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Best Apple Watch 2021 • 7 Apple Watches Reviews

Smartwatches are relatively recent gadgets on the tech market. California-based manufacturer Apple went all-in and created its very own range of Apple Watches with some of the best features and technical specs in the industry. These products essentially allow you to wear your smartphone!

Apple Watch Leaderboard 2021

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Recommendation
Tested Products 7
Hours Spent
Hours Spent 53
Evaluated Studies
Evaluated Studies 148
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 496

What is an Apple Watch and how does it work?

The first smartwatches started to land on the market in 2000 with very limited technologies and functionalities that were available at the time. As far back as the 1980s, companies like Seiko, Casio, and IBM had launched prototypes that had little to do with current models. For its part, Apple introduced the very first Apple Watch in 2014, three years after the passing of Steve Jobs.

This original model was marketed in 2015 with its own operating system, watchOS. Apple wanted to make theirs stand out from other smartwatches, as these devices were starting to become popular. In our opinion, with the brand’s reputation as a quality manufacturer, its unique operating system, and its sleek design, the Apple Watch was set for glory.

What types of Apple Watches are there?

Below, you’ll find that we have listed the main features and technical specifications of the most popular Apple Watches on the market, so you can easily compare them and form your personal opinion about which one best suits your needs.

Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS)

  • Size: 40 or 44 mm
  • Operating system: watchOS 5
  • Storage space: 32 GB
  • Retina display, GPS
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Cellular technology: no
  • Compass: yes
  • Up to 18 hours of battery autonomy

Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular)

  • Size: 40 or 44 mm
  • Operating system: watchOS 5
  • Storage space: 32 GB
  • Retina display, GPS
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Cellular technology: yes
  • Compass: yes
  • Up to 18 hours of battery autonomy

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular)

  • Size: 40 or 44 mm
  • Operating system: watchOS 5
  • Storage space: 16 GB
  • Retina display, GPS
  • Bluetooth: 5.0
  • Cellular technology: yes
  • Compass: no
  • Up to 18 hours of battery autonomy

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS)

  • Size: 38 or 42 mm
  • Operating system: watchOS 6
  • Storage space: 8 or 16 GB
  • Retina display, GPS
  • Bluetooth: 4.2
  • Cellular technology: no
  • Compass: no
  • Up to 18 hours of battery autonomy

Advantages and Disadvantages of Apple Watches

The Apple Watch allows you to make and receive calls and messages.

Our test has amassed the advantages and disadvantages of Apple Watches that are, in our opinion, most important to consider in comparison to other brands’ smartwatches.

Advantages

  • Apple’s quality guarantee
  • watchOS operating system
  • Ideal for iPhone users
  • Great battery autonomy and fast charging
  • Retina display
  • Storage capacity

Disadvantages

  • Higher costs
  • Incompatible with non-iPhone devices
  • Fewer functionalities for athletes

Shopping Criteria for Apple Watches

Before you purchase any electronic product, you must define why you want it and how you plan on using it. Apple smartwatches are relatively expensive devices in comparison to other smartwatches, so you certainly don’t want to get it wrong. Otherwise, you’ll effectively be left with little more than a regular watch. In the next paragraphs, we will show you the most important criteria to help you with your buying decision.

  • Personal use
  • Favorite apps
  • iPhone operating system
  • Aesthetics
  • Watch size

Personal Use

In our opinion, this is undeniably the criterion with which you should start your search. Once you have defined why you want an Apple Watch, other aspects like size, design, and primary functionalities will be much easier to sort. So, are you looking for a watch to go on adventures with you, or a model to keep up with your busy schedule? Answer this question and you will be a step closer to your new Apple Watch.

As we mentioned, you can also find special editions to best suit your taste. Our test proves that more elegant models are designed for daily use in the office or at social events. You may want to prioritize different functions depending on your preferences, whether it’s listening to music during your workouts or staying connected to the internet while at work.

Favorite Apps

Are you more of a texter or a caller? Do you prefer to listen to music or watch videos while running on the treadmill or riding your static bike? Various factors depend on the applications you most use, such as the quality of the screen. Our test confirms that models integrating a Retina display will offer you a crisp and high-quality image in comparison to the ones without a Retina display.

In order to present his vision of a smartwatch to the interface design team, Apple Watch designer Imran Chaudhri combined an iPod Nano with a wristband.

iPhone Operating System

The Apple Watch is ideal when you’re practicing sports but want to stay connected to the world.

