apple watch screen repair cost

Here for the Apple Watch Screen Repair Cost? Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a shopping guide with the features you can consider when getting a apple watch screen replacement.

The new Series 4 edition of the Apple Watch has a bigger, more colorful screen and one really cool new feature.

If you fall to the ground and don’t get back up within 60 seconds, it will call 911 and get help on your behalf, automatically.

But what will it do about the cracked screen of the watch itself? Or more specifically, the screen that fell to the ground this week as I was adjusting the band and got destroyed? 

Apple Watch Screen Repair Cost

Getting a broken smartphone screen fixed is rather easy. Any shopping mall and most city centers have kiosks and store fronts eager to take care of all us klutzes who drop our phones and get screens easily replaced. One of the largest firms, uBreakIFix, has nearly 500 stores and says it fixes some 60,000 phones monthly, mostly due to broken screens. 

But uBreakIFix won’t touch the current edition of the Apple Watch. Neither does rival iCracked, or even Best Buy’s Geek Squad.

apple watch screen replacement

The Apple Watch that fell to the ground and cracked

The reason, Apple tells me, is that the Watch is designed in a more complicated fashion. It’s not like the technicians can just remove one screen and replace it with another. They would need to take the entire watch apart to fix it. As Justin Wetherill, a uBreak co-founder said, “The part alone on the Series 4 Watch costs me $180, and that’s before adding in labor.” 

The bottom line, as I learned: You break an Apple Watch, you might as well buy a new one. The device starts at $399, and Apple’s flat rate fee to fix a screen is $299. If you bought AppleCare (for $79), Apple will give you up to two fixes of “accidental damage,” at $69 a pop. Or in other words, you’d spend around $150 (Apple Care, plus the fee) to fix a watch you spent $400 on, or 37.5 percent of the initial cost. 

These prices aren’t that much higher than what Apple charges to fix iPhones – until you look at it on a percentage basis. Apple charges a hefty $329 to replace a cracked screen of the flagship 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max (or $29 if you spring $199 for AppleCare,) versus $279 for the smaller 5.8-inch XS, $199 for the 6.1-inch XR and just $149 for last year’s 4.7-inch iPhone 8. 

In other words, you know you will crack your iPhone screen at some point. Not buying AppleCare for protection of what’s often a $1,000 investment is foolish. 

“My general counsel bought the new Apple Watch and cracked it within 24 hours,” Wetherill says. “And we couldn’t fix it. He brushed it against a staircase, and it was gone.”

Most people, knowing how fragile phones are, usually buy a case to protect their device at a cost of anywhere from $25 to $100. 

For the Watch, Apple doesn’t sell cases. But many third-party vendors do. In fact, a simple search for Apple Watch Series 4 cases on Amazon showed a cottage industry devoted to rather inexpensive looking $10 to $25 bumper protectors for the Watch. This wouldn’t have saved me, as the screen fell straight to the ground, but who knows – maybe I’m wrong.  

We reached out to Apple, which declined to comment. 

Longtime readers of the Talking Tech newsletter know that I’ve been consistent in asks for Apple when it comes to new features. Don’t tell me about more power, augmented reality or anything else fancy; just give me an all-day battery and unbreakable glass. That’s all I need. 

But clearly, Apple doesn’t want to make devices with unbreakable screens, or it would. Consider this: What’s a good motivator for people to upgrade to new phones? Something is wrong with the current model, as in, a cracked screen. Fix the glass issue, and Apple won’t sell as many new ones. 

In diving into the world of smartwatches and cracked screens this week, I think back to the old tag line Timex used once upon a time for its watch: “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”

The Apple Watch won’t keep on ticking. It needs to be charged, and it certainly won’t take a licking. But hey, did a Timex ever call 911 when anyone fell down? 

The Apple Watch range

Apple currently sells three different types of Apple Watch: the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Series 6.

Apple has discontinued the original Apple Watch, Series 1, Series 2, Series 4 and Series 5. However, you may still be able to buy them secondhand or refurbished – in fact Apple sells refurbished Apple Watch models in Apple’s Refurbished Store. Currently Apple is offering refurbished Series 4 models for $519 and Series 5 models for $539 in the US, while the UK refurbished store has the Series 3 for £219, Series 4 for £289 and Series 5 for £369). We take a look into whether you should buy a refurbished Apple Watch separately. Our comparison of the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch 6 is here. You may also like to read our Apple Watch SE review and Apple Watch 6 review. 

