Singapore Markets closed

Apple Watch Singapore Price Guide 2020 — Series 3, SE or Series 6?

Clara Lim
·17-min read

Checking your blood oxygen level and even notifying if you have an irregular heart rate — is there anything else the new Apple Watch Series 6 can’t do?

If the Series 6 is out of your budget, there’s still the new and more affordable Apple Watch SE and the earlier Apple Watch Series 3 still available at the Apple store.

I have to give mad props to Apple. Somehow, they managed to make people who haven’t worn a watch since primary school, actually pay hundreds of dollars for a freaking timepiece.

So before you blindly rush to get the latest Apple Watch Series 6, here’s a look at the options.

 

Apple Watch Singapore price guide 2020 — Series 6, SE & Series 3

I’m sure you can get a better deal during sales (10.10, 11.11 / Black Friday / Cyber Monday), but for reference, here are the official retail prices for the most basic Apple Watches:

Apple Watch

Connectivity

Size

Price

Apple Watch Series 6

GPS

40mm

$599

Apple Watch Series 6

GPS

44mm

$649

Apple Watch Series 6

GPS + Cellular

40mm

$749

Apple Watch Series 6

GPS + Cellular

44mm

$799

Apple Watch SE

GPS

40mm

$419

Apple Watch SE

GPS

44mm

$469

Apple Watch SE

GPS + Cellular

40mm

$499

Apple Watch SE

GPS + Cellular

44mm

$549

Apple Watch Series 3

GPS

38mm

$299

Apple Watch Series 3

GPS

42mm

$349

Wondering why the Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch Series 4 are not on the list? That’s because last year, Apple discontinued the Series 4 and introduced Series 5, and this year, Series 5 has been replaced by Apple Watch Series 6.

The Apple Watch Series 3 also no longer comes with cellular function.

So right now, Apple has 3 main models: Apple Watch Series 6 (newer and more premium), Apple Watch SE (cheaper) and Apple Watch Series 3 (cheaper and fewer functions). There’s also the branded Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès versions

The main factors that affect Apple Watch prices are:

  • Series: Apple Watch Series 6 vs SE vs Series 3

  • Connectivity: GPS vs GPS + Cellular

  • Watch size: Smaller vs bigger

I’ll cover those in turn, but first, the question is: Why would you even consider buying an Apple Watch in the first place?

 

What does the Apple Watch do, anyway?

The Apple Watch is basically a glorified FitBit — its primary purpose is as a wearable fitness tracker.

To that end, the Apple Watch has this snazzy “3 rings” setup which lets you visualise your activity in 3 main areas. The goal is to “close the rings” by making sure you hit your targets in all 3 areas, which you can set yourself.

You probably don’t need me to tell you that there are cheaper fitness trackers out there that do pretty much the same thing, albeit with a less sexy interface and watch design.

So why would you pay $299 or more for an Apple Watch?

Well, because the Apple Watch can be used as an extension of your iPhone (and only iPhone 6S and later). It can perform some basic functions, such as:

Now, with the new functions of the Apple Watch Series 6, it’s like having your own personal health companion — in line with Apple heading into the healthcare industry since the past year.

Apple Watch Series 6 features a blood oxygen sensor
Apple Watch Series 6 features a blood oxygen sensor

The new features of the Apple Watch Series 6 include:

But unless you’re super into the technicalities of your health, do you really need to know this?

Using the Apple Watch obviously won’t be as easy or full-featured as using a phone — for example, the call quality is severely limited by the crappy inbuilt microphone and speaker — but it’s probably really nice to have if you dislike pulling out your phone every 2 seconds.

Apple and LumiHealth programme with Health Promotion Board

Apple partners Singapore's Health Promotion Board (HPB) to launch the LumiHealth app for the Apple Watch Series 6
Apple partners Singapore's Health Promotion Board (HPB) to launch the LumiHealth app for the Apple Watch Series 6

Apple has also partnered HPB to launch the LumiHealth programme to encourage us all to be healthier.

Basically the app will be able to give you reminders, lets you customise workout activities and can even remind you to go for health screenings and immunisations based on your age and profile.

The most important part is that this 2-year programme offers participants the chance to earn HPB vouchers of up to $380 by participating in fitness and wellness challenges and hit various goals, with a cute little intergalactic explorer. We can expect the vouchers to be from FairPrice and Sheng Siong.

The LumiHealth app will be available from late October 2020.

 

Apple Watch Series 3 vs Series 6 — why the $300 price difference?

