Another 38 vs 42 post

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by predation, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. predation macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2013

    I have a smaller wrist, but I keep getting nagged about battery life and screen real estate.

    I initially settled on 38 but reading about a much better experience with the real estate of the 42 and battery life (with lte?) I'm having second thoughts.

    Don't want to feel like I'm wearing an ankle tracking device.

    I know it's easy to just return and swap, but wants some current users opinions.

  2. SamGabbay macrumors 6502a


    Oct 15, 2011
    Have you tried on with pics to see? Best way to judge. Also, if you have a smaller wrist I’d say lean towards the 38mm. The only thing you’re going to compromise on is screen real estate. Apple does a great job with managing battery.

  3. joshen macrumors regular


    May 27, 2015
    If you feel like the 38 looks better on your wrist then definitely go with that
  4. edhchoe macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2011
    I have 155mm wrist and 42mm is what I have. The 42mm watch looks funny on my wrist with stock 42mm silicone straps because the silicone straps stick out farther than the shape of my wrist. I bought aftermarket straps and the watch fits better.

    These work well and wrap around the wrist much better.

    And these in 38mm also work well on my 42mm AW3.
  5. Cashmonee macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2006
  6. predation thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2013
    Thanks for the feed back. I've been virtually been trying them via the app. They both look manageable, but the 42 does looks likes big puck on my wrist.

    Will have to find some time to stop by the store.
  7. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    I think the biggest thing is just to find what's more comfortable. If you feel the 38 mm looks more appealing on your wrist, but the trade-off is it's a smaller display and battery. Even if you purchase the 38 or 42 mm, you should have 14 days For a return policy to exchange it for one or the other depending where you purchased it from.
  8. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    I don't think you'd have any problem with battery on 38mm S3. Sure, the 42mm will always have a bigger battery, but whichever's more comfortable, go with that.
  9. airjay75 macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2014
    Be careful with the app. I had seen both sizes in person before, but that is what I was using to make my decision this past couple of weeks. While the app size is accurate, they don’t effectively convey the curvature of the sides which make both sizes feel smaller on your wrist (to me at least). I was almost certain the 42 was going to be too big but once I got my 38 on launch day, my immediate reaction was that it seemed a little too small. I returned it, got the 42 and am much happier. For the few minutes I had the 38, the screen size was fine for me in terms of using it, I just thought it looked too small on my wrist. My wrist is in the smaller side - with the 42 mm sport band, I’m using the second smallest band notch, but I’m much happier with the 42. I can’t comment on battery life differences, but I know personally, if the 38 looked better, I wouldn’t have cared about the difference too much.
  10. pojo1806 macrumors 68000

    Feb 6, 2013
    United Kingdom
    I've always had the 42mm and never tried the 38mm before, tired it out at weekend before I bought one and realised the 42mm looked ridiculous on my wrist. I went for the 38mm and it looks so much better.

    You need to try them on.
  11. ashleyman macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2017
    I originally bought a 38 but then I took the time and went to a store and tried them on. The 38 was just minuscule on my wrist so I swapped and got a 42. I was worried it would be a bit much but it's really no different to the no date sub I was wearing before.

