Since 2015, Apple has released various models of its own quality addition to the smartwatch arena, each of which have proved to be extremely popular. In fact, when the very first Apple Watch was introduced to the market, it quickly became the best-selling wearable device of its time, with over 4 million models sold in the second quarter of 2015.
Over the past 3 years, the Apple Watch 1st generation has been improved and updated through the release of four additional series – the Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 and Series 4. Each launch of a new Apple Watch generation increases the anticipation amongst technology fanatics, as they look forward to what’s in store with the latest model, as well as how it compares to its predecessors.
Whether you’re an Apple Watch enthusiast with an interest in how the five different generations differ, or if you’re new to the world of the Apple Watch and thinking about investing in these smartwatches for the very first time, we’re here to help.
In this post, we’ve provided an Apple Watch comparison, to detail the differences between each series and help you determine which Apple Watch is best for you.
The Apple Watch over time
The Apple Watch series started off pretty spectacularly, only to grow and develop even more over time. Each generation is unique to the other, with the various features either being adapted or added to.
As people will use the Apple Watch in different ways, our Apple Watch comparison guide will help you to identify the differences between each series, to discover which one fits best with your lifestyle.
1st Generation Apple Watch
Also known as ‘Series 0’, the very first Apple Watch was launched in 2015 and was the first new product development from the global company in five years.
Apple enthusiasts were impressed by the look and feel of the first Apple Watch, which had a similar interface to the original iPhone design. Experts and enthusiasts were ecstatic about this brand new device to the smartwatch market, which offered a much more fashionable and sophisticated look to other wearable technology on the market.
Rather than being an add on for the iPhone, it soon became very apparent that the Apple Watch was a product in its own right, particularly with the option to swap the bands to suit personal style preferences.
Innovation wise, the Apple Watch was the first product from all Apple product lineups to introduce ‘force recognition technology’. Not only can you tap and swipe with your fingers, users could physically press the display and the pressure would be recognised and offer further options (if available) within the user interface. This feature made the watch more usable and interactive, especially for such a small device. This paved the way for third party developers to create apps for the watch, such as Citymapper, WaterMinder and Shazam.
Apple Watch Series 2 (and an updated Series 1)
Apple Watch Series 2 added a dual core chipset which increased the load speed. This ensured that users would be able to complete their task on the Apple Watch, rather than getting frustrated waiting for it to load, and subsequently reverting back to their iPhone.
This was joined by the addition of water resistancy for depths of up to 50 meters. Users could now explore a variety of swimming based workouts, and with built in GPS, larger battery and upgraded bluetooth, Apple Watch began to truly support a more active lifestyle.
Also, with the introduction of the 1000 nit display, the display was brighter and beautiful, best appreciated on a midday hike when the sun would normally obstruct the display.
Series 2 was also released alongside an improvement of the original, Series 1. The speed of the dual core chips and bluetooth 4.2 allowed customers to enjoy a more affordable Apple Watch without compromising on performance.
Both releases were manufactured out of strengthened aluminium, a vast improvement to the first generation. As wearables are likely to incur knocks and bumps from daily wear, this improvement was welcomed by Apple Watch enthusiasts.
Whatever series of Apple Watch you own, it’s an investment worth protecting. Take a look at our range of robust watch cases which are perfect for keeping your Apple Watch safe from bumps and scratches.
Apple Watch Series 3
In 2017, another step forward in wearable technology was taken. Apple’s vision for the Apple Watch was to create a standalone device which didn’t need to be accompanied by an iPhone to function.
With the addition of cellular connectivity (independent access to 4G, phone calls and SMS), the wearer could leave their device at home and have all the access they need to emails, calls and even stream the 50 million songs available on Apple Music.
Improved barometric altimeter and GPS allowed for even more accurate fitness and location tracking. Users could truly take advantage of apps such as Snoww (ski and snowboard tracker) and ViewRanger (Hiking tracker and guide).
Apple Watch Series 4
2018 was a big year for the Apple Watch – Series 4 was known as the first super cycle upgrade since the first generation. The 5th iteration of Apple Watch is fast and beautiful to look at. It came with a larger edge to display which appeared to melt into the holder, which was in fact thinner and more seamless in design than ever before.
Series 4 was a breakthrough in wearable health technology with the inclusion of an ECG. This made the Apple Watch Series 4 the first FDA approved product available for consumers to purchase, including an ECG (available at a later date in the UK via software update).
Now we have explored the difference between the Apple Watch generations, which model is right for you?
Apple Watch Series 0 (1st Generation):
- Cheapest as it’s the oldest model, although availability is limited at third party retailers and unavailable at Apple. Best model for buying second hand if you want find a bargain.
- Great for collectors – first generations of anything Apple is valuable and will be worth something one day.
- Speed and battery life is relatively substandard, especially with second hand watches. If you are using the Apple Watch just for checking notifications and the occasional jog, this might be great for you.
Apple Watch Series 1:
- As with the first generation Apple Watch, this model is affordable, but offers a better experience.
- Still supports the latest software, giving you the most features for your money.
Apple Watch Series 2:
- The Series 2 is great for giving a helping hand in your active life. With 50 meters water resistance and improved GPS, moderate exercise tracking is covered.
- As the Series 2 is now discontinued, a few third party retailers may stock it, and you will see some popping up on platforms like eBay for a really good price.
Apple Watch Series 3:
- If you want to rely on your Apple Watch for both activity and business needs, Series 3 might be the one for you. The addition of LTE means you can leave your phone at home or at the office, and get all your exercise done without missing a notification (Data plan required, available at EE and Vodafone exclusively).
- Series 3 is available at Apple and other retailers. Prices have been reduced since the release of later models. Great performance and features for a reasonable price.
Apple Watch Series 4:
- The latest and greatest model of Apple Watch, offering a significant and noticeable redesign since the original.
- New additions of Heart monitoring technology are perfect for the health conscious.
- As the Series 4 is the latest version, you can expect prices to be higher. But with the addition of the new display sizes, the stunning design makes for an incredible experience.