Having signed brand deals with Hermes and Nike, Apple has clearly positioned the Apple Watch as a smart fashion product. You might love its fitness features or easier access to your preferred notifications, but is it really worth the price it commands?
An Apple Watch is worth it for fitness enthusiasts, CEOs, and others who own an iPhone and are comfortable with the iOS. It is also worth the price if you want to monitor the health and safety of a loved one. For people who don’t own Apple products, the smartwatch is perhaps not worth it.
In this article, you will discover the seven key features of the Apple Watch as well as certain drawbacks to note before making your purchase. Aside from that, you will learn the contexts in which you should get an Apple Watch and which model offers the most value for money.
By the end, you will have enough information to not just decide whether you should get an Apple Watch but also to advise others on the matter.
Note – If you are looking to purchase an Apple Watch on a budget, my recommendation would be to go with Apple Watch SE [on Amazon]. It is only a few dollars more expensive than Apple Watch Series 3, and has more features and significantly improved performance!
An Apple Watch costs between $169 and $899, and the average Apple Watch costs $399. The specific price is dictated by the Apple Watch Series iteration, the retailer, cellular ability, and casing material. Titanium is the most expensive build in each iteration, and aluminum is the least expensive.
The Apple Watches come in different tiers, including fitness-oriented, fashion-forward, and cellular-enabled ones. To get the complete price list of Apple Watches, you can check out our dedicated post on how much Apple Watches cost.
7 Unique Features You Get in an Apple Watch
The Apple Watch has such a wide range of features that one can get caught up in the information overload quite easily. In this section, we explore the 7 key features that collectively make the Apple Watch stand apart from other wearable technology.
1. On-Wrist Notifications
If you do not like being glued to your phone screen yet have important messages and notifications coming in all the time, you can rely on your apple watch to receive selective alerts from your iPhone or your iCloud account.
While the apple watch screen is not perfect for typing out replies, and the input interfaces are still less convenient than using an iPhone, it is much better for the purposes of getting selected alerts without getting distracted by the world of surfing and browsing possibilities offered by the iPhone.
Ironically, while the apple watch seems to increase how plugged in we are to the internet, it actually allows you to stay offline longer.
2. Fitness Features Like Calories and Exercise Minutes Tracking
The reason why your Apple Watch doesn’t absorb all your attention when you check out a notification as an iPhone does is that it is not designed to keep you glued to the screen. Apple Watch, at its core, is a fitness and real-life productivity assistant.
From features like calculating your standing time to tracking your exercise minutes and average calorie burn, the Apple Watch is packed with features that help you get fitter. Its active workout tracking and reminders all make it easy to remain accountable to your plans.
3. Heart Rate Monitoring
Almost all Apple Watches feature a degree of heart rate monitoring. While this function was not initially available across all devices, its popularity has made it a unique selling point among people who are personally at risk or know someone who is.
The watch is particularly handy in warning about abnormal changes in one’s heart rate. It can also detect a fall and alert an emergency number to ensure timely rescue. To some people, Apple Watch is worth it because it is a small price to pay to ensure their loved grandparent’s safety.
4. ECG and Blood Oxygen Tracking (Select Models Only)
Expanding upon the effect of the previous feature, ECG readings (available in Apple Watch Series 4 onward) and blood oxygen tracking (series 6 onwards) allow the user to have peace of mind regarding their health. While previous features are geared towards ensuring the safety of an at-risk friend, the ECG and blood oxygen features are more helpful for personal use among fitness enthusiasts.
5. GPS Tracking and Navigation
GPS technology has become so common that, at this point, it is taken for granted. But Apple Watch’s size and wearability make its Global Positioning System slightly more practical. From tracking workouts alongside exercise locations to finding your way around a new neighborhood, the Apple Watch can do it all.
Holding your phone while navigating as a pedestrian can be risky because you do not pay attention to your surroundings. The Apple Watch offsets this by making navigation simple.
