study was released concluding that smartwatches could detect a weak heart rhythm and warn the wearer of a potential problem. Dr. Paul Friedman, Chair of the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, says, “It is absolutely remarkable that AI transforms a consumer watch ECG signal into a detector of this condition, which would normally require an expensive, sophisticated imaging test, such as an echocardiogram, CT scan or MRI.”
Wearing a fitness tracker can also benefit your health even if you’re not using it for that reason. One study found that simply wearing a smartwatch leads consumers to take more steps throughout their day. Perhaps just seeing the total steps on your watch’s face provides a boost in and of itself.
There are of course countless other reasons to invest in an Apple Watch if you’re an iOS user. So, back to which is the best. Series 8 sets the standard, SE is entry-level and Ultra is high-end. Most experts rank the Apple Watch Series 8 as the No. 1 choice; however, some take the path less traveled to recommend the Ultra or SE.
We’re here to sort through all of these reviews so you don’t have to. We scoured 10 of the top tech gear and news websites for the best overall Apple Watches, and here are the results.
The List: Top 3 Best Apple Watches, According To Experts
1. Apple Watch Series 8
Tom’s Guide ranks the Series 8 at the top, stating, “The Apple Watch 8 is the best Apple Watch yet. What’s new between the Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Series 7 is the skin temperature sensor, which can inform cycle and fertility tracking, as well as sleep tracking. The Series 8 also launched with the long-awaited low power mode, which can extend the latest Apple Watch’s battery life to 36 hours.”
The researchers at ZDNet have to agree, but they also rave about the crash feature.
“The Apple Watch Series 8 is a big leap forward for the flagship smartwatch. It not only features an updated S8 chip but also two new sensors to detect falls and car accidents. This allows you to use the watch to contact emergency services and emergency contacts when you can’t reach your phone or the OnStar button in your car,” ZDNET writes.
According to The New York Times, “The Apple Watch Series 8 is the model that’s best for most people. With an always-on display, two sizes to choose from, and advanced health and fitness features, it’s great for buyers upgrading from an older Apple Watch or folks who are trying out a smartwatch for the first time.”
The safety features of the Series 8 continually impress reviewers.
“The Apple Watch Series 8 features an always-on altimeter and a blood oxygen monitor (Sp02), much like the Series 7 did, but this newer model does include Crash Detection and a temperature sensor. The former is a feature that will automatically detect if you’re in a severe car crash,” iMore writes.
If you’re still not sure about the Series 8, here’s one more positive review.
Active loves the watch’s capabilities, saying, “The upgraded health features include menstrual cycle tracking for women, and a built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) that checks your heart rhythm and electrical activity. It also monitors your blood oxygen monitor which helps you track your overall health. The upgraded health features along with the tough recycled aerospace-grade alloy case, the durable Ion-X glass watch face, and the extended battery life make the Series 8 our choice for the best overall Apple Watch.”
2. Apple Watch Ultra
Created to be the best, but is it?
TechRadar thinks so, writing, “The Apple Watch Ultra is the ultimate Apple Watch. It’s bigger and bulkier, adding an action button that you can customize with genuinely useful features. Designed to survive all kinds of terrain, the Apple Watch Ultra rivals many Garmin watches. And, during testing, we easily found this to be the best wearable that the brand has ever made.”
For CNN, It’s splurge-worthy: “The Apple Watch Ultra is the best Apple Watch you can buy right now. In fact, it’s the best smartwatch for someone willing to splurge, despite being oversized, chunky and considerably more expensive ($799) than all the other Apple Watches … If you aren’t already on the bandwagon, and decide it’s time to get in better shape or finally want to tackle something like kayaking or scuba diving, the Ultra is here for you.”
Living Etc. ranks the Series 8 as No. 1, but they choose the Ultra for second place.
Here’s what they have to say: “The Apple Watch Ultra is designed to push your boundaries. Built with endurance athletes, outdoor adventurers and water sport enthusiasts in mind, it has advanced features and an excellent battery life. It’s an excellent buy if you love swimming as its 100m water resistant and even has an Oceanic+ app for use as a dive computer.”
3. Apple Watch SE
Wired says the SE is the best for most people. “If you have any doubt at all as to whether you should get an Apple Watch, the SE is Apple’s entry-level option. If all you want is a basic smartwatch, the SE will serve you — or your nana, or recent college graduate — perfectly well.”
The SE is great for all ages!
“If you’ve never owned a smartwatch and you just want the basic functions, such as notifications and activity monitoring, the SE is a great value. The SE is also perfect to buy for a child who is too young for a smartphone. Maybe you don’t want them to go on social media or text, but setting them up with an SE can allow you to track their location and contact them in case of an emergency,” CNBC writes.
Let us know which Apple Watch you think is best in the comments below.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.