Happy with Series 3, is a great deal on Series 4 worth the upgrade?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by mk313, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    I upgraded my Series 2 watch to a series 3 when the new software (maybe Watch OS 4) came out that allowed you to download podcasts. It was fantastic, but it killed my Series 2 battery life.

    I've now had the Series 3 for about a year & I'm perfectly happy with it. I primarily use my watch for exercising and for notifications throughout the day. I could see myself using the Series 3 until a future software update makes it nor work optimally (like what happened with my Series 2) but Sprint is running a deal for 1/2 off an Apple Watch, so a 44mm Aluminum would run me about $265, which is just about what I paid for a my used Series 3 almost a year ago. I am perfectly happy with the Series 3 & it does everything I need in a watch, but I feel like this is a really good deal, so I want to make sure that I don't skip it out of hand. I already pay for Sprint service on my Series 3, so the ongoing monthly cost wouldn't be a factor.

    I've read about the upgrades to the Series 4, and nothing jumps out at me as a must have feature (which is why I went with the Series 3 when I upgraded last year). Possibly the increased screen size (although I don't currently feel like my watch is too small), the louder speaker, the potential better cellular reception, the speed (sometimes my watch freezes for a couple of seconds before it will scroll through podcasts or playlists) or maybe the relative longevity with the new 64 bit chip.

    Has anyone who upgraded (who was happy with their Series 3) noticed a significant increase (or decrease) in battery life, cellular reception, speed of the watch (like it's quicker to move between screens or open podcasts/playlists) or anything else that makes them enjoy the watch more (or less) than before?

    I did read several threads about series 3 vs 4, but most of the improvements that people seem to mention as things they enjoy about it (aside from the screen) are features (ECG, fall detection, new full screen wall papers, etc) that I don't see personal value in.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. ruslan120 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2009
    I would wait to see what the Series 5 offers. Regardless of whether you get it, the deal should get even better once it comes out.
  3. mk313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure that will be the case though. I feel like when the 5 comes out, Apple will drop the 4 to the price of the 3, so currently $400. I'm guessing that Sprint is trying to clear out some inventory before the new watches come out, which is why they are selling them so cheap currently. Once they burn through enough inventory, I'm guessing the sale will end. If Sprint was currently selling them for $50 or $100 off, I wouldn't even considering it.
  4. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    Even if something is "half off" - you still have to part with the other half of money. If your S3 is doing everything you expect it do, the prudent thing would be to not sink more money into an area of your life where you have a perfectly working solution and instead do something else - save it, invest it or whatever else your station in life needs to do. Once your S3 stops working or does not perform something you want, only then shop around for a good deal at that time and sink in more money.
  5. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    You are perfectly happy with S3 yet you have one eye on S4. Pretty normal since we all know current tech will always be better than last year tech. You want to know if half the price worth the cost of unnecessary upgrade? Well, if you can easily afford it I’ll say why not? You’ll be perfectly happy with S4 too and the good thing is it will reduce the urge for you to get the new and shiny S5 once it comes out. You will be nicely settled for a couple of years at least, or until S5 have half a price sale too lol.
  6. ruslan120 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2009
    I disagree.

    Get AppleCard.
    Accrue insurmountable debt.
    Buy the Mac Pro.

    Live. Dangerously.
  7. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Keep in mind, the Series 4 Apple Watch is a 64-bit dual core processor, which the Series 3 does not have 64 bit architecture. So what exactly does that mean? It Means the Series 4 will have more continual WatchOS software updates. In the long run, that’s a major improvement over the Series 3.
  8. Monkswhiskers macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2018
    I had a 3 and had it replaced with a 4 under applecare+ a few weeks ago, here's what I think...

    Series 3

    I prefer the shape to the 4 personally, 4 looks more toy-like to me.
    Battery is better for me on a day to day basis.
    I had the 42mm and the screen was fine...until I got the 4 (44mm), I would struggle to go back now.