6. Making Calls
The Apple Watch can be used to make a call, and we’ll be the first to admit, that speaking into your wrist can make you look like a super spy. But the James Bond optics aside, receiving calls without having to pull out your iPhone is convenient.
And in LTE versions, you don’t even need the iPhone if you have a date plan. Making direct calls is enabled by most network providers, with low-priced add-on plans for Apple Watches. Check out our post that covers what it costs to get a data plan for your Apple Watch.
It is important to note that the cellular versions of Apple Watches are usually more expensive. That said, Apple Watch can connect to Wi-Fi. However, there are a few things to know about it. I’ve covered this topic in great detail in another article on Apple Watch Wi-Fi.
7. Easier Access to Siri
From setting alarms to triggering a timer, you can command Siri to do a number of tasks that aid your productivity and fitness. The Apple Watch allows you to do it without holding your iPhone. It also allows you to set reminders with minimal steps, which keeps you on track for your work goals as well as exercise goals.
If an Apple Watch ensures that you do not miss an anniversary or a birthday again, it is worth its price.
Some of the features that do not get as much coverage are the ability to display digital tickets and boarding pass. Having your ticket on your phone means fumbling through different apps and menu screens with the potential for accidentally flashing a document or file you do not want to open in public.
The Apple Watch, of course, also tells time. And finally, the smartwatch can be used to make payments without getting your iPhone or your wallet out of your pocket.
Related Article – Is Apple Watch Waterproof? [Read This Before You Buy!]
Where Does Apple Watch Falls Short
Despite being termed as one of the most advanced smartwatches currently in the market, there are certain aspects of an apple watch that can be considered a drawback!
1. You Need an iPhone!
Yes, even though there are versions of the Apple Watch that can make calls without an iPhone, every single Apple Watch needs to be set up with an iPhone. This limits the smartwatch to the pre-existing Apple customers.
Furthermore, the complete ecosystem is iOS based and there are apps that function well only if you are an iPhone user. So, you know where Apple is going with this as it is in their best interest to convert android phone users to the Apple ecosystem.
2. The Screen Is Too Small
This is not as much a critique of the Apple Watch but the shortcoming of the medium. Smartwatches cannot be cellphone replacements because their screens are too small. So, although this is a common issue across most smartwatches, it is something to remember before making a purchase decision.
Fortunately, for fitness and productivity features, the Apple Watch works without its size being a hindrance. It still requires getting used to.
3. Battery Life
When one looks at the features of an Apple Watch, it seems like the product adds almost infinite convenience to one’s life, with notifications being pushed through and reminders requiring minimal setup.
But when one realizes that the Average apple watch works for only 18 hours after charging overnight, the reality sets in. Even forgetting to charge your Apple Watch for one night can ruin your entire exercise and productivity regimen.
Again, it is not a deal-breaker. Most smartwatches these days offer a similar battery life on their products. However, if you are purchasing the Apple Watch for fitness purposes, some of the competitors like Fitbit and Garmin can outshine in this department.
Apple markets the Apple Watch to its pre-existing customer base, which broadly includes: financially well-off, experience-oriented individuals who like their tech simplified and enjoy the social proof aspect of owning a high-value brand item. Within this broad category, the following people should get an Apple Watch.
- Fitness enthusiasts – People who love exercise stand to gain the most out of owning an AppleWatch because of its wide range of fitness features.
- CEOs and entrepreneurs – Apple Watch is business-friendly as it allows one to set reminders on the go.
- People with relevant health risks – If you are at risk of having abnormal heart rate, falling, or having low blood oxygen levels, getting the latest Apple Watch can be a smart move.
The Apple Watch recently crossed over into the Mainstream, which has made it a style statement. This might tempt you to get one but before you do so, make sure none of these apply to you.
- People trying to save money – Not only is the Apple Watch expensive, but it can also often tempt one to get an additional data package. Given that the latest Apple Watches seem cheap because of installment plans, someone trying to save money can lose a lot when getting it.
