Shopping Guide: Apple Watch

Apple released their first-generation smartwatch in April 2015 and now, almost two years later, we have a surplus of bands, features and mixed reviews. As I always strive to do, I want to help you better understand what Apple Watch has to offer you and you can then decide if it’s a good fit.

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Credit: SmartDevicePlans

I’ve been seeing a lot of Apple Watches for sale leading into the Christmas season, ranging from $100-200 (+/-), and I want to just give you a heads up that you’d be better off saving the extra $200 or so to buy one in the $350-400 price range. Those selling for the much lower price are the first-generation models from 2015. Unless you’re just on a really tight budget, go for the Series 1 or 2 models.

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Credit: Apple

With that being said, allow me to explain the difference between Series 1 and Series 2.

Series 1 is considered to be the entry-level model for those who are wanting to get their feet wet with this new technology. Even if you are a runner or have a regular workout routine, it’s debatable whether you’re better off with Series 1 or Series 2. With S1, you can track basic steps and workouts without having your iPhone with you. However, it will not allow you to access directions and maps when you’re away from your phone.

With S1, you can rest easy if you get a splash of water on your watch while washing your hands or running in the rain from your car. There is a pretty basic sense of protection with the occasional dose of water. According to Apple, you can technically keep your S1 watch submerged for up to 30 minutes. I personally believe it’s okay to do so, but also don’t like to “test the waters” (pun intended) just for the sake of testing the waters.

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Credit: Apple

Series 2, if you’re willing to pay the extra money, is everything you need. Straight to the point, it allows you to leave your phone at home and go for a run (or SWIM), and it will track your route and other data. In addition, you can experience slightly improved battery life, although the S1 watch still does the trick. In addition, Series 2 offers a special edition Nike+ Apple Watch for those of you who are Nike+ Run Club members or want exclusive digital watch faces or a custom watch band (only available with purchase of the Nike+ Apple Watch. You cannot buy the Nike watch bands separately.)

All watches currently run the latest watchOS 3, so the true deciding factor of which watch is best for is comes down to preferences. If you can live without full-on waterproofing and phone-less GPS functionality, buy the cheaper Series 1 and use the money you saved to buy a few extra watch bands to accessorize. If you’re like me, you have to have all the bells and whistles and should definitely go for the Series 2.

Apple Watch Series 1 prices are $269 for the 38mm and $299 for the 42mm. Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 2 Nike+ are $369 for the 38mm and $399 for the 42mm. The same models in Stainless Steel casing are priced from $549-699. Higher end models include: Apple Watch Hermès ranging from $1,149-1,499, and the Apple Watch Edition (Ceramic watch casing) is $1,249 for the 38mm and $1,299 for the 42mm.

As always, if you’d like more information, feel free to leave your questions in the comments below and I will respond within 24 hours!

I hope you all have a Happy New Year and we’ll talk again in 2017!

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