Should I Upgrade My Apple Watch? (2024)

Apple releases new Apple Watch models every year, but that doesn't mean you have to upgrade each time one comes out. This article looks at the reasons to upgrade or wait and provides suggestions depending on your model.

Reasons to Upgrade an Apple Watch

The reasons to upgrade to a new Apple Watch differ based on your model, how you use it, how well your Watch works, and more. Generally speaking, it may make sense to upgrade your Apple Watch if:

  • You need a newly introduced features. The latest models may introduce features that are essential for you that your current Watch lacks. That's a great reason to upgrade.
  • Your Watch is 4 or more generations old. If your Watch is at least four years old, an upgrade will likely deliver significant changes in screen size and quality, battery life, and features.
  • Your screen is cracked or too small. Recent Watch models have bigger, brighter screens. If you appreciate that or your current screen is cracked, you may want to upgrade.
  • Your battery doesn't hold a charge. A Watch that runs out of battery before the end of the day isn't much use. While batteries can be replaced, if your Watch is old enough that the battery is weakening, you might be better off spending a bit more and getting a new Apple Watch.
  • You always have to have the latest and greatest. If you're a big gadget lover — or need to always have the newest, coolest thing — you'll probably upgrade every year.

For an in-depth look at the latest Apple Watch models, check out Apple Watch Series 9 Review and Apple Watch Ultra 2: News, Price, Release Date, Specs; and More.

Reasons to Wait to Upgrade an Apple Watch

While a shiny new Apple Watch may be tempting, there are plenty of sound reasons to put off an upgrade, including:

  • Your Watch works well for you. If your Watch works fine, meets your needs, and isn't broken, it's doing what you need. Why spend the money to upgrade when you won't get much benefit?
  • Changes with each generation are usually incremental. The revisions added by new models year over year typically aren't revolutionary. Unless the latest model has a feature you've been waiting for, you're often better off waiting for a few models to upgrade to really feel the impact of the changes.
  • Price. The Apple Watch is far from the priciest gadget in Apple's lineup, but a new model starts around $399. Why spend the money if your current model works well for you?

Apple releases new iPhones every year, too. If you have the same question, we have the answer about when you should upgrade your iPhone.

If You Have an Apple Watch Series 6 or Older

If you have an Apple Watch Series 6 or older—especially if your Watch is older—consider upgrading your Apple Watch in the relatively near future. Compared to the Series-6 and older models, Series 7-9 deliver bigger, brighter screens, faster battery charging, Crash Detection, faster processors, and more sensors. The Series 9 also lets you control the Watch through gestures instead of tapping the screen.

If your Series 6 still works well, upgrading your Apple Watch might not be worth it. The 6 is the dividing line between "must upgrade" and "you can wait" (as of this writing, at least). If you're happy with the 6, you could wait for Series 10 (or whatever it's called).

If You Have an Apple Watch Series 7 or 8

If you have the Apple Watch Series 7 or 8, we don't recommend an upgrade unless your current model is failing in some way or if the latest model delivers a feature you absolutely have to have and can't get on your model. Barring that, these models are too new, work too well, and aren't different enough from the Series 9 to justify an upgrade. Keep an eye on Series 10 or 11; they might be more compelling.

If You Have an Apple Watch Ultra

If you have an Apple Watch Ultra, we don't recommend upgrading to the Ultra 2 unless your current model has failed. The Ultra 2 has some nice enhancements, but they're relatively modest and don't justify the $799 purchase price if your current Watch works well. Keep an eye on what the Ultra 3 or 4 offers and consider those as upgrade candidates.

Apple Watch Ultra 3: News and Expected Price, Release Date, Specs; and More Rumors

The Bottom Line

It doesn't make sense for every Apple Watch owner to upgrade when a new model debuts. If your Watch is relatively recent and still working well, you can probably delay upgrading. But, if you've got an Apple Watch Series 5, 6, or older, you'll get so many improvements with an upgrade that it's worth it for most people.

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Should I Upgrade My Apple Watch? (2024)


Should I Upgrade My Apple Watch? ›

If you have an Apple Watch Series 6 or older—especially if your Watch is older—consider upgrading your Apple Watch in the relatively near future. Compared to the Series-6 and older models, Series 7-9 deliver bigger, brighter screens, faster battery charging, Crash Detection, faster processors, and more sensors.

When should I change my Apple Watch? ›

If it's still in good condition and meets your daily needs, you can feel good about keeping it for another year. If it's starting to feel sluggish, the battery life isn't what it used to be and you really want a larger screen and temperature tracking, it's probably worth the upgrade.

