How to buy a really cheap Apple Watch on Black Friday

Apple Watch Ultra in use on wrist and on table
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Want an Apple Watch? If you’re an iOS user interested in looking after your health in 2023, or kick-starting a new fitness regime, an Apple Watch is a near-essential purchase. Perhaps you’re looking to upgrade your old one, or maybe this will be your first Apple Watch. 

Either way, Black Friday deals have started - and as Black Friday Apple Watch deals start to drop there are going to be some amazing opportunities to pick one up for cheap. 

If you’ve given the best Apple Watch entries any more than a cursory look, you’ll know there are plenty of models on offer, ranging from the budget Apple Watch SE series to the brand-new Series 8 and high-performance Apple Watch Ultra. Below, we’ll cover not only where to find the best deals and how to get a good one at discount, but also how to decide which Apple Watch is right for you. 

 GPS-only or GPS plus cellular? 

Every Apple Watch, apart from the Ultra, comes in two models: GPS only, or GPS plus cellular. Part of deciding which deal to look out for is finding out what kind of user you are. If you’ve already owned an Apple Watch and found yourself wishing you had access to the cellular model, or not using your data in a meaningful way, you can pick the other one this go-round. 

GPS-only models connect to satellite networks to track your runs, walks, cycles and swims, so you can leave your phone at home to track your activity. However, they can’t access the internet, or pick up messages and phone calls, if your phone isn’t nearby. 

Normally, this is fine for most people; but some prefer the option of leaving their phone at home or at their desk while staying connected at all times. If you like to stream music during a run, for example, or you want the new Crash Detection feature to work even while your phone is not in the car, you can grab a GPS plus cellular model and add your Apple Watch to your phone’s data plan. For an extra monthly charge, you’ll have another way to answer emails, make calls, stream and send messages on the go. 

Naturally, the GPS plus cellular models are more expensive, so if you’re after a really cheap Apple watch, go for GPS-only. 

The Apple Watch 8 on a blue desk and wrist

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Which Apple Watch should I buy? 

Now that we’ve sorted out how you use your data, it’s time to select the model of Apple Watch you want. If you’re a serious high-performance runner, explorer or diver, the brand new Apple Watch Ultra has no doubt caught your attention. Just know that it's highly unlikely you'll see big discounts on this new premium model over the Black Friday period. 

What we are seeing, however, are discounts on the Series 8 and Series 7. Both watches have up-to-date health-tracking capabilities, including excellent sleep tracking, a third-generation heart rate sensor, ECG app to detect irregular heart rates, and menstrual cycle tracking. Additionally, these gadgets include loads of workout modes and various lifestyle-based bells and whistles. In order to make sure your watch lasts a long time, it’s worth getting more recent technology. 

All the recent models are discounted right now, in both the US and the UK:

US deals

Apple Watch 8 (GPS, 41mm): $399 $349 at Amazon

Apple Watch 8 (GPS, 41mm): was $399 now $349 at Amazon
This is only the second time we've seen the latest Apple Watch 8 discounted on Amazon. The smartwatch hasn't even been available for even two months, but you can already save $50 through Amazon's early Black Friday sale. Updates compared to the previous version are incremental but do include an updated S8 processor, all-day 18-hour battery life, and a suite of new health and fitness functions thanks to watchOS 9.

Apple Watch Ultra (49mm):$799$779 at Amazon

Apple Watch Ultra (49mm): was $799 now $779 at Amazon
There's a small but welcome price cut on the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra on Amazon this week, ahead of Black Friday. It's not much, but the cut brings this beautiful high-end device to its lowest price ever. If you're a would-be adventurer in need of a seriously robust device, the Apple Watch Ultra is packed to the brim with GPS tracking and fitness-focused features. 

UK deals

Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS): £429£399 at John Lewis

Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS): was £429 now £399 at John Lewis
John Lewis is kicking off its Black Friday sale with a small but welcome discount on the latest Apple Watch Series 8 this week. While it appears that this price is for the Starlight color specifically, this is currently the best deal out there for this model if you're simply looking for a GPS version. New features with this iteration include an Always‑On display, crash detection, and temperature sensing, for a wide range of applications.

Apple Watch Series 7: £369£319 at John Lewis

Apple Watch Series 7: was £369 now £319 at John Lewis
The Apple Watch 7 is a good option if you want a higher-end model at a lower price and don't mind opting for an older iteration. You're essentially getting the same design as the latest Apple Watch 8 here, as well as the same features and tools that are staples of the Apple Watch range, including an ECG, exercise tracking, access to Apple Fitness Plus (through a separate subscription), Apple Pay, and all the fitness tracking modes you've come to expect. 

These watches are great for those health-conscious folks who aren't seriously interested in the more adventurous features of the Apple Watch Ultra, like the in-built dive computer or Garmin-bothering durability. Buying a more recent model also offers a degree of future-proofing, as they’ll be compatible with future software updates, guaranteeing you a few years of improved performance.  

If you’re looking to save even more money, the Series 8 was launched alongside a new version of Apple’s budget offering, the Apple Watch SE (generation 2). It’s similar to the watches above in many respects, but some compromises have been made to bring the price down. It’s got a second-gen heart rate sensor; its menstrual tracking isn’t as sophisticated; it is slightly smaller; it has no always-on display; and the back of the case is nylon rather than ceramic. 

It’s no secret the Watch SE isn't comparable to the Series 7 and Series 8, but it is currently $250 in the US and £250 in the UK. If you come across this gadget with a price approaching $220 in the US or £220 in the UK, it might be worth picking the timepiece up, especially if you're a fitness beginner. If you’re just getting into running, walking or gym classes for the first time, a GPS-only Apple Watch SE is less of a financial commitment than a 45mm Apple Watch 8 with cellular data attached, and will offer all the workout-tracking tricks you’ll utilize for a long time.

You could also buy an older model of Apple Watch, such as a Series 6 or 5, either of which will likely come with a better discount. For example, one of the cheapest Apple Watches you can get is the first-generation Apple Watch SE, which was introduced in 2020. However, Apple has recently ended its support for the Apple Watch Series 3, so we really wouldn't recommend you go too old since even the Series 4 is at risk of the same loss of support within a year or two. 

 Where to find the best deals 

Below, you can find a list of some of the best Apple Watch deals where you are. Make sure you visit our Black Friday Apple Watch deals guide for a more comprehensive list of offers on all sorts of models.     

More US Black Friday deals

More UK Black Friday deals

Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.