I'm an iPhone user and here's the Black Friday Apple Watch deals I'm hoping for

Apple Watch 6 review
(Image credit: TechRadar)

After years of enjoying my Samsung Galaxy phones, I switched back to the iPhone this year when I purchased my Apple iPhone 14 Pro. I had been using a Garmin Swim 2 fitness band for the summer, and that watch works fine with my new iPhone, but what I really want is to have a watch that matches my phone perfectly. That’s why at the upcoming Black Friday deals event I’m keeping an eye out for Black Friday smartwatch deals on Apple’s wearable, and here are the one I’d prefer. 

I’m not a fitness buff, though I do a lot of walking with my dogs and I hike at least once a month with my kiddo. Every Apple Watch will serve my fitness needs, and I don’t need anything extreme like the Apple Watch Ultra

I’d love to say that battery life should be a big factor but frankly, none of the Apple Watch models have ever blown me away with their longevity. Some are a little better than others, and most will last through a day, but all of them need to be charged regularly, unlike my long-lasting Garmin.

Apple Watch 7 on a bed of stones.

Apple Watch Series 7 (Image credit: Future)

Having the largest screen possible is a great benefit on an Apple Watch, and that tiny bit of additional display area makes a big difference. While I am looking for an older Apple Watch, I will try to buy something as recent as the Apple Watch Series 7, which came with a slightly larger 1.9-inch display, over the older 1.78-inch screen on the Apple Watch Series 6.

If I do go for a smaller watch, the Apple Watch SE is a much better value than the Apple Watch Series 6 but lacks some key features. The Series 6 watch gives you more health sensors, including blood oxygen levels, and ultra-wideband support, which makes a lost Watch Series 6 much easier to find. If the Watch SE is much cheaper, it’s a good pick, but the Apple Watch Series 6 is better if you can find a great deal.

Apple Watch 7

Apple Watch Series 7 has an edge-to-edge display (Image credit: TechRadar)

In searching for pre-Black Friday Apple deals, I’ve noticed that some of the special edition models can be found at lower prices than their regular counterparts. For instance, the Nike edition of the Apple Watch as well as the (PRODUCT) Red color are often less expensive than the more boring color options.

If you don’t care much about the size of the watch, I occasionally found that the larger size was inexplicably cheaper than the smaller in some versions of the Apple Watch. I find the small version to be adequate for my wrist, but folks with smaller arms might want to stick to the lesser sizes.

The Apple Watch Series 7 is the one I really want

Apple Watch Series 7 images of watch on test

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Since I can’t afford a brand new Apple Watch Series 8, obviously the Apple Watch Series 7 is the next best thing, right? Actually, it is, especially if there’s a great Black Friday deal. The Series 7 introduced the big screen you’ll find on the Series 8 watch, and it has most of the same features and hardware sensors. 

You don’t get the new temperature sensor found on the Series 8, but that seems to be of dubious value so far. The Apple Watch Series 7 still has a bright LTPO screen with always-on capabilities, an ECG measurement for advanced health readings, and the same water resistance and durability. 

I’ve never found cellular features on a watch so useful that I would pay extra for them, but if there is a Black Friday deal on the GPS + Cellular edition of this watch, it wouldn’t hurt to have the network available. You don’t need to activate the cellular signal on the watch, but if you want to use it for messaging or payments while you’re running and away from your phone, it’s a nice feature to have. 

 The Apple Watch SE is the best bargain I found

The face of the Apple Watch SE

(Image credit: Future)

When the first generation Apple Watch SE was released, it brought the price of the Apple Watch down to achievable levels for even entry-iPhone owners. We said the Apple Watch SE was the best bargain among all the new watches when it launched next to the Apple Watch Series 6, a much more expensive wearable at the time. 

Black Friday smartwatch deals are pulling the first-gen Apple Watch SE into the low-$200 range, which is practically cheap for an Apple accessory. 

I’d need to be a bit more careful if I picked this over an Apple Watch 7, as the Watch SE lacks the dust IP protection that the Watch 7 got, and I'd also miss the larger screen. Still, the Apple Watch SE looks like any other fancy Apple Watch: it doesn’t telegraph its bargain status.

The Apple Watch Series 6 (PRODUCT) Red is having a great sale

Apple Watch 6 review

Apple Watch 6 (PRODUCT) Red color (Image credit: TechRadar)

It’s harder to find a deal on the Apple Watch Series 6, but the special colors and editions like the (PRODUCT) Red model may have been less popular, because I’ve found some of the best Apple Watch deals on those models. There’s no other difference between the red watch and the other Series 6, except that the red donates some proceeds to charity. 

In addition to the red model, you might look for Nike editions of Apple Watch models. The Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Series 7, among other Apple Watch devices, were branded with special Nike colors and bands. Like the red model, those may have been less popular, because some of the best discounts you’ll find are on the white and black spotted watch from the Swoosh. 

Don’t buy an Apple Watch older than the Series 6

Apple Watch 5 Amazon Halo

Apple Watch Series 5 (Image credit: Future)

While we prefer the Apple Watch Series 7 for its larger display, if you can find a great deal on an Apple Watch Series 6, we’d recommend buying one. Any Apple Watch earlier than that would be a mistake. Our biggest complaint with the Apple Watch is its battery life. 

Even though the batteries keep getting bigger, Apple has not improved battery life enough to impress us. The situation was even worse on the older Apple Watch devices. An Apple Watch that is more than two years old may be packed with a battery already near the end of its best life. When the battery is already a key concern, it would be best to start with the most capable battery you can find in a device you can afford. 

If you look back even further than the Watch Series 6, you'll also find watches with a tiny amount of onboard storage. You won't be able to load all of the apps, music, and maybe photos you'd like to keep on an Apple Watch if it has less than 32GB of storage, as all of these recommended models have. 

Philip Berne
US Mobiles Editor

Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, starting more than 20 years ago at eTown.com. Phil has written for Engadget, The Verge, PC Mag, Digital Trends, Slashgear, TechRadar, AndroidCentral, and was Editor-in-Chief of the sadly-defunct infoSync. Phil holds an entirely useful M.A. in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University. He sang in numerous college a cappella groups.

Phil did a stint at Samsung Mobile, leading reviews for the PR team and writing crisis communications until he left in 2017. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. Phil is certified in Google AI Essentials. He has a High School English teaching license (and years of teaching experience) and is a Red Cross certified Lifeguard. His passion is the democratizing power of mobile technology. Before AI came along he was totally sure the next big thing would be something we wear on our faces.