It's time to use those gift cards! The best end-of-year Apple sales from Amazon and Walmart

·8-min read

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Apple watches are still on sale - it's about time you bought one. (Photo: Walmart/Amazon)
Apple watches are still on sale - it's about time you bought one. (Photo: Walmart/Amazon)

If you racked up some Amazon gift cards for Christmas or Walmart, then we have an idea on how to spend them — Apple watches and AirPods are on sale now! We've found the best prices on the most popular picks, so treat yourself to the smartwatch you've had your eye on or update your listening game.

Apple Watches are about more than tracking exercise and monitoring your heart rate (and telling time, of course). They also give alerts and notifications. Never again will you miss an important call, text message, appointment, or event because you couldn't see or hear your phone. Now those notifications will come right to your wrist, with a gentle tap to alert you. For iPhone owners, there's no better smartwatch than the Apple Watch. That's because it's the only one that allows for two-way communication, meaning you can actually reply to text messages, talk to Siri and so on.

We've done the leg work for you and scoped out these popular styles, all on sale so you can have one, guilt-free (unlike the copious amounts of cake and cookies you've been eating.) We recommend you grab your favorite soon— items are still selling out quickly and prices are sure to rise after year's end.

Apple Watch SE (40mm)

The Apple Watch SE offers up a little of everything. You can track your daily activity on your watch and flip through plenty of workouts, including tai chi, Pilates, running, yoga, swimming and dance. A built-in compass and real-time elevation readings comes in handy on hikes, while features like the heart rate tracker and heart rhythm notifications help you keep tabs on your ticker. Available in Gold, Silver and Space Grey.

One happy customer calls this watch the "best bang for your buck hands down." A fellow fan had this to share: "After researching all of the series of Apple Watches, I decided on the SE because of the features and how well priced it was. The watch is lightweight and has a sleek design, and it seems to be built very durable. Also the functionalities fit my needs and provides the convenience that I am looking for. I couldn’t be happier."

$229 $279 at Amazon

Apple Watch Series 7 GPS

The Apple Watch Series 7 GPS features a retina display that covers nearly 20 percent more screen area than the Series 6, making it that much easier to see what your watch is trying to tell you. Made of crack-resistant crystal with IP6X dust resistance, this watch is specially designed to stand up to the elements. It's even swimproof, so you can literally wear it everywhere. Cool features include an ECG, blood oxygen monitor, heart rate tracker, Mindfulness app, Sleep app and built-in fitness workouts. There's also a bevy of colors to choose from....but the blue and green varieties have just dropped to a lowest-ever $349.

"This thing is SO amazing!" a five-star reviewer said. "The watch is very easy to set up and connects nearly instantly to your iPhone. The apps and available customizable watch faces are nearly limitless. The 45mm fits my wrist perfectly — it’s not too big. It looks amazing! ...Probably one of the best little things I’ve ever bought for me!"

$349 $399 at Amazon

Apple Watch Series 3

Current-generation Apple Watches start at $279, but for a limited time, Walmart has the Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) for $169. Listing for $199, this deal represents one of the largest discounts to date outside of Black Friday.

It may be several generations old, but the Series 3 remains a very capable smartwatch. In addition to the aforementioned notification features, it offers heart-rate monitoring, fitness tracking and support for a huge variety of apps. It's also waterproof, meaning you can shower and even swim with it.

The Series 3 can run the latest version of Apple's WatchOS, too, though it remains to be seen how much longer this model will see that kind of support. If you're looking for an Apple Watch bargain, the Series 3 for $169 is hard to beat.

$169 $279 at Walmart

Apple AirPod Pro

At the top of the earbuds food chain are the Apple AirPods Pro, and with your new watch, you're going to want to jam to your tunes. This model features noise-canceling capabilities, plus silicone ear tips for a more secure fit. Amazon has knocked $52 off the price, bringing the AirPods Pro down to $197, from $249, saving you 21 percent.

These pro-level buds have earned a flawless rating from tons of Amazon reviewers. Said one happy shopper: "Apple hit a home run with these...With the AirPods Pro, Apple has answered my prayers, and they're even better than I could have imagined. The sound cancellation is LEGIT.... The ability to switch from noise canceling to transparency mode is awesome as well."

$197 $249 at Amazon

More Apple AirPod deals:

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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