Best Apple Watches for Teens | Which one do you buy for your child?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  August 23

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Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Well, the Apple Watch is and still remains the most popular smartwatch among young people!

Apple has released five generations of Apple Watches, with the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE being the most recent additions.

You can choose from a number of different smartwatch models in multiple designs, and your teen can simply customize it according to his personal style. 

So which Apple Watch is right for your child? Read on below to understand all about these smartwatches!

Best Apple Watches for Teens | Which one do you buy for your child?

My overall best choice falls on the Apple Watch Series 6, it is the newest to date and is available in 40mm and 44mm. This one has a brand new groundbreaking sensor and app, with which you measure the oxygen level in your blood!

More about this topwatch later, now first to my 4 best Apple smartwatches.

Best Apple Watch for TeensPicture
Overall best apple smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 6Overall best Apple smartwatch- Apple Watch Series 6
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Best sporty Apple smartwatch: Apple Watch Nike+ Series 6Best Sporty Apple Smartwatch- Apple Watch Nike+ Series 6
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Best budget Apple smartwatch: Apple Watch Series SEBest Budget Apple Smartwatch- Apple Watch SE
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Best Apple smartwatch previous generation: Apple Watch Series 5Best Apple Smartwatch Previous Generation- Apple Watch Series 5
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Apple smartwatch buying guide

You would like to buy an Apple smartwatch for your teenager and of course you want to know what you should pay attention to before you make this important choice.

It's quite an expense and you want both you and your child to be happy with it!

Did you know that Apple smartwatch users can replace their sports watch and remote control, play music on their phone with this smartwatch, control their Apple TV or take a nice photo or selfie with the camera of their iPhone?

Thanks to the data connectivity with your iPhone, you can give commands to Siri, request information and exchange data with the Health app.

Before you buy an Apple smartwatch for your teenager, it is good to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What will your child use the Apple smartwatch for? Do you want to have an EKG with it, for when he sports and maybe you want the Always On display function? If not, you might want to go for the special 'mid-range Apple watch' – the SE – made with somewhat cheaper materials and components and somewhat fewer features.
  • What size screen are you looking for? the Apple Watch comes in 40mm and 44mm (Series 4 to 6, SE): There is no 42mm. For the smaller teenage wrists, the 40mm may be the best choice.
  • Which material are you going for? You can choose from aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic, which can be combined with interchangeable watch straps made of nylon, leather and stainless steel.
  • Which color suits your child? Multiple colors are available, including silver, black, space gray and gold.
  • Are you going for a more expensive or cheaper model? For example, the Apple Watch SE is a lot cheaper than the 6 Series smartwatches.
  • Are you looking for a watch that is also compatible with Android? Maybe your teen now has a Samsung smartphone, but he would rather not have a Samsung smartwatch…
  • Do you want a watch with an NCF chip/reader? To be clear, this chip is used to exchange information with other smartphones or another NFC reader, making it easier to send and receive photos and videos. Apple devices have been equipped with the NFC chip since 2017. 
  • Are you looking for a specific screen type? For example Retina OLED.
  • Also pay attention to the processor for fast performance

All Apple smartwatch generations

Here are the different generations currently available with the most important new features:

  • Apple Watch Series 3: okay, but older design
  • Apple Watch Series 4: new design and ECG function
  • Apple Watch Series 5: Always-On screen and compass
  • Apple Watch Series 6: blood oxygen, brighter screen and faster chip
  • Apple Watch Series SE: affordable version based on Series 5, WITHOUT EKG, Blood Oxygen and Always-On

The best Apple smartwatches for teens reviewed

With all that in mind, I'll now walk you through Apple's various options. Which smartwatch is the best for your teen?

Overall best Apple smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 6

Overall best Apple smartwatch- Apple Watch Series 6

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Same design as Series 4 and Series 5, but with new features.

In my opinion, the Apple watch Series 6 is the best smartwatch of the moment, with of course a higher but still good price, which is in proportion to everything you get.

It will certainly be hard to find an even better sidekick for the iPhone!

This pricey smartwatch has power and a lot of functions. You can choose between a fitness tracker, a sports watch and a health device.

The watch has a large display of 44 mm, but is also available in the 40 mm version (also a good size, costs a few tens less).

