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Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5 Compared

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Apple have announced the Apple watch series 5, it’s the company’s latest smartwatch that succeeds the now discontinued Apple watch series 4, and is set to be the Apple’s flag bearer on the smartwatch market for perhaps a few months to come. As expected, the Watch 5 comes with quite a handful of changes, a new WatchOS 6, more activity tracking features and a faster processor for a much improved performance.

In this comparison, we’re comparing the Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5 specs and features, so you know the differences. Although, Apple had stated that the Watch 4 will be discontinued, but for clarification purposes, we’ll be comparing it as well in this post.

Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5 Specs Compared

 Apple watch series 3Apple Watch Series 4Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm)
apple watch series 3 vs 4 vs 5apple watch series 4 vsapple watch series 5 vs 3 vs 4

EDITOR'S RATING

Design:
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Battery:
3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Features:
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Price:
4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Design:
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Battery:
3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Features:
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Price:
4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)
Design:
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Battery:
3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Features:
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Price:
4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

WHERE TO BUY

BUY AT AMAZON BUY AT AMAZON BUY AT AMAZON

ABOUT DEVICE

Device nameApple Watch Series 4 3Apple Watch Series 4Apple Watch Series 5
Device typeSport/Fitness smartwatchSport/Fitness smartwatchSport/Fitness smartwatch
PredessesorApple Watch Series 2Apple watch series 3Apple Watch Series 4
SuccessorApple Watch Series 4Apple Watch Series 5--
Released dateSeptember, 2017September, 2018September, 2019
Ideal forUnisexUnisexUnisex

DISPLAY

Display typeOLEDLTPO OLEDLTPO OLED
Display size1.65 inches (42mm)1.78 inches (44mm)
1.57 inches (40mm)
1.78 inches (44mm)
1.57 inches (40mm)
Screen resolution312 x 390 pixel
(42mm)
272 x 340 pixel
(38mm)
448 x 368 pixels (44mm)
324 x 394 pixels (40mm)
448 x 368 pixels (44mm)
324 x 394 pixels (40mm)
Density------
Input typeTouchscreen,
1 button plus
digital crown
Touchscreen,
1 button plus
digital crown
with hepatic feedback
Touchscreen,
1 button plus
digital crown
with hepatic feedback

BODY

ShapeRectangular/curvedRectangular/curvedRectangular/curved
Dimension40 x 38 x 11.4 mm (40mm)
38 x 38 x 11.4 mm (38mm)
44 x 38 x 10.7 mm (44mm)
40 x 38 x 10.7 mm (40mm)
44 x 38 x 10.7 mm (44mm)
40 x 38 x 10.7 mm (40mm)

Weight52.8 grams (42m)48 grams (44mm)36.1 g (non-LTE)
47.8 g (LTE)
(44mm)

30.1 g (non-LTE)
36.7 g (LTE)
(40mm)
Casing materialAluminum (GPS)
Stainless steel
(Cellular)
Stainless steel frame
All ceramic/
sapphire crystal back
Stainless steel
Aluminum (GPS)
Titanium
with
Ceramic and sapphire crystal back
Strap/band materialElastomerElastomerElastomer
Bezel MaterialCeramicsCeramicsCeramics
Strap size125 - 210mm125 - 210mm125 - 210mm
Screen protectionSapphire crystal glassSapphire crystal glassSapphire crystal glass
Water resistant/ProtectionYes, IP68, 5ATMYes, IP68, 5ATMYes, IP68, 5ATM
Swim-proofYes, recommendedYes, recommendedYes, recommended
Color(s)BlackBlack, silver, goldBlack, silver, gold

MEMORY

RAM0.768GB0.768GB0.768GB
Internal storage8GB16GB32GB
Memory card slot------

CONNECTIVITY

BluetoothBluetooth v4.2Bluetooth v5.0Bluetooth v5.0
Wi-FiYesYesYes
NFCYesYesYes
GPSA-GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO/QZSSA-GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO/QZSSA-GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO/QZSS

CELLULAR TECHNOLOGY

Technology2G/3G/4G2G/3G/4G2G/3G/4G
SIM slote-SIMe-SIMe-SIM
BandNoNoNo

NOTIFICATIONS

Email alertYesYesYes
SMS alertYesYesYes
Calls alertYesYesYes
Event reminderYesYesYes
Weather forecastYesYesYes
Third-party appsYesYesYes

FITNESS TRACKING

Sleep trackingYesYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYesYes
Distance coveredYesYesYes
Steps climbedYesYesYes
CaloriesYesYesYes