Back to the current range though. Right now you can buy the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch SE or the Apple Watch Series 6. Some Apple Watch features are shared by all three watches, other features aren’t available on the Apple Watch 3, and some features are only available on the Apple Watch Series 6. We will go into more detail about the different features below.

The case of the Series 3 and the SE is available in aluminium only, while the Apple Watch Series 6 comes in aluminium, stainless steel, and titanium. 

In addition to the case material each watch offers numerous colour finishes. The aluminium verison of the Series 6 is available in silver, space grey, gold, blue, and red. The stainless steel version comes in silver, graphite and gold. The titanium model is available in titanium and space black.

Blue Apple Watch 6
1x1 pixel

For the SE there is only the option of silver, space grey and gold. The Series 3 offers only silver and space grey.

There are also multiple straps available for each watch, each of which drives up the price further. There are also Nike’s sporty straps and fashion straps from Hermes to consider.

There are two screen sizes for each model. The Series 6 and the SE come with 44mm or 40mm cases, while the Series 3 has the option of 42mm or 38mm because the bezels are much larger.

In the case of the Series 6 and the SE you can also choose whether you want to pay extra for cellular connectivity, or if you’re happy with GPS only. There is no cellular version of the Series 3 now (unless you buy second hand).

Where can you buy an Apple Watch?

You can pick up the Apple Watch SE, Series 6 and Series 3 direct from Apple. Prices start at £199/$199 and top out at £1,449/$1,499 for the luxury models (e.g. Apple Watch Hermès, Silver Stainless Steel Case with Single Tour Deployment Buckle).

You can also buy the Apple Watches from third-party retailers, such as John LewisCurrysArgos and Very. These sellers may still offer models which Apple itself has stopped selling, such as the Series 5, although stock is likely to be limited.

For the latest third-party offers worth your consideration, check our roundup of the best Apple Watch deals.

How much does the Apple Watch cost? 

In the case of the majority of Apple products there is a really simple pricing structure. You select a standard product, and then have the opportunity to add optional extras and upgrade components.

When it comes to the Apple Watch it is not as simple. There are so many options. In fact we would say that there are too many options. Because of this it can actually be really difficult to get a reasonable idea of what an Apple Watch might cost you. Sure you can get an Apple Watch 3 for £199, but what if you wanted the Apple Watch 6 with a nice leather strap? How much would that cost you.

You can go to Apple’s site and create your own Watch combination in Apple’s widget, but to make it easier for you to see at a glance what the various Apple Watches cost, take a look at the charts below.

Prices for the Apple Watch Series 3

The Series 3 is available in aluminium in a silver or space grey finish with a white of black strap.

MaterialStrap38mm, GPS42mm, GPS
Aluminium (Silver or Space Grey)Sport Band (white or black)£199/$199£229/$229

Buy the Apple Watch Series 3 here – Apple Store

Apple Watch 3 deals

Prices for the Apple Watch SE

The Watch SE is available in aluminium in a silver, space grey or gold finish with the Solo Loop, Sport Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, Modern Buckle, Leather Link, Leather Loop, Milanese Loop, and Link Bracelet.

MaterialStrap40mm, GPS44mm, GPS40mm, cellular44mm, cellular
AluminiumSolo Loop£269/$279£299/$309£319/$329£349/$359
AluminiumSport Band£269/$279£299/$309£319/$329£349/$359
AluminiumSport Loop£269/$279£299/$309£319/$329£349/$359
AluminiumBraided Solo Loop£319/$329£349/$359£369/$379£399/$409
AluminiumLeather Link£319/$329£349/$359£369/$379£399/$409
AluminiumMilanese Loop£319/$329£349/$359£369/$379£399/$409
AluminiumModern Buckle£369/$499 £419/$599 
AluminiumLeather Loop £349/$479 £399/$579
AluminiumLink Bracelet£669/$699£699/$729£719/$799£749/$829

Buy the Apple Watch SE here – Apple Store

Apple Watch SE deals

Prices for the Apple Watch Series 6

The Watch 6 is available in aluminium with a silver, space grey, gold, blue or red finish. It’s also available in Stainless Steel in a silver, gold or space black finish. And it’s available in titanium in a titanium or space black finish.

