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Mouldytriangle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
12
3
Hello ??

I am struggling deciding between the 4, 5 and SE. I’m not even considering the 6 due to its steep price point.

After hours of google searches and YouTube videos - I am not even more confused as to which to purchase.

I would really apprentice if you could explain the main differences between the 3 watches, personal opinion as to which I should purchase and why.

Thanks in advance ?

Please note - I have the following apple products (if it makes a difference): iPhone XS Max and iPad Air 2 (yes I know it’s old - but it works perfectly fine)
 

terryw1

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2018
212
150
phoenix
I’d go with a series 5, has all the features of the 4 Plus AOD. A must have for me. I bought a series 6 blue alunminum to replace my SS series 4 and within a week scratched the plastic crystal. Never used the BO. When I caught a sale on the series 5 SS picked it up and couldn’t be happier. LOVE the AOD!
series 6 is missing too many features for me. Go series 5 SS.
 

Phil77354

macrumors 68000
Jun 22, 2014
1,925
2,032
Pacific Northwest, U.S.
Key differences:

- Series 4 introduced ECG capability, fall notification, slightly larger display
- Series 5 added the always-on display and other improvements
- SE does not have ECG but does have the larger display

If you want the ECG then the least expensive way to get that capability is the Series 4 (which is now discontinued). The always-on display is nice but not critical and if you are price sensitive then I would suggest either the Series 4 or SE (if ECG is not needed). With no disrespect to the recommendations for the SS model, that is also more expensive and brings cellular capability along as well, both have cost implications (I say this as an owner of a SS model although my first two Apple Watches were aluminum).

I had a Series 4 (GPS) until just recently. Great watch and much less expensive than the Series 6 (SS, GPS + Cellular) I recently purchased.

Apple has a useful page that lists features of each model of the Apple Watch (NOTE: Click on 'Compare all models' to see the full listing):

 
Last edited:

akash.nu

macrumors G4
May 26, 2016
10,826
16,948
If you’re budget conscious the SE will do just fine. I’m on series 4 and except the ecg, everything else is pretty much the same with SE and it’s way cheaper compared to what I paid for series 4 brand new.
 
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Aspasia

macrumors 65816
I've been very happy with my aluminum AW5/44. No scratches or dings during my one year of ownership. I like the larger and always-on display and especially the health benefits of filling my rings for the past year. When I saw the AW6 could track blood oxygen levels, I bought a pulse oximeter for $25.

I carry my phone with me at all times as I want access to the camera, so a cellular watch wasn't worth the costs involved. I don't have to fumble with touch ID on my iPhone to get to my camera. I just summon Siri on my watch and have her turn on the camera. Also answer calls through my watch.

No problem with your "old" iPad Air 2. My iPad 2 (the last one introduced by Steve Jobs) still works wonderfully. Also have an iPad mini 4, iPod, and iPod Nano.
 
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YaShiMo

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2019
113
67
Best Buy has a sale on the S5 Stainless Steel models right now. These have the sapphire glass which is more scratch resistant. Could be worth considering.
 

Mouldytriangle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
12
3
What would you mainly be using the watch for?

What is your budget?

How long do you plan on keeping the watch?

Is charging the watch once a day a problem?

Is the 'always on' display option a must?
1. Fitness tracker, control Spotify from my wrist, see whos calling (decline calls), read notifications to see if they are important enough to respond immediately. Basic stuff. Definitely not using it as a compass, or need the ECG function etc.

2. Max $400 Singapore Dollars, which is like 300USD

3. I am currently using the Fitbit Charge HR 2 have had it since it end 2016/start 2017. It still works as good as since I bought it, but I am getting really bored of it. - So to answer your question 3+ years?

4. I want the best battery life possible. But if I have to charge the watch 1x a day (for 2-3 hours) that is fine - as long as 2+ years down the line I won't need to charge it overnight, as I want to track my sleep too.

5. Always on - would annoy me - so I would turn it off anyway.
 
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Mouldytriangle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
12
3
I’d go with a series 5, has all the features of the 4 Plus AOD. A must have for me. I bought a series 6 blue alunminum to replace my SS series 4 and within a week scratched the plastic crystal. Never used the BO. When I caught a sale on the series 5 SS picked it up and couldn’t be happier. LOVE the AOD!
series 6 is missing too many features for me. Go series 5 SS.
If I don't particularly care about AOD?

Can you please explain to me how Series 6 is missing features that Series 5 has?

