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Apple Watch Series 3 vs 4 vs 5 – What’s New?

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Apple has 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 the 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 Specifications Compared

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


Device nameApple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series 4
Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm) (GPS) (disconitnued)
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 (44mm)Apple Watch Series 6
Released dateSeptember, 2017September, 2018September, 2019
Ideal forUnisexUnisexUnisex


Display size1.65 inches (42mm)1.78 inches (44mm)1.78 inches (44mm)
Display resolution390 x 312 pixels (42mm)448 x 368 pixels (44mm)
324 x 394 pixels (40mm)
448 x 368 pixels (44mm)
Pixel density------
Input typeTouchscreen
a button and a
digital crown
a button and a
digital crown
1 button plus
Digital Crown with haptic feedback
Customizable watch faceYesYesYes


Dimension42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
38 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
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)
Casing materialAluminum (GPS)
Stainless steel
Stainless steel frame
All ceramic/
sapphire crystal back
Strap/band materialElastomerElastomerElastomer
Bezel MaterialCeramicsCeramicsCeramics
Strap size125 - 210mm125 - 210mm125 - 210mm
Interchangeable band YesYesYes
Screen protectionSapphire crystal glassSapphire crystal glassSapphire crystal glass
Water resistant/ProtectionYes, IP68, 5ATMYes, IP68, 5ATMYes, IP68, 5ATM
Swim-proofYes, recommendedYes, recommendedYes, recommended
Color(s)Black, silver, whiteBlack, silver, goldBlack


Internal storage8GB16GB32GB
Memory card slotNoNoNo


BluetoothBluetooth v4.2Bluetooth v5.0Bluetooth v5.0
Bluetooth callingYesYesYes
Payment systemApple PayApple PayApple Pay




Email alertYesYesYes
SMS alertYesYesYes
Calls alertYesYesYes
Event reminderYesYesYes
Third-party appsYesYesYes
Text responseYesYesYes


Sleep apneaNoNoNo
Sleep trackingYes (Third-party app)Yes (Third-party app)Yes (Third-party app)
Floors climbedYesYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYesYes
VO2 Max.YesYesYes
Blood oxygenNoNoNo
Blood pressureNoNoNo
Menstrual cycle trackingNoNoYes
Swim trackingYesYesYes
Under-water heart rate trackingNoNoNo
Preloaded mapsYesYesYes
On-screen workout modesNoNoNo
Triathlon modeYesYesYes
ECG TrackingNoNoYes
Preloaded sport modesYesYesYes
Safety trackingYesYesYes


Music streamingYesYesYes
Bluetooth musicYesYesYes



Operating system (OS)WatchOS 5.0WatchOS 5.0WatchOS 6.0
ChipsetApple S3Apple S4, 64bitApple S5, 64bit
CPUDual coreDual coreDual core


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 :2 days + , Mixed usage: 1 day+Standby:2 days+
Mixed usage: 18 hrs+
Charging typeMagnetic chargingMagnetic chargingMagnetic charging
Charging timeAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hours
Battery saver mode__YesYes
Solar powerNoNoNo
Rapid charging___




Control cameraYesYesYes
Music controlYesYesYes
Find phoneYesYesYes


Compatibility iPhone 5s+
iOS 12+
iPhone 5s+
iOS 12+
iPhone 5s+
iOS 12+
Companion appApple watch APPApple watch APPApple watch APP
Voice commandYesYesYes


Apple Watch Series 3Apple Watch Series 4Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm) (GPS)
Magnetic charging cable + USB adapterMagnetic charging cable + USB adapterMagnetic charging cable + USB adapter
Quick start guideQuick start guideQuick start guide
NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.
Official Site

What’s the Difference?

  • Design
  • Nothing much has changed in the appearance of the successive Apple watch models, it’s still the same rectangular shape with well-crafted curves, its same sleek and classy Apple watches. Watch 5 however, has the same design as the now-discontinued Watch 4, these two spots 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 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, Watch 5 with ceramic and sapphire crystal back finish has a more sophisticated and premium design than the Watch 3. Watch 5 also weighs significantly less than the Watch 3 which makes it more comfortable to 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 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.

  • Media/Storage
  • 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.

  • Fitness Tracking
  • 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 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 devices feature the activity ring that learns more about you and is able to tell you to move, sit, or exercise 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 lack, 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, Watch 5 has improved the heart rate sensor and accelerometer and is a smarter and more accurate activity tracker than Watch 3.

  • 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.

Which Should You Buy?

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.