Nevertheless, the new Apple Watch is still lightweight and all older Apple Watch straps also fit on this one. 

The new S6 dual-core processor ensures super-fast performance. The watch has an always on Retina display, just like its predecessor – the 5 Series – already had. You don't have to turn your wrist just right for the screen to turn on.

If you download an app on your iPhone that is suitable for your watch, it will – read: if you choose to – be downloaded there automatically.

WatchOS 7 makes good use of the extra space, with more detailed notifications and new watch faces with more so-called 'complications'. These are small widgets and shortcuts to apps that you can integrate into your watch face.

In addition, the buttons also make interacting with the Apple Watch Series 6 easier.

Apple takes the lead with the best fitness trainers in their workout library. The WatchOS 7 update has added Functional Strength Training, Core Training, Dance and Cool Down activity tracking.

You can also set sleep goals and you have the all-important ECG app with optical heart rate sensor and heart rate monitor. 

Overall best Apple smartwatch- Apple Watch Series 6 blood oxygen

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Blood oxygen sensors measure the oxygen saturation of your blood. A reading of 95% to 100% is considered ideal by Apple.

A lower oxygen level can be an indication of underlying health problems, so these sensors can save lives!

There are cool new straps for the Series 6 like the Solo Loop, an elastic strap without closure, in 7 colors, or the braided strap without closure and a leather strap with ribbing. 

This model also features NFC connectivity, 5GHz Wi-Fi and a U1 chip for Ultra Wideband.

It's as if the future has arrived:

Series 6 in brief (what makes this one so good?)

  • new colors (blue and red aluminum), with the Nike version you can choose silver and space gray as usual.
  • available abroad: steel and titanium
  • blood oxygen meter
  • 2,5 times brighter Retina screen
  • new straps
  • family setup (manage your young children's watch, even without an iPhone)
  • fast S6 processor
  • no power adapter included but magnetic charger with USB connection
  • Watch 7 
  • features also for seniors and family members: XL dial and fall detection (also important for athletes)
  • 100% charge in 1,5 hours
  • always-on altimeter
  • you can now also operate with your wrist down

Pros

  • sleep tracking 
  • blood oxygen meter 
  • heart rate monitor
  • charges faster than previous models
  • Retina display is even brighter 
  • fall detection
  • automatic calls to emergency services also abroad
  • kompas
  • the Apple Watch 6 also works with the iPhone SE

Cons

  • battery life 'only' 18 hours
  • pricey
  • models in steel (4G) and titanium (4G) only in limited countries

Features

  • diameter: 40mm or 44mm (not 42mm)
  • operating system: WatchOS
  • water resistant up to 50 meters
  • NFC connectivity: Yes
  • screen type: Retina OLED
  • Compatible with: iOS (and Android)
  • S6 dual-core processor (up to 20% faster!)
  • material: aluminum (Netherlands, Belgium) 
  • built-in GPS
  • parental control
View all available variants here

Best sporty Apple smartwatch: Apple Watch Nike+ Series 6

Best Sporty Apple Smartwatch- Apple Watch Nike+ Series 6

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Nike+ is a service from Nike that allows you to measure and record sports performance.

There are various apps from Nike+, but you can also simply opt for the great Apple Watch Nike+ Series 6 Silver 40mm, a special version with many sporty extras.

The Apple Watch and Nike+ partnership is the result of a great collaboration between Apple and Nike. They previously developed the first shoe sensors for the iPod.

So you want a sportier (and even more expensive) version of the 6 Series for your teenager?

This great watch is available in aluminum, but you can also opt for a more classic look; with a stainless steel case and a leather strap. 

Technically it's just identical to the regular Series 6 (and the SE Nike+ to the regular SE too!), but has a special strap and a few extra NIKE watch faces and the Nike Run Club app, which you can also use on the regular SE. can install models.

It is more expensive than the regular Series 6 smartwatches.

The more affordable Apple Watch SE in Nike version is the 40mm Nike+ SE or the 44mm Nike+ SE. Unfortunately, on the Apple SE smartwatches you miss the important functions such as EKG, oxygen measurement in your blood and the Always On screen.