Thank you :)
 

Mouldytriangle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
12
3
Key differences:

- Series 4 introduced ECG capability, fall notification, slightly larger display
- Series 5 added the always-on display and other improvements
- SE does not have ECG but does have the larger display

If you want the ECG then the least expensive way to get that capability is the Series 4 (which is now discontinued). The always-on display is nice but not critical and if you are price sensitive then I would suggest either the Series 4 or SE (if ECG is not needed). With no disrespect to the recommendations for the SS model, that is also more expensive and brings cellular capability along as well, both have cost implications (I say this as an owner of a SS model although my first two Apple Watches were aluminum).

I had a Series 4 (GPS) until just recently. Great watch and much less expensive than the Series 6 (SS, GPS + Cellular) I recently purchased.

Apple has a useful page that lists features of each model of the Apple Watch (NOTE: Click on 'Compare all models' to see the full listing):

What is SS? I am seeing this alot.

I definitely need to be price conscious at the moment - so the cellular option for me is a no no (I also don't plan to leave the house without my phone anyway).
 

Mouldytriangle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
12
3
Best Buy has a sale on the S5 Stainless Steel models right now. These have the sapphire glass which is more scratch resistant. Could be worth considering.
I am currently based (AKA trapped) in Singapore. So flying to the states is not happening anytime soon haha
 

Mouldytriangle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
12
3
What's the difference between the materials that the body/screen is made from?

Does anyone use a screen protector?
 

7thson

macrumors 65816
May 13, 2012
1,376
1,493
Six Rivers, CA
SS=stainless steel. It’s out of your price range. There’s no difference in the materials between 4,5,6 and SE. I would recommend buy the best model you can afford. The 6 offers more color options and other features you have stated you don’t care about so it sounds like the SE would be a good fit for you. It’s in your budget and would fulfill your stated needs. I upgraded from a Fitbit charge 3 or so years ago and haven’t looked back. Now you just need to settle on 40mm or 44mm. And your color preference. I don’t recommend a screen protector. They don’t look any better than the wear and tear you’d be trying to protect against.
 

Mouldytriangle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
12
3
SS=stainless steel. It’s out of your price range. There’s no difference in the materials between 4,5,6 and SE. I would recommend buy the best model you can afford. The 6 offers more color options and other features you have stated you don’t care about so it sounds like the SE would be a good fit for you. It’s in your budget and would fulfill your stated needs. I upgraded from a Fitbit charge 3 or so years ago and haven’t looked back. Now you just need to settle on 40mm or 44mm. And your color preference. I don’t recommend a screen protector. They don’t look any better than the wear and tear you’d be trying to protect against.
I am going to try to drop by an apple store over the next week and try both of them on.

Colour preference is easy - black. I get everything in black. I might be safe/boring :3

What sort of wear and tear should I be expecting? My current fitbit has got a crack across the screen. Only a few months ago. I thought it would be the end of it - water seeping in or whatever - but its still working!
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,979
50,997
In the middle of several books.
1. Fitness tracker, control Spotify from my wrist, see whos calling (decline calls), read notifications to see if they are important enough to respond immediately. Basic stuff. Definitely not using it as a compass, or need the ECG function etc.

2. Max $400 Singapore Dollars, which is like 300USD

3. I am currently using the Fitbit Charge HR 2 have had it since it end 2016/start 2017. It still works as good as since I bought it, but I am getting really bored of it. - So to answer your question 3+ years?

4. I want the best battery life possible. But if I have to charge the watch 1x a day (for 2-3 hours) that is fine - as long as 2+ years down the line I won't need to charge it overnight, as I want to track my sleep too.

5. Always on - would annoy me - so I would turn it off anyway.
Given your reply, I think the SE would be the best fit for you.
 

7thson

macrumors 65816
May 13, 2012
1,376
1,493
Six Rivers, CA
What sort of wear and tear should I be expecting? My current fitbit has got a crack across the screen.
It really depends on your use case. For me I decided to not treat it any different because of the job I was doing. I banged it, scraped it and got ABS cement on it, which peeled right off once it dried. After two years it showed its age, but I liked the patina it had. Most micro scratches on the screen will not be noticeable while it’s lit up. If you are the type to break things, no shame in that, I’d recommend purchasing AppleCare+ with the watch. Assuming it’s not exorbitantly expensive in Singapore. It’s $49 here in the US.
 
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svanstrom

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2002
787
1,745
??
Specifically mentions rejecting calls, and prefers everything in black. I might just be in love here. (Don't judge, it's been a bad couple of months of social distancing/lockdown/CB. ?)

