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shah1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2010
176
26
So, with the Series 4 dropping not so long ago, I took a plunge into the smart watch sphere but with an AW S3 instead of the newer S4. Would've preferred the newer watch but couldn't justify the £749 for the SS model. Instead I picked a used SB SS Series 3 for £275 which arrived in absolute mint condition.

Now the question is, having used this for a few weeks, am I really missing anything special on the S4 other than that bigger screen and perhaps a few more visible complications (I've turned many of mine off to preserve battery life)?
 

Monkswhiskers

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2018
840
661
I did the same. I use mine for mainly sport stuff so was holding out for the dc rainmaker review, I think the only thing that I would really benefit from would be the screen, not worth the xtra £ for alu(considerably more for SS)
 

JulesK

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2002
530
94
I had the S3/LTE for a year, and although I told myself I wouldn't, picked up a S4/LTE. Functionally, unless you NEED the fall detection or the ECG (which isn't even available), the S3 (particularly with the new Watch OS) does everything the S4 does. If you are looking at the LTE version, cellular reception is better on the S4, I've noticed, and making calls on the watch is noticeably easier as the speaker is louder. But there is a subtle but noticeable increase in responsiveness. On the S3, there is just enough of a lag that it felt that it was an extension of your phone. On the S4, it feels as if it is a standalone device (even if it isn't). The larger display does make it easier to read text on the S4. But, again, 95% or 100% of the same functionality on the S3 as you have on the S4. Just the user experience is a bit nicer.
 

brentc133

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2012
102
69
I had the S3/LTE for a year, and although I told myself I wouldn't, picked up a S4/LTE. Functionally, unless you NEED the fall detection or the ECG (which isn't even available), the S3 (particularly with the new Watch OS) does everything the S4 does. If you are looking at the LTE version, cellular reception is better on the S4, I've noticed, and making calls on the watch is noticeably easier as the speaker is louder. But there is a subtle but noticeable increase in responsiveness. On the S3, there is just enough of a lag that it felt that it was an extension of your phone. On the S4, it feels as if it is a standalone device (even if it isn't). The larger display does make it easier to read text on the S4. But, again, 95% or 100% of the same functionality on the S3 as you have on the S4. Just the user experience is a bit nicer.


Great write-up! I’m considering returning my S4 Nike LTE/GPS so I can get a used S3 SS. Apple Canada website doesn’t even make mention of the ECG feature and I never turned on the fall detection. I need to decide by tomorrow’s deadline for returning my S4.
 

shah1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2010
176
26
Some good responses there guys and makes me feel better about my purchase which, for what I paid is a huge saving over both an Alu and SS S4! Think I'll use this and jump to an S4 when equivalent savings are being made.
 
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Mapple86

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2015
349
52
I am thinking about the same at the moment.
I have a S0 SS and really want an upgrade. Upgrading to something looking complete the same does not feel good for me and waiting one year more too.
So i think I will buy a new S4 SS and keep it until the next big change like always on or new design.
 

Monkswhiskers

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2018
840
661
Some good responses there guys and makes me feel better about my purchase which, for what I paid is a huge saving over both an Alu and SS S4! Think I'll use this and jump to an S4 when equivalent savings are being made.

I am a gigging musician alway lifting gear/knocking against things and always felt I had to baby my alu version (S3) even leaving it at home sometimes, no such concerns with the SS, very robust!
I will upgrade to a used SS S4 next Sept when they are £300 cheaper.
 
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shah1

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 30, 2010
176
26
I am a gigging musician alway lifting gear/knocking against things and always felt I had to baby my alu version (S3) even leaving it at home sometimes, no such concerns with the SS, very robust!
I will upgrade to a used SS S4 next Sept when they are £300 cheaper.

