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Wearable Tech

The Apple Watch Series 1 is finally a good deal: Just $149

The best watch for iPhone owners is actually affordable! Plus: two free audiobooks.

Hey, cheeps, a quick update about yesterday's super-popular (but ultimately disappointing) earphone deal: According to the vendor, only Cheapskate readers had access to that code -- and there were some 500 units available when the post went live. That inventory got scooped up in a flash. #cheapskateeffect

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, though, you know that I found an alternative. And for $2 less, no less! But, um, then it sold out as well -- or what may have been a price mistake got corrected, because when have you ever seen a Sharper Image product for $7.99?

Anyway, I really do encourage you to put The Cheapskate on your social-media feed (see below for links), because you'll get not only deal updates (like when codes go bad or products sell out), but also bonus deals!

06-apple-watch-series-1-vs-series-3

The Apple Watch Series 1 (shown here with a different band than what's included) is actually a great deal at $149.

Sarah Tew/CNET

A wristed development

Regular readers know of my fondness for smartwatches. Recently I've been singing the praises of the AmazFit Bip, which you can still find selling in the $70-80 range.

But it has its limitations: You can't control music playback, respond to notifications or install extra apps. If you prize features like that and own an iPhone, there's really only one clear choice.

And, for once, it's actually affordable: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Walmart has the Apple Watch Series 1 (38mm) Aluminum Case with Sport Band for $149 shipped (plus tax). It's available in silver/white band and space-gray/black band. If memory serves, I've never seen it below $179. (As it happens, the 42mm model is also on sale -- for $179.)

Quick note: I first spotted this deal yesterday, and it's anybody's guess how long Walmart will be running it, or even how much inventory remains. Hopefully at least through today, and hopefully plenty!

There's probably not much I can tell you about the Apple Watch you don't already know. Although this first-gen model doesn't have newer features like a waterproof casing and optional LTE, it's still very capable. It offers heart-rate monitoring, support for Apple Pay, lots of third-party apps and some pretty slick ways to respond to messages without pulling out your phone.

Speaking of your phone, you can actually make calls on the watch, Dick Tracy-style -- though this sounds cooler than it actually is. (Holding your wrist up near your mouth for more than a few seconds: not fun.)

Read CNET's Apple Watch Series 1 review if you want to learn more. The verdict: at $249, the Series 1 was a fine alternative to Apple's pricier new models.

At $149, I can finally say without reservation: It's worth it.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Need a break from your playlists and podcasts? Why not queue up a classic audiobook?

For a limited time, Amazon is offering two of them absolutely free: Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," and Jane Austen's "Emma."

To listen, you'll need an Audible account and the Audible app. (You can also listen on the web if you prefer.) Both are free.


CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!