To stay within budget (more or less; S$419) your choice is the SE.

It's the cheapest one, and still comes with the larger display; which you absolutely want after comparing the two.

As far as charging that depends a great deal on how often you use it to track exercises; and as such you might end up having to charge it also like 30-60 minutes before going to bed.

Personally I charge mine (series 5) while getting ready in the morning; but occasionally there will be that need for a quick top up before going to bed. And it absolutely needs that if I've used it for streaming music.

When it comes to the stainless steel one… I feel like I personally need it, because I think it with a milanese loop has that classic male look to it; and as a "non-watch guy" having the SS AW I'm still comfortable wearing it when nicely dressed, with the convenience of it being the cellular version so I don't always have to lugg a Max-sized phone around.

The SS AW will definitely also last you longer if you are a bit inattentive/clumsy; I had my first one for more than 4 years without any unfitting wear and tear, while I've seen some people with the aluminum AW being less fortunate. YMMV.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G4
May 26, 2016
10,826
16,948
A lot of people stress about the issue of having to charge the watch everyday. Everyone have different usage I suppose but I’ll provide my example here just to ease anyone’s mind worrying about it.

I wear the watch throughout the whole day including tracking my hour and half long heavy workout session at least 4-5 days per week plus any walking / running etc. I also track my sleep which means I’m not charging it overnight either. Having said all that, all I need to do is put the watch on charge in the morning when I’m brushing and taking shower etc. It’s almost back to 100% everyday by the time I’m done with it and then I just use it throughout the day again. This is on a 2 years old device on my Apple Watch 4.
 

Mouldytriangle

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 30, 2021
12
3
Thank you everyone! I ended up getting the SE - as per your recommendations.

I have set it up and have worn it for a few hours, but I dont know how to use it.

(Gonna have to post random questions in the forum haha)
 

svanstrom

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2002
787
1,745
??
Thank you everyone! I ended up getting the SE - as per your recommendations.

I have set it up and have worn it for a few hours, but I dont know how to use it.

(Gonna have to post random questions in the forum haha)
For me it's actually less about how I'm actively using the watch, and more about how I'm not using the phone.

I've switched off all sounds on my phone, and I only let time-sensitive/important notifications go to my watch; so I waste way less time over all when it comes to always checking new notifications. And since I can archive emails directly from my watch I also end up with way fewer emails that I have to deal with in a more time-consuming manor; most emails I get enough information out of as part of the notification, and then I instantly archive it.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors G5
May 30, 2002
12,980
6,947
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
SS=stainless steel. It’s out of your price range. There’s no difference in the materials between 4,5,6 and SE. I would recommend buy the best model you can afford. The 6 offers more color options and other features you have stated you don’t care about so it sounds like the SE would be a good fit for you. It’s in your budget and would fulfill your stated needs. I upgraded from a Fitbit charge 3 or so years ago and haven’t looked back. Now you just need to settle on 40mm or 44mm. And your color preference. I don’t recommend a screen protector. They don’t look any better than the wear and tear you’d be trying to protect against.

To someone asking so many question and just getting used to so many Apple Watch abbreviations etc. The bonded sentence above is VERY misleading and vague.

Aluminum frame is software to dents and bangs than stainless steel.
- My experience using S3 & S4 Nike+ (Aluminum frame and Ion-X ~ ion exchange glass) is more susceptible to small dings/dents in the frame while showering and my wrist (watch) hits the soap dish in my shower. Noticeable enough but doesn’t affect performance at all. The Ion-X glass also can much more easily have tiny hairline scratches than the sapphire glass of the stainless steel models - hence the significant jump in price.

To our OP I don’t recommend getting AppleCare+ on any Apple Watch:
The 3yr exchange for replacement (plus small deductible): for frame damage, battery life drop in performance around year 2-3 and any defects is all worth it on the Aluminum models ^.

Everything else you’ve mentioned I fully agree with.

OH ... lastly to our OP ... notifications:
Try setting 1 notification a day to see how your battery life goes throughout the day.
If you’re popular on IG I’d avoid enabling that on the Watch, or your entire email inbox vs specific VIP email alerts if needed. Just examples.

Good luck in whatever you choose and enjoy.
 

svanstrom

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2002
787
1,745
??
Good luck in whatever you choose and enjoy.
The thread is only a single page, and the original post more than a month old; so, without meaning to sound like an *******, I humbly suggest that you should have done a quick scan of the thread to see whether or not OP had already bought a device or not.
 
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