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Shopping to treat yourself or a loved one? Looking for early Presidents' Day steals? The good news is there's still plenty of lingering holiday deals and fresh discounts across retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and more -- including on coveted Apple products.
With 2024 already under way, if you're looking to snag yourself or someone else an Apple Watch (after all, Valentine's is right around the corner), you won't want to wait much longer. Across some retailers, you can find deals on several Apple Watch models, including the SE, Series 8, and even the newly released Series 9.
Apple's latest flagship watch is on sale in the 45mm size, as well as others. The Series 9 offers all the newest features and is one step up from the base model SE. The Apple Watch Series 9 can track activity, steps, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen (lung function), wrist temperature, sleep, and environmental sound levels (to protect your hearing). And it uses algorithms and machine learning -- aka, AI -- to spot dangerous patterns and alert you to seek medical attention.
If wellness is your goal, then the Apple watch is a popular pick for maximum productivity. And if you're not looking for advanced features offered in the newer Series 8, 9, or Ultra and Ultra 2 models, the watch SE is a great buy with all the essentials, and you'd be surprised how well this model stacks up to Apple's other contenders.
The Apple Watch SE does offer some of the same health and safety features as the Series 8 and the Ultra, though it doesn't track blood oxygen, do ECG heart checks, or check your temperature.
ZDNET Editor in Chief Jason Hiner noted that the SE (2nd Gen) also makes a great smartwatch to give to someone who doesn't have an iPhone, such as a child or an elderly family member, using Apple's Family Setup.
"If you are new to Apple Watch, giving it a try for the first time, and not sure you need all the latest health sensors, then the Apple Watch SE is a great place to get started," Hiner says.
I upgraded from the Series 3 Apple Watch to the SE during the holidays, and I have never been happier with a tech purchase. The SE has all the necessary features without the complicated bells and whistles I didn't want (or need), yet still offers a crisp display, fast response rate, and easy use. I loved my SE upgrade so much, I bought my mom her own for Christmas.
Though not the most up-to-date model, the Series 8 still offers great value. The Series 8 is IPX 6 water- and dust-resistant, contains 32 GB of storage, and offers several sensors, including GPS, altimeter, blood oxygen, optical heart sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, body temperature sensor, and high-G accelerometer.
When former ZDNET expert reviewer Christina Darby reviewed the watch in 2022, she pronounced it a great buy.
"The Apple Watch Series 8 is an incremental update to the classic, squircle smartwatch -- and I'm not complaining. The same catalog of good-looking and practical watch faces is still there and, with the enhanced health and fitness tracking features, the watch is more useful than ever for helping me stay in tune with my body both during activity and at rest," Darby said in her review.
ZDNET only writes about deals we want to buy -- devices and products we desire, need, or would recommend. Our experts looked for deals that were at least 20% off (or are hardly ever on sale), using established price comparison tools and trackers to determine whether the deal is actually on sale and how frequently it drops.
We also looked over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the deals we're recommending. Our recommendations may also be based on our own testing -- in addition to extensive research and comparison shopping. The goal is to deliver the most accurate advice to help you shop smarter.
What is the best Apple watch?
ZDNET's top pick for the best Apple watch is the Apple Watch Ultra 2 since it is lauded by athletes and members of the press as the best Apple Watch ever made thanks to its rugged durability, large and bright display, long battery life, water resistance, and more. Its no surprise it became the flagship model as soon as the Ultra was released last year.
Apple Watch SE vs Series 8: Which is the better buy?
If you're buying your first Apple Watch or upgrading from a Series 6 or earlier, ZDNET recommends buying the Series 9 this year because it features a big upgrade in accuracy for tracking your health and fitness.
However, if you want to get in at the lowest price or you're buying a watch for a kid or an elderly family member (for the fall detection and heart rate monitoring, for example) then we'd recommend getting last year's Apple Watch Series 8 over the Apple Watch SE because it has more (and better) health sensors and it also has emergency crash detection for accidents.
Deals are subject to sell-out or expire at any time, though ZDNET remains committed to finding, sharing, and updating the best product deals for you to score the best savings. Our team of experts regularly checks in on the deals we share to ensure they are still live and obtainable. We're sorry if you've missed out on a deal, but don't fret -- we're constantly finding new chances to save and sharing them with you at ZDNET.com.
What is the newest Apple Watch?
Apple has a lengthy lineup of its flagship tech wearable, with several iterations over the last few years. The two newest watch releases come in the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, which were released in September 2023. The Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) remains the most up-to-date base model. With multiple models available, both old and new, you'll be sure to find a watch that fits your needs and your price point.
Which Apple watches have the new double tap feature?
Apple's newest releases, the Watch Series 9 and the Watch Ultra 2 both feature the new finger tap capability. Apple formally refers to this as the "double tap gesture," and with it users can easily control either watch with just one hand and without touching the display. Users can tap the index finger and thumb of their watch hand together twice to quickly perform many of the most common actions.
What are the different Apple Watch bands available?
Apple offers several band options that are included with their watches, some dependent on the model purchased. The most frequent band options, often included with new Apple watches, like the Series 9, are the Sport Band and Sport Loop, available in several colors such as Midnight, Starlight, White, Red, Pink, and more.
Other band options include the Ocean Band, Alpine Loop, Milanese Loop, Trail Loop, Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, and more. Apple and other retailers offer tons of bands made of differing materials in a multitude of colors and designs as well.
Are there any alternative smartwatches worth considering?
The Apple watch models are not the only options for smart watches, despite their popularity. ZDNET rounded up the best smartwatch deals so you can scope more alternative deals, including the Fitbit Versa 4, Fitbit Luxe, Google Pixel Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, and more.
What does "trade-in" mean?
Similarly to turning in an older cell-phone to receive monetary credit towards purchasing a newer or more updated version, Apple and other major retailers often have options to "trade-in" other devices, like Apple watches.
When participating in a trade-in offer, you are providing your previously used item to the retailer in exchange for a predetermined amount of cash back that can be directly applied to your next item purchase of the same product. Eligible trade-in items and the cash back offered for each product is decided by each individual retailer and is often determined by factors such as age, condition, and functionality of the item being presented for trade-in. Apple recently decided to even bump up the amount they offer for trade-ins as well, too.