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Apple Watch 38mm Vs 42mm (2020): Which Size Should You Get

If you’re having a difficult time choosing what size to get your Apple Watch in, read this guide


Apple Watch 38mm vs 42mm

If you’re having a difficult time choosing what size to get your Apple Watch in, you’re not alone. There are lots and lots of choices when it comes to configuring an Apple Watch. There are even two sizes to choose from—38mm and 42mm.

Choice is good, and there’s certainly a lot of decisions to make when it comes to Apple Watch configuration. But when it comes to size, I would recommend the 42mm. Unless you have really small fingers, and a really small wrist, I think that you should at least try on the 42mm version to test it out.

Apple Watch 38mm vs 42mm: Wrist Size

Choose the watch size and band size that suit your wrist. Everyone has different wrist sizes. People might tell you that if you’re a man you should get the larger size, or the smaller one if you’re a woman, but that’s too simplistic and stereotypical. You should choose whichever one fits you better, no matter your gender. A big factor here is the actual circumference of your wrist.

Consider that the bands for the 42mm Apple Watch are much longer than those for the 38mm. Users with wider wrists might not be able to securely strap on the 38mm, while those with thinner arms might find the 42mm to be unwieldy.

If you have an extremely small or large wrist, Here’s a handy Watch Sizing Guide from Apple to help you find out which size and strap style will fit you.

In this case, you should personally try on both sizes with different bands to see how comfortable they are on your wrist. With this you’ll surely find out one of them will likely feel and look better than the other.

Screen Size

The bigger screen size will always be easier to view and use. This serve as an advantage for users that love clear and bold view of Apple watch.

The 42mm is a bit easier to read on and control by touch. For the same reason that the standard screen sizes of phones keep getting bigger and bigger, larger touchscreens are just easier to operate. Users with thicker fingers are likely to appreciate a bigger screen, since it’s more difficult to be precise on smaller touchscreens.

Many Apple Watch apps were also designed for the 42mm version, and you’ll notice the resizing in the form of clipped and hyphenated words so that the text can fit in the 38mm. Anyways, have it in mind that you won’t be interacting with your smartwatch as much as your phone. This is a gadget for fitness, information and app notifications.

Overall, the smaller screen of the 38mm doesn’t really hamper how well you can see the interface and read text, and you’ll also likely prefer to scroll using the rotating crown anyway.

Also Read: Apple Watch Stainless Steel Vs Titanium: Which should you buy

Apple Watch 38mm vs 42mm: Device Weight

The Apple Watch 38mm is lighter and easier on your wrist.

For Apple watch there are different case sizes and types have different weights. The weight of the Apple Watch might not be a factor for those who are already used to wearing a watch. Otherwise, this might take you some time to get accustomed with your additional pull on your wrist. In this case, size does matter as the 42mm is noticeably heavier, especially with the stainless steel finish.

If you just want to get any form of Apple watch for casual wearing, well the 38mm version with an aluminum finish will prove lighter on your wrist. This is a bigger consideration for wearables compared to smartphones, since you’re not to wear you smart watch all day. It’s also why Apple decided to provide different sizes and finishes in the first place.

Battery Life

The Apple Watch 42mm has a slightly bigger battery and will last a bit longer.

The 42mm version comes with a battery that’s roughly 20 to 25% bigger than the 38mm version. But what does that mean in terms of practical usage?

After the extensive testing is carried out, it’s been proven that the bigger battery does last 20 to 25% longer than the smaller one. This is even more important if you’re planning to use the cellular capabilities of the LTE-enabled Apple Watch all day. If you want to be able to leave your iPhone at home and just have a wearable on while running or working out, a bigger battery will give you more peace of mind, especially if your workouts are 2 to 3 hours long. However, if you’ll still have your phone with you during that time, the smaller 38mm will still be fine and last through the day with no problems.

Bottom Line

Choose the size that fits and feels better on your wrist.

The Apple Watch Series 3 38mm and the Apple Watch Series 3 42mm are different enough from each other that you should take the time to consider your choice between both. More often that not, you’ll find that the size of your wrist is the biggest factor, since one watch size will look better and feel more comfortable than the other. However, if you’re going to rely heavily on this wearable to track your fitness and health, a larger battery is going to be important.

We highly recommend going to an Apple store in person and trying both sizes on for comparison, so you can experience how each one feels on your wrist. If you can’t, remember what you’re buying an Apple Watch for and don’t let common conventions dictate your choice.

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