Apple Bands (Fluoroelastomer) vs 3rd Party (Silicone)

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by MichaelMidnight, May 24, 2017.

  1. MichaelMidnight macrumors regular

    MichaelMidnight

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    Hey All!

    I'm a newly convert to the Apple Watch, and I'm loving it. Loving it to the point that I'm going crazy for wanting bands left and right. But my main question that I'm wondering is, what's the main difference between the Apple Watch sport bands that are made from Fluoroelastomer and are $50 versus the 3rd party ones from say Amazon that are cheaper but made from Silicone? Does one pick up lint more than the other? Better in water? Last longer?

    Thanks for any thoughts on this matter!
     
  2. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #2
    Can't speak for silicone, but my fluoroelastomer band picks up no lint at all, washes off just fine, and looks as nice today as it did when I got it in August 2015.
     
  3. Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #3

    Fluoroelastomer comes from the two words "fluorinated" and "elastomer". Fluoroelastomers are famous for their durability resistance to heat, oils, solvents and fuels. They are often used for fuel-distribution systems or for high-quality lab gloves. It is not a material that will stretch out easily, get damaged by extreme heats, or get deformed by being excessively sweat on. It is also much less prone to induce any allergic reactions than, for example, latex."

    Where as rubber, doesn't have the consistency and durability as Flueroastamer does. Flueroastamer easily is the preference For fitness for reasons stated above
     
  4. steve217 macrumors regular

    steve217

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Location:
    NC
    #4
    I kept thinking of "flubber" when I read this.
     
  5. MichaelMidnight thread starter macrumors regular

    MichaelMidnight

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Then I guess my next thing to ask, is it worth it to go with the cheaper, silicone, versions?
     
  6. Ixidor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2016
    #6
    As far as sports bands are concerned, I bought one third party knock off Nike band and absolutely hated it. It had a very strong smell and felt very flimsy. As for Apple's official sport bands, I never had any issues with those.

    Third party knockoffs always compromise on something (which is why the prices are cheap) so it is a matter of how much of these compromises you can tolerate.

    Personally, I bought lots of third party knockoff bands because they were cheap and I wanted different styles. But since I wear the watch everyday, these "compromises" continually bug me. Eventually, I started buying official Apple Watch bands. I never felt that the official bands were a waste of money because I still wear them to this day.

    Since then however, I've stopped wearing most of the third party bands that I bought previously, so ironically, despite being cheaper, the third party bands were the ones that were a huge waste of money.

    This applies to knock offs where they try to imitate Apple bands at a cheap price. Doesn't apply to genuine third party manufacturers that sell original designs. Most of those have excellent quality.
     
  7. dwfaust, May 24, 2017
    Last edited: May 25, 2017

    dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    I am here => [•]
    #7
    I have a couple of each. In my experience, the silicone bands do, in fact, pick up more lint than the Apple fluorelastimer bands - by a large degree. Also, I find the silicone bands to be substantially softer and and they tend to be more stretchy... As far as comfort, I really don't have a preference... both fit well and neither allows the sweaty buildup between the band and my wrist dissipate very well.

    Now that it's summer-type weather in the Sonoran desert, I wear only the woven nylon bands or my Milanese loop.
     
  8. CarlJ, May 24, 2017
    Last edited: May 24, 2017

    CarlJ macrumors 68000

    CarlJ

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    #8
    The Apple ones are expensive. The Apple ones are uniformly very good. The knockoffs are cheaper, but there's not a lot of uniformity - they vary from "pretty good" all the way to "mediocre" and you frequently can't tell what you're getting, as the sellers will all tell you their bands are great, and many knockoff sellers will use Apple's pictures of the Apple bands, rather than pictures of what they'll actually send you. And the seller you bought from two months ago may or may not still be there (and selling the same product) two months from now. Some folks here and/or on Amazon reviews will tell you that (at least some of) the knockoffs are "just like" Apple's bands, but you'll find people have widely differing definitions of the concept of "equal" (all the way from "roughly the same size and shape" all the way up to "precisely identical down to the subatomic level").

    I tend to think of it as, one part of what you're buying by paying the higher price for the Apple bands is to remove that variability from the equation.

    Try a knockoff or two, but expect that: a) you may not like them as much, and b) the sample you take may not be representative (if you do hit one you like you might not be able to get more just like it). Or skip the hassle and stick with the more expensive Apple bands. It's kind of a personality test question - are you one to enjoy the thrill of the hunt for a bargain?

    FWIW, I have a couple silicone sport band knockoffs that are meh, a perforated (Nike sport band) knockoff (from before Apple sold them separately) that's really pretty decent, and a _red_ leather loop knockoff that I'd say is perhaps 80% as good as my real black leather loop, even though it was one-fifth the price (I tend to put that one in the winning the lottery / getting struck by lightning category).
     