In any case, my advice is to choose at least the Nike+ Series 4 or 5, because these also have more storage space in addition to a newer design.

The eye-catching watch strap with holes is a signature of the Nike+, or you can choose an übercool woven sports band with reflective fibers so that your teen is clearly visible when running in the dark.

Best Sporty Apple Smartwatch- Apple Watch Nike+ Series 6 Bracelet

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You can choose from 40 mm or 44 mm format and also use it for Apple's new sports service Fitness+.

There is of course – very important – Fall detection in it – just like with the regular Series 6, so that an emergency call goes out the moment you stop moving after a fall.

The Nike+ Run Club app lets you run, with support from the Run community. Always a top athlete, the Nike+ Run Club coach gives you audio guidance!

Nike has special playlists on Apple Music that are suitable for runners, so every workout has its own soundtrack. 

Pros

  • sleep tracking 
  • blood oxygen meter 
  • heart rate monitor
  • optical heart rate sensor
  • charges faster than previous models
  • Retina display is even brighter 
  • fall detection
  • automatic calls to emergency services also abroad
  • kompas
  • the Apple Watch 6 also works with the iPhone SE

Cons

  • battery life 'only' 18 hours
  • very pricey
  • models in steel (4G) and titanium (4G) only in limited countries

Features

  • diameter: 40 mm or 44 mm
  • operating system: WatchOS
  • water resistant up to 50 meters
  • NFC: Yes
  • screen type: retina oled
  • Compatible with: iOS (and Android)
  • S6 dual-core processor (up to 20% faster!)
  • Atmerial: aluminum (Netherlands, Belgium) 
  • built-in GPS
  • parental control
  • train smarter with Nike through extra data about your running performance
  • Run Community Support
View all available variants here

Best budget Apple smartwatch: Apple Watch Series SE

Best Budget Apple Smartwatch- Apple Watch SE

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In addition to the Apple top model, you can opt for a cheaper version for a number of years; the Apple Watch Series SE – this one here is gold.

Previously, these models were based on predecessors, but from now on Apple has made the first, and a better special mid-range model of the Apple Watch, just like the phone.

With cheaper materials and less features, such as the ECG function and the Always-On display. Fortunately, Fall Detection is present!

The Apple Watch SE has an S5 chip. This model also has the compass, which you already know from the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5. Unfortunately, no Spotify without an iPhone, WiFi or Bluetooth with this smartphone.

No more Force Touch, the pressure-sensitive technology in the screen. If you now want to see additional options, hold your finger on the screen a little longer. A number of Force Touch actions have now also been replaced by menu options. 

But why? 'Just' because the omission of Force Touch means a thinner housing.

You can choose from dozens of workouts with the SE, and keep track of all your movement and training goals (running). The Sleep app helps you sleep better, you can make calls, send messages and listen to music right from your wrist. 

Use it for shallow water activities such as swimming, but not for diving or water skiing. When you start a swimming workout, the watch automatically locks the screen with the water lock. Once out of the water, turn the Digital Crown to unlock the screen and remove any water from it. 

The SE is largely based on the Series 5 in terms of technology, so if you are in doubt, you could consider purchasing one of the two.

Pros

  • kompas
  • heart rate monitor
  • optical heart rate sensor
  • fall detection
  • automatic calls to emergency services also abroad
  • thinner than previous SE models
  • always-on altimeter
  • play music without smartphone
  • great price

Cons

  • battery life 18 hours
  • no charging adapter included
  • models in
  • no more Force Touch
  • no spotify without an iPhone, wifi or Bluetooth

Features

  • diameter: 40 mm or 44 mm
  • operating system: iOS
  • water resistant up to 50 meters
  • NFC: yes
  • screen type: retina oled
  • S5 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor, W3 Wireless Chip
  • Compatible with: iOS (and Android)
  • built-in GPS
  • parental control
View all available variants here

Best Apple smartwatch previous generation: Apple Watch Series 5

Best Apple Smartwatch Previous Generation- Apple Watch Series 5

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The Apple Watch Series 5 is also available 40mm or 44mm, in silver or space gray. It is the smartwatch that Apple released in 2019; the best not newest Apple smart watch.

It looks similar to the previous one, but this model has several minor improvements over the 4 Series, including an Always-On display and a built-in compass. 