MEDIA

Audiomp3/mp4mp3/mp4mp3/mp4
Bluetooth musicYesYesYes
RadioNoNoNo
LoudspeakerYesYesYes
MicrophoneYesYesYes
CameraNoNoNo

SENSORS

Accelerometer YesYesYes
AltimeterYesYesYes
Heart rate monitor (HRM)YesYesYes
BarometerYesYesYes
Gyroscope YesYesYes
Ambient lightYesYesYes
Other sensors--ECGECG, compass

PLATFORM

Operating system (OS)WatchOS 5.0WatchOS 5.0WatchOS 6.0
ChipsetApple S3Apple S4, 64bitApple S4, 64bit
CPUDual coreDual coreDual core
GPUPowerVRPowerVRPowerVR

BATTERY

Type of batteryNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity 279mAh----
Battery lifeStandby :3 days + , Mixed usage: 18hrs+Standby :3 days + , Mixed usage: 18hrs+Standby :3 days + , Mixed usage: 18hrs+
ChargingMagnetic chargingMagnetic chargingMagnetic charging
Charging timeAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hours

MISC

Payment systemApple PayApple PayApple Pay
Compatibility iPhone 5s or later with iOS 12 or lateriPhone 5s or later with iOS 12 or lateriPhone 5s or later with iOS 12 or later
Companion appApple watch APPApple watch APPApple watch APP
Customizable watch faceYesYesYes
Interchangeable band YesYesYes
Voice commandYesYesYes

BOX CONTENTS

Apple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series 4Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm)
StrapsStrapsStraps
Magnetic charging cableMagnetic charging cable + USB adapterMagnetic charging cable + USB adapter
Quick start guideQuick start guideQuick start guide

PRICE COMPARED

PriceAbout $200 (GPS)
$300 (GPS+ cellular)
About $400About $400 (GPS)

What’s the Difference?

Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5 Features Compared
  1. Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5: Design
  2. Nothing much has changed in the appearance of the successive Apple watch models, it’s still same rectangular shape with well crafted curves, its same sleek and classy Apple watches. The Watch 5 however, has same design as the now discontinued Watch 4, these two spot same 10.7mm thickness size which is very slim when compared to other high-end smartwatches like the newly Fitbit Versa 2 with 11mm thickness and Galaxy Active 2 with 10.9mm.

    The Watch 5 is slimmer than the Watch 3, it also has a larger display that lets you see more at a glance. And this comes handy when you need to catch a glimpse on the go, you can be sure to see more easily on the Watch 5 than the 3.

    One of the new improvements on the Watch 5 is the always on display that means the new Watch 5 never sleeps, you don’t need to raise your wrist to wake it up, it’s always on.

    Moreover, the Watch 5 with ceramic and sapphire crystal back finish has a more sophisticated and premium design than the Watch 3. The Watch 5 also weighs significantly less than the Watch 3 which makes it a more comfortable wear all day long.

    The Apple watch 5 with LTPO OLED display powering its display has a more interactive and lively display than the Watch 3.

    Navigation is far easier on the Watch 5 than on the Watch 3, the Watch 3 although has a digital crown, it lacks the hepatic feedback feature that’s present on the Watch 5 which offers a click-free like movement as you scroll. This makes it a lot easier to navigate and find features on the Watch 5.

    Another new addition on the Watch 5, is that you can now access your favorite apps on the watch thanks to the WatchOS 6 which brings a slew of additional features to the Watch 5 that should improve user experience significantly.

  3. Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5: Media/Storage
  4. Apple has boosted the storage capacity of the Watch 5. It’s important to note that all three watches have quite high onboard storage capacity that lets you take a lot more files with you compared to the Active 2 and Versa 2 with about 4GB.

    The Watch 5 now has a massive 32GB storage that can take over 2000 tracks which is far more than the Watch 4 with 16GB and even more than the Watch 3 with 8GB. Although, the GPS + Cellular model of the Watch 3 comes with 16GB storage capacity.

  5. Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5: Fitness Tracking
  6. Inherent and akin to Apple smartwatches, each of these three is fitness-focused, and well equipped to track your active life in the most comprehensive manner. But then, just like other new smartwatches from top brands in the smartwatch industry, fitness tracking has received a major attention with the release of the Watch 5 which sees it being a more comprehensive fitness tracker than its predecessor.