Our product test shows that this criterion is really conditioned by compatibility. Purchasing the latest Apple Watch on the market is pointless if you cannot sync it with your iPhone; you simply wouldn’t be able to make the most of it. This is why you have to make sure that the versions of the operating systems of your Apple Watch and your iPhone are cross-compatible.

The watchOS 6 operating system is only compatible with versions 13 or higher of the iPhone’s iOS. Our test demonstrates that while most iPhone models allow you to upgrade to that version, some of the older phones won’t let you do that. Pay close attention to this, or you might just be sending your smartwatch back in no time.

Aesthetics

If you like to look sharp and want to stay up to date with the best trends, you will undoubtedly be interested in an Apple Watch, whose strap you can change. Models designed in partnership with Nike have a sleek, sporty edge. The best part is that Apple allows you to tailor your watch to your personality and tastes.

Our product test shows that it is also important to consider the manufacturing materials and design of the product. While most Apple Watches are made of aluminum, the brand has also released models with ceramic and titanium finishes, creating a much more elegant and careful appearance in comparison to the aluminum ones. These devices have nailed the classic-chic style.

Watch Size

Our product test confirms that there are various casing sizes available, and there are no significant differences between the models. Each version of the smartwatch gives you the choice between two dimensions with a difference of 4 millimeters between them. While this aspect may not seem relevant, many people don’t like their watch to look too big or too small on their wrist. That’s always something to keep in mind!

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FAQs

Why are Apple Watches so popular?

Despite a price that is generally higher than other smartwatch models, the Apple Watch is one of the best on the market for several reasons. As our test has shown, Apple’s popularity and reputation as a manufacturer of high-end technology products is key to this success. The higher cost is eventually offset by the durability and reliability of the device.

Secondly, the watchOS operating system, much like the iPhone’s iOS or the MacBook and iMac OS, is a brand itself. Their quality and good reputation make any new development by Apple reliable. Besides, the compatibility with all other Apple products makes these smartwatches the best choice for anyone who is already using the brand.

What exactly is the watchOS operating system?

As our test demonstrates, Apple’s smartwatches function with a unique operating system, watchOS, which has been evolving consistently over the years. Version 6 is the latest and can be found in the Apple Watch Series 3 and 5 models. This operating system is compatible with iOS, so you can connect your iPhone to your Apple Watch.

The watchOS system offers simple and intuitive access to apps on the device. The touch-operated interface is easy to navigate, with sliding and pressing movements to activate the various functions available. Note that it can be upgraded; the watchOS 6, for instance, only supports iOS 13 or higher on the iPhone.

What features make the Apple Watch stand out?

Besides watchOS, which is distinct from the more traditional Android system, various aspects differentiate Apple Watches from the rest of the herd. Regarding the construction and design of the device, Apple has bet on top-quality materials and very sleek finishes. The outer case of the Apple Watch Series 5, for example, is made of titanium and ceramic.

In addition, the American brand allows you to customize the straps for almost all its models. You can choose from a wide range of materials and appearances, from colorful and classic to sporty and youthful. The built-in GPS and Retina display are two other advantages that Apple Watches have in comparison to other models.

What screen types and sizes do Apple Watches have?

The original Apple Watch models—Series 1, 2, and 3—had casing dimensions of 38 or 42 millimeters available. Given that the display occupies practically the entire upper part of the casing, both measurements are compatible. The most recent models—Series 4 and 5—saw a slight increase in size to 40 or 44 millimeters.

As you can see, the brand always offers two size options per model.

As for the screen itself, Apple's Retina system (which is available on many of its products—iPhones, MacBooks, iMacs, and iPads) is a real highlight. This technology improves image quality by eliminating excess pixels until they are invisible to the naked eye.

What can I do with my Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch allows you to send and receive calls and messages, chat on WhatsApp, check the weather forecast, measure your heart rate, schedule events and meetings, listen to music, and, naturally, know the time. All of this fits in a tiny little gadget attached to your wrist. James Bond, much?

The Apple Watch is ideal when you’re playing sports but want to stay connected to the world. It allows you to remain available to anyone looking to contact you, and you don’t need to carry a cumbersome smartphone on you. This is all made possible by cellular technology, which is a new feature in the latest versions of the Apple Watch.

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