Should you update your Apple Watch? ›

It's important to keep your Apple devices up to date so that they have the latest bug fixes and security enhancements. Some iOS updates on your iPhone require that you also update watchOS on your Apple Watch.

Should I upgrade to Apple Watch 9 from 5? ›

It's a clear path from the Series 5 to the Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 if you choose to upgrade. If you've been happy with the SE's performance, you're probably best off sticking with the upgraded version.

What is the difference between the watch 8 and 9? ›

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Series 8 are nearly identical smartwatches, with the Series 9's upgraded S9 chip and the new Double Tap Gesture being the most substantial differences. But by and large, they function the same. Because of that, upgrading to the Series 9 is only for a select set of users.

What is the lifespan of an Apple Watch? ›

So how long does an Apple Watch last and are Apple Watches worth buying? There will always be exceptions, but on balance, based on the experience of our own reviewers and the comments we've seen from users online, I would say that an Apple Watch provide five to six years of good performance.

How long should I use my Apple Watch? ›

Apple Watch is so capable you'll want to wear it all day long. So we made sure we gave it a battery that lasts all day, too. Our goal for battery life is 18 hours after an overnight charge, factoring in things like checking the time, receiving notifications, using apps, and doing a 60-minute workout.

How often should you buy a new Apple Watch? ›

Each year, the Apple Watch adds new capabilities, so if you dig your Apple Watch and your model is at least two or three years old then you may be ready for an upgrade.

Is it worth upgrading from Apple Watch 8 to 9? ›

Yes, the latest Apple Watch Series 9 is an iterative upgrade to the already-fantastic Apple Watch Series 8, but its improvements in speed and hands-free capabilities make it a worthwhile buy if you're making the leap from a much older model or a more basic competitor.

What happens if I can't update my Apple Watch? ›

Remove media and apps. Free up storage on your Apple Watch by removing any music or photos that you've synced to your watch. Then try to install the watchOS update. If you still can't update, remove some apps to free up more space, then try to update.

Will there be a new Apple Watch in 2024? ›

Following the Apple Watch Series 9, it makes sense that the 2024 smartwatch will be called the Apple Watch Series 10. However, Apple could mark the 10th anniversary of their smartwatch with different branding as they did with the iPhone X. Whether it's called the Apple Watch Series X or Series 10, a refresh is coming.

What Apple Watch to upgrade to? ›

If you're upgrading from an earlier Apple Watch, you want an always-on display, or you want more advanced health tracking, you should consider the Series 9. And if you want the biggest and brightest screen, the best durability and battery life, and even more advanced fitness features, we recommend the Ultra 2.

Which is better, the Apple Watch Series 8 or 9? ›

The Apple Watch Series 9 is the latest wearable from Apple. It offers faster performance and a few new features that the last-generation Apple Watch Series 8 can't match. But, in many ways, the two smartwatches are substantially the same.

Is the series 9 Apple Watch worth it? ›

The Apple Watch Series 9 is the perfect introduction to the world of Apple's superb smartwatches, as not only does it follow the winning formula of previous models but it also introduces a fun new gesture control with masses of potential for the future.

Is it worth upgrading to the Apple Watch 9? ›

Because of the generational technology leap with the Series 9, I'd recommend getting this model rather than the Apple Watch SE or the previous Series 8 or Series 7 models that you can still buy -- since the Series 9 technology will remain current for longer and is likely to benefit from future software upgrades for ...

What to do when switching to new Apple Watch? ›

Set up your Apple Watch
  1. Turn on your Apple Watch and put it on. ...
  2. Hold your Apple Watch close to your iPhone. ...
  3. Hold your iPhone over the animation. ...
  4. Set up as new or restore from a backup. ...
  5. Sign in with your Apple ID. ...
  6. Create a passcode. ...
  7. Customize your settings. ...
  8. Set up cellular and Apple Pay.

Is it better to turn off Apple Watch when not using? ›

Turning off the Apple Watch can preserve the battery for an emergency and give the person using the device a break, according to Moreover, restarting the Apple Watch can help troubleshoot issues the device might be experiencing.

How do you know if your Apple Watch battery needs to be replaced? ›

Go back to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. Notice there you get a MAXIMUM CAPACITY measurement. If that is over 80 percent, you should be good. Below that, then your battery is getting suspect and you're probably noticing that your Apple Watch no longer holds its charge like it once did.

Is it OK to turn off Apple Watch every day? ›

Whilst it is OK to turn off your Apple Watch every night (and doing so would not hurt the battery), you may find it more convenient to charge it instead. You may find it most convenient to charge your Apple Watch nightly, overnight, enabling you to start each day with a fully charged battery.

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