The following straps are available: Solo Loop, Sport Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, Modern Buckle, Leather Link, Leather Loop, Milanese Loop, and Link Bracelet.

MaterialStrap40mm, GPS44mm, GPS40mm, cellular44mm, cellular
AluminiumSolo Loop£379/$399£409/$429£479/$499£509/$529
AluminiumSport Loop£379/$399£409/$429£479/$499£509/$529
AluminiumSport Band£379/$399£409/$429£479/$499£509/$529
AluminiumBraided Solo Loop£429/$449£459/$479£549/$499£559/$579
AluminiumModern Buckle£429/$499£459/$479£549/$499£559/$579
AluminiumLeather Link£429/$449£459/$479£549/$499£559/$579
AluminiumMilanese Loop£429/$449£459/$479£549/$499£559/$579
AluminiumLink Bracelet£679/$699£709/$479£779/$729£809/$829
SteelSolo Loopn/an/a£649/$699£699/$479
SteelSport Loopn/an/a£649/$699£699/$479
SteelSport Bandn/an/a£649/$699£699/$479
SteelBraided Solo Loopn/an/a£699/$749£749/$799
SteelModern Bucklen/an/a£749/$799n/a
SteelLeather Linkn/an/a£699/$749£749/$799
SteelMilanese Loopn/an/a£699/$749£749/$799
SteelLink Braceletn/an/a£949/$999£999/$1,049
TitaniumSolo Loopn/an/a£749/$749£799/$799
TitaniumSport Loopn/an/a£749/$749£799/$799
TitaniumSport Bandn/an/a£749/$799£799/$849
TitaniumBraided Solo Loopn/an/a£799/$849£849/$899
TitaniumModern Bucklen/an/a£849/$899n/a
TitaniumLeather Linkn/an/a£799/$849£849/$899
TitaniumMilanese Loopn/an/a£799/$849£849/$899
TitaniumLink Braceletn/an/a£1,049/$1,099£1,099/$1,149

Buy the Apple Watch Series 6 here – Apple Store

Apple Watch 6 deals

Like we said, with all these combinations to choose from, it’s tricky to know where to start.

Which Apple Watch?

The first big decision is whether you want to pay substantially more for the new Series 6 model, if the new Apple Watch SE will meet your needs, or if you want to save money and settle for the old Series 3.

Should you buy the Apple Watch Series 3?

Apple Watch Series 3

There’s no denying that £199/$199 is an appealing price tag, but our advice would be to go for the SE if you can possibly afford it, as you’ll get the accumulated benefits of three years’ worth of upgrades. The Series 3 is also less future-proofed, and will stop getting watchOS software updates sooner.

The SE offers a number of features missing from the Series 3 and starts at £269/$279. For your extra £70 you get a newer design – the Series 3 is a similar size to the SE, but the screen is smaller (42mm or 38mm compared to 44mm or 40mm) this is because the 3 has bigger bezels. 

The Series 3 also lacks Fall Detection, doesn’t have a compass, has an altimeter (but it isn’t always on as with the other Watches), and the speaker and mic aren’t as advanced as that in the SE.

If you were thinking that at £199/$199 the Series 3 might be a good choice for your offspring, bear in mind that it doesn’t support Family Setup, which is a feature that might appeal if you were thinking of setting one up for a child to use.

Also note that because the Series 3 no longer comes with a Cellular option you won’t be able to use it to make calls or to get data when you don’t have your iPhone handy. Series 3 also features a W2 wireless chip rather than the W3 in the SE and 6.

Should you buy the Apple Watch SE?

Apple Watch SE

Having discredited the Apple Watch Series 3, what about the SE? Starting at £269/$279 it’s not much more than the Series 3, but if you spend a little more you could get a even better Watch: the Apple Watch Series 6, which starts at £379/$399.

As we’ve explained above, the Apple Watch SE offers a number of features that the Watch 3 doesn’t, but what features are lacking from the SE that you could get in the Series 6?

