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It’s hard to think of this kind of tech as being cutting edge, but the inaugural Apple Watch was a major release and remains at the forefront of a whole new world of smartwatches.

Specification +

  • Dimensions: 272 x 340 x 42mm
  • Resolution: 1.5-inch, OLED display with an impressive resolution of 340x272 pixels
  • Operating system: Powered by Apple's S1P chipset
  • Storage: 8GB of storage (but no slot card)
  • Battery: A Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 205mAh
  • Colours: Space Grey, Gold and Silver

Full Description +

Apple Watch Series 1 38mm Review

The world was a different place in 2016 and we may even refer to these as the good old days, particularly when you consider that the Apple Watch Series 1 was also launched in December 2016. With its stylish design and intuitive interface, it definitely cut a swagger in a relatively new market, and remains prominent on thousands of wrists to this day. To see how well the Apple Watch Series 1 holds up, take a look at our refurbished smartphone deals today.

Described by many as being like a smartphone on your wrist, there's no doubt that the Apple Watch Series 1 is a fantastic device. Sure, it keeps you tied to your iPhone for compatibility, but most iOS fans we know remain perennially loyal to their Apple handsets regardless. The 38mm watch is also the smallest of the Series 1 iterations, while it can be purchased in either GPS (Wi-Fi Only) and GPS+Cellular modes depending on your budget and precise connectivity needs.

Different designs for different occasions

Perhaps the best feature about the Apple Watch is that it's available in various configurations, with the 38mm sold in three models (namely the aluminium Sport, stainless steel Watch and gold Watch Edition).

While these models vary in terms of price and weight, it's the Sport's anodised aluminium case that offers the best balance in terms of style and functionality. In fact, the combination of Apple's casing and Ion-X glass make the device 30% lighter overall, and this is an important consideration when wearing the watch all day. This can also be procured in one of the two modes mentioned above, with the GPS (Wi-Fi Only) plan noticeably cheaper and equipped with superior battery performance.

Next-level dynamic display

Behind Apple's superb Ion-X glass there sits a bright and angular display, and one that surprised many by not mirroring the circular watchface that had previously been introduced by the Moto 360.

Still, Apple's excellent OLED display with ample 272x340 resolution provides optimal sharpness and contrast, while negating the pixelated look synonymous with LCD smartwatch screens.All packed within a compact 1.5-inch square of prime real estate, the Apple Watch Series 1 definitely boasts a display that remains the envy of most competitors in the marketplace.

An impressive power pack that lasts for longer

They say that all things are relative, and this is definitely the case when appraising the battery life of any device. So, while the 205 mAh power pack may drain within a matter of hours when using it to make non-stop phone calls, more moderate use will produce much better results.

In fact, the Apple Watch Series 1 will last for around 18 on a single charge in such instances, and 24 hours or more on occasions where you refrained from making calls or using the strangely addictive heart monitor feature. We reckon that this makes for an impressive performance, particularly as we've met to meet anyone who can regularly stay awake for 18 hours each and every day.

A magnetic, inductive and wire-free charger

Apple's design expertise is demonstrable with the Apple Watch Series 1, particularly when you consider its convenient magnetic charger function. This innovation takes it cue from the company's popular MagSafe chargers, which are now synonymous with all MacBook Air and Pro computers (apart from the most recent releases).

To this end, it combines a MagSafe magnet with an inductive charger, creating a wire-free solution that provides a rapid source of power. This is worth its weight in gold when in cramped or low-light situations, which is more than likely when dealing with such a small and portable accessory.

A basic but effective fitness tracker

While the Apple Watch Series 1 isn't a fitness band, it does provide some rudimentary tracking features that should appeal to health enthusiasts (even those who only spend the first two weeks of every new year adhering to a tough fitness regime).

While the fitness tracking software has been improved immeasurably in more recent models, the Apple Watch Series 1 remains more than competitive. It prompts you to exercise for 30 minutes each day and stand for at least 60 seconds every 12 hours, for example, while it can also track the number of steps and distance travelled. We recognise that these are basic fitness features, but they're quite useful for those taking their first steps in the quest for a healthier lifestyle.

The pace of innovation in the smartphone and smartwatch markets is huge, with brands such as Apple releasing brand new devices every single year. However, the Apple Watch Series 1 38mm has more than stood the challenging tests of time and competition, providing an entry-level (and now affordable) step into the world of smartwatch ownership.

5 real-life highlights

  1. This watch utilises a pressure sensitive Force Touch display, which enables you to zoom out of your existing watch face and view an array of alternatives
  2. One of the biggest upgrades in the Series 1 was the transition to Bluetooth 4.2, which provides far greater connectivity and improves the performance of multiple apps
  3. The Apple Watch Series 1 is incredibly bright and colourful, with its cutting edge display easy to read in all but the brightest sunlight
  4. This watch can also recharge fully from flat in barely two hours, and reach 80% in barely 90 minutes
  5. The Apple Watch Series 1 enables you to receive notifications on your wrist in real-time, while the pinned 'Glances' widgets also offers you quick access to your favourite apps

Apple Watch Series 1 - 38mm

  • Silver
  • GPS Only
  • Grade C
  • 12 Month Warranty
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Our Grades

Our Refurbished Devices: Grading Criteria

All of our devices are subject to a rigorous 98-point quality control test at our state-of-the-art UK based facility, so you can purchase with 100% peace of mind that you’ll receive only the best quality products from us in the condition they are advertised. All of our devices are supplied as below without exception:


Grade A: Pristine

These devices are as good as new. They have no visible marks on the screen or housing. They are in tip-top condition, ta-da!


Grade B: Excellent

These devices are in excellent condition. They may have scratches on the screen and/or housing which are only noticeable upon an extremely close inspection. They are a great value alternative to our Pristine devices.


Grade C: Good

These devices are in good condition. They will show signs of moderate use on the screen and have the odd bump and/or scuff on the housing. Rest assured, this will not affect the functionality of the device. A good device, a good price.