The best Apple Watch Black Friday deals (opens in new tab) are underway, and the Apple Watch 6 (opens in new tab), last year's version of Apple's popular smartwatch, could be the ultimate steal of sales season.
Not only is the Apple Watch 6 only a year old, it offers virtually the same experience as newer Apple Watch 7. It's compatible with the refreshed watchOS 8 software, and even uses the same chipset as the best smartwatch right now.
The primary difference between the Apple Watch 7 vs. Apple Watch 6 is the former's larger display. It's a welcome upgrade, and one I (a smartwatch reviewer) consider a game-changer for making Apple's wearable more useable. But for a first-time smartwatch user, or someone operating an Apple Watch that's several years old, the Apple Watch 6 could be a smarter buy — especially when you find it for less.
For example, Walmart has the Apple Watch 6 on sale for $349 (opens in new tab). The Series 6 started at $399 when it first came out. That's also the current price of the Apple Watch 7, which hasn't seen any standalone Black Friday deals yet.
Apple Watch 6 (GPS/40mm): was $399 now $349 @ Walmart (opens in new tab)
This is the best current price for the Series 6. It features blood oxygen sensors, which allow users to monitor their health more closely. The Apple Watch Series 6 also comes with a bright, always-on Retina display.
And that's not even the best Apple Watch Black Friday deal we expect to see. The Apple Watch 6 has gone on sale for $249 as retailers look to clear stock of the previous-generation wrist candy. If you're not in any serious rush, I'd suggest practicing patience. There's a chance you could spend less in the coming weeks.
There's also a chance we'll see the Apple Watch 7 receive its first real deal soon. The Apple Watch 6 earned Black Friday deals last year, and while the Apple Watch 7 launched a full month closer to the holiday sales season, we'd be surprised if it didn't get a price cut.
Which retailer will budge first? My guess is Amazon Black Friday deals will discount the Apple Watch 7, if only listing it for a few dollars less.
When to buy Apple Watch 7 vs. Apple Watch 6
We've established both the Apple Watch 7 and Apple Watch 6 should see more discounts during Black Friday deals, so you'll want to know when to buy one smartwatch over the other.
In most cases, the Apple Watch 6 will be the better deal. After all, the Series 6 was my favorite smartwatch not too long ago thanks to an always-on display, plenty of health features and seamless integration with other Apple devices. I'd like to see it fall below $300, encroaching on the Apple Watch SE's starting price of $279.
If the Apple Watch 7 eventually goes on sale, compare it to the Apple Watch 6's current discount. Anything less than a $50 price difference pushes me to recommend the newer Apple Watch. Yes, it's not all that much different, but it'll be better optimized for software tweaks made in respect to the larger display. It'll also fetch better trade-in value, should you want to upgrade in a few years.