Apple Watch Aluminum vs Stainless steel vs Titanium – Which is right for you?

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Until a new Apple watch is released, the Apple Watch Series 7 is still the most advanced Apple watch and also the best selling smartwatch as of the first quarter of 2022. It succeeds Apple Watch Series 6 which alongside Apple Watch 4 and 5 have all been discontinued. The Apple Watch has always been available in aluminum and stainless steel until a titanium version was introduced with Watch 6. And like the Watch 6, the Watch 7 is available in aluminum, stainless steel and titanium material. Apple currently sells three watches; the Apple Watch 7, Watch SE and Apple Watch 3. However, only the Watch 7 is available in aluminum, stainless steel and titanium while the Watch SE and Watch 3 are available in only aluminum material. One of the commonest questions we have received is which of these materials is the best. It’s on this regard, we have compared the Apple Watch aluminum vs stainless steel vs titanium to help you make the right choice.

The Watch 7 comes with a larger and brighter display. It also has fast charging that’s 30% faster than that of Watch 6. And a new QWERTY keyboard as well as a more durable build. The Watch 7 is available in two sizes; 41mm and 45mm and each of these sizes is available in cellular and GPS only models. Also, each of the two sizes is available in aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium materials. However, the GPS model is only available in aluminum material, while the GPS+Cellular model is available in all three materials.

The Watch SE and Watch 3 are only available in aluminum material. However, the Watch 3 is only available in the GPS-only model. The Watch SE is available in GPS-only and GPS+Cellular models.

Apple Watch GPS vs Cellular

Before we proceed, let’s take a look at the differences between the GPS-only and GPS+Cellular models.

First, you should know that the GPS-only name means it has inbuilt GPS, Wifi and Bluetooth but lacks cellular connectivity. The GPS+Cellular name means that it has inbuilt GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth as well as an eSIM that enables cellular connectivity. The Apple Watch communicates with your iPhone primarily via Bluetooth and secondarily via Wifi.

In other words, the difference between the two models is that the GPS+Cellular model comes with an eSIM that enables cellular capabilities. As a result, it can make and receive calls as well as send and receive messages independent of your iPhone. The GPS-only model can do all these but requires your iPhone to be nearby.

And because the cellular model is a standalone smartwatch, it’s priced higher than the GPS-only model.

Apple Watch Series 7 Aluminum vs Stainless steel vs Titanium: Full Specifications Compared

 
 
Product Info
Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm) (Cellular) Full Specifications

Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm) (Cellular) (Aluminum) - Full Specifications, Features and Price

Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm) (Cellular) Full Specifications

Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm) (Cellular) (Stainless steel) - Full Specifications, Features and Price

Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm) (Cellular) Full Specifications

Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm) (Cellular) (Titanium) - Full Specifications, Features and Price

