The Best Apple Watch in 2023


Rick Stella/Insider

What is the difference between GPS and GPS + Cellular models?

An Apple Watch GPS-only model lets you carry out tasks like receiving text messages, answering phone calls, and receiving notifications when it’s connected and close to your iPhone via Bluetooth or WiFi. GPS-only models are cheaper than cellular models.

A GPS + Cellular Apple Watch offers increased connectivity with the addition of built-in cellular. That means you can receive text messages, answer calls, and stream music — even if you don’t have your iPhone with you. You just need to add the Apple Watch to your current carrier plan. Most carriers charge $10 a month for an Apple Watch cellular plan.

Does the Apple Watch use data?

Only the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch models with a separate data plan use data from your carrier if you don’t have your iPhone nearby. Otherwise, Apple Watches are simply extensions of your iPhone and don’t use any more data than you would on your iPhone if it’s nearby.

Do Apple Watches work with Android?

The short answer is no. An Apple Watch will not pair seamlessly with an Android phone. Even if you get a GPS + Cellular model that doesn’t rely on an iPhone connection, an iPhone is required for setup. You also need an iPhone to download apps onto it.

While the Apple Watch is one of the best smartwatches, Android users should instead consider purchasing one of the best Android smartwatches to use something that’s 100% compatible with their phone.

Is the Apple Watch waterproof?

No Apple Watch is “waterproof” but they are water resistant, which means they can sustain splashes and submersion down to a certain depth. The SE and Series 9 can go down as far as 50 meters, or around 164 feet. The Ultra 2 supports depths of 100 meters, or 328 feet, as well as 40 meters (131 feet) for recreational dives.

What is the best Apple Watch for kids?

If you want a way for your kid to stay connected without giving them a smartphone, an Apple Watch could be your answer. For kids, the best Apple Watch we recommend is the 40mm SE GPS + Cellular model. You can use Family Setup, which allows you to choose what apps and services your kids can access, and who they can call or send messages to.

Is the Series 8 outdated with the release of the Series 9? 

No, not at all. Although Apple doesn’t sell the Series 8 anymore, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer supported. This is especially true considering the fact the Series 8 is compatible with the new operating system, WatchOS 10, that debuted alongside the Series 9 and Ultra 2. This means that many of the new software features that debuted on the new models will also be available on the Series 8 once it upgrades to WatchOS 10. 

How often should I upgrade my Apple Watch? 

This depends on a few different factors. First, is there a new feature native to one of the later Apple Watch models that you’d like to make use of? For intstance, the new Double Tap Gesture that released on the Series 9 and Ultra 2 is only able to be used on those models. 

You may also consider upgrading if your watch isn’t compatible with the latest operating system. Regarding the new WatchOS 10, any Apple Watch that is a Series 4 or newer is compatible. 

Another reason you may want to get a new Apple Watch is if you’d like to upgrade from the Series line to the Ultra line. In this scenario, even users of the Series 7 may consider upgrading to the Ultra in order to take advantage of its unique features like its longer battery life, the useful Action Button, and the bigger design. 

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