The Aluminum Apple Watch is better than the Stainless Steel or Ceramic models for most users. This is essentially an Apple Watch Sport replacement, and it’s a great option for most buyers. The newest models are simply Aluminum, Stainless, Nike+ and Ceramic. The Nike+ and Aluminum models are essentially the same.
The current model is the Apple Watch 3, and many users are waiting for the Apple Watch 4. After using the Aluminum Apple Watch for years, and comparing that to the more expensive Stainless Steel Apple Watch, these are the reasons that the Aluminum Apple Watch is a better choice for most users.
You can read our Apple Watch 3 review to find out what we love about the new model.
After extended time using the Aluminum Apple Watch and looking at some of the Apple Watch problemsthat come with the Stainless Steel model, here are five reasons the Apple Watch Sport is better than the Apple Watch.
We are already seeing a wide variety of Apple Watch accessories and there are a multitude of new Apple Watch bands from third-parties that plan to add new styles and cheaper options to change the look of your watch without upgrading. There are also a number of stands and docks that work with both models featured in this comparison for a more elegant charging solution.
Aluminum Apple Watch is Lighter
If you aren’t used to wearing a watch and you want to work out, the aluminum Apple Watch is a clear win. The aluminum case is lighter which means you won’t notice it on your wrist as much as the Apple Watch with a Stainless Steel case.
The aluminum Apple Watch weighs 26.7 grams in 38mm and 32.3 grams in 42mm. Cellular connectivity adds about 2 grams to the aluminum models. The Stainless Steel Apple Watch is 42.4 grams in 38mm and 52.8 grams in 42mm thanks to the heavier Stainless Steel.
A nickel weighs 5 grams, so if you want to feel the difference you can hold three or four nickels in your hand. It’s not a major difference, but it will matter to some users. You can also try on the Apple Watch models at an Apple Store to see the difference for yourself.
Apple Watch Scratches Easily
Stainless steel, even Apple’s special Stainless Steel can scratch. We’ve seen many photos and videos of the scratches that show up after a short time of use in normal conditions.
On the other hand, the Apple Watch Sport, with an aluminum case, does not scratch easily. Even after smacking the Apple Watch Sport into the metal of a door along the edge, there is no visible damage.
Of course you can use this guide to polish off Apple Watch scratches, but if scratches bother you, the Apple Watch Sport is a better overall device.
Aluminum Apple Watch Price
The aluminum Apple Watch and Apple Watch deliver the same battery life, same processor, same storage and same apps. The only difference is the materials used to make the two versions of the Apple Watch. The Aluminum Apple Watch makes a lot of sense as a cheaper option, even with newer models and materials.
Go for the $329 to $359 Aluminum Apple Watch and if you like it you can always upgrade to the Stainless Steel version when Apple delivers an upgrade. The iPhone 5 edges scratched very easily, but Apple solved this problem with the iPhone 5s. Perhaps we’ll see a similar upgrade with the Apple Watch Series 4.
Apple Watch Nike+ Edition is A Nice Option
The Apple Watch Nike+ edition is the same price as the base Aluminum Apple Watch, and with it you get a special watch face that you don’t get on the Stainless Steel model or the Ceramic.
If you want an exclusive watch face, the options are to buy the Nike+ Apple Watch for an affordable price, or to buy the Hermes Apple Watch for $1,199 or up.
The Nike+ Apple Watch is the same as the aluminum watch, but you get the extra face and it comes with a special Apple Watch Nike+ band.
Apple Watch Bands
The Apple Watch Sport bands are great for working out, and they are dressy enough for many users, but if you want to go high-end the Apple Watch is where you’ll see most of the leather and metal bands.
The good news is that you can use these bands on the Apple Watch Sport and Apple sells them separately in the Apple Store. You can also buy adapters to connect a regular watch band to the Apple Watch Sport and Apple outlined details for third-party watch bands.
You can use these bands on both the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Sport, but there is no need to buy the Apple Watch just for access to better bands.