Both Apple Watch 6 and 3 are able to support the functions I mentioned above to more or less the same extent. But if you looked at the table above, you’ll notice a standard $300 price difference between them.

Here’s another table that makes it easier to understand the price difference between Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 3, comparing the equivalent models:

Apple Watch

Series 3

Series 6

Price difference

GPS (small)

$299

$599

+100%

GPS (large)

$349

$649

+86%

Okay, granted, the Apple Watch Series 3 is more basic in design. The Apple Watch 6, on the other hand, is decidedly more stylish and customisable, with a whole lot more case and strap options to choose from. See the difference?

Apple launches new Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 3
Apple launches new Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 3

So the Apple Watch 6 runs on watchOS7, which includes more customisation of the watch face and new health and fitness features. But unless you’re a health nut, you can live without the extra fancy features.

Supposedly, the best new feature in the Apple Watch 6 is its “always on” display, so the screen is on all the time, as opposed to the Apple Watch 3 screen which only turns on when you lift it up to look at it. But seriously? Who cares.

Apart from that, the Apple Watch Series 6 has a slightly larger watch face and more storage than the Series 3, but again, those are pretty irrelevant.

If you want to upgrade your Apple Watch 3, you’d be better off getting the cheaper Apple Watch SE — from $419, +$120 more — which has the same larger display as Series 6, fall detection, compass and an always-on altimeter.

That said, if you die-die must have the latest wearables, Apple has a trade-in programme for older Apple Watches — you can track its trade-in value here.

 

Are Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 available anywhere?

As mentioned, Apple Singapore no longer carries the Apple Watch Series 4 and 5, preferring you to opt for Series 6 instead. The Series 4 is very similar to Series 5; the key difference is that the Apple Watch 4 does not have an always-on display.

You can still buy them in Singapore at store such as Singtel, Starhub, Courts and the Apple Store on LazMall to see what’s left.

 

GPS vs GPS + Cellular Apple Watch — what’s the difference?

The other big decision is whether you would opt for the GPS only, or the GPS + Cellular version of the Apple Watch.

For every model, you would have to pay an extra $150 (Series 6) or $80 (SE) for Cellular support. Here’s a table to show you the relative price difference in each case:

Apple Watch version

GPS

GPS + Cellular

Price difference

Apple Watch Series 5 (small)

$599

$749

+25%

Apple Watch Series 5 (large)

$649

$799

+23%

Apple Watch SE (small)

$419

$499

+19%

Apple Watch SE (large)

$469

$549

+17%

Apple has discontinued the cellular version of Series 3, so we’re not comparing that.

So what’s the difference between GPS only, and GPS + Cellular?

First of all, all Apple Watches have GPS built in. It’s there so that your Apple Watch can track your location and speed independently, instead of constantly tapping on your iPhone to do so.

But if your Apple Watch is GPS only, it needs to be physically near your iPhone for phone calls, messages and apps to work. The 2 paired devices are connected by Bluetooth + Wifi (think AirDrop) so they have to be within range.

As for the more expensive GPS + Cellular Apple Watch, it’s able to function as a mini iPhone, even if its paired iPhone is not nearby. This means you can leave your iPhone at home and still be able to use those phone-type functions like calling, texting and accessing apps.

So it all depends on how you plan to use your Apple Watch. If you’re just using it as a day-to-day extension of your iPhone because you’re lazy to dig it out of your backpack, then the cheaper GPS-only version would suffice.

But if you’re prone to leaving your phone at home, then that extra $80 or $150 might be quite worth it.

 

Hidden costs of getting a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch

If you’re tempted to spring for the GPS + Cellular of the Apple Watch — as I am! — it’s important to note that it’ll cost you a bit more than just the $150 “surcharge”.

First, you can’t just purchase a SIM card off the shelf for your Apple Watch. Your iPhone has to be on a Singtel, Starhub or M1 plan, and then you have to activate NumberShare. This allows you to “share” your data, talktime, etc. with your second device, i.e., your Apple Watch, for a monthly fee.

Telco

NumberShare subscription fee

Other costs

Starhub

$6/month (additional 1GB)

Singtel

First 3 months free, then $6.90/month

$10.70 for eSIM

M1

First 6 months free, then $6.90/month

$37.45 for eSIM

$6 to $7 a month is not really that expensive, but this will add on to your costs — as if the Apple Watch isn’t expensive enough already.