    The top band where it feeds under does stick out a bit, but I have to have it loose otherwise it's too hot and itchy. Other than that, very happy!
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    When I was doing my initial research years ago for the original AW, I found many comments regarding the 38mm size looked/felt as big as the 42mm but yet had a smaller battery. To put it another way, the 42mm isn't going to feel ginormous on your wrist, and the larger battery is a huge plus imo. I think you'll be better off with the 42mm
  13. bobob macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2008
    Has any website actually run an accurate scientific battery life comparison test between the 38 and 42?
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I can't tell you at this point, they may have but I just don't remember. I recall seeing reviews from iMore and others and how they felt the size difference on the wrist was negligible and given the 42mm offers a larger batter, you might as well get that.
  15. spiritedcharm macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2012
    I’ve owned the 42 of both the series 0 and series 2. This is something I agonized over when I bought both of my previous watches, so I totally get the conflict - I couldn’t get past the whole “bigger is better” thing. This time I decided to “downsize” to the 38 with the series 3 and I’m very happy with that decision. It looks SO much better on my average size female wrist than the 42 did. It’s also lighter and I don’t even notice the screen difference - NOT A BIT. I have old eyes and have no problem seeing the screen.
  16. DGGoingUphill macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2015
    I had a 38 for two years and just went to 42. I have skinny wrists. The 38 fit perfectly, but the 42 doesn’t look at all out of place, and it’s a revelation in terms of use. Having had both, I believe they designed the watch to be 42 and added the 38 after. Everything is just more manageable and a proper size. I find the silicon strap to have a bit of air gap with the 42, while it contoured nicely with the 38, but with my sport loop, no gap. So, I use the silicon for heavy workouts and the sport loop for everything else.
  17. predation thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2013
    Yeah the gaps are what I don't like. But it seems that straps do help. But man. That's another expenditure.
  18. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    My wife decided on the 42 for the larger display. It doesn’t look too large on her wrist. She favors function over style.
  19. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2007
    I have the S0 in 42mm. Hated the thing so much I stopped wearing it 6 months after launch and never thought about it again. Part of the reason I disliked it was that it felt stupidly large on my wrist and just looked rediculously nerdy. I got the 38mm S3 and seem to enjoy it more. It’s more responsive and for what the Watch really is you don’t need a larger screen. Go with what’s comfortable to you. For screen real estate grab your phone or iPad.
  20. wesselya macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2012
    I think this is the same iPhone vs iPhone plus. I can't understand the people who don't want a plus and they don't understand why I have a big phone. Yes it does all come down to real estate. I would appreciate not be attacked by everyone about the plus having better battery and camera but I am talking about screen size only.

    I have small wrists for a man but I would never get a 38. Face is small enough because it's a Watch and not a phone but I don't see me wearing a 38mm.

    They say it's personal preference but most women go with 38 or 42mm and most men go with 42mm with some minority doing a 38.
  21. predation thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2013
    Agreed. Personal preference. Will be going to Apple Store to try out the watches with different bands and case sizes.
  22. wesselya macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Good luck ;). Just remember REAL ESTATE . Kidding. I sold my watch and did run with my wife's 38mm. It wasn't horrible. It also depends on the use but if you are going to read a lot of emails and text messages with length you might want to consider 42mm. Same as my plus. I love websites on it safari is amazing and even macrumors. If you are mostly going to use it for running or activity I don't think it matters much.

    I don't get too many notification or txt. I don't have twitter or Facebook or Snapchat. But if I did the more reason to get a 42mm.

    Love my 42mm and miss it. Still thinking about SS vs aluminum. I most likely will get the Nike version. Mostly because of resale value as I will be selling my watches every time the new model comes out. :/

    I love you ceramic but can't commit.
  23. predation thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2013
    Yup. That ceramic just looks sick.
    This will be my first AW so will go with aluminum + lte(for the ceramic back).
    And if things go well over a year, then ss time.
    Hopefully by the next version, lte will be much better, battery life better.
  24. BlueBook macrumors newbie


    Jun 22, 2017
    Series 2 38mm aluminum here. Works fine with my slender wrists and skinny fingers. Never had a problem with battery life, but I’m probably not a high-power user compared to some.
  25. FoxD macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2010
    Man, slender wrists here. Had the 42 for years and have the 38 now. Feels so much better. Doesn't feel like a big clunker anymore.

    Plus the S3 is super fast and much more vibrant compared to the original. Love Siri on it and making calls without iPhone while exercising. Works great.

    Try both and see. Also, text looks like it has more resolution on the 38. Not sure why but it does look better imo. Oh, 7 Plus and prefer the bigger phone. Getting X for sure.

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