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Apple Watch series 6 - which one to choose

cla9614

macrumors member
Dec 18, 2012
36
4
Los Angeles, CA
@BasicGreatGuy ,

It is widely known. The old school aluminum Apple Watches had a composite backing that was hot garbage. It would fade, get foggy and the functions that worked through the back of the Apple Watch would stop working. Now, I'm not sure about the latest batch of Apple Watches, but that was definitely a thing on Series 1-3. It made that style of watch seem cheap.

Just check out some YouTube videos on the subject and you'll quickly see what I mean.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
9,220
10,904
@BasicGreatGuy ,

It is widely known. The old school aluminum Apple Watches had a composite backing that was hot garbage. It would fade, get foggy and the functions that worked through the back of the Apple Watch would stop working. Now, I'm not sure about the latest batch of Apple Watches, but that was definitely a thing on Series 1-3. It made that style of watch seem cheap.

Just check out some YouTube videos on the subject and you'll quickly see what I mean.

Ok I’m on series 4 aluminium without a single scratch or any fogginess. They may have fixed it. I haven’t heard of any issues in the earlier models either.
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,830
2,386
Between the coasts
If you don't want a watch with scratches all over or a foggy back, go with the Stainless Steel. If resale value isn't a show stopper for you?? It's a big investment, but the performance you get with a newer and more durable Apple Watch is superb. I has a Series 2 Stainless Steel and then upgraded to a Series 5 SS last year. So happy that I did!! Never going to use the Aluminum watch, I hate how the back of the watch gets foggy and stops working correctly as it ages. I plan on keeping this watch for the next 2.5 years, just as long as I kept my Series 2 SS.
I've never heard of the "foggy back" either. I've seen some photos of backs with light scratching, and even ceramic backs can use a wiping-down with a clean, dry cloth every so often, but even if fogginess is a consideration for models that have composite backs, the Series 4 and Series 5 all have ceramic backs (we'll presumably know about Series 6 in a few more days).

Here's what https://support.apple.com/HT204507 says about the backs:

Series 4 and Series 5: ceramic (all case materials)
Series 3 GPS + Cellular: ceramic (all case materials)
Series 3 GPS: composite (GPS is only available in aluminum)
Series 2: ceramic (all case materials)
Series 1: composite (only available in aluminum)
1st Generation Edition: ceramic
1st Generation Sport: composite
1st Generation Stainless: ceramic

So, "don't get aluminum to avoid composite back" is a generalization that actually applies only to certain models (1st Generation Sport, Series 1, Series 3 GPS).

It's worth noting that the Technical Specifications articles for Series 4 and Series 5 refer to "ceramic and sapphire" rather than "ceramic." Perhaps "sapphire" refers to the covering of the optical heart rate sensor, which does need to be transparent (I haven't seen a transparent ceramic, although Star Trek introduced the idea of transparent aluminum).
 

edhchoe

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2011
1,270
733
If you keep the watch for several years and don't mind the extra weight, SS model maybe better.
I update every year, so I put as little money as possible.
 

StraightHit

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2020
69
40
Buy silver stainless steel, looks classy and looks way better than black stainless steel. I don't know who wears black wearables for fashion ugly color
 
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alexhardaker

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2014
447
411
Thank you all for your replies! As you all know, the AW series 6 was announced yesterday & I still can’t choose which option to go for. I can’t even decide if I should get the bigger screen size 😂 There’s just too many options to choose from.
 

Macmelman

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2017
88
59
If you don't want a watch with scratches all over or a foggy back, go with the Stainless Steel. If resale value isn't a show stopper for you?? It's a big investment, but the performance you get with a newer and more durable Apple Watch is superb. I has a Series 2 Stainless Steel and then upgraded to a Series 5 SS last year. So happy that I did!! Never going to use the Aluminum watch, I hate how the back of the watch gets foggy and stops working correctly as it ages. I plan on keeping this watch for the next 2.5 years, just as long as I kept my Series 2 SS.

How would the case have any impact on the function of the watch? My S3 Aluminum is three years old and works exactly as intended.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,082
632
How would the case have any impact on the function of the watch? My S3 Aluminum is three years old and works exactly as intended.
The older Aluminium watches hat a composite (a.k.a. Plastic) back as cover for the heart rate sensors. Depending on use case and your personal sweat aggressiveness, that plastic could slowly go „blind“ over time. Like an aged eye lens on a human, when elderly people can’t see as sharp anymore because the lens deteriorated.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,701
36,156
The older Aluminium watches hat a composite (a.k.a. Plastic) back as cover for the heart rate sensors. Depending on use case and your personal sweat aggressiveness, that plastic could slowly go „blind“ over time. Like an aged eye lens on a human, when elderly people can’t see as sharp anymore because the lens deteriorated.

