Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


You can download WatchOS 11 beta on your Apple Watch right now. Here's how (and supported models)

Here's the summary of Apple Watch models eligible for the latest software version and how to download it.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Apple Watch Series 9 hands-on
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

As an Apple user, product longevity is one of my biggest feature priorities. Though I upgrade to a new phone every three to four years, I still use my 8th-generation iPad daily, love my 2019 iMac, and always wear my Apple Watch 7. However, with new iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, and WatchOS being showcased at WWDC earlier this week, you may wonder about your device's compatibility with Apple's latest software versions.

Also: Your Apple Watch is getting an upgrade - here are the coolest features in WatchOS 11

New software updates come with compatibility lists that often exclude older devices. With Apple unveiling the latest version of WatchOS 11, which includes new fitness and health features, here's the list of supported Apple Watch models.

Which iPhone models will get WatchOS 11?

Here's every Apple Watch that will support WatchOS 11:

  • Apple Watch Series 9
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2
  • Apple Watch Ultra 
  • Apple Watch SE (2022) and newer

Which Apple Watch models will not support WatchOS 11?

With the release of WatchOS 11, Apple stopped supporting software updates for several Apple Watch models. Here are the Apple Watch models that will not get WatchOS 11:

  • Apple Watch Series 5 (2019)
  • Apple Watch Series 4 (2018) and older
  • Apple Watch SE (2020)

This list only includes the first-generation Apple Watch SE, launched in 2020; the 2022 Apple Watch SE is expected to support WatchOS 11.

Also: Every iPhone model that will get Apple's iOS 18 (and which ones won't)

Apple typically drops software support for older Apple Watch and devices with hardware limitations to focus and streamline the development process of newer models. Of course, this is also part of tech giants' market strategy, as it motivates users to buy new devices.

Editorial standards