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I have an iPhone 8 Plus, and in continuing attempts to pair it with an Apple Watch 4, was able to read the iPhone just barely display a dialog saying “iPhone is out of date,” quick as a flash, and then quickly slide it down.

Can I get my Apple Watch working without buying a newer iPhone?

If not, what is the latest generation Apple Watch that I can use without buying a newer iPhone?

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    What is the version of iOS running on your iPhone 8 Plus? What about Apple Watch 4? – Nimesh Neema Oct 29 '19 at 14:10
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Your iPhone can work with any Apple Watch starting from the original one to the latest one. The only thing that needs to be ensured is that both the iPhone and Apple Watch are running the compatible versions of iOS and watchOS.

It's recommended that the devices run the latest available version of the respective OS. Currently the latest version of iOS available for iPhone 8 Plus is iOS 13.2, while the one for Apple Watch Series 4 is watchOS 6.0.1.

To answer your questions specifically:

Can I use my Apple Watch 4, having only an iPhone 8 Plus?

Yes.

If not, what is the latest Apple Watch that will pair with my phone?

As stated above, you can pair technically pair any Apple Watch with iPhone 8 Plus.

Can I get my Apple Watch working without buying a newer iPhone?

Yes.

If not, what is the latest generation Apple Watch that I can use without buying a newer iPhone?

Apple Watch Series 5, which is the latest model released by Apple.

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  • Thank you. I’ve tried to pair it with a few permutations after updating iOS to 13.2, and every time it says “Pairing failed.” This includes manual pairing. Advice? Should I ask a separate question? – Christos Hayward Oct 29 '19 at 15:52
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    @ChristosHayward What about watchOS? Have you updated it to 6.0? – Nimesh Neema Oct 29 '19 at 15:56
  • After multiple attempts and permutations, I now have what seems to be a working watch. I don’t remember a rougher on boarding UX with an Apple product. – Christos Hayward Oct 29 '19 at 18:54

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