Both the SE and the 6 offer the same 44mm or 40mm case size, and both are slimmer than the Series 3. As we mentioned already, Series 6 and the SE support Family Setup, which could be useful if you have kids, and both have an always-on altimeter.

The Series 6 features an Always-On display, which the SE lacks. This means that you will be able to see the time on the watch face at all times – rather than only when you raise your wrist.

The Series 6 also offers a way to measure blood oxygen and take an ECG, two features that could be life saving. That’s not to say that the SE lacks other life saving features: like the Series 6 (and the 3 for that matter) the SE can alert you to an irregular heart rhythm and give you notifications of a high or low heart rate.

Essentially the SE lacks an always-on display and it can’t measure blood oxygen or take an ECG. If these aren’t features that matter to you the SE would be a good choice.

Should you buy the Apple Watch 6?

Apple Watch 6 Gold

Of course if you can spend even more than the Series 6. As we’ve explained, the Series 6 has a lot in common with the SE, but there are some important differences. 

The Series 6 trumps the SE with a S6 chip. The SE has the same S5 chip as the now discontinued Series 5 had. The Series 6 also has a U1 chip for ultra wideband, the SE and 3 lack this chip.

The Series 6 has an always-on display. You still wake it up with a tap or by raising your wrist, but even when ‘asleep’ it shows a dimmed, simplified and less frequently refreshed version of your watch face.

The key features of the Series 6 are the means to calculate measure blood oxygen and take an ECG. Taking an ECG was a feature in the predecessor, the Watch 5, but it’s absent from the SE.

The other thing that the SE and Series 3 lack is the wealth of choice when it comes to materials – you can choose from multiple materials and colours for the clock itself. Of course with all the choice there is the potential to spend a lot of money on your Watch – for example, if you fancy the titanium watch with a link bracelet it will cost you up to £1,099/$1,149. But some people will be happy to spend that – and more – on a watch. There really is something for everyone.

That’s a whistle-stop tour of the main differences, but we compare the two models in more depth in our Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 5 comparison article. And our article: Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 3, 4 & 5: Should You Upgrade.

apple watch screen replacement

Do I need cellular?

The next big choice is between a standard GPS watch and the more expensive cellular model, which uses an electronic SIM card to be able to make phone calls and get online independently of your iPhone. As well as the higher initial price, you’ll have additional running costs for data usage and network fees.

Whether you opt for the regular or cellular (GPS or GPS + cellular to use Apple’s terms) mostly depends on your likely usage. If you’re always likely to have both your iPhone and Watch on you at the same time, you really won’t see any benefit from the cellular connectivity, so it won’t be worth the cost.

However, if you like the idea of being able to leave your phone at home and still take calls and check emails – when you’re exercising, for example – then you could benefit from cellular.

Smartphone buying guide

illustration of a cell phone store

Whether you’re thinking about purchasing your first smartphone or just upgrading from an older model, you might feel overwhelmed shopping for a new smartphone. With so many options to choose from, it’s difficult to know if you’re getting the right phone at the right price.

That’s why we’ve created this page: to guide you through the process of buying a new smartphone with as little stress as possible.

What is a smartphone?

illustration of a smartphone

A smartphone is a more powerful version of a regular cell phone. In addition to the same basic features, including phone calls, voicemail, and text messaging, smartphones can connect to the Internet over a cellular network. This means you can use a smartphone for the same things you would normally do on a computer, such as checking your email, browsing online, or shopping.

Wireless providers will require you to pay a monthly fee, usually called a data plan, to access the Internet with a smartphone over their cellular network.

Most smartphones use a touch-sensitive screen, meaning there isn’t a physical keyboard on the device. Instead, you’ll type on a virtual keyboard and use your fingers to interact with the display. Other standard features include a high-quality digital camera and the ability to play digital music and video files. For many users, a smartphone can actually replace things like an old laptop, digital music player, and digital camera in the same device.

Do I even need a smartphone?

woman looking at a smartphone advertisement

Because of these convenient features, smartphones have become increasingly popular over the past several years. Smartphones can also be very expensive, however; some high-end models cost even more than a new laptop or desktop computer!

If you’re happy using your existing devices separately, you may not need a smartphone. But if you want to use just one device to access the Internet, make phone calls, take photos, and listen to music, a smartphone is probably a good option for you.