Actually, what you just posted was completely variable. Part of that was based on someones sweat content, if it was corrosive enough that would have tarnished the back cover. As someone else alluded to, I never had an issue with the fading when I did own a first GEN Apple Watch aluminum model. (Partially, I also cleaned my watch regularly, which probably helped prolong any issues occurring). Obviously that wasn’t an issue for the later model for the Stainless and when Apple improved the backing, but it didn’t apply to everyone.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,082
632
Actually, what you just posted was completely variable. […] Obviously that wasn’t an issue for the later model for the Stainless and when Apple improved the backing, but it didn’t apply to everyone.
Never claimed otherwise. Just answered a question how the casing could impair Watch functionality at all.
 

HandsomeDanNZ

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2008
375
462
Auckland NZ
I had a SS Series 0 and a SS series 2. Moved to Silver AL Series 4 and have always missed the SS.
I preferred the look and durability of the SS watch with Sapphire glass screen.
My son still uses the SS S2 and it's running well and sill looks new.
I'll likely go SS S6 next and hand down the S4 AL to my son who will no doubt end up breaking it and go back to the S2 when he does (he's a Mountain Biker and is likely to have at least one crash while wearing the AL AW4). I could potentially get him a Catalyst case for the AL AW, but that's just more money...
 

CarolG

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2013
711
838
Northern California
I haven’t really kept up with AW rumours this time.

Are there any new finishes or colours anticipated for the S6?
I just got the new red one and there is also a blue color now. Also the Solo one-piece loop bands. I’m getting the Red Solo Braided Loop when it comes out in October
 

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alexhardaker

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2014
447
411
Anyone have any experience with the titanium ones? I’m tempted to get that, but it’s quite expensive. Isn’t titanium stronger and more scratch resistant than stainless steel?
 

deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,380
4,118
US
Anyone have any experience with the titanium ones? I’m tempted to get that, but it’s quite expensive. Isn’t titanium stronger and more scratch resistant than stainless steel?

There's a big long Titanium AW5 thread with folks experiences and photos over the past year since the first Ti watches came out. That's going to be your best resource.
 
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alexhardaker

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 12, 2014
447
411
I decided to go for the stainless steel 44mm AW6 & I picked it up today, if anyone is interested 😂

I got the deep navy sport band to go with it (I did want a braided sport loop, but I didn’t want to wait until November) & the stainless steel link bracelet arrives tomorrow. I love the look and the weight of this one.
 
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Deliro

macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2011
634
530
Good points here about value. A luxury watch might last a lifetime but smartwatches prob drop value like other consumer electronics.

looking at getting a six as well, first Apple Watch for me

I read somewhere the melt value of an original 10k gold Apple Watch is about 1000 to 1300 bucks. The Apple Watch is tech not an heirloom watch. But fools with their money ...
 

canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2005
1,374
1,146
Hi,

I currently own a 38mm aluminium AW series 3 Wi-Fi + cellular (never used the cellular part) & I’m looking at upgrading this year. My current one has a cracked screen and has markings on the casing, so I don’t like the idea of getting the aluminium one again. I’m also looking at getting the bigger screen this time.

I’m using the current options available as a guide, and I would like to know if the stainless steel, titanium & ceramic ones are really worth it? I like the idea of having the better glass screen, but those options are quite a bit more expensive. With software updates only lasting 4 years (so far anyway), battery degradation & resale value, are they really worth purchasing? Smart watches aren’t like regular watches that last 10+ years & don’t need software updates, which makes an expensive one like a Rolex worth the investment.

What are the differences between the stainless steel and titanium ones? Can they be used for swimming/in the shower? Anyone that has either of these or has had them in the past, I’d love to know your experience with them. I might not bother booking an Apple Store appointment & just order online when it’s available.

I also like having an every-day strap to use instead of the sports ones, which will add to the price of the watch.

Thank you!

Summary:

1. All options above the Aluminum models have a Sapphire (which isn't glass by the way) crystal screen. This will all but eliminate the potential for scratches on the watch face for the life of the watch (although it can still crack with an impact) and to me is the biggest reason to pay more.

2. Stainless Steel: Silver will show tons of scratches right away but most consider it a nice patina look, and it can be buffed out if you choose (most don't). Gold will show less scratches but they will still be there. The new Graphite (or Space Black if you get a Hermes model) will show almost no marks for the life of the watch due to the DLC coating.

3. Titanium: The regular titanium will show some scratches over time which some don't feel look as nice as when the Silver Stainless Steel scratches. You can buff these scratches out but it requires a bit more technique and process than the Silver Stainless Steel. The Space Black titanium has a DLC coating which makes it far less likely to scratch than regular titanium but reports seem to imply scratches are still possible and the DLC coating doesn't work quite as well as the DLC coating on Stainless Steel which is nearly impervious.

All can be used swimming or in the shower.

I have always had Stainless Steel models (S0, S3, and S4) and never scratched or damaged a screen. I had a silver S0 stainless that scuffed up the body right away but it "looked good" because of how scratches look on that material. My S3 and S4 were Space Black Stainless models and in 3 years of wear never showed a scratch because of the amazing DLC coating. This year I decided to do something entirely different and went with the cheapest Space Gray Aluminum model (which I think looks great) to see how I like/deal with the inevitable increased wear and tear on the screen and body over the next year as I'm considering that I might enjoy yearly upgrades which just seem more reasonable if I buy the low end model. I might come crawling back next year lol...
 
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