Apple Watch Series 2 vs 3

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by ghsNick, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. ghsNick macrumors 68030

    ghsNick

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    #1
    So I plan on getting some Apple Watches as gifts for Christmas and I wanted to know what the difference is between Series 2 and 3 (non LTE) is?

    Best Buy has the Series 2 on sale for $229 (38mm) and $259 (42mm) and I’m not seeing too many differences compared with the Series 3 (non LTE) other than -

    - Series 3 has faster processor
    - Series 3 Siri can talk
    - Series 3 has Barometric altimeter

    Are there any other differences? If not, Series 2 seems like a winner to me (with the sale) since I’d be saving $200 since I’m buying 2 gifts.

    Also - does Series 2 have a “stronger” backside/heart rate monitor than Series 3 (non LTE)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. squirrrl macrumors 6502a

    squirrrl

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #2
    Yes... Series 2 has ceramic back while the GPS model of Series 3 is composite (plastic).

    The composite back seems to become scratched up but I still haven't heard of any evidence that it affects the heart rate monitoring.
     
  3. turbineseaplane macrumors 601

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #3
    To me this is the main question...
    Money saving aside, it sounds like people here on the forum feel the CPU jump in speed from s2 to s3 finally took the watch experience over the hump and made it far more enjoyable to use.

    If that's really the case, it's hard to advocate getting the S2 at any price, as "actually enjoying using it" matters a lot.
     
  4. BillGates1969 macrumors 6502

    BillGates1969

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Location:
    Bournemouth
    #4
    Just upgraded from S2 to S3. Couldn't be happier. I notice the speed and the LTE...well it's perfect. I said on another thread, this is the watch I wanted on April 2015.

    I didn't think i would notice the speed. I went from a S0 to S2 and thought it was ok, but to me the difference between the S2 and S3 is greater than S0 - S2.

    This is the first Apple product for years that I have felt like I got value for money :)
     
  5. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #5
    I see the Series 2 Apple Watch being fully loaded and having almost the same capabilities as the Series 3, with the exception of audible Siri and LTE, etc. Quite a few members have found heavily discounted sale prices on the Series 2 and it's still a great watch by all means, which is still noteably quicker over the first Gen Watch.

    As Someone else mentioned in a previous thread, to appreciate the speed differences, a lot of it depends on what you're doing with the Apple Watch. If you're using more applications that require Loading more data, the speed increases are fairly notable when comparing the first generation Apple Watch. But in terms of enjoying the actual watch experience, I would say that's depending on how someone is using it.
     
  6. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #6
    I got a deal I'm happy with at BestBuy for a Series 2. I had a Series 0 Sport that was starting to get a little flaky. I really wanted to upgrade to SS or maybe ceramic for the nicer materials. I was able to get a brand new Series 2 SBSS at BestBuy for $429. I paid $399 or my original S0 sport when it came out. I really didn't care about LTE, so the only thing I was giving up was the faster processor.
     
  7. smbu2000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #7
    Series 2 is plenty fast. I upgraded from a series 0 SBSS to a series 2 SBSS and I’m very happy with the speed upgrade. It’s also nice to be able find deals on it with series 3 out.

    I thought about series 3, but opted for the series 2 instead. I wanted another SBSS, but didn’t need LTE (also not available on my MVNO) and saved myself quite a bit of money by going with the last gen model.

    I mainly wanted the speed increase over my S0 and the GPS (so I don’t need to carry my 7+ when out running) and the s2 fit the bill perfectly.
     
  8. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    #8
    I've had all three generations of the Apple Watch, and think that the Series 1/2 is more than fine for now, and should be for another 2 years if later OS's don't slow it down. The responsiveness jump from S0 to S2 was quite noticeable, and the brighter screen was a huge improvement when using the watch outside. All that said, I disagree with folks who say that speed increases from the S2 to the S3 are not significant. I'm not sure how one should quantify it, but the responsiveness is better, and regardless of how much, it makes for a better overall experience. The S2 was fine, but the S3 is more responsive. Whether it's worth the extra cost is something people have to decide for themselves. Put it this way, if it weren't for my S3, I'd still be happily using my S2.
     
  9. Hitrate macrumors 6502

    Hitrate

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    #9
    just a lurker not an owner here, but funny how no one is mentioning the hugely improved SOUND/SPEAKER VOLUME of the v3

    As an audiophile, that, along with speed and LTE would be my biggest reason to get a v3 watch!!
     
