Purchasing a new Apple Watch


Active Member
I'm hoping to get some advice on purchasing new Apple Watch. I started out buying a Fitbit but it was difficult to load and not very useful and returned it. I've turned my attention to Apple. I don't know anyone who owns an Apple Watch so have no one to check with to see if they are happy with what their purchase or wish they had bought a higher quality such as the series 5. The sale does not include any Series 4.

My first question is do I need a apple iPhone to make the watch work? My wish list is an Apple iPhone and Apple Watch but can't afford both at the same time (unless there is a fantastic sale on iPhones).
If I don't have the iPhone, can I use some the functions such as fitness and heart monitoring, Wi-fi (at home) until I purchased an iPhone?

I have found a great price for Apple watches (25% off) and feeI I should jump in before the sale ends in mid-February. The prices are as follows:
Apple Watch Series 5 GPS, 44mm Space Grey Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band - S/M & M/L. Original price $569.00 Sale price: $455.20
*Apple Watch Series 3 GPS, 42mm
Space Grey Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band. Original price $299.00. Sale price: $224.25 *My preferred option
Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular, 38mm
Space Grey Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band Original price $389.00. Sale Price: $291.75

I would not use the cellular feature on the series 5 (hearing problems and can't wear earphones). As a result, I don't see much difference between the Series 3 and Series 5.

Of course there are neat options like electrical and optical heart sensors, International emergency calling and a faster processor. The first two I don't really need (hearts in good shape and I don't travel internationally) and the faster processor while nice does it really make a difference for a person who's retired and at home or the gym most days?

I'll be checking out the models at my local store and see which one fits best 38mm or 42mm. Unfortunately, all the stores I've visited don't have working models on display. So, unlike most products, you have to make a decision without actually seeing it in operation which makes the decision process difficult.

Presently, my preferred choice is the Series 3 GPS, 42mm Space Grey Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band ($224.25).

If anyone would like to weight in and offer a suggestion and assist in a selection I'd very much appreciate it. Possibly share what you use your watch for and if it delivers what you want?

Cheers, David


Well-Known Member
1. Yes, you absolutely have to have an iPhone of fairly recent vintage (at least a 6s, but preferably later) to use the Apple Watch. The iPhone is required for both initial setup and most app installs/health data saving/message & call use/numerous other functions.

2. I have a series 3 Apple Watch, and I know quite a number of our members also have an Apple Watch. Come to a general meeting, you'll see a tonne of them! As for the differences, the main difference between an Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 5 comes down to (main benefits) fall detection and atrial fibrillation detection are only on the Series 5. The later one obviously also has more storage, longer battery life, and is faster at doing things. The Series 3 still monitors heart rate and includes nearly all the "fitness" functions of the later Watch, runs the same OS, and does nearly all other things more or less as well.

3. Yes, it is hard to find a working Apple Watch for a demo in stores. The lack of an official Apple Store is a disadvantage here. However, you may well see a sales person at London Drugs, Best Buy, or Simply Computing wearing one, so if you do ask them about it!

4. My main use of the Apple Watch I have is for quickly seeing what my next event is, using Apple Pay, using Siri to send my loved ones messages or reply to texts and emails, tracking sleep and walks (not sleepwalks! ;) ) and using Siri to set reminders, calendar dates, and get general knowledge without having to pull my iPhone out from my pocket. One thing I hope to do more of with my Watch that I haven't done so far (because I don't have good AirPods or BT headphones at present) is load up some audiobooks/podcasts/music and listen to that when going on a walk. Maybe in the spring!



Active Member
Thank you Charles,

I know you love your watch and I'm glad you responded as you know the watch inside and out. I was hoping you'd say I could use my iMac or MacBook Pro to register and use the watch. Now I have to decide whether to purchase the watch and hold on to it until I buy the iPhone. Decisions, decisions. Thank you for your reply, I appreciate your time.

Cheers, David