If you have an iPhone and want to buy a smartwatch, the only decision to make is which Apple Watch to get. Since Apple hasn’t actually opened iOS to any other tech manufacturer, you don’t really have much of a choice. Besides, an Apple Watch stands firm on its own merits, with the latest Series 5 sitting on top of our best smartwatch for 2020. Is the latest Apple Watch’s $400 price tag truly worth it, or is the decidedly less fancy yet half-priced Series 3 a wiser investment? Is the Series 5 that much different to its predecessor, the Series 4, or are you just wasting valuable money on the always-on display? Yes, even we can admit that the always-on display isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s proven irresistible to a lot of people. Besides, the Series 5’s bigger screen, improved health monitoring, and faster processor don’t hurt either. Below is a quick rundown of the Apple Watch Series 3, 4, and 5 to help you decide. What’s more, you can get all three on Best Buy at awesome discounted prices.
Syncing the Apple Watch Series 3 to your iPhone via Bluetooth allows you to receive real-time notifications and music playback control. You can get notified of calls, text messages, and social media alerts even if your phone is tucked away in your bag. This smartwatch doesn’t have a built-in eSim card, though, so you cannot make phone calls on your wrist. For that, you need to spend a few extra bucks and get the cellular version.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is a very reliable fitness tracker. It boasts a gamut of health-centric sensors, including a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, and gyroscope. With this watch you can track a multitude of activities, including walking, running, swimming, and cycling. When you’ve been sitting for too long, this watch will remind you to get off your feet and take a brief walk. It also helps you relieve pent-up stress through the Breathe mindfulness feature. All health stats and metrics are aggregated in the Activity app.
This smartwatch comes with a strap band called a “Sports Loop.” It has a simple hook-and-eye system that’s guaranteed to fit all wrist sizes. The band is replaceable if you wish to get other styles, colors, and even materials. The watch face is also fully customizable, with a variety of designs to suit your personality.
The most affordable (and least feature-packed) Apple Watch on this list, the Series 3 is currently on sale on Best Buy for just $199.
The Apple Watch Series 4 earned a rare perfect 5-star rating from us. It boasts the latest in health-monitoring technology, including a second-generation ECG (electrocardiogram) heart sensor that sends out notifications for low heart rate, high heart rate, and irregular rhythm. It also has automatic exercise detection — when you start walking faster or run up a flight of stairs, it will ask you if you’re getting ready to work out. There are plenty of workout programs to choose from, ranging from yoga to hiking and beyond, and all your fitness data is stored in your iPhone’s Health App. Like the Series 3, this watch is obsessed with keeping you active.
The watch is lightning-quick and extremely easy to use, thanks to its fourth-generation S4 processor. Launching apps, checking notifications, and browsing through the menu are a breeze, and the screen is bright and rich in detail. There’s a Walkie Talkie mode that lets you chat in real time with fellow Apple Watch owners. The Watch also lets you access Siri by simply raising your wrist and speaking.
Transferring music from your iPhone to the Watch is performed wirelessly and can only be done while it is charging. You can listen to music on Apple Music wirelessly via Bluetooth. The Watch can also be set up to display a range of information, including stock prices, scores from your favorite sports teams, and boarding details on upcoming flights. The battery lasts a good 18 hours on a single charge, enough to get you through the day.
Despite no longer being the latest nor the best Apple Watch that you can buy, the Series 4 is still a formidable digital timepiece that you’d be a fool to dismiss. In fact, the Series 5 only managed to get the coveted top spot thanks to a few minor tweaks like its always-on display, a marginally faster processor, and an internal compass. Right now, you can purchase the Series 4 on Best Buy for a cool $34 off. Get one for $315 instead of $349.
Visually, there’s nothing that sets the Apple Watch Series 5 apart from both the Series 3 and 4. It still sports the same square design and digital crown control system. Its case is made of 100% recycled aluminum (perfect for the environmentally conscious), although it also comes in titanium, stainless steel, and ceramic if you have the money to splurge, with a case size of either 44mm or 40mm. Curvy and ergonomic, it’s small and light enough to let you feel like you’re not wearing it and it won’t get caught on your shirt cuff.
The biggest difference between the Series 5 and the previous Apple Watch iterations is its always-on display. It will always show the time and you no longer need to raise your wrist in order to wake the screen up. Workout stats are also immediately shown as soon as you start exercising. For example, do some push-ups and the Watch will automatically display the corresponding metrics. There are plenty of watch faces to choose from, with designs that range from the elegant to the quirky. And if you’re thinking that the always-on display will take a serious toll on the battery life, don’t fret. It’s possible to get a full day and a half out of a single charge. Recharging takes about an hour.
The Series 5 also has an internal compass, an even more powerful S5 processor, and a much larger storage capacity. The interface is fun and simple to use. Using the digital crown to zoom in and out of the app screen is great, and the haptic feedback provides an impressively tactile experience. All your basic fitness tracking needs are covered, plus a few more. It takes care of steps, calories, hourly movement, relaxation, VO2 Max data, hours spent standing, and workout tracking for a range of sports including swimming and biking, and it even handles more unusual activities like yoga and elliptical training.
The Apple Watch Series 5 is currently on sale on Best Buy for $399.
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