If you are not looking at the screen, the brightness is dimmed. As soon as you turn your wrist, the screen returns to full brightness.

The performance of the watch itself compared to the Series 4 has not improved.

New to the Series 5 was that you can make a combination of watch case and strap yourself – yippee! – thanks to Apple Watch Studio. Also twice as much storage for music, photos and the like: 32GB.

The battery life is 18 hours, just like the Apple Watch Series 6 by the way.

The updated 64-bit S5 chip helps the always on screen and the sensors for the compass. The built-in compass always shows you where north is.

A new Compass app has also been introduced for this, which is more advanced than the iPhone version. 

Many new features are related to watchOS 6, which means they will often be available on the earlier models of the Apple Watch as well.

Think of the App Store or the Sound app, with which you can measure ambient noise.

For women there is now the Cycle app, which apparently works fine; you know exactly when the bad days are coming and you learn how to best deal with 'those days'.

The Digital Crown – a kind of 'home' button – that gives taps when you turn it, Apple has maintained with the Series 5.

Also, the Digital Crown still has a flat surface for measuring EKGs. However, there is still something to be desired, for example I miss the standard sleep function. 

The Series 4 first got an edge-to-edge display with rounded corners and a relatively larger screen. The Series 5 has the same display. 

In addition to aluminum, you can also choose titanium, white ceramic and stainless steel. In addition, there are special editions of the Apple Series 5 smartwatches for Nike+ and Hermes.

Later I will tell you more about the over-the-top – Series 6 - Hermès edition; so, keep on reading!

Apple Watch Series 5 bands come in a variety of colors and styles. The Sport Loops are now two-tone and they have a bright accent on the inside.

Tip: Give your older Apple Watch a cool new look, because they just fit. 

The Apple Watch models with 4G have always been able to call emergency services. In the Series 5 this is also possible internationally, which is handy when you are abroad. The function also works with the fall detection.

If you think the Series 5 is still a bit too pricey, you can also opt for the previous generation Series 4. It also features the edge-to-edge display and is technically still up-to-date.

Or you might prefer the Apple Watch SE, which is technically based on the Series 5 but lacks some advanced features.

Pros

  • compass (also stargazing with app!)
  • 5th generation Apple Watch
  • updated 64-bit S5 chip
  • heart rate monitor
  • optical heart rate sensor
  • fall detection
  • automatic calls to emergency services also abroad
  • always-on screen
  • play music without smartphone

Cons

  • battery life 18 hours
  • in the Netherlands and Belgium only in aluminum and without 4G
  • no sleep function

Features

  • diameter: 40mm or 44mm V
  • operating system: watchOS 6V
  • water resistant up to 50 meters
  • NFC: yes
  • Compatible with: iOS (and Android)
  • screen type: LTPO OLED
  • built-in GPS
  • parental control
View all available variants here

And the Apple Watch Series 4?

Then we take a quick look at the Apple Watch Series 4 from 2018.

It has a larger screen and more than ten other improvements over previous models. However, the Series 4 is no longer available from Apple itself, but this model will still receive updates for years to come.

Most important features

  • 40 mm and 44 mm
  • borderless and bigger screen than the 3 Apple Watch
  • in space grey, silver and gold
  • 64-bit S4 processor
  • Bluetooth 5 
  • improved microphone compared to the 3 Apple Watch
  • battery life 18 hours
  • fall detection
  • automatic calls to emergency services in the Netherlands, but not abroad
  • EKG function
  • water resistant up to 50 meters
  • parental control for young children
  • built-in GPS

My advice: rather buy a Series 5, for a few bucks more…

Super deluxe Apple smartwatch: Apple Watch Hermès

Just a fun fact: this is a Superdeluxe Apple Watch, which is (most likely) way too expensive and a bit overpriced to buy for your teen!

Still, I liked to pay attention to this model.

If you know the brand, you also know that for the price of, for example, a Hermès bag, you can already buy a decent car :)

Still, Hermès has released a new collection of the Apple Watch every year since 2015.

You pay about the same for the cheapest watch strap as for an Apple Watch Series SE, and for the watch itself you can count on € 1300+.

There are various versions of the Apple Watch Hermès, where the difference is in single or double watch straps: the Single Tour and the Double Tour.

