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- You can still buy the Apple Watch Series 3, even though Apple no longer supports it.
- We've seen refurbished Series 3 models priced at $100, but you should avoid this outdated model.
- For a budget Apple Watch with better value, we recommend the 2022 Apple Watch SE instead.
The Apple Watch Series 3 was discontinued in September 2022, but you can still buy it refurbished from various sellers for as low as $100. Regardless of how attractive it's priced, we don't recommend buying it.
There are two main reasons: Apple no longer supports the Series 3 with software and security updates, and while still functional, the smartwatch is showing its age. Plus, its 8GB of built-in storage (16GB in the cellular model) is now too small to be meaningful.
Instead, we recommend these newer models that offer better performance and support. And if you're looking to buy an Apple Watch on a budget, the second-generation Apple Watch SE (2022) should be at the top of your shortlist.
The second-generation Apple Watch SE is Apple’s new reigning budget smartwatch. It’s an impressive entry-level wearable that shares the same processor as the Series 8 and Ultra. It doesn’t have the most advanced health sensors as premium models, but it offers just enough features to satisfy most people.
The second-generation Apple Watch SE offers a lot of value for a new entry-level model
The 2022 Watch SE replaced the Series 3 as the entry-level Apple Watch. Like the Series 3, the SE is a capable smartwatch that tells the time, delivers notifications, and tracks your fitness and health. You can make or take calls when your iPhone is nearby, or buy the cellular option if you want to leave your phone at home. It supports Apple Pay for mobile payments. It includes a heart-rate sensor for high and low heart rate notifications, irregular rhythm notifications, workouts, GPS location tracking, Emergency SOS, and water resistance.
But the SE also adds Crash Detection as a new safety feature and cycle tracking for health. It's also sleeker with a slightly larger, higher-quality display, and it has 32GB for storage. Most importantly, the SE uses the latest S8 processor, which delivers the fastest performance and reliability in an Apple Watch, and it'll also last longer due to having the latest specs.
Starting at $249 for the 40mm model and $279 for the 44mm, the second-gen SE is a better value than the Series 3 if you're on a budget. While the SE lacks an always-on display and additional health and fitness features you'd find on the Series 8 or Ultra, it's still one of the best new smartwatches you can buy.
Should you buy the Apple Watch Series 3 for any reason?
Considering that the Apple Watch Series 3 is still functional and very good for the most basic tasks, some buyers might overlook its discontinued support. Perhaps you need to replace a damaged Series 3 and aren't ready to upgrade yet, or you're gifting one to a child. Whatever the reason, we think it no longer holds its value, and there's no guarantee that it'll work as well as time goes on.
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