Price $579.00 $749.00 $849.00
ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE
Device name (Aluminum), (Cellular), Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm) (Cellular), (Stainless steel), Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm) (Cellular), (Titanium), Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm)
Device type Standalone/Fitness smartwatch Standalone/Fitness smartwatch Standalone/Fitness smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex Unisex
Release date October, 2021 October, 2021 October, 2021
Predecessor Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch Series 6
Successor
Versions Apple Watch Hermès, Apple Watch Nike+ Apple Watch Hermès, Apple Watch Nike+ Apple Watch Hermès, Apple Watch Nike+
BODY BODY BODY BODY
Dimension 45mm x 38mm x 10.7mm 45mm x 38mm x 10.7mm 45mm x 38mm x 10.7mm
Weight 38.8g (Aluminum) 42.3g (stainless steel) 45.1g (Titanium)
Shape Rectangular Rectangular Rectangular
Case material Aluminum Stainless steel Titanium
Strap material Leather, Silicone Leather, Silicone Leather, Silicone
Bezel material (Ion-X glass -aluminum), Bezeless Bezeless, Sapphire glass Bezeless, Sapphire glass
Strap size 24mm 24mm 24mm
Interchangeable strap 24mm, Yes 24mm, Yes 24mm, Yes
Screen protection Ion-X glass (aluminum) Sapphire glass Sapphire glass
Water resistance IPX7, Yes, 5ATM IPX7, Yes, 5ATM IPX7, Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes Yes Yes
Color (Aluminum: blue, green, red, starlight, and midnight) (Stainless steel: graphite, silver, and gold) (Titanium: space black and titanium)
DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY
Display size 1.9 inches 1.9 inches 1.9 inches
Display type 1000nit, LTPO OLED 1000nit, LTPO OLED 1000nit, LTPO OLED
Display resolution 396 x 484 pixels 396 x 484 pixels 396 x 484 pixels
Pixel density 329.14 PPI 329.14 PPI 329.14 PPI
Always on Yes Yes Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes Yes
Input type 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen
CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth Bluetooth v5.0 Bluetooth v5.0 Bluetooth v5.0
Bluetooth calling Yes Yes Yes
GPS GLONASS, GPS GLONASS, GPS GLONASS, GPS
NFC Yes Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB
ROM 32GB 32GB 32GB
Memory card slot No No No
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE
SIM type e-SIM e-SIM e-SIM
Band
NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS
SMS alert Yes Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes Yes
MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA
Audio mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4
Bluetooth music Yes Yes Yes
Loudspeaker Yes Yes Yes
Microphone Yes Yes Yes
Camera No No No
Radio No No No
SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes
Altimeter Yes Yes Yes
Ambient light Yes Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes Yes
ECG Yes Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes Yes
HRM Yes Yes Yes
Pulse oximeter (SpO2) Yes Yes Yes
Thermometer App App App
Other sensors
ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING
Blood oxygen Yes Yes Yes
Blood Pressure No No No
Calories Yes Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes Yes
ECG tracking Yes Yes Yes
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes Yes Yes
Stress Yes Yes Yes
Incidental fall detection Yes Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking
On-screen workout No No No
Sport modes Yes Yes Yes
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
Battery type Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity
Battery life Regular: up to 18hrs Regular: up to 18hrs Regular: up to 18hrs
Charging type (Fast charging), Charging dock (Fast charging), Charging dock (Fast charging), Charging dock
Charging time 30min-1hr 30min-1hr 30min-1hr
Solar charging No No No
PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM
Chipset Apple S7 (64-bit) Apple S7 (64-bit) Apple S7 (64-bit)
CPU Dual core Dual core Dual core
GPU
Operating system WatchOS 8 WatchOS 8 WatchOS 8
MISC MISC MISC MISC
Companion app Apple Watch App Apple Watch App Apple Watch App
Compatibility iOS 15.0+, iPhone 6s+ iOS 15.0+, iPhone 6s+ iOS 15.0+, iPhone 6s+
Payment system Apple Pay Apple Pay Apple Pay
Voice command Yes, Siri Yes, Siri Yes, Siri
Find my phone Yes Yes Yes
Box content Apple Watch Series 7, Charger, Manual, Straps Apple Watch Series 7, Charger, Manual, Straps Apple Watch Series 7, Charger, Manual, Straps
Price$579.00$749.00$849.00

Apple Watch Aluminium vs Stainless steel vs Titanium – The difference

Availability – GPS model is only available in aluminium material

If you want the cellular model, then you can get it in aluminum, stainless steel and titanium materials. You will not get the GPS model in stainless steel or titanium materials. And like we mentioned earlier, the Watch SE which is a lower-end smartwatch compared to the Watch 7 comes only in aluminum material which is available in GPS-only and GPS-Cellular models.

The cellular model is a standalone smartwatch that allows you to make calls, receive calls, receive notifications and stream Apple music independent of your iPhone. Meanwhile, the GPS model needs your iPhone nearby to access these features. You can read more about the differences between the cellular and GPS models.

Material Strenght and Durability – The Titanium model is the most durable

Of all the available materials, the titanium model is the most durable and this explains why it’s priced higher than the other materials. Titanium is more durable than stainless steel, while stainless steel is more durable than aluminum. Although aluminum is the lightest.

There are lots of contrasting views as to which is the most scratch-resistant out of these three materials, however, according to research, Titanium which is softer scratches more easily than stainless steel. However, you will easily notice the slightest of scratches on a stainless steel frame than on a titanium frame. This is because the brushed appearance of titanium kinda hides mild scratches unlike the polished look of a stainless steel frame that exposes it all no matter how little. Also because of the brushed appearance of titanium, it can easily be stained than stainless steel or aluminum. Nonetheless, you can always, wipe out any minor stain on a titanium frame.

In other words, titanium is more durable than stainless steel and aluminum, but stainless steel has the most scratch-resistant property than titanium and aluminum. Titanium is also less corrosive than stainless steel and aluminum.

So if you are really worried about scratching, go with stainless steel. If you want a more durable and less corrosive frame, go with titanium. And if you want a very lightweight, less durable and cheaper option, go with aluminum.

Moreover, while the aluminum model has an ion-x material protecting the display, the stainless steel and titanium models have sapphire glass for the screen. The ion-X material is very solid and durable but can easily be scratched. You can get a screen protector to prevent this. Meanwhile, the sapphire glass material is highly scratch resistant.

