Are Apple Watches worth it? Can they replace both the visual appearance and utility of a normal watch, while providing additional features for busy people? Specifically, are there enough features to validate the cost for someone who already owns other Apple products?
Are Apple Watches Worth It?
This post is specifically for iPhone users who are looking for fitness features or safety features and who want to better understand the device before purchase.
We would say that Apple Watches can be worth it, even at higher price points, but we would only recommend them to certain types of consumers. There are a number of consumers that would likely be no better off with an Apple Watch than they would be with a standard mechanical watch, coupled with their iPhone.
Who Is the Apple Watch For?
While nobody is going to deny the necessity of needing a smartphone or laptop to stay in touch with friends, family, or for work, the smartwatch can seem like a bit of an unnecessary accessory.
Justifying the Apple Watch SE, 7, or 3 can be a bit difficult, especially if you’re budget-conscious. None of them are wallet-friendly purchases, and they don’t offer the same utility a laptop or smartphone does, so the benefits for many might not outweigh the cost.
The Apple Watch, first and foremost, is designed with health-tracking features in mind. This makes it a great addition to the repertoire of those who are interested in physical fitness. For those who aren’t tech-savvy but still want to get in better shape, the Apple Watch can offer a way to help you stay accountable via its Activity Rings feature.
This function helps monitor the level of exercise and activity you engage in each day, along with how many calories have been burned vs. consumed.
The integrated system also features several ways to boost momentum via workout streaks, monthly challenges, and a social component that connects you with friends and family who also have Apple Watches.
Do You Need an Apple Watch for Fitness Tracking?
No, of course not. No one needs an Apple Watch just for some fitness features. They’re great devices that are also practical and can help simplify many daily tasks, but we would never consider them to be essential items.
This is true for living a healthier lifestyle, increasing your amount of daily physical activity, or losing or gaining weight. None of these require an Apple Watch. That being said, it is helpful to have an extra tool for encouragement. People often underestimate the ability of a little extra incentive to hold them to their personal goals.
There are also alternatives that you can look into. For instance, Fitbit is a cheaper wearable, but a number of apps already exist that you can make use of as an iPhone or Android user.
The thing is, none of those are as visually appealing as the Apple Watch when it comes to smartwatches, nor will they be as appealing to tech fans. An Apple Watch won’t accomplish your health goals for you, but it can encourage tech fans that already have iPhones to elevate their workout routines or level of activity.
The fitness components of the Apple Watch are quite clearly the favorite features for fans of the device.
Who Isn’t the Apple Watch For?
An Apple Watch is not a good purchase for everyone. This is pretty clear based on the design and integration of the product with the iPhone, along with consumer feedback relating to the key features of the device. So, who should opt out of the Apple Watch and stick with the basics by avoiding a smartwatch altogether?
You Don’t Own an iPhone
This one is hopefully obvious. It is possible to use an Apple Watch without an iPhone, but it would be a pointless endeavor.
Features on the Apple Watch without an iPhone are going to be extremely limited, and you won’t be able to upgrade the OS, nor will you be able to install new apps outside of the defaults. It’s not a great idea to spring for the watch if you aren’t already on board with Apple as a brand.
You Don’t Want Constant Notifications
The Apple Watch comes with two features to prevent constant reminders or notifications: Do Not Disturb and Cinema Mode. It would kind of defeat the purpose of the watch if you have these features enabled 24/7.
In that case, you might be more comfortable with a standard mechanical or digital watch. The Apple Watch is also enabled to send you notifications from your iPhone to the watch without the distraction of apps or a web browser, but this may be a con for those who want a more technology-free existence.
You Should Buy an Apple Watch If:
- You’re someone looking to spend less time on the phone, preserve the battery life of your phone, and get away from screen time while you’re out in public.
- You want a watch that offers you more than just a simple view of the time.
- You are a fitness enthusiast and enjoy being able to keep track of progress or support daily activity. The watch can keep track of heart rate, blood oxygen levels, daily steps, and offers some other health features.
You Shouldn’t Buy an Apple Watch If:
- You don’t already own an iPhone. As we mentioned in the beginning of our post, if you’re an Android user, you are better off utilizing your Android device and pairing it with a mechanical watch. Apple has a lot of products that require cross-connectivity to get the most out of them, in general. If you aren’t a fan of the brand, you probably won’t want the watch.
- You don’t like the feeling of wearing a watch all the time. Of course, this probably won’t apply to many of our readers, but it is a consideration to keep in mind.
- You prefer to completely log off from tech and apps. The watch functions with an always-on display and buying an Apple Watch isn’t going to help you disconnect from tech.
Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 7
There are two current generation iterations of the Apple Watch. You can still easily get the Apple Watch Series 3 for sale, but it does have limitations compared to both the SE and 7. It’s a fair bit slower, and still at a price point of $199.99
Let’s compare pricing.
- Apple Watch SE: $279.00, 18-hour battery life, 32 GB storage, water resistance up to 50m
- Apple Watch Series 7: $399.00, 18-hour battery life, 32 GB storage, water resistance up to 50m
Display and Screen
You might be wondering why the Apple Watch Series 7 is $120 more, despite the stats being the same. It really comes down to the physical properties of the watch itself. Most people might opt for the SE based on the cost, but the Series 7 is definitely better designed.
The Apple Watch Series 7 has a shatter and crack-resistant screen, composed of crystal. You don’t have to move your wrist to enable the screen, due to its always-on display feature. It also notably has a larger screen compared to the SE model. The display is more robust and detailed. The resolution on the Series 7 is 396 x 484 compared to 368 x 448 on the SE.
While neither should be considered a replacement for professional medical devices or used within a medical context, the Series 7 does have ECG and blood oxygen applications. They can be helpful for working out. Both the SE and 7 can act as a heart rate monitor and provide heart rate notifications, detecting any irregular rhythms or increases while on a run.
While both versions offer 18-hour battery life, which translates to a couple of days of usage, we have noticed that the Series 7 tends to charge quite a bit faster, or close to double the speed.
Apple Watch Series 8 and SE 2: Is It Worth Waiting For?
Probably not. There are plenty of online rumors circulating about the Series 8 and SE 2. While there is a huge emphasis in contemporary culture to stay up-to-date on the latest technology, it is likely that any changes made between the current models and the Series 8 will be incremental (minor).
The rumors include blood glucose tracking for diabetics, but that tech might be far off in terms of implementation. Of course, these are also only rumors. It’s not worth basing your current purchase on the possibility of a better model coming out in the future, especially when we know Apple’s history of continual release dates.
Are Apple Watches Worth It?
For certain individuals, there is no question that the Apple Watch, SE, or 7 is worth the cost.
For a couple hundred dollars, you get a high-quality smartwatch with a number of useful features enabled, provided you have an iPhone, are an active person, or looking to get more active.
Obviously, the iPhone itself isn’t ideal for when you want to exercise or go on a run, and the Apple Watch acts as a functional replacement with dumbed-down features. You get the basic functionality of a phone, along with more precise data when it comes to tracking calories burned thanks to the heart rate monitor.
With Apple Pay now accepted across most retail stores, grocery stores, and restaurants within the US, using your Apple Watch to pay can be a more convenient approach than pulling out your phone or using your card. It won’t require the same verification, as long as it is attached to your wrist.
While it might seem contradictory that an Apple Watch could reduce your iPhone usage, it is possible.
There are a ton of features and useful utilities that the Apple Watch provides, like Walkie-Talkie and Locate iPhone, but these are only applicable if you regularly use an iPhone. For those looking for a standard watch, there is no reason to splurge for a smartwatch like the Apple Watch Series 7 or SE.