Which Apple Watch should you buy in 2021?
OS: watchOS 7 | Battery life: Up to 18hr | Water resistance: Up to 50m | Wi-Fi: Yes | 4G/LTE: Yes | Bluetooth: 5.0 | NFC: Yes | GPS: Yes | Heart rate: Yes | Size(s): 40mm / 44mm | Storage: 32GB
If you don’t want to spend top whack on a watch or you’re on a tighter budget, you have three main options: invest in the new Apple Watch SE (from £269) that starts £110 cheaper than the flagship Series 6 and is basically a Series 5 minus the latest health features; hunt down an actual Series 5 from a third party retailer at a similar price; or buy a sub-£200 Series 3 (below) that’s long been the best bargain Apple Watch but is now starting to age. Here’s why the Watch SE is our top recommendation.
Like the iPhone SE, the Watch SE delivers a big helping of what Apple does best but at a bargain price. You can still use it to track workouts and sleep, make calls, listen to music phone-free, set reminders for meetings, practice stress-relieving breathing techniques and enjoy plenty of other skills that make the Apple Watch great.
But you will have to make sacrifices. For a start, the SE lacks the newer ECG heart and blood oxygen monitoring skills. You can wave goodbye to the convenience of an always-on screen and any potential future skills that the U1 chip might bring. You’ll also miss out on rapid charging and there’s no tougher sapphire crystal display option.
But if you can live without those features, the SE delivers a really strong Apple Watch experience. We did miss the always-on screen in day-to-day use but on the bright side, it helped eke the most out of that 18-hour battery life.
Performance is snappy-enough, powered by the same S5 chip, with a 64-bit dual-core processor and W3 wireless chip, that you find on the Series 5. The SE also features a Retina display that’s bright, crisp and improves on the Series 3, plus 32GB storage, Bluetooth 5.0 and 50m water resistance that matches the pricier Series 6.
You also get fall detection, the same louder speaker that comes on the Series 6 to help with calls on the move and double the memory of that older Series 3. If you plan to use Family Sharing, the SE beats the Series 5 too. The latter doesn’t offer this.
Design choices are limited compared to the Series 6. The SE only comes in an aluminium case in silver, space grey and gold. There are no stainless steel or titanium finishes, though if you’re hunting a bargain, it’s unlikely you’d be in the market to spend the premium for these anyway.
Pros: Good bang-for-buck value; no compromise on design; Family Sharing
Cons: No ECG or blood oxygen monitors; no always-on display; no rapid charging
Price: From £269 | Check price on Amazon | John Lewis | Apple
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Published at Fri, 21 May 2021 16:59:00 +0000