What type of smartphone should I buy?

illustration of different smartphone types

Even if you know you want a smartphone, it can be challenging to know where to start. There are different smartphones to choose from, including Windows Phone and Blackberry. In this guide, however, we’ll focus on the two most popular options: the iPhone and Android smartphones.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so we’ll try our best to provide the information you’ll need to make the decision that’s right for you.

What is an iPhone?

The iPhone is a smartphone from Apple, which also produces the Mac line of computers. The iPhone is available in a few different models, starting at $450 and going up to $950. It’s powered by the iOS operating system, which is also used by Apple’s iPad and iPod Touch devices.

What is Android?

Unlike the iPhone, which is only available in a few different models, there are hundreds of Android devices to choose from. This is because Android is not one specific smartphone. It’s actually an operating system designed by Google. Many different companies make devices that are powered by the Android operating system, including Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola.

Each of these manufacturers produces different Android smartphones, each with their own custom hardware and features. As a result, Android smartphones are available in a much wider range of prices than the iPhone, starting as low as $100 for an entry-level device.

Android or iPhone?

Should you get iPhone or an Android? If you try searching for advice on this topic, you’ll find no shortage of opinions on both sides; iPhones and Android phones have strong groups of supporters, and most people place themselves firmly on one side or another. There are definite advantages and disadvantages with either option, so let’s take a look at some of the biggest factors you should consider.

Click the buttons in the chart to see our rankings, then read more about each category below.


illustration of a cellphone with dollar signs

In terms of cost, the iPhone simply can’t compete with Android models. If you don’t want to spend more than $200 to $300 on a smartphone, you’ll want to choose Android over iPhone.

Unfortunately, the actual cost of a smartphone may not be immediately obvious. For example, your wireless carrier may offer certain smartphones for free if you sign a two-year contract, or allow you to spread the cost across small installments instead of one single payment. Regardless of how you pay, an iPhone will almost always be more expensive than an Android smartphone.

Winner: Android


Because the iPhone is produced by one company instead of several manufacturers, it’s often easier to get answers and help directly from Apple’s customer support. By contrast, most Android phones work a bit differently from one another depending on the manufacturer and wireless provider you choose, which can make it more difficult to know where to look for help.

If you’re worried that you’ll need a lot of extra help once you get started, you might consider choosing an iPhone over an Android (if your budget allows).

Winner: iPhone

Apps and app stores

Both iPhone and Android allow you to download applications, which are commonly known as apps, to add extra functionality to your smartphone. The Play Store for Android and the App Store for iPhone provide a huge selection of apps for you to download. Although some apps are available exclusively for one platform, most are available on both. Unless there’s a specific app you want that’s only available on one device, this shouldn’t be a significant factor in your decision.

However, if you already have another device that uses Android or iOS, such as a tablet computer, you might want to consider purchasing a smartphone that runs the same operating system. This way, you’ll be able to install any apps you’ve purchased on both devices.

Winner: Tie


illustration of an accessorized cell phone

Android smartphones allow for a lot more customization than iPhones. Whereas the iPhone offers a few customization options (like your phone’s wallpaper and ringtone), Android allows you to change just about everything on your device, including themes, notification widgets, and default applications.

For some users, this might not be a very important distinction. But if you want to have more control over the way you’ll use your device, we’d recommend choosing an Android over an iPhone.

Winner: Android

System updates

Remember how we said before that Android and iPhone use different operating systems? Like desktop and laptop computers, these operating systems are updated just about every year. These updates usually include new and useful features, as well as security upgrades.

But upgrading an Android phone to the latest version can be pretty complicated. In many cases, it actually depends on when your wireless provider decides to push the update to your device. By contrast, the iPhone can be updated as soon as updates are available, regardless of your wireless carrier.

We should note that there’s nothing especially bad or dangerous about using a slightly older version of your phone’s operating system. But if you know that you always like to use the latest software as soon as it’s available, you might consider choosing an iPhone over an Android (if your budget allows).

Winner: iPhone

There are a few Android models, like the Google Nexus, that allow you to upgrade to the latest version of Android more easily; however, they also tend to be more expensive than other Android smartphones.

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