    On a general note, all three device feature the activity ring that learns more about you and is able to tell you to move, sit, or exercice all day. As well as complete sleep tracking, proactive heart rate monitoring, outdoor activity tracking thanks to the inbuilt GPS that lets you see your pace in real time, steps, distance, stress management via the breath sessions app that can help return you to calm, plus lots of preloaded workout modes and apps to help manage your fitness goals effortlessly.
    However, the Apple watch 5 has new activity tracking features that both the Watch 3 and 4 lacks, and these are;

    • Added cycling tracking app that lets you log your period. This feature comes very useful for women as it can help you detect changes that might go unnoticed. The Watch 5 joins the likes of the Versa 2 and Garmin’s Vivoactive 4 also featuring the menstrual cycle logging.
    • Added hearing tracking, the Watch 5 features hearing tracking that lets you know when the sound is too high and unhealthy. The new Noise app senses when the roar of the crowd or the rumble of machinery reaches a level that may pose a risk.
    • Added compass feature for better location orientation. The Watch 5 features a compass feature that’s accessible right on the watch face. It gives you more insightful coordinate details on your location.
    • Fall detection available on the Watch 4 is also present on the Watch 5. The watch 5 can detect when a fall has occurred, and will send alert to a preset emergency contact. You can dismiss this action, but if you’re unresponsive after 60 seconds, a call is automatically placed. It’s one of the best safety feature as seen also on the latest Garmin smartwatches.
    • ECG tracking first introduced to the Watch 4 is also available on the Watch 5. The Watch 5 lets you take instant ECG test simply by placing your thumb on the digital crown which reports in about 30secs. This feature can help you detect atrial fibrillation – a form of irregular heart rhythm that can be fatal if left untreated.
    • Added international emergency calling. The cellular models of the older Apple watches were able to contact emergency, but now Apple has added international emergency calling that enables the Watch 5 to contact the respective emergency contacts almost anywhere in the world.

    Moreover, the Watch 5 has improved heart rate sensor and accelerometer, and is smarter and more accurate activity tracker than the Watch 3.

  7. Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5: Battery Life

There’s no much difference in the battery life of these three. It’s quite disappointing that moving from the 3-5 models hasn’t necessitated a significant battery life improvement. However, each of these three should see you through the day on regular usage which is far from impressive especially when compared to the Versa 2 with AMOLED, yet has about 5 days battery life.

Apple Watch Series 5 vs 3: The Difference at a Glance
 Apple Watch Series 5Apple Watch Series 3

DESIGN

LTPO AMOLEDAMOLED
1.78 inches1.65 inches
448 x 368 pixels (44mm)390 x 312 pixels (40mm)
326 ppi303 ppi
44 x 38 x 10.7 mm
40 x 38 x 10.7 mm
42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
38 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
48 grams , 10.7mm thick52.8 grams , 11.4mm thick
Always-On Retina displayNo
(GPS + Cellular)
Stainless steel
Aluminum
Titanium
Ceramic

(GPS)
Aluminum
(GPS + Cellular)
Aluminum

(GPS)
Aluminum
Ceramic and sapphire crystal back
(All models)
Ceramic and sapphire crystal back
(GPS + Cellular models only)
Apple Watch Nike
available in silver and space gray aluminum

Apple Watch Hermès
available in polished stainless steel and space black stainless steel.
Apple Watch Nike
available in space gray aluminum.

MEMORY

Internal storage(GPS + Cellular)
32 GB

(GPS)
32GB
(GPS + Cellular)
16 GB

(GPS)
8GB

CONNECTIVITY

BluetoothBluetooth v5.0Bluetooth v4.2

FITNESS TRACKING

Accidental fall detectionNo
ECG heart rate checkNo

SENSORS

Improved accelerometer
(32 g-forces)
Accelerometer
(16 g-forces)
CompassNo
International emergency
calling and Emergency SOS
Emergency SOS
Second generation optical heart sensorOptical heart sensor
Operating system (OS)WatchOS 6.0WatchOS 4.0 upgradeable to 6.0
Apple S4, 64bitApple S3

BATTERY

Not known yet279mAh
Standby :2 days + , Mixed usage: 18 hoursStandby :2 days + , Mixed usage: 18 hours
Magnetic charging cable + USB cableMagnetic charging cable

Price

About $400Starts $200
Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5: Which is Better?

No doubt, each of these three is an outstanding timepiece that can improve your fitness level and productivity significantly. These three will surely keep Apple at the top spot in the smartwatch industry as the older models have done so far, giving the tech giant a major stake in the market.

However, the Apple watch 5 is clearly the best choice. It’ll cost you about twice the price of the Watch 3 (200), but it’s a more comprehensive smartwatch. It’s a more comprehensive activity tracker, has a better design and offer thrice storage capacity of the Watch 3.

Since the Watch 4 is discontinued, meaning it’ll go out of stock soon, the Watch 3 is a cheaper alternative. It’s a comprehensive activity tracker with a lightweight and decent design that makes this device a great deal.

Our Pick

The Apple watch series 5 is our preferred choice.

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