Skip to Content

Which iPhones Are Compatible With Apple Watches?

The Apple Watch has changed the game for smartphones and smart accessories. The device is elegant, clean, and functional. With the Apple Watch being explicitly designed as a companion piece to the iPhone, you would think all the devices are compatible, right? Unfortunately, this may not be the case.

Most iPhones will connect with most Apple Watches, depending on the model of the iPhone and the Apple Watch. First-generation Apple Watches will be compatible with the iPhone 5 or later. The newer Series 6 Apple Watch/Apple Watch SE can operate with an iPhone 6 or newer, running iOS 14 or later.

Don’t worry if you didn’t see your iPhone or Apple Watch model listed above. We have the complete list of compatibility down below. Read on for everything you need to know regarding Apple Watch and iPhone compatibility.

What iPhones Are Compatible with Apple Watches?

Woman using smart digital watch and mobile phone

Most iPhones will connect with Apple Watches. However, compatibility will depend on the iPhone and Apple Watch model. The iOS version is equally important and can affect connectivity.

Read on for all the different compatible models of iPhones and Apple Watches.

Apple Watch Generation 1

Initially released in 2015, you can find the first-generation Apple Watch in gold, rose gold, and with a white or black cap. The first-generation Apple Watch is compatible with the iPhone 5 or later models (iOS 8.2 or newer).

Apple Watch Series 1

The Apple Watch Series 1 came out the following year, in 2016. This model is compatible with the iPhone 5 or later, with at least iOS 11 installed.

Apple Watch Series 2

The Apple Watch Series 2 was also released in 2016 but came with added features like GPS and water resistance. This model is also compatible with the iPhone 5 or later, with at least iOS 11 installed.

Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple Watch Series 3 is still sold today and available for under $200, making it the cheapest watch Apple offers. This model allows you to send messages and make phone calls all from your wrist.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is compatible with the iPhone 6s or newer, running at least iOS 14. Some older models may be compatible with iPhone 6 and older iOS versions, but your mileage will vary.

Apple Watch Series 4

The Apple Watch Series 4 was released in 2018 with both cellular and non-cellular models. This model is compatible with the iPhone 6 or newer, with at least iOS 12 installed.

Apple Watch Series 5

Released in 2019, the Apple Watch Series 5 introduced a built-in compass and emergency calling features. This model is compatible with the iPhone 6s or newer, with at least iOS 13 installed.

Apple Watch Series 6

The Apple Watch Series 6 is currently the most expensive Apple Watch available at $399. This model features different health tracking features such as blood oxygen levels and includes an electrocardiogram app.

The Series 6 is compatible with an iPhone 6s or newer, running with at least iOS 14.

Apple Watch SE

Like the Series 6, the Apple Watch SE comes packed with features at a lower price point. This model requires an iPhone 6s or newer, running at least iOS 14.

How to Check Compatibility Between an Apple Watch and an iPhone

As mentioned earlier, most iPhones are compatible with most Apple Watches. However, some models have specific requirements. For those reasons, be sure your Apple Watch is compatible with your iPhone before purchasing. To do so, follow these simple steps.

Open your iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> About. This should tell you the iOS you’re running. Make sure that you note which watches are compatible with your iOS version.

How to Connect Your Apple Watch to Your iPhone

You’ll need to connect your iPhone to use your Apple Watch to the fullest. Fortunately, the process is incredibly straightforward and fast. Follow these simple steps to secure your Apple Watch to your iPhone:

  1. Begin by placing your Apple Watch on your wrist. Adjust the band so that your Apple Watch fits closely and comfortably on your wrist.
  2. Turn on your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button until you see the Apple logo appear.
  3. Hold up your iPhone near your Apple Watch. The Apple Watch pairing screen should appear on your iPhone. Tap Continue to proceed.
  4. Select “Set Up for Myself.”
  5. After you’ve been prompted, position your iPhone so that your Apple Watch shows up in the viewfinder within the Apple Watch app. Doing so will pair the two devices together.
  6. Finally, select “Set Up Apple Watch,” then follow the instructions provided on your iPhone and Apple Watch to finish the setup procedure.

Can You Connect an Apple Watch to an iPhone Without Service?

Apple iPhone 11 pro max and apple watch series 6 lay flat on a wooden table

There are many features you can still access if you’re not connected to the internet or away from your iPhone. However, the initial setup and connection process will require a stable internet connection and an iPhone.

What are some of the Apple Watch features you can access without service?

Track your workouts: The Apple Watch can track and monitor exercise even without service. This feature is especially useful during hikes and outdoor activities.

Play music, podcasts, or audiobooks: The Apple Watch can play different types of audio you’ve previously synced without service.

Basic watch functions: The Apple Watch can still complete all the basic functions of a regular watch without an internet connection. These features include the stopwatch, timer, alarms, etc.

Other features: The Apple Watch can do a lot without service. The device can track your heart rate, menstrual cycle, and sleep, and it can be used as a compass, just to name a few features.

Although the initial setup process requires an iPhone with an internet connection, the Apple Watch still serves a variety of purposes. If you’re still unsure whether your iPhone model is compatible with your Apple Watch, consult our list above, check your iOS version, or contact Apple’s customer support team.