Clearly, the stainless steel and titanium units are more durable than the aluminum model.

Price – Aluminium model is the cheapest

Apple Watch Series 7 cellular vs gps prices
The cellular mode is a standalone smartwatch, but will cost you more
Because aluminum is less durable when compared to stainless steel and titanium, it’s the cheapest. The aluminum model is the base model, it is the cheapest, yet very sturdy. While the stainless steel model is priced higher than the aluminum units, the titanium model is priced higher than the stainless steel units.

Colors – Available Colors for all materials

Aluminum material is available in both GPS-only and cellular models. It comes in 5 colors.
If you choose the aluminum material, then you can get it in blue, green, red, starlight, or midnight color.
Stainless steel material is only available in the cellular model. It comes in three colors
The Titanium model is only available in cellular model, and it comes in two colors.
The stainless steel model is available in graphite, silver, and gold colors. While titanium material is available in space black and titanium colors.

Apple Watch Series 7 – What is New?

Nothing much has changed with the new Watch 7. In fact, we don’t recommend upgrading unless you want to experience everything new. Although there are slight additions that are focused on ease of accessibility and convenience. On this note, the Watch 7 has a larger and brighter display, fast charging, and more.

  1. There is a new QWERTY keyboard
  2. Before now, third-party apps like FlickType and WatchKey allow you type directly on your Apple Watch. However, Apple has added a native QWERTY keyboard on the Watch 7 that makes it extremely easy to reply to messages. This in addition to scribble, dictate and voice reply as well as a larger display give you more control in replying or sending messages.

  3. Apple Watch 7 is available in 41 and 45mm
  4. Unlike the Watch 6 down to Watch 4 which are all available in 44mm and 40mm, the Watch 7 is available in 41 and 45mm. This signifies a drift from the norm that gives you a bigger size in a yet somewhat compact size.

  5. Apple Watch 7 has a larger display
  6. Apple claims the Watch 7 has a 20% larger viewing area than Watch 6 and a 50% larger viewing area than Watch 3. It also has a 40% slimmer border that indicates a very high screen-to-body ratio that allows you to see more at a glance. It’s all about accessibility.

  7. Watch 7 has a brighter display
  8. Apple also claims that the Watch 7 has a brighter display than the Watch 6. In addition to the always-on display, mode makes the watch easy to read even in low light conditions.

  9. Watch 7 is dustproof and more durable
  10. The Watch 7 is rated IP6X which means that it’s dustproof. Its also coated in a crystal cover that Apple claims is 50% thicker than that of the Apple Watch Series 6. In other words, the Watch 7 is a more durably built device.

  11. Watch 7 welcomes fast charging

The Watch 7 has fast charging technology which Apple claims is 33% faster than Apple Watch 6. It should take 45 minutes to charge from zero to 80%, and 8 minutes of charging should enable 8 hours of sleep tracking.

WATCH OS 8 – WHAT’S NEW?

The WatchOS 8 is the newest operating system for Apple watches. The new OS succeeds the WatchOS 7 that was released alongside the Watch Series 6. Similarly, the Watch Series 7 runs on WatchOS 8 out of the box. Don’t worry, Apple says the WatchOS 8 will also be supported on older Apple watches down to Apple Watch Series 3. What this means is that most of the new features thaT come with the new OS will be available on older Apple Watches.

  1. Stay focused
  2. This feature can help you concentrate when you need to. You can choose from preset focus suggestions or sync custom ones you created on your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple devices.

  3. Explore new watch faces
  4. Apple has added new watch faces to its ecosystem. Apps like stopwatch and timer will have a bigger button that makes it easier to access these basic apps.

  5. Enjoy a mindful moment
  6. There is a new Reflect feature in the Mindfulness app that helps you establish a meditation practice by focusing on a short and thought-provoking theme.

  7. Try new workouts
  8. New workouts have been added. You can now choose from the new Pilates and Tai Chi workouts.

  9. Respiratory rate while sleeping
  10. The new OS also adds the ability to track your respiratory rate as you sleep. Knowing your respiratory rate while sleeping can give you greater insight into your sleep quality and overall health.

  11. Keep keys on Apple Watch
  12. You can now store your home key and car key in the Wallet app on your Apple watch. This ensures you’re never without it.

  13. Edit on the fly
  14. The new OS will make it easier to correct errors in the text. You can use the rotating digital crown to scroll precisely to the spot you want to edit. This makes it easy to reply to notifications. And with the new QWERTY keyboard on Watch 7, it is even easier to reply and send messages.

