Apple Watch: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Your Next Compatible iPhone Watch

Update: new Apple watch 5 out, and it came with a small but significant upgrade to previous models, including always-on-screen. But shouldn't it be the full price tag? Read on!

Putting on an Apple watch in 2019 is a little more attractive with all the deals, fresh features, watchOS 6 update and above app count. This is a fantastic series of smartwatches, as long as you're happy with your iPhone-tethered gadget convenience - don't expect life-changing technology.

Why? Two versions of watches make our Orient watch list, but smartwatches aren't game-changing tech like smartphones were when they burst onto the scene ten years ago. Instead, smartwatches are simply amazing everyday additions, a true accessory that makes everything you do with your smartphone a little better.

Apple has never ended calling it 'the watch', but it really is 'my watch' - with all its repetitions, the company has proven that Apple is the most personal and customizable app.

We've put together a guide below to walk you through the differences between all six iterations of the Apple Watch. There are the original Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2, Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, and now Apple Watch Series 5.

This is a sophisticated combination of smart watches with over 100 different flavors considering the variety of case materials, colors, sizes and interchangeable apple watch band too, so there are a bunch of tough decisions to make. But let's start with the biggest question: how are all these Apple watches different?

  • You don't have to choose Apple Watch - the best smartwatch for iPhone

What Apple models to watch there?

It's best to think of Apple Watches in five different generations so far. There was an original device that was released called the Apple Watch in April 2015, but you will struggle to find stores selling this device now and you will probably only be able to get it second hand.

We don't recommend buying that watch as it won't be able to work with the latest watchOS 6 and won't miss the latest features, so you'd better buy the more recently released Apple Watch.

It was replaced by the Apple Watch series on September 1, 2016, which is largely the same device but with Bluetooth 4.2 technology and a faster dual-core chipset. The original Apple Watch is now called Series 0, but you probably shouldn't worry that if you're buying yourself a new watch, how difficult it is to find it.

The Apple Watch Series 1 is easier to find through third-party retailers, but Apple has already stopped selling the devices.

Along with Series 1, Apple has announced Series 2 Watch (which we're calling Apple Watch 2 to make things a little easier). This brought new technologies such as built-in GPS and water resistance and a slightly larger battery.

Apple no longer sells the Series 2 Watch, but can be purchased and found in this one from a limited number of third-party retailers.

The 2017 smartwatch is called the Apple Watch Series 3, and it comes with LTE technology (if you want it), as well as various fitness features and improved GPS.

Apple Watch Series 4, followed in 2018 with a larger display than other versions and some new features, heart rate, too - purportedly accurate enough to detect atrial fibrillations (atrial fibrillation), abnormal heartbeats that could signify disturbing behavior.

In the past, we have the 2019 edition, the Apple Watch Series 5, which introduced one of which is always on: when you're not directly looking at the watch, it switches to a monochrome minimal watch face so you can tell the time. For the first time, Apple Watch has its own offline app store, allowing you to download directly to your watch instead of using your iPhone.

There are also little additions, like the new internal compass app which allows for more specific location information, like elevation, which in turn allows the maps app to know which way are you looking. Small but important.

Apple watch price comparison

In many ways, pricing for Apple hours of operation is like an old product. If you want to watch Apple Series 1, you will find that for a lot less money than Apple Watch 5.

Below we have a live widget that will show you the latest deals for all versions of the Apple Watch if you want to see the exact price right now. Keep in mind, you can also get Apple Watch 5, 4, or 3 per contract due to the nature of LTE networks, and you can't do that for the other two devices.

  • The Best Apple Watch 4 Deals You Can Get Right Now
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Apple Watch vs Apple Watch Apple Watch 3 vs 4 vs Apple Watch 5

  • The original Apple watch is cheap but very hard to find
  • Apple Watch Series 1 will be faster but lacks Watch 2 Features
  • Apple Watch 2 has GPS, a bright screen, and is water resistant
  • Apple Watch 3 has a faster chipset and additional LTE
  • Apple Watch 4 has a bigger screen and improved heart rate tracker
  • Apple Watch 5 has always on screen and better location tracking

You won't be able to buy an original Apple Watch easily anymore, so here we are going to break down the differences between watches called Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch 2, Apple Watch 3, Apple Watch 4, and Apple Watch 5.


