What’s the difference between the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4? Find out in our detailed comparison.


  • RRP: From $399

Apple Watch Series 4 vs Series 3

The Apple Watch Series 4 was announced on 12 Sept and will go on sale on 21 Sept. But how does it compare to the previous generation?

In this article we compare the specs, design and features of the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4.

Price & Availability

The Apple Watch Series 4 starts at £399/$399 with GPS, or $499 with cellular. You’ll be able to pre-order from Apple’s website from Friday 14 Sept, and it will go on sale on 21 Sept.

The Series 3 – which has been available since autumn 2017 – gets a price cut to celebrate the launch of the Series 4. It now starts at £279/$279 when bought from Apple. Take a look at our roundup of the best Apple Watch deals for the cheapest places to buy.

Design & Build

The Series 4 has a larger screen – 30% larger, in fact, with the dimensions up from 38mm and 42mm to 40mm and 44mm. But it’s not bulkier to accommodate these displays. In fact, because of smaller bezels and a slimmer body, it’s lower in volume than the older device.

The Series 4 also gets a redesigned Digital Crown (which now provides haptic click feedback for more accurate scrolling) a black ceramic back (which allows radio waves to penetrate, thereby improving cellular reception), and a repositioned microphone and upgraded speaker, meaning better call quality and 50% more sound volume.

We’re very fond of the Series 3 design, natty red dial and all, but the Series 4 looks like a significant improvement in this area. Here’s what the 3 looks like:

And here’s the Series 4, complete with its new dynamic flame face.

The screen now goes almost to the edge of the body, you see: there’s very little bezel at all, and the screen curves at the corners to hug the chassis more closely.

Colour options

One last design change worth mentioning: there’s a new gold stainless steel finish. The full set of Series 4 material/colour combinations is as follows:

  • Silver aluminium
  • Gold aluminium
  • Space Grey aluminium
  • Stainless steel
  • Space Black stainless steel
  • Gold stainless steel

The ceramic Edition version of the watch has been dropped, in other words.

Specs & Features

We haven’t been given a full specs list for the Series 4, but we know two things: its S4 processor is a lot faster than the previous generation (twice as fast, in fact); and its battery life is the same, rated at 18 hours. The latter is we suppose pretty impressive, given that it’s slimmer and has to power a bigger screen, but we couldn’t help being a bit disappointed.

But features? That’s a different matter – we know plenty about those.

Fall detection

Apple calls its new smartwatch an intelligent guardian for your health. One way in which it’s got your back is a new fall-detection feature, which works out when you’ve taken a tumble and, if you stay still for a worrying amount of time afterwards, calls the emergency services.

By / This article was originally published on MacWorld.co.uk