This is a public service announcement: Apple is currently selling officially refurbished Apple Watch Series 3 models on its website in the US and the UK but while the low prices might be tempting, you definitely shouldn't buy one, here's why…
The Apple Watch Series 3 was in production from 2017 to 2022, but earlier this year Apple announced the five-year-old smartwatch will not support its upcoming watchOS 9 software update.
Revealed at Apple’s WWDC 2022 developer event, watchOS 9 brought a lot of new health and fitness features to the wearable. And while the Series 4, 5, 6 and 7, as well as the Watch SE, received the update in the autumn, the Watch Series 3 was left in the cold.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the Watch Series 3 was in production for an unusually long time. And while it has fulfilled the Budget Apple Watch role in our best Apple Watch guide for a couple of years now, the arrival of the Watch SE in 2020 suggested the 3’s days were numbered.
In fact, the Series 3 has struggled with the last couple of versions of watchOS, and while it is still available to buy refurbished now, we strongly recommend readers go for an SE instead as this will last you much longer and end up being better value in the long run.
The Apple Watch SE is also not that much more expensive. The cheapest refurbished Apple Watch 3 is priced at £209 / $369, while the new Apple Watch SE costs just £259 / $249.
If you currently own a Watch Series 3, then don’t feel pressured into upgrading to a new model right away. It will continue to work for now, but like how older iPhones no longer receive software updates, their applications eventually start to fail.