Until Apple Watch 4, the series has been very similar in terms of design. (The Apple Watch 5 is virtually identical to its predecessor.) There have been a few minor changes, but Apple Watch 4 notes for the first time; you can purchase it in 40mm and 44mm options. That allows for a slightly larger screen, plus there's vibration feedback on the digital crown too.

Apple Watch 3 and below come in 38mm or 42mm versions. Only the Apple Watch The Apple Watch 2 and 3 are waterproof, so don't try to take the original watch into the pool with you.


All generations of Square Apple Watch are displayed, but the technology is different. Apple Watch features an OLED Retina display with Force Touch technology at 450 nits, while the latest models have improved technology that runs at 1000 nits. Apple Watch 4 comes with a display that's too big.

Apple Watch 5 and Always On Display is software that switches its clock to a monochrome, minimalist version that drains less power.


You don't need a huge amount of power in Apple Watch, but each new generation has been a little faster. Series 1 features Apple's S1P system on a chip, while Series 2, Series 3 and Series 4 are equipped with C2, C3 or C4 in that order. Apple Watch 5, as expected, has a C5 chip.

Each watch has featured 512MB of RAM, apart from the Apple Watch 3 which is equipped with 768MB. After that, Apple stops showing how much RAM comes in their smartwatches, so it's likely that the Apple Watch 4 has the same 768MB as its predecessor. Apple Watch 5 reportedly has more, which can be up to 1GB.

Apple Watch 5 32GB of local storage, some of which is taken up by watchOS, but the rest can store music or other media locally. This is double 16GB for Apple Watch, Apple Watch 4 and 3.


All Apple Watch variants have a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor. Apple Watch 3 was the first time the device though carried an altimeter and Apple Watch 4 has ECG features for the first time.

Can only be used in the US at this time, but he thought the feature would be introduced to other watches next year.

For GPS, you get that at Apple Watch 2 and an improved version of the technology, including Galileo and QZSS system features in the third iteration. The Apple Watch 2, 3 and 4 have swimming modes.

Not fitness per se, but the Health program has been improved over versions, and Apple Watch 5 includes menstrual cycle tracking.


The battery life of the Apple Watch has remained largely unchanged, and despite Apple hiding the exact power, claiming 18 hours is good but not impressive by smartwatch standards.

As expected, the smaller (38mm and 40mm) versions of each model have a smaller battery inside than the larger ones (42mm and 44mm), but this is mainly due to the difference in case sizes.


Each version of the watch has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology built in, but the Apple Watch 3, 4 and 5 have a cellular version. This means you can use the optional Yesim to give yourself a connection when on the go.

  • Read our Apple Watch review
  • Read our Apple Watch 2 reviews
  • Read our Apple Watch 3 review
  • Read our Apple Watch 4 Review
  • Read our Apple Watch 5 Review

What iPhone do you need to use Apple Watch?

Unlike Google Wear OS devices, Apple Watch only works with one type of phone. You'll need at least an iPhone 5 running iOS 10 or later to be able to use Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2.

If you want the Apple Watch 3, you'll need to have at least an iPhone 5s running iOS 11 software for the non-LTE version or an iPhone 6 to be able to use the LTE option.

But if you're buying a new Apple Watch 5, you'll need iPhone 6s or later, which is cutoff for watchOS 6 because smart ships.

  • We answer the main question: Can Apple watch work without an iPhone?
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Apple watch colors and sizes

The big change for Apple Watch is size 4, so now it comes in 40mm and 44mm options.

All other models of Apple Watch are 38mm or 42mm come in either version. Some color options are limited to certain watch sizes, but our simple tip is to go for the larger version if you want to watch on a bigger screen and don't mind spending a little more.

