What Phone Is Apple Watch Series 1 Compatible With

by Barbara Wilson

Apple Watch Series 1 is one of the earlier models in Apple’s smartwatch lineup, launched in September 2016. Despite being an older model, it remains a popular choice for users due to its affordability and essential features. For those considering purchasing or already owning an Apple Watch Series 1, understanding its compatibility with iPhones is crucial. This comprehensive guide will provide detailed information on which iPhones are compatible with the Apple Watch Series 1, the setup process, and other relevant considerations.


Compatibility Overview

iPhone Models Compatible with Apple Watch Series 1

The Apple Watch Series 1 is compatible with several iPhone models. However, the specific iPhone models compatible with it depend on the iOS version running on the iPhone. The following iPhone models are compatible with the Apple Watch Series 1, provided they are running iOS 11 or later:

  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max

iOS Version Requirements

To use the Apple Watch Series 1, the iPhone must be running iOS 11 or later. As the operating system is updated over time, it’s essential to ensure that the iPhone has the latest iOS version to guarantee optimal performance and access to all features.


Setting Up Apple Watch Series 1 with iPhone

Initial Setup Process

Update iPhone

Before setting up the Apple Watch Series 1, ensure that your iPhone is updated to the latest iOS version. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for any available updates.


Turn On Apple Watch

Press and hold the side button on the Apple Watch until the Apple logo appears.

Pair with iPhone

Hold the Apple Watch close to your iPhone. A message should appear on the iPhone screen saying “Use your iPhone to set up this Apple Watch.” Tap Continue.

Alternatively, open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, tap Start Pairing, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Align Watch with Viewfinder

Position the Apple Watch within the viewfinder on the iPhone screen to pair the devices. The iPhone will automatically recognize the Apple Watch and complete the pairing process.

Set Up as New or Restore from Backup

Choose to set up the Apple Watch as a new device or restore from a previous backup if you’ve used an Apple Watch before.

Sign In with Apple ID

Sign in with your Apple ID to enable features like Apple Pay and the App Store.

Customize Settings

Choose your preferences for various settings, such as wrist preference (left or right), and set up a passcode.

Install Apps

Decide whether to install all available apps on your iPhone that are compatible with the Apple Watch or choose specific apps.

Complete Setup

Allow the Apple Watch to sync with the iPhone. This process may take some time. Once completed, the Apple Watch will be ready to use.

Troubleshooting Pairing Issues

If you encounter any issues during the pairing process, try the following steps:

Ensure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are Enabled

Both devices need Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled to communicate.

Restart Devices

Restart both the iPhone and the Apple Watch to resolve any temporary glitches.

Reset Apple Watch

If the problem persists, consider resetting the Apple Watch to factory settings and attempting the pairing process again.

Check for Updates

Ensure that both the iPhone and the Apple Watch are running the latest software versions.

Key Features and Functions

Fitness and Health Tracking

The Apple Watch Series 1 offers essential fitness and health tracking features, making it a valuable companion for health-conscious users. Some of the key features include:

Activity Rings

Track daily activity levels through the Move, Exercise, and Stand rings. Completing these rings encourages users to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Heart Rate Monitoring

The built-in heart rate monitor measures and records the user’s heart rate throughout the day, providing insights into their cardiovascular health.

Workout Tracking

The Workout app allows users to track various types of physical activities, such as running, cycling, and walking, with detailed metrics for each workout.

Notifications and Communication

The Apple Watch Series 1 keeps users connected with notifications and communication features:


Receive notifications for calls, messages, emails, and app alerts directly on the wrist, ensuring that important updates are never missed.

Messages and Calls

Respond to messages and answer calls directly from the Apple Watch using voice dictation, preset replies, or the Scribble feature.

Apple Pay

Make secure payments using Apple Pay by double-clicking the side button and holding the watch near a contactless payment terminal.

See Also: What Can The Apple Watch Series 2 Do

Customization and Personalization

Users can personalize their Apple Watch Series 1 to suit their style and preferences:

Watch Faces

Choose from a variety of watch faces and customize them with different complications to display relevant information at a glance.


Swap out the watch band for different styles and materials to match any occasion or outfit.

Apps and Integrations

The Apple Watch Series 1 supports a wide range of apps and integrations:

App Store

Access the App Store directly from the Apple Watch to discover and install compatible apps.

Music and Podcasts

Control music playback on the iPhone or stream music and podcasts directly from the Apple Watch.


Use Siri for voice commands and queries, such as setting reminders, sending messages, or getting directions.

Pros and Cons of Apple Watch Series 1



The Apple Watch Series 1 is one of the most affordable options in the Apple Watch lineup, making it accessible to a broader audience.

Essential Features

Despite being an older model, it offers essential features such as fitness tracking, notifications, and Apple Pay.


Compatible with a wide range of iPhone models, provided they are running iOS 11 or later.


No GPS or Cellular

The Apple Watch Series 1 lacks built-in GPS and cellular capabilities, limiting its functionality for outdoor activities and independent use.

Slower Performance

Compared to newer models, the Series 1 may exhibit slower performance and longer loading times for apps.

Limited Water Resistance

The Series 1 is splash-resistant but not suitable for swimming or prolonged water exposure.


The Apple Watch Series 1 remains a popular choice for users seeking an affordable entry into the Apple Watch ecosystem. It is compatible with a range of iPhone models running iOS 11 or later, offering essential features such as fitness tracking, notifications, and Apple Pay. While it lacks some of the advanced capabilities of newer models, its affordability and core functionalities make it a valuable device for many users.

For those interested in purchasing an Apple Watch Series 1, it’s important to ensure compatibility with their iPhone and understand the setup process. By following the detailed instructions provided in this guide, users can easily pair their Apple Watch with their iPhone and enjoy the numerous benefits it offers.


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