Comparing every Apple Watch: which Apple Watch is for you?

Nov 14, 2022, 9:30 AM EST
8 mins read
Comparing every Apple Watch: which Apple Watch is for you?
(Photo by Nat Weerawong on Unsplash)

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Android users looking for a smartwatch have numerous exciting options. If you own an iPhone, your only option is to purchase an Apple Watch. Did you know there are twelve types of Apple Watches? There are a lot of features and details to consider. This handy Apple Watch comparison guide was created to help you understand the differences between each model and make a wise choice.


The Apple Watch Series

Apple has released several different Apple Watch models over the years. The first Apple Watch was released in 2015, and it was followed by Series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, SE (1st Gen), 7, and now the Ultra, Series 8, and SE (2nd Gen). Apple also sells limited-edition Apple Watch models, such as the Nike Apple Watch for athletes and the Hermes Apple Watch with an attractive leather wristband.

Each version improves the specifications and features, such as processor performance, memory capacity, sensors, display resolution, and connectivity. Let’s get started with this Apple Watch comparison to understand more.

First-Generation Apple Watch

On April 24, 2015, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch and the watchOS operating system. The first device featured an S1 system-on-chip processor, built-in GPS, 8GB of storage, and the option of 38mm or 42mm case sizes.

It also came with a heart-rate sensor for tracking fitness and medical conditions. When Apple released watchOS 4.3.2 on September 17, 2018, it ended support for the first-generation Apple Watch.


Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 (2nd Generation)

The Apple Watch Series 1 was a low-cost model that lacked GPS. To achieve its lower price point, it also used a less powerful processor than the Series 2. The Series 2 model had a brighter screen and was water resistant up to 50 meters.

With the release of watchOS 6.3 on September 15, 2020, Apple will end support for the Series 1 and 2 Apple Watches. If you’re still using one of these devices, it’s probably time to upgrade to a newer model with more security features.

Apple Watch Series 3 (3rd Generation)

Apple released the Apple Watch Series 3 on September 22, 2017, and the model is still available in 2022. (but it is now discontinued on September 2022). The Series 3 has a powerful dual-core processor and 8GB of storage, which allows you to run more demanding apps such as the Runkeeper GPS Running Tracker or YouTube Music.

The Series 3 includes a GPS radio for tracking your location and an altimeter to map your elevation. It also has Bluetooth 4.2 support and a 1000-nit second-generation Retina OLED display. Apple Watch Series 3 is available with an aluminum case and Ion-X glass or a stainless steel case and sapphire crystal display. On September 13, 2022, Apple Watch Series 3 support ended with watchOS 8.7.1.


Apple Watch Series 4 (4th Generation)

On September 21, 2018, Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 4. This model had bigger 40mm and 44mm cases with thinner bezels, as well as 30% larger Retina LTPO OLED displays. The Apple Watch Series 4 includes a 64-bit dual-core S4 processor and 16GB of storage, allowing you to run more powerful apps such as the popular ViewRanger hiking and cycling navigation app.

This is the first model to feature an upgraded 32G accelerometer, which allowed Apple to develop fall-detection technology that automatically alerts emergency services if you fall and are unable to get up. The Series 4 watches also have LTE and UMTS connectivity, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0, as well as electronic ECG and optical heart rate sensors. The Series 4 continues to support the most recent version of watchOS, watchOS 9. (final support end subject to change in the future).


Apple Watch Series 5 (5th Generation)

On September 20, 2019, Apple Watch Series 5 replaced Series 4. It has twice the storage capacity, an energy-efficient processor, and a better ambient light sensor to adjust the brightness of your screen based on your surroundings. Apple also introduced new battery and performance management technology, which extends battery life compared to previous generations. The Series 5 still support the most recent version of watchOS, watchOS 9 (the final support end date is subject to change in the future).

Apple Watch Series 6 (6th Generation)

Save $120 on Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) 40mm (PRODUCT)RED

The Apple Watch Series 6 is a significant improvement over Series 4 and 5. This model is equipped with an S6 processor, which Apple claims is 20% faster than the S5 in the Apple Watch 5. It also has a brighter always-on Retina display, which allows you to read it in brighter environments.

Series 6 added a blood oxygen sensor to the electrical and optical heart rate monitors, providing a more complete picture of your health. The Series 6 is the first Apple Watch to include Apple’s U1 ultra-wideband chip, which supports directional file sharing and precise location tracking via AirDrop. The most recent watchOS, watchOS 9, continues to support the Series 6. (The final support end date may change in the future.)


Apple Watch SE (1st Generation)

When Apple released the Series 6 on September 18, 2020, it also reintroduced the idea of a more affordable Apple Watch model called the Apple Watch SE 1st Generation. To keep the price low, the Apple Watch SE 1st Gen foregoes the S6 SiP processor in favor of the older S5 SiP. It also lacks Series 6’s blood oxygen and electrical heart sensors. The Apple Watch SE 1st Generation is still supported by the most recent watchOS, watchOS 9. (The final support end date is subject to change in the future).

Apple Watch Series 7 (7th Generation)

Apple Reveals New Apple Watch Series 7 With Larger Display, Faster Charging, and More
Image | Apple

Apple has redesigned the case and bezel of the Apple Watch Series 7 to enable a larger display. It will be available in 41 mm or 45 mm sizes when it is released on October 15, 2021, providing 50% more screen real estate. Fortunately, the screen’s lens is made of crack-resistant crystal, so it should be just as durable as the smaller models.

The Series 7 also includes Apple’s fastest smartwatch processor to date. It also has the quickest charge time thanks to the USB-C fast-charging port. The Series 7 debuted with watchOS 8 and is still supported by the most recent version of the watchOS, watchOS 9. (The final support end date may change in the future.)


2022 launches ⤵️

The new Apple Watch Series 8, second-generation Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra are now available for Pre-order
(Courtesy of Apple Inc.)

Apple Watch Series 8 (8th Generation)

In comparison to the previous series, the Series 8 watches have a few new features. Temperature sensing, sleep stage display, and an improved Workout app provide better insights into your health. Notifications will also provide you with information on your heart rate and irregular rhythm. Advanced safety features in the series include Fall Detection, Emergency SOS, and Crash Detection.


Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)

The new Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) is a lower-cost version of the Apple Watch that includes the core features of the Apple Watch, such as Activity tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, and Emergency SOS, as well as the new Crash Detection feature and a completely redesigned back case that perfectly matches the three major case finishes. The new Apple Watch SE also has a new Low Power Mode which boosts battery life to up to 36 hours. More information on Low Power Mode can be found HERE.


Apple Watch Series Ultra

Apple Watch Ultra is one of the most recent Apple Watch models, along with the Series 8 shown below. At 49mm, it has the largest and brightest Apple Watch display. This is the watch for you if you are an adventurer looking for a long-lasting watch. It has a titanium case for added protection, a dual-frequency GPS, and a battery life of up to 36 hours (up to 60 hours via software update). It’s also water and dust-resistant, and it’s designed to withstand harsh conditions.

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