If you’re on Circles.Life, Giga, Gomo or the other new telcos? Tough luck. Even though Giga and Gomo belong to Starhub and Singtel, there’s no way (as far as I know) to activate NumberShare. Urgh.

So to get the most out of the Apple Watch, you’re basically forced to sign up for one of the Singtel/Starhub/M1 plans and then pay them an extra monthly subscription plus whatever “eSIM fees” they tack on.

 

Should you pay more for a bigger Apple Watch?

The final factor that affects the price of an Apple Watch is size. I know, it’s pretty self-explanatory, almost not worth discussing.

But for completeness, here’s the usual comparison table anyway. The 2 prices in each cell are for GPS / GPS + Cellular versions of the Apple Watch.

 

Apple Watch

Case size

Wrist size

Price

Apple Watch Series 6

40mm

130mm to 200mm

$599 / $749

Apple Watch Series 6

44mm

140mm to 220mm

$649 / $799

Apple Watch SE

40mm

130mm to 200mm

$419 / $499

Apple Watch SE

44mm

140mm to 220mm

$469 / $549

Apple Watch Series 3

38mm

130mm to 200mm

$299

Apple Watch Series 3

42mm

140mm to 210mm

$349

Long story short, the larger version of the Apple Watch always costs $50 more. If you’re exceptionally large you might want to pay that extra $50 for a better fit; otherwise, I think it’s safe to not bother.

True, a larger case size also means a slightly larger display area, but the Apple Watch isn’t meant to display much anyway. I don’t see how it would matter.

Are there cheaper alternatives to the Apple Watch?

It depends on what exactly you want an Apple Watch for. Are there cheaper fitness trackers out there? Hell yeah. You can even get a basic fitness tracker from the National Steps Challenge for $0 when it returns next season.

If you want a fitness tracker that’s dolled-up enough for you to call “wearable tech”, there are also options ranging from Xiaomi to Fitbit to Garmin.

In particular, Fitbit has a near-clone of the Apple Watch: Fitbit Versa 2. At around the $300 mark, it’s hardly cheap, but it’s really very pretty.

fitbit versa 2
fitbit versa 2

Features-wise, it looks like Fitbit is also catching up. You can use Spotify to listen to music and Fitbit Pay for contactless payment (only OCBC and UOB cards for now though). But it has to be within range of your paired phone to work.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that lets you ditch your phone, the only alternative I’ve found is the Samsung Galaxy Watch LTE.

samsung galaxy smartwatch
samsung galaxy smartwatch

It has an entirely different aesthetic from the Apple Watch: While the Apple Watch (and other fitness trackers) tend to look a bit kiddy and Casio-ish, the Samsung Galaxy Watch looks more like the traditional, grown-up, Rolex-type watches you see on the covers of the Horology Herald.

Though not an Apple product, the Samsung smartwatch is not cheap either, costing about $450 to $600 for the LTE version (the one that can stand alone without being in range of your phone) compared to $449 to $799 for an Apple Watch with Cellular service.

Again, you have to pay for NumberShare with either Starhub or Singtel, and be locked into their system.

Ready to buy the Apple Watch? Here’s the game plan

If you’re planning to buy the Apple Watch online to take advantage of 11.11 / Black Friday deals, here’s what you should know before buying.

First, the Apple Watch is actually not that widely available online. The main retailer is the Apple Singapore e-store (not sure if they will have a discount on the day), but Apple also has a LazMall store on Lazada. The Apple Watches on the LazMall store are eligible for 11.11 deals, but there’s no Series 3 available.

If you’re planning to buy from Lazada, don’t forget to collect whatever Lazada vouchers you’re eligible for before making the purchase. These come out weekly and there’s a different one for each bank’s credit cards.

Finally, you can “stack” the 11.11 voucher + the Lazada credit card voucher with a credit card that gives you miles or cashback for online purchases.

For cashback, our pick is the DBS Live Fresh Card or the OCBC FRANK Card for 5% or 6% cashback respectively. They do come with some annoying T&Cs though, so if you want to keep things simple, there’s the Citibank SMRT Card for 3% rebate.

DBS logo
DBS logo

Online Promo

Online & Visa Contactless Spend

DBS Live Fresh Card

Cash Back on Online Spend & Visa Contactless

Up to 5%

Min. Spend

S$600

Cash Back Cap

S$60

Online Promo: <div><!--block-->Get S$200 Cashback with no minimum spend! Use the promo code "<strong>DBSFLASH"</strong> when you apply.</div> Valid till 05 Oct 2020.

