Top Product: AirPods Pro | $219 | Amazon
It’s new Apple Watch time! Apple’s September event didn’t give us the new iPhone that some anticipated, but it did deliver the Apple Watch Series 6 and the totally new Apple Watch SE.
Gizmodo went hands-on with both new wearables and found that the Apple Watch Series 6 is a relatively modest upgrade, bringing new health sensors and a faster processor, along with bold new color options. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch SE is a less-expensive version that is arguably the best pick for the average buyer, as it still delivers a strong, feature-rich experience.
Whether you’re snagging one of the new Apple Watch models or an earlier one, you might want a couple of accessories to help you make the most of your new smartwatch. Here are our picks.
Apple’s premium wireless earbuds are a perfect fit for the Apple Watch, particularly if you subscribe to Apple Music. These little buds add in noise cancelation smarts for blocking the outside world, although there’s a transparency mode for when you do need to talk to someone in a pinch. They’re also more comfortable than the standard AirPods thanks to rubberized tips.
With the latest iOS 14 update now live, your AirPods will also actively switch to the Apple device you’re currently using. If you’re using an iPad to watch video with the AirPods Pro and then switch to the Apple Watch to go for a run, just load up Apple Music and it’ll make the swap. That’s a smart perk that only further incentivizes staying within Apple’s ecosystem.
To anyone who’s owned an Apple Watch before, I’m sure you’ve gotten the anxiety-filled “You have 10% remaining” message. You’re sitting in a coffee shop, and scrambling to find a charger. With this, you only have to plug in this key-sized accessory to a USB socket, place your Apple Watch as you have your coffee, and give it a quick charge. The Newdery charger is very affordable and even attaches to your house keys if you really want to help someone out.
The Apple Watch has always been lauded for its resistance against the elements, from rain to the accidental knock, but there will always be that one knock or accidental scratch on a corner of a table that will affect the screen. And you won’t be able to stop thinking about it, no matter how much you try. This is where a case comes in. This one is $11 and clips to the face of your Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, or SE and protects it from potential scuffs and scrapes.
It also comes with a 12-month warranty, so if you run into any quality-related issues, it can be replaced or refunded with no hassle.
It’s almost a given: If you have an Apple Watch, you probably have an iPhone. If you have an iPhone, then you most likely have AirPods as well. This is where a charging station for the bedroom comes in. As you’re getting ready to tuck yourself into bed, simply place all your devices on this 3-in-1 dock, plugged into a single socket, and they’ll charge back to 100% as soon as you wake up.
This station takes care of all your Apple devices, including the Watch, and with its “nightstand” feature, it’ll you the time if you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night from a bad dream (or a weird craving). There’s only a small blue light to let you know that everything is charging, and not only can the charger be adjusted to stand upright or sit, but it’s also built-in, so you don’t need to use the power source that came with the device out of the box.
Sometimes, you just want a stand with style, drenched in nostalgia, and this stand from Elago gets full marks on both counts. Mirroring the 1989 Game Boy, simply thread your existing charger underneath the stand and have it slot in, a perfect sleeve for your Apple Watch. When it charges, an image resembling Super Mario Land 2 is displayed, harkening back to a simpler time.
It’s a fun stand that would fit well if you needed a second Watch charger for somewhere else that wasn’t the bedroom, such as an office or a place at work.
Pride bands go hand-in-hand with the Apple Watch and are often coveted by Apple’s most loyal customers. Available in both 40mm and 44mm sizes, the sport bands come in handy whether you’re working out, or just putting the Watch through normal day-to-day use, especially during warmer seasons. The band is designed for sweat resistance and colored to match the LGBTQ flag. Some bands which don’t match well with certain Watch designs, but because the Series 6 comes in Blue and PRODUCT RED, this one complements every color of the Watch currently available.
This is the ultimate protection against any certain-damage that may occur if you’re in a physically demanding line. The Spigen Rugged Armor Pro case boasts a design fitting both sizes of the Series 4, Series 5, and new Series 6 Watches, making it safe against dust and hard knocks. It’s also got a strap attached, so all you have to do to get started is pop the Watch inside the case, and get back to work, no engineering degree required.
It comes in “Military Green” and just plain black variants and costs a mere $20 before tax and shipping. Simple, straight-forward, and protected, the Spigen case safeguards your Apple Watch from the perils of manual labor.
If you prefer to don your Apple Watch without a case, a screen protector is a great half-measure to ensure the screen is at least covered in some way. You can find bespoke protectors for all Apple Watch sizes, but as long as you have the correct one, your screen real estate will remain intact. This one from TAURI features six protectors in one pack, so if you mess up trying to place one on your Watch, suffice to say, you will have backups.
It protects against dust, scratches, and reduced fingerprints and is thin enough not to obstruct your view. It’s also $8, so if you’re about to buy a Series 6 or an SE, it could be the peace of mind you need to shield your screen from unnecessary wear and tear.