Agreed mate, exactly what I will do! Having had a SS, some how don't think I'd go for an alu version.
 

musicpenguy

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,830
739
For me the refinements are what you are missing much better LTE signal in my area at least, an extra hour of outdoor workouts and the hardware is just much more refined. I also didn’t care for my gold aluminum color and am so happy with the color choice they made for the gold stainless.
 

staggerlee41

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2017
1,072
1,057
Pittsburgh, PA
I waited until S2 had been released and jumped into the pool with about 5 months before the S3 was released and got a bit of savings on it. Having worn traditional watches for most of my life, I wasn't sure how much I'd appreciate wearing a Smart Watch. The savings was there and GPS was in it, so why not. It came with OS 3, I upgraded to 4 and then to 5 on it and while it works pretty well, I've certainly noticed it slowing down just a bit. Not to the point of inoperability or frustration but the signs are there. Unless I was in the shower or the watch was on the charger, it was on my wrist. Always. In that time, I realized how much I appreciated wearing it so when S4 was announced I pondered my options.

I've upgraded to S4 and am absolutely thrilled with it. The screen size alone for me was worth it and my aging eyes are much happier. I'll stick with GPS only models, as much as I'd love to own a Stainless model I don't go anywhere without my phone so I'd never have a need for LTE, though I understand for some it's an amazing feature. My approach to Watch is that it's technology and it is already obsolete once you put it on your wrist. Meaning, upgrades are more impactful until we get to a point where the Watch is more mature -think where we are with iPhone, they are quite servicable for more than just a 2 year cycle.

Sorry for the long post, I guess it's a long way of saying congratulations, I hope you enjoy it and I agree with your approach of taking the savings to ensure you're going to enjoy wearing a smart watch.
 
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44267547

Cancelled
Jul 12, 2016
37,642
42,492
I am thinking about the same at the moment.
I have a S0 SS and really want an upgrade. Upgrading to something looking complete the same does not feel good for me and waiting one year more too.
So i think I will buy a new S4 SS and keep it until the next big change like always on or new design.

I think this current design will be with the Apple Watch for at least the next 2/3 years, and still make the internal changes with Health sensors and eventually I think the next design will eliminate the digital crown and have something else implemented in place. Now that the Series 4 Apple Watch is 64 Bit dual core processor, Think the support will be considerably longer than it was over the first Gen watch as well.
 

linkgx1

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2011
1,768
452
I've decided to skip the SS version this time around. Learned my lesson from last time as, while they appear as jewelry, they don't function as such with time. Unless you aren't price sensitive, the SS will last as long as the Aluminum version. It's like I threw $200 away to have a nicer look. Plus, SS is heavy as hell for working out.
 

DaveyVigs

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2016
177
175
I did similarly. I had the launch original S0, an S2 and recently a GPS/WiFi S4 for about a week. I returned the S4 to get a S3 with LTE for $225 and will likely keep it until the S5 comes out. I liked the S4 a lot but without the ECG feature to test out and the high price of a base model I wanted to get last years higher end version instead and save some money.
 

hipsheik

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2008
111
37
On the S4, it feels as if it is a standalone device (even if it isn't). The larger display does make it easier to read text on the S4. But, again, 95% or 100% of the same functionality on the S3 as you have on the S4. Just the user experience is a bit nicer.

I have both the S3 38mm and S4 44mm.

The S4 44mm is a miniature iPhone strapped to your wrist. I'm planning on leaving my iPhone at home more and more, and just venturing out with the S4.

(And it feels so good to not be spending endless hours staring into my phone).

The S3 38mm is a watch. I prefer the smaller size for swimming. However, whenever I go back to it, I squint to read text. Even before getting the 44mm, I never felt the 38mm was good enough to replace a phone.

I think the S4 will end up being a seminal release for the Apple watch.
 

musicpenguy

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2006
1,830
739
I have both the S3 38mm and S4 44mm.

The S4 44mm is a miniature iPhone strapped to your wrist. I'm planning on leaving my iPhone at home more and more, and just venturing out with the S4.

(And it feels so good to not be spending endless hours staring into my phone).

The S3 38mm is a watch. I prefer the smaller size for swimming. However, whenever I go back to it, I squint to read text. Even before getting the 44mm, I never felt the 38mm was good enough to replace a phone.

I think the S4 will end up being a seminal release for the Apple watch.
Agreed - scribble on the bigger screen is now very good for input and a trick I do is I have an iMessage thread with myself for websites I want to pull up - DuckDuckGo is one of them and its really handy being able to do simple searches on the watch now with LTE. My iPhone gets much less use and could consider a future where its just watch and iPad when the watch does become fully independent.
 
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