Can you tell the difference between Apple Watch Series 4 (44mm) and Series 3 (42mm)?

Apple Watch 4 vs. Apple Watch 3 - side by side

What's the difference between Apple Watch Series 4 (44mm) and Series 3 (42mm)?

I was not sure, so I decided to spend £399 to check it.

Apple products tend to provoke criticism at first sight and then, after a while, you buy them.
A smartphone with no 3G? a tablet without a camera? Silly looking airpods? A notch? Let’s get them all.

And now there’s the new Apple Watch.

While the 3rd generation added some cool new sensors - the 4th generation adds… well, 2mm and a slightly modified design.
Apple tries to convince us that it’s a "redesigned/reimagined" product, but looking at the reviews, I wasn’t quite sure there are significant differences between the models.

So after a lot of hesitations, I decided to walk into the Apple store during my recent travel to London.
I knew it might end up with me buying something I don’t need, but I just couldn’t resist it.

The new Apple Watch was there.
It was staring at me as I anticipated...
So beautiful, so much bigger (+2mm!!!) than the old Watch (Series 3) I own, and so… re-engineered…

It was not an easy battle.

We struggled, me and him, but to make a long story short - he won.

10 minutes after, I was walking out of the store with a new Apple Watch Series 4.
I continued to the nearest Lego store to buy some stuff for my kids (and to ease my conscience) and went back to the hotel to unbox this rare piece of beauty.

So, what’s changed?

So the first thing you’d notice is that the new (so much better) Apple Watch comes with a cute little coat-style cover.
[Standing ovation!]

“Oh my god this product is by far more superior than my useless, 11 months old, series 3 [vomiting…] Watch that could barely show the time!”

Unboxing the watch, I couldn’t really explain myself WHY I had to replace the perfectly fine model I had with this almost identical twin model.

The only 2 reasons I could possibly think of were the size of the device and the screen (which, to be honest, are basically the same reasons told differently…).

Reason #1: the size

I guess the Apple Watch has always been a little too small for my big sexy muscular (beyond imagination) arm, and if there was a 55mm model I probably would have liked it even better, but hey, if Apple says it needs to be 44mm then it needs to be 44mm and not 1mm more.

In addition, I really liked the extra rounded look which seems like at least 6% more rounded than the old models and kind of makes the old models look 6% older and basically look like they were taken from the ’80s
“That’s 2mm more watch! That’s insane! That’s totally re-imagined!”
I wonder if people will be able to tell the difference.
I know I couldn’t notice the size change watching so many reviews, so here are a few images that may (or may not) demonstrate the difference between the 2 models (Apple Watch Series 4 44mm vs. series 3 42mm [and yes, I pasted the long annoying text just for SEO purposes]).

Apple Watch 44mm vs. Apple Watch 42mm - side by side

Apple Watch 44mm vs. Apple Watch 42mm - Comparison

Comparing Apple Watch Series 4 44mm to Series 3 42mm
(Excuse my lovely wooden hotel-style background)

I won’t tell you which one is the new one so you will have to follow your instincts (and the dirt on the old one).

And, I won’t tell my wife about it either... let’s see how long it takes before she freaks out. [and she has one of those ancient series 3 models. I can’t believe people still have those…].

Quant - a fitness dashboard for Apple Watch

Reason #2: the screen

Apple is so genius.
When the first generation of the Apple Watch was released, I couldn’t understand the dark theme it had, which was (to my humble opinion at least) very different than Apple’s usual UI philosophy.
Back then I thought it was because of the poor battery life, but now I think it was more because they wanted to hide the fact that so much of that small unimpressive screen is actually taken by the bezels!
Whenever I tried using a photo as my watch background I would get so uncomfortable with those gigantic black bezels that I would immediately change it back to one of the default black themes. The bezels were just too big compared to the screen.

With this new version of the watch, the bezels are not completely removed but they just don’t stand out as before.
That’s a small (yes, I know, 30% larger or something like that) yet a meaningful change which I think makes the whole product look sexier. The notifications look nicer, the rounded edges look nicer - it’s a nicer product.

Some more photos to pass the time: 
Apple Watch 44mm vs. 42mm - can you tell the difference?

Differences between Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 3

AppleWatch 3 vs. AppleWatch 4 (44mm)

Bonus reason: the new digital crown

Yep, I know the name is stupid, and I was never a big fan of this navigation system since it was never accurate enough and definitely not pleasing, but I have to admit that the new haptic feedback changes the scrolling experience dramatically.
It makes scrolling much more accurate, and seriously enjoyable.
Sometimes the best way to address a product problem is by turning a problem into a delightful moment, and I think Apple finally nailed the crown functionality with this version of the Watch.

Related: this is why 3DTouch is such a failure.

So there you have it

Not even close to being a decent review of the new Apple Watch, but instead, a useless photo collection of the two models: 42mm vs. the 44mm, side by side, and my random thoughts about why I even bothered to upgrade…

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