  10. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    #10
    Err, the speaker is better, because it has to be for audible Siri, but as the OP doesn't care about LTE, I don't view it as a "must have" feature. That said, it would have to be a very significant discount off the MSRP of the S3 for me to recommend a S2. If the prices were within $100, I'd go for the S3, but everyone has different circumstances.
     
  11. Hitrate macrumors 6502

    Hitrate

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    #11
    Im just already seing used prices not being much more than around the 100 dollars more you pay for a used v3 if you know where to look :)
     
  12. staggerlee41 macrumors 6502a

    staggerlee41

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #12
    My first and only experience with AW is Series 2. It leaves my wrist only to charge or when in the shower. I'm using it primarily for the notifications, activity and sleep monitoring. Not saying other aspects of it don't get used, just those are my primary uses. I get it for folks who've experienced other versions, but if the 2 is your first experience you really can't appreciate the speed of any other model. My point is, it's a solid choice, especially on sale and I'd be thrilled to get one as a gift.
     
  13. satchmo macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    I would buy an S3 if it were within $70. But with BestBuy's price drop on a 42mm Alu to $259, the $100 differential, makes the decision more difficult. It requires some thought as to what one's needs and uses truly are.
     
  14. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #14
    I see some members mentioning their purchases at Best Buy, with that said, there is a trade in program they have for older Apple Watches and you do need the original band/accessories. But at least it's a discount for somebody that was considering purchasing one.
     
  15. theanimala macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #15
    My S3 that I bought through my work sponsored healthcare provide for $100 off arrives today. Sadly I could only buy 1 at $100 off, so I purchased my wife the S2 from Best Buy which also arrives today. I look forward to setting up both side by side and noting any performance differences.

    I expect the S3 to be a bit faster, but unless I had the $100 off from my job I would have just purchased myself the S2.
     
  16. Infinite Jest, Nov 2, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017

    Infinite Jest macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    Harrisonburg, Va
    #16
    I purchased the s2 last week via the bestbuy deal and returned it today; watch OS 4/4.1 killed it. Siri was incredibly unreliable in my time with it and all processes seem to take a while or at least be inconsistent in their speed. Not worth the price if it’s going to be unreliable. Seemed great on watchOS 3 for two days before I updated the software.

    Ordered an S3 through the Kohl’s deal instead.
     
  17. staggerlee41 macrumors 6502a

    staggerlee41

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #17
    FWIW, when I first updated to watch OS 4, it was a bit rocky. Performance was not as great as my experiences with 3. I upgraded to 4 when I got my new iPhone with iOS 11 and I guess didn't pay as much attention to my reservations about upgrading any time Apple Software is outside of a .1 or later release. In retrospect, I should have waited as there were a couple of hiccups with 4. That said, once i set the watch up as NEW, performance was significantly better on watch OS 4. With 4.1 it performance seems to be at least as good if not better. So long story short, given my experiences, Watch OS 4 .1 is just fine with AW 2 and should only improve as future software releases are issued. Not saying it's perfect with all AW 2's, but I think there are a good number of us using OS 4/4.1 without major issues.
     
  18. MacWorld78 macrumors 6502

    MacWorld78

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    #18
    How do you access for the Barometric altimeter?
     
  19. gjr74 macrumors member

    gjr74

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
    Location:
    PA, USA
    #19
    Everything’s running very smoothly with OS 4 on my Series 2. Been very pleased.
     
  20. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #20
    I personally don't think s2 to s3 real world usage differs much at all in terms of speed. S0 is notable though.

    If I were you I'd go with s2 and save that money. I might even wait closer to black Friday, you may get an even better sale (or even a sale on s3). Best buy has a 14 day return policy though too so you could lock in the price now and keep an eye out on ads, they should be leaking any day now.

    If I were the recipient I would be happy with either. Obviously happier with the newer model if I am being honest, but ****, someone is buying me an Apple watch. I couldn't complain.
     
  21. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #21
    I'm not exactly sure what issues you have encountered altogether, but I would say watchOS 4 had some issues initially and 4.1 seems to have made it better. At least by my experiences. Series 2 has been without problems and everything is functioning as intended.
     

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20 October 25, 2017