The Apple Watch Series 8 is the best smartwatch to buy on Prime Day

An Apple Watch Series 8 with the screen turned on.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Do you have an iPhone and are looking to get your very first smartwatch? Or perhaps you have an older model and are looking to replace it with something better.

Either way, if you use an iPhone, then the Apple Watch is the way to go. And for Prime Day, you can get a great deal on the Apple Watch Series 8.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is on sale now

Apple Watch Series 8 showing sleep tracking results.
Apple Watch Series 8 Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Normally, the Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 for the smaller 41mm size or $429 for the larger 45mm model. But for Prime Day, you can pick up a 41mm version for a mere $299 or the 45mm size for $329. If you go for the models that include a cellular connection, those will start at $429.

It’s pretty rare to see any Apple products get significant discounts, especially on the latest models. So for the Apple Watch Series 8 — which is the latest of the main Series Watches — to be $100 cheaper than normal is a great deal.

Though you could pick up an Apple Watch SE 2 for only $199, which is a great value, we highly recommend the Apple Watch Series 8 because it has a lot more useful features.

Why get the Series 8 over the SE 2?

The Apple Watch Ultra with the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch SE 2.
(Left to right) Apple Watch SE 2, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

For one, the Apple Watch SE 2 does not have the always-on display that has been around since the Apple Watch Series 5. This feature has made the Apple Watch more of a standard timepiece, so you can actually always see the time without having to raise your wrist. While this would use up more battery power than if you have the screen off most of the time, it’s not guzzling up battery life like no other. The Apple Watch Series 8 will still get you through the entire day, even with the always-on display enabled.

The Apple Watch Series 8 also includes a swath of beneficial health features that are absent on the budget-friendly Apple Watch SE 2. While both the Series 8 and SE 2 have 24/7 continuous heart rate monitoring with notifications for high and low heart rate, as well as Fall Detection, the Series 8 also has ECG monitoring (which can be helpful for detecting atrial fibrillation) and a SpO2 sensor, which helps detect the oxygen levels in your blood. Apple also has a temperature sensor in the Series 8, which can also be especially helpful for women as it can help estimate ovulation and menstrual cycles.

While all of these health sensors may not be needed by everyone, it’s better to have them available as an option if you even get remotely worried about your health at any point. With the Apple Watch being credited with saving many people from further health complications, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Finally, another reason to get the Series 8 over the SE 2 is the fact that the display is a tad bigger. Though it’s only a 1mm difference between the small and large sizes (40mm or 41mm, 44mm or 45mm), that extra screen space can really help. Whether you just prefer larger text or just seeing a bit more information at once, a larger display can make all the difference.

But I don’t need all that fancy stuff

Man wearing the Apple Watch SE 2 and typing on a MacBook.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Though we recommend the Apple Watch Series 8 for anyone looking to have the best Apple Watch experience with their iPhone, we get it — it’s not for everyone. Though the extra features are certainly nice to have, maybe you don’t really need them, or you just want the basics. Or maybe you prefer to get a good experience for as little as possible.

If that’s the case, the Apple Watch SE 2 is still a good bargain for Prime Day. You can get a 40mm Apple Watch SE 2 for just $199, which is $50 off the normal $249 price. The larger 44mm Apple Watch SE 2 is $229, also $50 off the normal $279 price. Just don’t expect all the extras like an always-on display, ECG, SpO2 monitoring, and temperature sensors.

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