Is S3 better than S1 at tracking workouts?

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Jan 15, 2019
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I’ve been seeing frequent sales on the S3 watches, and I’m tempted to upgrade from my S1, which is starting to show its age.

My main usage for the Apple Watch is fitness, and as I type this, I’m cooling down from a fairly intense snowshoeing excursion. My frustration? My S1 only tracked time and calories for half of my route, and only exercise minutes for 55 out of 90. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed a botched workout with the S1 - the other day something similar happened where it cut short my calories by about 15, despite two straight hours of intense cardio - I just barely made my exercise ring, and just missed my calorie ring, ruining my perfect record.

As frustration like this mounts, I’m considering the S3 or even S4. Does the series 3 model face these same hiccups, or can I expect much more reliable workout and fitness tracking? Is the S4 even better at it than the S3?
 

lclev

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2013
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I have owned an S0, S2, S3, and now S4. That being said I just started working out because well... lets just say it was past time so.... I have used my S3 and now my S4 to track my workouts. Both have been spot on when it came to time, heart rates, calories burned and distance. I was walking and now swim laps. Both handled it well. I passed my S3 on to my daughter and she does yoga. She love how it tracks her workout accurately.

The S4 is quicker and snapper. i also love the larger display. i have always had the 40mm and now with the S4 I have the 44mm.

If cost is a huge factor go with the S3. My S2 is still in service and running well too.

Lisa
 

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I have owned an S0, S2, S3, and now S4. That being said I just started working out because well... lets just say it was past time so.... I have used my S3 and now my S4 to track my workouts. Both have been spot on when it came to time, heart rates, calories burned and distance. I was walking and now swim laps. Both handled it well. I passed my S3 on to my daughter and she does yoga. She love how it tracks her workout accurately.

The S4 is quicker and snapper. i also love the larger display. i have always had the 40mm and now with the S4 I have the 44mm.

If cost is a huge factor go with the S3. My S2 is still in service and running well too.

Lisa
Lisa -

I appreciate the thorough info. I actually pulled the trigger on an LTE Series 4 just a bit ago, so I’ll get to appreciate the extra snappiness.

I’ll chime in here again in the next few days to contrast the accuracy vs the S1, which will get flipped. While it did a good job for the past couple years or so, it’s time to upgrade.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
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I don’t tnink the gps is nearly as accurate against a handheld garmin or the s4, my s1 is chronically shorting me in distance for hikes and walks.
 

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Just out of curiosity, did you start a workout session on the app? That helps the tracking as well.
I did, yes. It’s almost as if it was paused on the second half, but there’s no evidence of that being the case.

Picked up the S4 today, so I’ll set that up once I’m home and put it though it’s paces.
 
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perezr10

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2014
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The Series 1 never came with onboard GPS. So if your watch loses connection to your phone, it has to estimate your workout. I would think your Series 4 with built-in GPS would be more accurate.
 

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Ok, quick update here.

There’s no comparison whatsoever between the S1 and S4 for workout tracking. The accuracy difference is staggering - from exercise minutes, to calories, to overall balance of how it tracks.

To anyone who values fitness, the difference is immense - and you’ll definitely be happier with the newer model.
 
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