Which Apple Watch Would Be Best for Me? (Every Model Examined)

Three Apple Watch models are available in 2024: the Series 9, the Ultra 2, and the SE 2 (Gen 2). We'll go over the main changes between all Apple Watch models that can still run the most recent watchOS, which is to say all Series 4 and later Apple Watches, in case you have an older model and aren't sure if you should upgrade.

Except for the incredibly durable Ultra, the majority of Apple Watches that have been produced in the last four years aren't all that different. They all share the same 18-hour "all day" battery life, the same watchOS, and a comparable appearance and functionality. In the end, your decision between the many versions will depend on your budget, the newer design, an always-on display, and some special wellness functions. (Apple does provide some tempting discounts on earlier reconditioned models.)

Hold on, Is the Apple Watch Still Banned?

Not exactly.

If you've been following the saga, you're aware that Apple was forced to temporarily halt sales of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 in late December 2023. A patent dispute over the blood oxygen (SpO2) sensor was the cause of the ban. The US International Trade Commission (ITC) declared in October 2023 that Apple had violated the patents of medical tech company Masimo. Imports of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 were prohibited as of December 26. Apple was compelled to discontinue selling both models in the US at that point.

On December 27, the prohibition was, nevertheless, lifted. The US appeals court allowed the halt while it investigates whether Apple's modifications to the Series 9 and Ultra 2โ€”the company is developing a software patch that would either circumvent Masimo's patents or completely disable the blood oxygen sensorโ€”still violate the patents. On January 12, a decision is anticipated to be made public.

Apple has started selling its flagship smartwatches again in the US, both online and in-store, till then. Should the prohibition reappear, Apple will once more discontinue offering both models. Third-party retailers (such as Amazon and Best Buy) will still be permitted to sell them, though, as long as they were in their possession prior to the import prohibition going into force. This implies that the amount they have available is limited.

There are three Apple Watch models available right now. The distinctions between the Series 9, Ultra 2, and second-generation SE are outlined here.


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