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • Earn up to 5% cashback on Online & Visa contactless spend with a minimum spend of S$600 per calendar month

  • Earn 0.3% cashback on all other spend

  • All-in-one card: Use the same card for your bus and train rides, and ATM withdrawals

  • Enjoy 1-year annual fee waiver

See all card details

OCBC logo
OCBC logo

Online Promo

OCBC Frank Card

Cash Back on Online Spend

6%

Cash Back Cap per month

S$75

Min. Spend per month on Total Purchases

S$600

Online Promo: Receive S$50 Cashback when you apply and additional 4% Cashback on eligible spend! Valid till 30 Sep 2020.

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • Minimum Total of $600 Spend

  • Up to 6% Cashback for Mobile Payments

  • 6% Rebate on FX Spending

  • S$75 Cap Monthly with $25 per Sub Category as per TNCs

  • 2 Years Fee Waiver for Principal Card, Subsequent Years Waived with Min. Spend of S$10,000 p.a.

See all card details

Citibank logo
Citibank logo

No Minimum Spend for Cashback

Citibank SMRT Card

Cash Back on Eligible Spend

5%

Cash Back Cap per year

S$600

Min. Spend per month

S$300

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • No monthly rebates cap, although rebates are capped at S$600 per year

  • Minimum spend of S$300 per month to earn maximum rebates across groceries, fast food, coffee, movies, and public transport

  • Up to 2% rebates on EZ-Reload transactions via the EZ-Link App or automated GIRO top-up. Transactions above S$30

  • Every S$1 spent gives you 1 SMRT$. Redeem your Citi SMRT$ Rewards for cash rebates and vouchers via Citibank Online

  • 2 years fee waiver for principal cardholder and 2 supplementary cards

  • Visit bus or MRT ticketing machines to activate this card via TransitLink’s SimplyGo function to use it as an everyday EZ-Link card. Transactions via TransitLink do not qualify for rebates

See all card details

Otherwise, you can opt to earn miles with your purchase (though it’s not really a massive purchase so you can’t earn much). The best miles cards for online shopping are the Citibank Rewards Card and the OCBC Titanium Card, both of which give you 10 miles per $1 spent:

Citibank logo
Citibank logo

MoneySmart Exclusive

Earn Points for Online Spending

Citi Rewards Card

Online Spend, including Food Delivery and Groceries

S$1= 10X Points

Grab and Gojek

S$1= 10X Points

All Other Spend

S$1 = 1 Point

MoneySmart Exclusive: <div>Get a <strong>Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones</strong> worth $549 when you apply and spend on your card! Fill in the redemption form after the application to redeem. T&amp;Cs apply.</div> Valid till 30 Sep 2020.

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • 10X Rewards on all online purchases (excludes travel-related transactions). Bank's T&Cs apply

  • 10X Rewards on Ride-haling, Shopping and Online spends. T&Cs apply

  • 10X Rewards capped at 10,000 Points per statement month

  • 10X Rewards = 4 Miles

  • S$1 spent = 1 Rewards point (All other spend). No minimum spend required, no cap

  • *Bank's T&Cs apply

See all card details

OCBC logo
OCBC logo

OCBC Titanium Rewards Card (Pink)

on Online, Offline, Local and Overseas spend

S$1 = 10 OCBC$

with 18,000 OCBC$

S$50 Titanium cash

Rewards to Miles Conversion

10 OCBC$ = 4 Miles

Apply Now

More Details

Key Features

  • 10x OCBC$ (10 points or 4 Miles) for every S$1 spent on clothes, shoes, bags, department stores, kidswear, electronic gadgets, online, offline, locally and overseas

  • Cathay Cineplexes offers: S$8.50/ S$11 on movie tickets

  • Up to 16% discount at Caltex and Esso stations

  • Complimentary JetQuay Quayside single trip service and discounted trip service

  • Enjoy exclusive access at USD 27 per visit per person to more than 800 lounges regardless of the airline

  • First 2 years fee waiver for principle & supplementary cardmembers

See all card details

Of course, your choice might also be influenced by which bank has better Lazada vouchers. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with DBS and Citibank, in my personal experience.

Are you planning to buy the Apple Watch? Tell us your reasons.

The post Apple Watch Singapore Price Guide 2020 — Series 3, SE or Series 6? appeared first on the MoneySmart blog.

MoneySmart.sg helps you maximize your money. Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with our latest news and articles.

Compare and shop for the best deals on Loans, Insurance and Credit Cards on our site now!