Which Apple Watch is Best for Health and Fitness?

Aug 24, 2020

The Apple Watch is the best fitness tracker you can get today. With the Activity Rings, the Activity App and the Workout App, the Apple Watch provides you with everything you need to improve your health and fitness. You get a fitness tracker with an accountability partner and a built-in virtual trainer. Each new model of the Apple Watch has added more health and fitness features, making sure that Apple continues to lead the way in wellness technology.

Which Apple Watch is Best for Me?

Apple-Watch-series-5-series-3Are you considering getting an Apple Watch or upgrading your current Apple Watch? Here’s everything that you need to know about the currently available models – the Apple Watch Series 5 and the Apple Watch Series 3.

There is no question that the Series 5 is much more advanced than the Series 3, but the Series 3 can be bought for $200 less than the least expensive Series 5 model. If cost is not an issue, then go for the Series 5. If you have a limited budget, or you’re not sure if the Apple Watch is right for you, the Series 3 is a great, low cost way to get started.

Series 5 vs. Series 3

The Series 5 supports the following features that are not available on the Series 3:

  • Larger Display
  • Always-on Display
  • Additional Watch Faces
  • ECG
  • Fall Detection
  • Compass
  • Noise Monitoring
  • Enhanced Heart Rate Monitor

Apple Watch Series 5 Models

ceramic apple watchThe Series 5 is available in the following models:

  • Aluminum (Space Gray, Silver, Gold) – The Aluminum case is the least expensive model of the Apple watch. Prices start at $399 for the 40mm and $429 for the 44mm. This is for GPS only. The GPS + Cellular option adds $100 to the price. The Aluminum model is lightweight, but not as durable as the other models.

All other models besides the Aluminum one, don’t have a GPS only option – they only come with the GPS + Cellular option. When comparing prices for the Aluminum case relative to the others, you should take into account that the Aluminum model with GPS + Cellular starts at $499 for the 40mm and $529 for the 44mm.

  • Stainless Steel (Silver, Gold, Black) – The Stainless Steel case is heavier and more sturdy than the Aluminum model. It is also more expensive. Prices start at $699 for the 40mm and $749 for the 44mm. The Stainless Steel model comes only in GPS + Cellular.
  • Titanium (Space Black, Silver) – The Titanium case was introduced in the Series 5, and is lighter than the Stainless Steel case, although a little heavier than the Aluminum case. It is even sturdier than the Stainless Steel case, and has a more elegant look. The Titanium model is a little more expensive than the Stainless Steel model. Prices start at $799 for the 40mm and $849 for the 44mm. The Titanium model comes only in GPS + Cellular.
  • Ceramic (White) – The Ceramic case was re-introduced in the Series 5 (it was originally available for the Series 3, but not offered on the Series 4). This is the top of the line model and the most expensive one currently available. It is quite a bit more expensive than the Titanium model. Prices start at $1,299 for the 40mm and $1,349 for the 44mm. The Ceramic model comes only in GPS + Cellular.

The Series 5 also includes the Nike Collection and the Hermes Collection.

Nike Collection

apple-watch-nikeThe Nike Collection is available only in the Aluminium (Silver, Space Gray) case. Watches in the Nike Collection are available with Nike branded watch bands and watch faces that are exclusive to the Nike collection. The pricing on the Nike model is the same as the Aluminum model – starting at $399 for the 40mm and $429 for the 44mm.

Hermes Collection

hermes-apple-watchThe Hermes Collection is a more expensive collection available only in the Stainless Steel (Silver, Space Black) case. Watches in the Hermes collection are available with leather Hermes luxury bands and also have watch faces that are exclusive to the Hermes collection. Prices start at $1,249 for the 40mm and $1,299 for the 44mm.


Apple Watch Series 3 Models

Apple-Watch-series-3The Series 3 is only available in Aluminum (Silver, Space Gray). This model is available in GPS only or GPS + Cellular. Prices start at $199 for 38mm and $229 for 42mm. As with the Series 5, the GPS + Cellular option adds $100 to either model.

If you’re not ready to spend the money for a Series 5, a Series 3 is a great way to start with the Apple Watch, with prices starting at $200 less than the Series 5. This is also a great watch for younger members of your family.

There is a Nike Collection for the Series 3 that comes with the Nike branded bands and the special Nike watch faces.

GPS Only or GPS + Cellular: Which Do I Need?

cellular-apple-watchThe Cellular option that was introduced with the Apple Watch Series 3 was a major enhancement to the Apple Watch, especially for those who are using their Apple Watch for working out.

For the first time ever, you could leave your iPhone at home when you do an outdoor workout, and still be connected. With the Cellular option on your Apple Watch you can make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, stream music or podcasts and access the web without having your iPhone with you.

Being able to workout without having to bring your iPhone along is extremely convenient, especially for those doing outdoor workouts.

