Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Best Apple Watch 2023: The top choices we’ve tested and reviewed

If you’re after a wearable to pair with your iPhone then the Apple Watch remains the best way to go. Here you’ll find our ultimate ranking of the versions you can buy now.

While there are tons of iOS-compatible smartwatches out there from the likes of Withings, Fossil and Fitbit, none of them pair quite so seamlessly with Apple’s smartphones as the Apple Watch series itself. Due to the way Apple builds iOS, the slickest and most connected experiences come from an Apple Watch and we doubt that’ll change anytime soon.

No matter which one you opt for, the Apple Watch has been designed to make the most out of iOS with features such as messaging on your wrist, hands-free Siri activation, and even sleep tracking. All models mentioned below have been fully reviewed and tested by one of our wearable experts.

It’s important to note that Apple Watch models only work with iPhones (not even iPads), so if you have an Android phone then take a look at the best smartwatch, best running watch and best fitness tracker guides as these will suit your phone perfectly.

Our final piece of advice is to avoid the Apple Watch 3, as this is no longer supported by Apple and will not receive further updates and features. While you might spot this older model at tempting prices, we’d recommend paying a little more for an option that will be updated with new software in the future.

Which is the best Apple Watch 2023?

How we test

Find out how we test Apple Watches

Every smartwatch we test is used by the reviewer for at least a week, or longer if the battery life lasts beyond that point or we need more time to trial its features.

During testing we will check it for key metrics including app support, usability and battery life. If the device offers fitness, location or health tracking features we will also test these for accuracy and reliability. 

For distance tracking we record how accurately the device recorded runs on tracks we know the length of. We also record how much battery is lost using things like in-built or connected GPS per hour. To check heart rate accuracy we compare the results recorded on the wearable to a dedicated HRM strap.

After recording the data we then pair it with our general experience using the wearable day-to-day, letting you know if it’s comfortable to wear or if we encountered unexpected bugs during use over the review period.

Apple Watch 8

The best option for most people
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Excellent tracking features
  • Plenty of sensors, including clever use of temperature sensor
  • Charges quickly
  • Additional low power modes


  • No big battery upgrade
  • Minimal additions over the last model

The Apple Watch 8 is the best smartwatch that we have tested, pending our review of the Apple Watch Ultra, and it remains one of the most attractive options for iPhone users.

There are many excellent attributes to this watch, including its highly adjustable screen; not only can it boast high levels brightness that’s perfect for sunny days, but it can also reduce this right down for when you need to check your watch at night, while the always-on display means you can check the time and notifications just with a glance thanks to its LTPO refresh rate tech.

There aren’t all that many additions to the Watch 8 over its predecessor, but one change is that employment of a skin temperature sensor, which is particularly useful for women’s health tracking and family planning. The overalll fitness tracking is still very strong, comparing favourably to dedicated sports watches such as the Garmin Forerunner 955 in its lock-on speed and accuracy, while the adoption of heart rate zones is informative for keeping an eye on the intensity of your workout.

Overall, this watch does a great job of encouraging to to keep healthy, whether that be through its addictive sleep-tracking feature or its step counting goals.

The new S8 chipset s more efficient than its predecessor, and we found that its battery life generally leaves us with 25-30% charge after a full 24 hours’ usage (including through the night), and this is further helped out by its improved low-power mode. The fast-charging introduced last year has remained in place, giving us 20% of the juice after 10 minutes plugged in.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple Watch 8

Apple Watch SE

The best affordable option
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Excellent value
  • Huge range of tracking features
  • The best smartwatch OS around
  • Wide variety of straps available


  • No always-on display
  • Battery life still only really a day

The Apple Watch 3 is cheaper than the SE and still sold on the official Apple Store. But with software support ending we can’t recommend it anymore. This is why in this list we’re recommending buyers on a budget look at the Apple Watch SE instead, despite it costing a bit more.

Though the SE is hardly cheap, especially compared to some of the dedicated fitness trackers and WearOS watches we recommend, it’s still very good value. During testing we found the watch offers equivalent fitness tracking to the 7, near identical battery life and access to the same portfolio of apps. Performance also proved to be on a par with our tester never noticing any lag or slow down using the device.

The only compromises are that the SE doesn’t have an always on display option, which means you have to turn the screen on when fully whenever you want to check the time and that its charge speeds are much lower. It took well over an hour for us to get a full charge.

We found the compromises are worth making if you can live without these small luxuries which is why we actually recommend the SE over the 7 for most buyers.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Apple Watch SE Review

Apple Watch Ultra

The best option for serious athletes
rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Improved battery on previous Apple Watches
  • Surprisingly light design
  • Good sports tracking performance
  • Bigger, brighter Retina display


  • It’s not cheap
  • Design could be sleeker
  • Some outdoor features are a work in progress
  • New straps are a mixed bag

The Apple Watch Ultra is purpose built for more demanding usage, be that a long bike ride, diving, or trail running. It’s ideal for this task thanks to its sapphire guard crystal display and titanium casing, which is robust but relatively light at 61.3g, while it is tested to military-grade MIL-STD-810H standard too in order to prove its resilience against temperature extremes and high altitudes.

All this would mean nothing if the performance wasn’t up to scratch, but fortunately it is. The dual-band GPS tracking is just as accurate as a high-end Garmin watch for tracking your running and cycling, while the safety features such as crash detection, ECG and more are there to reassure you. The software is brilliantly zippy and supports lots of compatible apps, plus the battery life is an improvement over the standard Apple Watch 8, now giving you 36 hours of normal use or 60 hours when in power-saving mode.

However, the watch is certainly very bulky to wear, especially if you want to track your sleep, and the native mapping supports isn’t as rich as we’d have liked. What’s more, some of the higher heart rate readings could be inaccurate when compared to a chest strap monitor.

Reviewer: Michael Sawh

Full review: Apple Watch Ultra

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed


Wearable & Fitness

See all reviews


Do Apple Watches work with Android

Apple Watches are not fully compatible with Android devices. To make the most of them they need to be paired with an iPhone or iPad.

Do all Apple Watches have LTE?

Only a select number of newer Apple Watches feature LTE connectivity. You should check their spec sheet before purchasing one if you need the added connectivity.

Do Apple Watches have NFC?

All modern Apple Watches support NFC and Apple Pay, meaning you can use them to make contactless payments in most regions and stores.

Comparison specs

You can see a breakdown of the Apple Watch 7 and SE’s specs in the table below.

Screen Size
IP rating
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.