The extras are in the dials and the special watch straps. 

The straps have also been supplied with this watch without a power adapter since autumn 2020 and you do not get any extra functions on the Apple Watch Hermès compared to the normal Apple Watch models. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Apple Watch

How do I connect the Apple Watch to the iPhone via Bluetooth?

Easy, proceed as follows:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Tap Bluetooth.

What is the Apple Always-On function?

The Always-On function – in the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6 – is a luxury. You can quickly check the time without having to lift your wrist and there are many more advantages:

  • always on, but screen is dimmed
  • as soon as you turn your wrist, the screen returns to full brightness
  • the battery life remains just 18 hours
  • screen also stays on continuously when you're working out
  • you can make content invisible to others sitting next to you
  • only with Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6

What is Apple Watch Fall Detection?

Always turn on Fall Detection for your – sometimes reckless – teen!

If the Apple Watch SE or Series 4,5, or 6 (NOT the Apple Watch Series 3!) detects a hard fall and signals that you haven't moved for a minute, it automatically calls the emergency number.

Please note: with the Series 4 this is only within the Netherlands, with the others also abroad.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a great invention for teens who go out alone, especially those who exercise a lot; mountain biking, cycling, climbing, skating, running and so on.

To get an idea of ​​the benefits of this function, and for example also the health function of Apple Watch, you can watch this video:

How do you enable Apple Watch Fall Detection?

If you entered that you are 55 or older when you set up your Apple Watch or in the Health app, Fall Detection is turned on by default.

You can of course enable the fall detection for your child yourself:

  • open the Settings app on your Apple Watch
  • Choose 'SOS' > 'Fall detection' and switch on 'Fall detection'.

You can also arrange it via the app. If you do not enable or disable wearing detection, an SOS notification will not be sent automatically.

How does the measurement of the oxygen level in your blood work with Apple Watch?

The main new feature in the Apple Watch Series 6; measure your oxygen level. Measuring your heart rate, making an EKG and an irregular heartbeat warning (optical heart rate sensor) was already there.

New in the Series 6 is that your oxygen level in your blood is also measured. It takes 15 seconds to make a scan.

How cool that Apple and a number of scientists are going to look at how saturation measurements with Apple Watch can be used for new medical purposes in the future!

In a healthy person, the blood oxygen level is 95% or higher. When a value is measured below this level, you will receive a warning. 

The oxygen saturation sensor measures the light reflection in your blood: this is done by means of four sets of green, red and infrared LEDs and the four photodiodes on the case of the Apple Watch. The value must be between 70% and 100%.

When you sleep, the oxygen level is even measured occasionally in the background, but you can take a measurement yourself whenever you want. All data is visible in the Health app rightly. 

Is the Apple Watch Series 3 also waterproof?

All Series from Apple Watch Series 3 (Series 4, Series 5, the SE and the Series 6) are water resistant up to 50 meters according to ISO standard 22810:2010.

What does the water drop on the Apple Watch mean?

The water lock is on and the screen does not respond to touch. You can't unlock it until you turn the Digital Crown. The water drop symbol is only seen on Apple Watch Series 2 or later and Apple Watch SE.

Apple Watch 5 vs Garmin Venu vs Samsung Galaxy Watch

The Apple 5 certainly remains the most expensive of these 3, but is it better?

The similarities:

  • waterproof
  • Fitness Tracking
  • heart rate monitor
  • Bluetooth
  • touch screen display

The differences:

While the Samsung is only available in black, the Apple 5 and Garmin Venu come in multiple colors.

The Apple 5 distinguishes itself from the others in its rectangular model, its LTPO OLED display and has a speaker.

The Samsung and Garmin watch, on the other hand, have a round shape, an AMOLED screen and no speaker.

The Apple 5 watch has an internal memory of 32 GB dual core, the Samsung watch 4 GB dual core, and the Garmin Venu has no internal memory.

Apple is again the better one here, with all the extensive features.

Conclusion

Apple is and remains a favorite with young and old, and even if you don't buy the latest Apple smartwatch for your child, you can always go for an older model or the SE.

Which Apple Watch is right for your teen? I am sure you will now make the right choice for your child!

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.