- People who don’t have iPhones – If you do not have an iPhone, you won’t be able to set up your Apple Watch with another Apple device, making the purchase useless as anything other than a gift.
- People trying to unplug – While the Apple Watch can help you stay off your phone, if you’re already addicted to technology, the smartwatch can make it worse. You might end up ignoring the fitness and health features and use it to text on an even smaller screen in situations where you can’t pull out your phone.
Apple Watch SE offers the most value for money even though Apple Watch Series 3 is the cheapest. The reason Series 3 isn’t as good despite being low-priced is that it doesn’t have most of the health features in Series 4 and above models.
For instance, with Apple Watch SE, you get a 32 GB capacity, Bluetooth 5.0, fall detection, a compass, noise monitoring, 50% louder speakers (much needed), and much more! The display and the processor are also much improved! Despite all this, the difference in the cost is only marginal. So, why choose Series 3 at all?
Is the Apple Watch Worth It for Fitness?
Apple Watch is not worth it for fitness alone as it commands a higher price than the Fitbit Versa, which is the smartwatch created by the original fitness tracking pioneer and contains a bulk of the Apple Watch’s fitness features.
Depending on what you want out of your wearable technology, you might get a better deal by opting out of smartwatches altogether and getting a standard Fitbit. The table below compares the Apple Watch Series 6 with a Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch and a regular fitness tracker.
|Features||Apple Watch Series 6||Fitbit Versa 3||Fitbit Charge 5 (not a smartwatch)|
|Heart rate monitor||Available||Available||Available|
|Blood Oxygen Sensor||Available||Available||Available|
|ECG||Available||Available||Available (with the phone app)|
|Water-Resistant||Up to 50 meters (read more)||Up-to 50 meters||Up-to 50 meters|
|Battery life||18 hours||6+ days||7+ days|
|Storage||32 GB||4 GB||4 GB|
|Price||$399 and above||$239 and above||$179.95|
Apple Watch can be worth it if you don’t work out when you get it for work and business productivity. It can also be a worthy purchase for social currency and status-signaling purposes. Aside from that, there is little the Apple Watch has to offer.
If you are a nerd or a geek (like me), chances are you will really love the Apple Watch! And trust me, if you are going to geek out on a smartwatch, Apple Watch is the best in the market as of writing this article!
The Apple Watch is not worth it without an iPhone because you cannot set it up without one. You might be able to use an LTE Apple Watch without an iPhone by first setting it up with a friend’s phone but going through the extra steps is not worth it.
The Apple Watch is designed to complement the iOS ecosystem. And, it does a really good job of that! So, if you are not an iPhone user, there are very limited functions that you will be able to use on an Apple Watch!
I mean, yeah you will be able to see the time and change watch faces and all. And, you might be able to take calls if you have a data plan. But, one thing to remember is that almost anything you do on the Apple Watch is either controlled or associated with your phone!
So, if you don’t have an iPhone, it is just not worth spending the amount of money on purchasing a new Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Cellular is worth it if you’re looking to get an Apple Watch for business and work productivity. Easier reminder accessibility and selective notification reception, alongside making calls and getting messages, are valuable for working professionals.
Additionally, if you tend to move around a lot without your phone, you will find the Apple Watch Cellular version extremely useful. For instance, if you want to go on a run but don’t want to carry your phone along, no problem if you are using the Apple Watch Cellular!
Do note that there will be an additional data cost for the internet usage on your watch.
Apple Care on Apple Watch is Worth it if you run into problems with technology. It is not worth it if you get a data plan as well because that increases the average cost of owning the watch to $13.99 per month with Apple Care’s $3.99/month minimum on Apple Watches.
But, generally speaking, when it comes to Apple products, it is almost always worth taking the Apple Care plans for the specific product as the cost to fix a damaged part on most apple products can be really expensive!