  15. Control your home better in watchOS 8
  16. The home app has been redesigned to make it easier than ever to control the smart devices in your home.

  17. Portrait photos as watch face
  18. In addition to new watch faces, watchOS 8 introduces the ability to set Portrait mode photos as your watch face.

  19. Check volume on the go
  20. watchOS 8 will also allow you see real‑time headphone audio levels in Control Center when you’re listening to media.

  21. Find Devices and Find Items app
  22. In addition to the find my people app that was introduced last year, Apple has added a new Find device and Find items app that makes it easy to locate your misplaced Apple devices.

  23. New hand gestures control
  24. This feature allows you to use the built‑in motion sensors in your Apple watch to answer calls, control an onscreen pointer. A similar feature has been in Galaxy watches.

  25. New Contacts app
  26. Just like Galaxy Watch 4, there’s now a contact app on your Apple Watch. This feature will allow your watch to sync contacts on your iPhone which can be accessed from the watch. Thus, making it easy for you to easily access contacts for calling or texting purposes.

  27. Create Multiple Timers with new Timer app
  28. With the new OS, you can now create multiple timers for different purposes. You can setup multiple timers with the Timer app. You can also use Siri to give each timer a label. This feature comes in handy when you want to time multiple activities at once.

  29. Easily Rediscover significant people, places, and events

Photo highlights from your memories and featured photos on your iPhone now automatically sync to your watch, making it easy to keep in touch with memorable moments.

Apple Watch 3 vs Watch SE vs Watch 7 – which should you buy?

The Apple Watch Series 6 also comes in two sizes; 44mm and 40mm, both of which are available in Cellular and GPS-only models. Each of the two sizes is available in three materials; aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium with prices ranging upwards in that order. The Titanium model which is the most durable is the most expensive of them all, followed by the stainless steel and then the aluminum model which is also the most popular among Apple Watch fans. So which is right for you? The comparison chart below compares the Aluminum vs Stainless steel vs Titanium model of the Apple Watch Series 6 to help you make the best choice.

At a Glance – Apple Watch Series 6 Aluminum vs Stainless steel vs Titanium

Aluminum ModelStainless SteelTitanium
ColorsSilver, space gray, gold, blue and redSilver, graphite (DLC), and gold (PVD)Natural titanium and space black
Weights40mm: 30.5g
44mm: 36.5g
40mm: 39.7g
44mm: 47.1g
40mm: 34.6g
44mm: 41.3g
Dimension40 x 34 x 10.4mm
44 x 38 x 10.4mm
40 x 34 x 10.4mm
44 x 38 x 10.4mm
40 x 34 x 10.4mm
44 x 38 x 10.4mm
Apple Watch NikeYes, Space gray colorNoNo
Apple Watch HermèsNoSpace blackNo

Apple Watch 3 vs Watch SE vs Watch 7 – which should you buy?

The aluminum model is a popular choice because it’s the cheapest. It’s available in both cellular or GPS models, unlike the stainless steel and titanium materials that are only available in the cellular model. Nevertheless, if you want a more durable device and the standalone capability of the cellular model, then stainless steel is a great choice.

And if you want the most durable of them all, the titanium model is the best Apple Watch. It’s the most durable. This is the kinda watch you want to keep as an artifact and pass it from generation to generation. However, it will cost you more money.

If you’re on a very tight budget, the Apple Watch SE is available in GPS-only and GPS+Cellular models. However, as you can see in the table above it has fewer features when compared to Apple Watch 7.

FAQs

Is aluminum, stainless steel or titanium better for Apple Watch?

In simple words, the titanium Apple Watch is the best choice. It’s the most durable and least corrosive. It however has the highest price tag. Meanwhile, the stainless steel unit is the least prone to scratch but not as durable as titanium. While the aluminum unit is the least durable but weighs the least.

So, the titanium Apple Watch is the best if you have the budget.

Does aluminum Apple Watch scratch easily?

The Apple Watch isn’t prone to scratch unless when it comes it comes in contact with a hard and sharp physical object. The stainless steel Apple Watch is highly scratch resistant followed by the Titanium unit and lastly the aluminum unit.

Does Apple Watch 7 need screen protector?

The Apple Watch Series 7 is available in three materials; aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. While the aluminum unit comes with an Ion-X screen, the stainless steel and titanium units have a sapphire screen.

The Ion-X screen is prone to scratches while the sapphire glass is highly scratch resistant. In other words, we recommend you get a screen protector if you own the aluminum Apple watch as it can easily be scratched especially if you wear it too often or you’re involved in rigorous activities.

Apple Watch Series 7 Prices