  9. MichaelMidnight thread starter macrumors regular

    MichaelMidnight

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Hey everyone! Thanks for all the advice! It really does help!
     
  10. bluespark macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    This is the main factor for me. Watch bands are supposed to look good, and they won't if they are picking up tons of lint. Also, I like the stretch-resistance of Apple's bands and the sophistication of their color choices. For me, it's no contest in favor of Apple's bands, but maybe I'd feel differently if I used the Watch only for sports.
     
  11. WarHeadz macrumors 6502a

    WarHeadz

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    I agree with this 100%.

    OP, I have lots of sport bands. 6 knockoff ones, 3 genuine ones. The knockoffs end up sitting in a drawer and I wear the genuine ones daily. The silicone ones match the appearance of the genuine ones almost flawlessly, but they feel like crap and they do attract a lot of lint. I think they're fine if you just want a certain color to match one particular outfit and don't plan on wearing it more than once a month. For example, I wouldn't wear a yellow sport band enough to justify paying $50 for one from Apple, but very rarely I wear an outfit that the yellow band goes perfectly with and that's when the knockoff comes in use. For $5, sometimes its a nice option to have. I also keep a knockoff sport band in the glove compartment in my car as a backup just in case for some reason I have a band fail on me when I'm out.
     
  12. dgdosen macrumors 65816

    dgdosen

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #12
    As far as knockoffs - I'm finding they get shiny in uneven places pretty quickly... I'm pretty hard on the bands, but I do think the apple bands wear pretty evenly.
     
  13. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    #13
    I've read somewhere here there are knock-offs on Amazon that are of better quality, closer to Apple's Sport Band. Personally I doubt it, thinking there can't be too many factories churning these out.

    I've bought a Yellow one, but while I like the colour, it's a great dust magnet. My original light green has held up pretty well since launch, and I've since added the Orange and the Black/Lime Nike band. I don't have many issues where the 3rd party stuff is metal or leather or nylon, just the silicone ones.

    If everyone keeps saying how much Apple's huge margins are with their Sport Bands, I keep wondering why there aren't knock-offs that use the same fluoroelastomer as well.
     
  14. Zaft macrumors 68040

    Zaft

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    The only issue with the 3rd party silicone bands is their attraction to dust. They get filthy rather quick.
     
  15. CarlJ macrumors 68000

    CarlJ

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    #15
    Many of them are also thinner than the Apple ones (you may prefer, dislike, or not notice the affect); if this thinness extends into the bits that connect the band to the watch, it may not feel quite as secure.
     
  16. MacGizmo macrumors 6502a

    MacGizmo

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Arizona
    #16
    I just ordered a handful of $12-$14 bands off Amazon. Total $49. I'll be happy if I get a year out of them. But my expectations are low, so I won't be too disappointed if they suck.
     
  17. WarHeadz macrumors 6502a

    WarHeadz

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #17
    You overpaid. Those silicone bands are worth about $5 each
     
  18. MacGizmo macrumors 6502a

    MacGizmo

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Arizona
    #18
    "Worth" is a matter of opinion. If you can point me to the exact same bands for $5, I'll be happy to cancel the order and order the ones you link to.
     
  19. dalericg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    #19
     
  20. WarHeadz, Jul 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017

    WarHeadz macrumors 6502a

    WarHeadz

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #20
    Sorry for the delayed response, hopefully you're within your return period.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Replacement...m-38mm-/381429746446?var=&hash=item977a03c962

    They're $7 now. Used to be less. I've ordered quite a few from this seller, never had problems.
     
  21. MacGizmo macrumors 6502a

    MacGizmo

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Arizona
    #21
    Well I'm past the return period. And I would like to try the ones you linked to, but I refuse to use eBay for anything. Ever. Luckily, the ones I got are holding up great after a month. I'm not having any issues some mentioned in the comments on Amazon about being "lint collectors" and whatnot.

    I'm going to keep an eye open for that brand you linked to though. If they ever appear on a site other than eBay, I'll grab a few.

    My distain for eBay stems from a sale of a camera years ago. I sent the camera, but the guy (who signed for it, the stupid idiot) claimed he never received it and I didn't get my money right away. It took nearly that entire month to argue and send (several times) scans of the signature verification to eBay. So while I finally got my money, it was such a mental drain on me that I just won't ever use them again.
     
  22. WarHeadz macrumors 6502a

    WarHeadz

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #22
    Oh I will never sell on there. Screw that, all my used iPhone, iPad, and Watch sales go through Swappa. However, as a buyer you always have the upper hand on eBay, I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them.
     

Share This Page