Apple Watch Bands

apple-watch-watchbandsThere are a wide variety of watch bands that can be chosen when you purchase your Apple Watch. The prices listed above for the various Series 5 and Series 3 models are for the least expensive bands that can be purchased with these models. These bands are either the Sport Band made from fluoroelastomer (synthetic rubber polymer) or the Sport Loop (nylon weave), which come in a wide variety of colors and designs. Both of these bands are great for working out, but they are not too dressy.

There are many options of Leather and Stainless Steel watch bands sold by Apple. These range from $99 to $539 when purchased separately, but many of them can be purchased with the watch when you buy it, instead of the Sport Band or Sport Loop bands. If you want a leather or stainless steel band, it will be less expensive to get it with the watch. If you want a Sport Band or Sport Loop in addition, you can buy those separately.

3rd Party Watch Bands

my-watchbandsBesides the wide variety of watch bands that are offered by Apple, a whole industry of 3rd party Apple Watch bands was born when Apple made the design of the Apple Watch band connector available to 3rd party manufacturers.

By purchasing 3rd party bands, you can accessorize your watch for all different types of occasions. You can dress it up or down, or have different bands for different outfits.

There are many bands available that are imitations of the original Apple bands, but for a fraction of the price. Of course the quality of the low cost bands will not compare to that of the original Apple bands. There is a large selection of 3rd party bands available on Amazon. The lower quality of many of those bands didn’t stop me from picking up a few that I enjoy using with my Apple Watch.

On the other hand, there are many high quality 3rd party bands that are quite pricey. You can find some of them on Amazon, or just by doing a Google search.

What’s My Watch of Choice?

my-apple-watchI’m currently on my third Apple Watch. I started with the Apple Watch Series 0, and upgraded to the Series 3 after 2 ½ years. At that time the Series 0 was running slow and the battery wasn’t holding its charge well.

I would probably still be using the Series 3 if its screen hadn’t cracked. This happened 2 months before the release of the Series 5, and I was able to use it with the cracked screen until the Series 5 was released. I ordered the Series 5 as soon as it became available and have been thrilled with it. I love the larger display, the watch faces that require Series 4 / 5, the ECG, the Fall Notification, and of course the Always-on Display – I never knew how much I’d appreciate that.

All of my watches have been the Aluminum model. Since I expect to replace my Apple Watch every 2 – 3 years, I never felt it was worth the extra price to get a more expensive model. I now have a collection of around 10 watch bands that I’ve accumulated since I got my first Apple Watch.

Besides the Sport Band that I have gotten in different colors with each watch, I have not purchased any bands from Apple. All of my bands were purchased from Amazon. They cost anywhere between $5.00 – $20.00. I have a few metal ones (Milanese Loop / Metal Link), Leather Loop (Blue and Tan), a classic leather band, a couple of Sports Loops, and even a Sport Loop Armband that I like to wear when working out.

When I want a more dressy look, I wear one of the metal or leather bands and choose a watch face with only a few complications. My favorite watch faces for a dressy look are the California face or the Gradient face with a rectangle dial.

What’s Coming Next?

Watch-OS7Apple is expected to announce the Apple Watch 6 and WatchOS 7 in early September – meaning any day now. You may want to wait until the announcement to make your purchase. The current models might become available for a reduced price once the new models are announced.

WatchOS 7 was officially announced at WWDC in June 2020 and will be released with the release of the new Apple Watch. WatchOS 7 will be available for all Apple Watch models from the Series 3 and on. There may be some features that are not supported on all watches.

The following health and fitness features and enhancements were announced:

  • Sleep Tracking
  • New Workout Types
  • Improved Activity App – now called Fitness App
  • Cycling Support in Maps
  • Watch Face Sharing
  • Handwashing Detection

There is no official information from Apple regarding the Apple Watch 6, but the following are some of the rumors that have been floating around. Please note that these rumors are not confirmed by Apple and we will only know for sure once the Apple Watch 6 is officially announced.

Possible New Features:

  • Blood Oxygen (SpO2) Monitoring
  • Sleep Tracking Hardware Enhancements
  • Micro LED Display
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Replace Side button with a non-mechanical button
  • Improve Water Resistance
  • Blood Sugar Measurement
  • Blood Pressure Monitor
  • Pulse Oximeter
  • Improved / Faster Processor
  • Improved Battery Life
  • More efficient battery usage, especially when sleeping
  • Mental Health Features – Panic Attack Detection
  • Low cost Apple Watch

Apple Watch: The Best Health and Fitness Accessory

There’s no question that if you’re interested in Health and Fitness, you’ll want an Apple Watch. The latest models always have the newest features, but any Apple Watch that you get will surely help you on your journey to be healthier and more fit.

Products that you may be interested in

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