Here’s every Apple Watch model, finish, and band compared
The Apple Watch Series 3 is finally here, and it boasts major improvements over the original Apple Watch. With features like LTE cellular connectivity, speedy Wi-Fi, and a long-lasting battery, it’s Apple’s most refined interpretation of a smartwatch yet.
But there isn’t just one Apple Watch Series 3. Apple discontinued the Apple Watch Series 2 but kept around the Apple Watch Series 1 (at a reduced price), and the sheer number of models, finishes, and bands make choosing a new Apple Watch a challenging feat. To help simplify things, we’ve put together a guide to every variant of Apple Watch Series 3 available.
Apple Watch models
There are two basic versions of the Apple Watch: The Apple Watch Series 1 and the Apple Watch Series 3. The Apple Watch Series 1 will retail at the reduced price of $250, and the Apple Watch Series 3 will launch later this year in two models: One non-LTE version for $330, and an LTE-equipped version for $400.
Here’s what you need to know first:
The Apple Watch Series 1 is available now on Apple.com and anywhere the Apple Watch is sold.
New Apple Watch bands are available today on Apple.com, and will be available soon at Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Resellers, and carriers in the U.S., and over 35 countries and regions.
Apple Watch Series 3 models (with and without LTE), Apple Watch Hermès, and Apple Watch Edition (ceramic), will go on sale beginning September 15 in most countries and regions, with availability beginning September 22.
The Apple Watch Nike+ will be available to order September 15, with limited availability on October 5.
If you opt for the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, you can pick up cell service for an extra fee. Verizon, T-Mobile, and ATT say it’ll cost $10 to add the watch to an existing plan.
Here’s a quick spec comparison of the Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 3.
Apple Watch Series 1
Apple Watch Series System
watchOS 4 (available as update)
1.52 x 1.31 x 0.41 inches
1.56 x 1.43 x 0.41 inches
1.52 x 1.31 x 0.45 inches
1.67 x 1.43 x 0.45 inches
272 x 340
390 x 312
272 x 340
390 x 312
38mm: 25 grams
42mm: 30 grams
38mm: 26.7 grams (GPS), 28.7 grams (GPS + Cellular)
42mm: 32.3 grams (GPS), 34.9 grams (GPS + Cellular)
Sapphire crystal glass
Ion-X strengthened glass (aluminum cases)
Sapphire crystal glass (stainless steel and ceramic LTE, GPS, and Wi-Fi
Splash resistant only
Waterproof up to 50 meters
OLED Retina display with Force Touch
Third-generation Retina display with Force Touch
$330 (GPS), $400 (GPS + Cellular)
There are a few differences between the Apple Watch Series 1 and Apple Watch Series 3 worth noting.
The Apple Watch Series 3 adds LTE connectivity, which means it can stand in for your iPhone. You can make and receive calls, stream from Apple Music’s catalog of more than 40 million songs and radio stations, and chat with friends over WeChat and iMessage, all without the need to bring your phone along.
The Apple Watch Series 3 also packs a dual-core processor that’s 70 percent more efficient (compared to the Apple Watch Series 2), and a Wi-Fi chip that’s faster while drawing significantly less power. And for good measure, the Series 3 throws in an altimeter that measures the verticality of stairs, slopes, and ski runs.
What does all that mean if you’re buying a new Apple Watch? If you live an active lifestyle that involves a lot of running and walking and you don’t want to carry your phone around all the time, then you’re probably going to want to buy the Series 3. The same’s true if you’re a speed demon who want the absolute fastest and longest-lasting Apple Watch on the market. But if you don’t need a cutting-edge processor and don’t care about a cellular connection, you might be better off saving a little cash and sticking to the Apple Watch Series 1.
Apple Watch sizes and finishes
Once you’ve chosen the device you want to go with, you’re going to need to pick a size: 38- or 42-millimeter. They’re targeted at those with small and large wrists, respectively.
You’ll notice when you go to the Apple Watch website, there’s more to choose from than simply ‘Series 1’ or ‘Series 3.’ The Apple Watch doesn’t just come in different sizes and hardware — it also comes in different materials, some of which are exclusive to individual models. Below is a rundown of the finishes available for each device.
Apple Watch Series 1
Apple Watch Series 3
Apple Watch Nike+
Apple Watch Hermès
Apple Watch Edition
Space Gray Aluminum
Space Black Stainless Steel
As you can see, the Apple Watch Nike+ and the Apple Watch Hermès are pretty much just variations of the Apple Watch Series 3 — we’ll talk more about what sets them apart in the ‘bands’ section.