It's hard to make a size difference between here, but if you're not sure about the size, it's worth trying it on everyone in the store to be sure. Below we have three examples showing four different sizes, as well as a screen size comparison.

You will then have to choose the color of your watch as well as what material you want it to be made of. The Apple Watch 4 comes in gold, space grey, or silver if you want to be made of aluminum, and the same colors come in stainless steel too.

White and gray are also color options, if you choose the ceramic version of Apple Watch 3, but it is much more expensive and is called Apple Watch Series 3 Edition. These are hard to find right now as Apple doesn't officially sell them.

Also the Apple Watch Nike, which is the same device as the Apple Watch 3 but comes with exclusive watch faces, the Nike+ app that runs the club app pre-loaded and lots of branded Nike sportswear stripes.

But that's not all. If you like the idea of ​​a handmade leather strap, you might like the look of the Hermès Apple Watch. Again, this is an Apple Watch 4. But here you get an exclusive watch face using Ermes Carrick fonts, as well as high-quality leather wrist straps.

The Apple Watch series 1 Available only in aluminum in "space gray" or silver.

Apple watch bands and straps

Apple Watch Hermès with double tour leather strap (image credit: Apple)

There are dozens of straps sold by Apple, which offers a huge variety of styles for your wrist. When you first buy a watch, you will have a strap included, but you can buy and easily switch between different straps that you buy separately.

There are several material and color options available, including woven nylon, Nike sports, leather, bracelets and more. Any Apple Watch strap works with any Apple Watch as long as you have the right to scale down or enlarge the watch.

Plus there are many third party bands but make sure you get the right size as it won't fit all straps.

  • Want to see our favorites? Here's our selection of the best Apple watch bands
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  • 15 Big Apple watch accessories to pair with your Smartwatch

Apple watch software update

Image Credit: Apple

Apple's watchOS 5 update gave each model a boost of only the original Apple watch. If you have an older model, you'll stay in watchOS 4 as the company isn't planning any more updates.

It's worth taking a look at the facilities in watchOS 5, and if you get an Apple Watch, be sure to update it ASAP to take full advantage of all the new features.

You've probably heard that watchOS 6 is the company's latest version of smart apps, but it won't be available until the end of 2019. The new update will bring an app store to the device, as well as menstrual tracking and a new feature to tell you when you're in places that could damage your hearing.

  • Everything you need to know about watchOS 6
  • What Apple Watch 5 details can you learn from watchOS 6?
  • How to download watchOS 5.2 for Apple Watch

Apple watch apps and watch faces

Image Credit: Pro

Since the original Apple Watch, we've seen the company grow its titles that you can use on the watch, as well as the number of watch faces you can switch around to give the screen a different look.

For a complete guide to our favorite socks software bits, check out our best apple watch app guides, as well as the best apple watch games and best apple watch faces.

  • IRL: 10 Apple Watch apps I use every day

What's next for Apple to watch?

If you're planning to buy an Apple Watch soon, now is a great time. The Apple Watch 4 launched in early September 2018 - so we expect it to be at least a year away from hearing about the Apple Watch 5.

It could be even longer, so if you set out to buy a new watch in the coming months, you'll be sure to have it for the longest possible lifespan. This also means that the price of the Apple Watch Series 3 and some other models have dropped too, so it's only worth upgrading if you're sure this device is made for you.

Got your Apple Watch? Learn how to use it

Below are the how-to guides we're dedicated to helping you understand some of the tricky parts of installing, configuring, and using your new device.

  • How to connect Apple watch
  • How to turn on Apple Watch
  • How to reset Apple Watch
  • How to change your Apple watch
  • How to Change Your Apple Watch Band
  • How to install Spotify on your Apple Watch
  • Is your Apple Watch waterproof?
  • How to do an ECG with Apple Watch 4
  • Lost your socks? Here's how to find your Apple Watch
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