Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) vs (42mm) – What’s the Difference?

If you find this post helpful, please share it.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is available in two sizes; 38mm and 42mm, these two have the same features but differ in the respective sizes which sort to give iWatch lovers the option to choose based on wrist size. The Watch 3 is an entry-level option for Apple watch lovers and iPhone users who have a tight budget. Despite lacking some features present in the Watch 7, it’s an outstanding smartwatch with a very compact and lightweight design. It’s also equipped with a lot of features but lacks incidental fall detection, blood oxygen measurement, a compass, and an always-on display. We’re comparing the full specifications, features, and prices of the Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) vs (42mm) to find out the differences.

The 38mm unit is more compact but has a smaller display size

Note that Apple has discontinued the Cellular model of the Watch 3 and currently produces, the Watch 7, Watch SE, and Watch 3. While the Watch 7 is available in aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium, the Watch SE and Watch 3 are only available in aluminum. Moreover, while the Watch 7 and Watch SE are available in Cellular and GPS-only units, the Watch 3 is only available in the GPS model.

Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) vs (42mm): Specifications Compared

 
 
Product Info
Apple watch series 3 specs

Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) Specifications, Features and Price

Apple watch series 3 (42mm) specs

Apple Watch Series 3 (42mm) Specifications, Features and Price

Price - -
ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE
Device name Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) Apple Watch Series 3 (42mm)
Device type Standalone/Fitness smartwatch Standalone/Fitness smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex
Release date September, 2017 September, 2017
Predecessor Apple Watch Series 2 Apple Watch Series 2
Successor Apple Watch Series 4 Apple Watch Series 4
Versions Apple Watch Nike+ Apple Watch Nike+
BODY BODY BODY
Dimension 38.6 x 33.3 x 11.4 mm 42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
Weight 52.8 grams
Shape Rectangular Rectangular
Case material Aluminum Aluminum
Strap material Elastomer Elastomer
Bezel material Bezeless Bezeless
Strap size 22 mm 140 – 180mm (small), 180 -220mm (big)
Screen protection Ion-X glass (aluminum) Ion-X glass (aluminum)
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes Yes, recommended
Color Black, White Black, White
DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY
Display size 1.5 inch 1.65 inch
Display type 1000nit, OLED 1000nit, OLED
Display resolution 272 x 340 pixels 312 x 390 pixels
Pixel density
Always on No No
Custom watch face Yes Yes
Input type 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen
CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth v4.2 LE Yes, Bluetooth v4.2 LE
Bluetooth calling Yes Yes
GPS GLONASS, GPS GLONASS, GPS
NFC Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY
RAM 0.768GB 0.768GB
ROM 16GB (GPS + Cellular), 8GB (GPS) 16GB (GPS + Cellular), 8GB (GPS)
Memory card slot No No
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
Technology None None
SIM type None
Band
NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS
SMS alert Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes
MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA
Audio mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4
Bluetooth music Yes Yes
Loudspeaker Yes Yes
Microphone Yes Yes
Camera No No
Radio No No
SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Altimeter Yes Yes
Ambient light Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes
Compass No No
ECG No No
Gyroscope Yes Yes
HRM Yes Yes
Pulse oximeter (SpO2) No No
Thermometer No No
Other sensors
ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING
Blood oxygen No No
Blood Pressure No No
Calories Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes
ECG tracking No No
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes Yes
Stress Yes Yes
Incidental fall detection No No
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking No No
On-screen workout No No
Sport modes Yes Yes
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
Battery type Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity 279mAh 279mAh
Battery life Regular: up to 18hrs Regular: up to 18hrs
Charging type Charging dock Charging dock
Charging time 1-2 hours 1-2 hours
Solar charging No No
PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM
Chipset Apple S3 Apple S3
CPU Dual core Dual core
GPU
Operating system WatchOS 4 WatchOS 4
MISC MISC MISC
Companion app Apple Watch App Apple Watch App
Compatibility iOS 12.0+ iOS 12.0+
Payment system Apple Pay Apple Pay
Interchangeable strap 22 mm, Yes 24mm, Yes
Voice command Yes, Siri Yes, Siri
Find my phone Yes Yes
Box content Apple Watch Series 3, Charger, Manual, Straps Apple Watch Series 3, Charger, Manual, Straps
Price

Difference Between Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) vs (42mm)

Both the 38mm and 42mm units of the Watch 3 have the same features. Each of these two comes in an aluminum frame with an Ion-X screen and fluoroelastomer strap. Beyond the build, both sizes are equipped with same number of sensors that enables the watch to track steps, calories, sleep, heart rate, and more. The Watch 3 also has an inbuilt GPS that enables it to track your routes and locations when you go for outdoor workouts.

The Watch 3 has an 8GB storage capacity that will allow you to store music onboard the watch which you can listen to without carrying your phone. It also has a microphone and speaker that allows you to make and receive calls directly from the watch when your phone is nearby. It’s also about 18hrs battery life for both sizes.

The difference between the 38mm and 42mm comes in the dimension, display size, and price. Beyond these, both have the same features.

  1. The 38mm unit is a more compact smartwatch than the 42mm unit. It also weighs a little less than the 42mm unit. Nonetheless, the 42mm is still a very compact and comfortable to wear smartwatch. The strap size also differs, it’s 22mm for the 38mm unit and 24mm wide straps for the 42mm unit. Both sizes have the same 11.4mm thickness.
  2. While the 42mm unit has a 1.65 inches display size, the 38mm unit has a 1.5 inches display size. In other words, the 42mm unit has a bigger display that allows you to see a little more at a glance.
  3. Because the 42mm unit has a bigger display size, its priced a little higher than the 38mm size.

Which Size is Right For You?

Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm) vs (42mm)
The 42mm unit has a bigger display size. (Source: Apple)

The right size for you is totally dependent on your wrist size. The 38mm unit being more compact will make a great choice for individuals with a slim to moderate sized wrist, while the 42mm unit will make a suitable fit for individuals with moderate to fat wrist.

Prices