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An Apple Watch Series 5 makes a great graduation gift for just $300

Or you can spend $120 less than that and get an Apple Watch Series 3 for $180.

Dave Johnson
3 min read
Sarah Tew/CNET

For the last few months of the pandemic, time may have seemed to have stopped moving, but your kids can tell you most assuredly that they've spent an entire semester at home, social distancing. Now it's graduation season, and many schools across the country are pressing ahead with COVID-delayed graduation ceremonies -- some virtual, some in-person. Either way, it's not too late to snag a gift for the graduate in your life. Watches are a classic graduation gift, and right now you can get a good deal on the Applest of all watches, the  Apple Watch . Right now, Amazon has lowered the Apple Watch Series 5 back to its all-time low price -- $300. That's $100 off Amazon's usual price and what you can get it for at Apple's own store.

This deal is for the 40mm aluminum case version of the Series 5 in Space Gray with a black sports band. 

I know that opinions vary wildly on this subject, but I personally wouldn't consider buying any Apple Watch model other than the Series 5. I owned a Series 1 -- briefly -- five years ago before it died in a tragic skateboarding accident. Frankly, I thank the pavement for putting it out of its misery; it wasn't a good watch. Since that time, I'd been biding my time, waiting for a model that actually had an always-on display, and the Series 5 is the first model to do so. I've been loving my Series 5 since I bought it at launch. Sure, that's about all that's new, so if you already have a Series 4, there's not a lot of incentive to upgrade. But if you're buying a first Apple Watch for dad, it'll all be new to him, including GPS, the compass app, heart rate monitor and ECG monitor, fitness features, watch faces with complications, interactive notifications and on-the-wrist Apple Pay .

And you don't need to spend $300 to make a grad smile. For a little more than half that, Amazon has the Apple Watch Series 3 38mm on sale for $179, which is $20 off the regular price.

If you don't care about fall detection or an always-on display, the Series 3 is a very capable smartwatch for iPhone owners, and definitely a solid deal at this price.

And whether you choose to get the Apple Watch Series 5 or Series 3, the new purchase is upgradable. We just learned that Apple WatchOS 7 will contain a much-anticipated (and long overdue) sleep tracking feature, along with new fitness capabilities and even on-the-wrist language translation. And these watches will be able to upgrade to WatchOS 7 when it appears later this year. 

This article was published previously. It has been updated with the latest deal. 

Read more: Great cheap accessories for your new Apple Watch  

Watch this: Apple's WatchOS gets new health, sleep-tracking and hand-washing features

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