    Series 4

    Wrist oHR is a bit better.
    Everything is slightly snappier, siri etc.
    ECG is great, I don't have afib but it does a better job at clocking minimum HR & HRV (If you are interested in those things)
    Infograph & Infograph modular are great and I flip between the two which covers all the complications I personally use.

    The new watchOS 6 will have more to offer on the 4 of course.
  9. mk313, Aug 22, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019

    mk313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    Thanks. This is actually the way I was leaning when I posted this. I'm not looking to blow $ just to have something new, but since it was such a good deal that's unlikely to be repeated (in my estimation) anytime soon, I wanted to make sure I didn't overlook something that would make it worth it.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 22, 2019 ---
    Yah, affordability isn't an issue, and I am tempted. I don't really have an urge for a Series 5, but buying the 4 would buy me some more time before my watch needs an upgrade (at least theoretically).
    --- Post Merged, Aug 22, 2019 ---
    Yah, the 64 bit architecture is one of the things that really has me thinking about the upgrade. I know that I got a huge bump out of my iPhone 5s versus the 5 (when it switched to the 64 bit processor. I did read somewhere that the current watch OS is some kind of mix of 32/64 bit code (I could be mangling what is actually going on, I'm not a software expert), so I'm not sure of the short term advantage, but it does seem like longer term, there will be a defining moment when 32 bit watches won't get the upgrades or won't get the features. Thanks for the feedback.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 22, 2019 ---
    Thanks, this was very useful information and helps me to focus my decision. I appreciate you taking the time to share the positives and negatives of the Series 4 in your use, relative to the Series 3.
  10. perezr10 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2014
    Monroe, Louisiana
    I downgraded from the Series 4 to the Series 3 until the Series 5 comes out and I’ll tell you. It’s not worth spending extra money. The Series 3 is about 90% as fast as the Series 4. There aren’t really any extra features that I care about. The big upgrade is simply larger text. But unless you have bad eyes, this does you no good. Now if I could see MORE text, then it would be worth it. But you don’t get any more info than a Series 3. It’s just bigger.

    I could never downgrade comfortably before. I couldn’t go to a 0 from a 2 because the 0 was too slow. I couldn’t go from a 3 to a 2 because the cellular was too nice. But from a 4 to a 3? Easy.
  11. mk313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    Thanks Man! I really appreciate that. That's fantastic insight.
  12. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2007
    How about getting the 4 and sell your 3. Shouldn’t cost that much to usage then.
  13. ZeitGeist Suspended

    Mar 22, 2005
    $265 is a great deal for the series 4, and the added speed and better battery life will make it well worth it - everything else is just gravy. The louder speaker, better Hey Siri reaction, and better waterproofing are nice, too.

    You can Lee using yours series 3 as a nighttime way to track your vitals, to have 24/7 tracking.

    Go for it, upgrade. You won’t regret it.
  14. Wondercow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    It does indeed show more text, assuming you’re comparing equivalent sizes:
  15. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    The S4 is around twice as fast in pure performance, but it might not something you notice much in daily use.
  16. the future macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2002
    I don‘t know how this can even be debated. The S4 was such a giant leap in comparison to the Watches before. At 1/2 price I wouldn‘t hesitate at all. The upgrade from S4 to S5 will very probably be much smaller than from S3 to S4.

    Edit: Just look at the picture in post #14. You know you want it.
  17. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    You’re right, that’s a great photo comparison to show the larger display indicates for more information. Just makes it much easier to see what the context is on a larger display like that. It Really is a selling point when you see them side-by-side like this.
  18. Freakonomics101 macrumors 68020


    Nov 6, 2014
    The series 3 is still an excellent performing watch, even on OS 6. I’m getting better battery life on the betas than I was getting with watchOS 5.

    Definitely worth keeping for another year if you are happy with it. No need to waste your money since you made your decision without knowing it in your original post.
  19. mk313 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I was kind of hoping that there would be a clear consensus, but it seems like the forums have the same view of the upgrade as I personally do. I can see some real reasons to do it (at this price), and I can also see some reasons to skip this one. Not sure what I'll do, but this has given me some good feedback to ponder.

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18 August 21, 2019