S3 - GPS or LTE?

HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
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Miami, FL
Took advantage of BB sale and picked up the S3 Nike+ GPS. However, I’m having buyers remorse and it’s only because of the composite vs ceramic argument. Did I make a mistake in picking up the GPS model? Due to the sale, the difference is pretty hefty; about $140 difference.

Would love to hear your opinions. Is the composite that fragile and worth upgrading to the ceramic back?
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Is the composite that fragile and worth upgrading to the ceramic back?
Composite (More technical term for a very durable plastic) is really not that fragile, it’s just it doesn’t have the scratch resistance that ceramic does. I personally think it’s a non-issue with having a composite back, because in most scenarios, the watch is either on your wrist or it’s on the charger. I would just use caution if you do set the watch down on the back, make sure it’s not on a surface that could potentially scratch the back of the watch.

If you’re not interested in LTE, that I really don’t see the advantage of upgrading In your situation, unless you were very adamant about having a ceramic backing and sapphire display.
 
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HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
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Miami, FL
Composite (More technical term for a very durable plastic) is really not that fragile, it’s just it doesn’t have the scratch resistance that ceramic does. I personally think it’s a non-issue with having a composite back, because in most scenarios, the watch is either on your wrist or it’s on the charger. I would just use caution if you do set the watch down on the back, make sure it’s not on a surface that could potentially scratch the back of the watch.

If you’re not interested in LTE, that I really don’t see the advantage of upgrading In your situation, unless you were very adamant about having a ceramic backing and sapphire display.
The heart rate sensor works the same with both, composite and ceramic? In other words, one isn’t better than the other when it comes to taking your HR?

Also, I was under the impression that the LTE only comes with Ion-strengthened glass not sapphire (according to Apple site).

EDIT: nvm, I just read that the ceramic comes with the sapphire. Ugh, ceramic + sapphire might just be worth the investment. I have no intentions of using the LTE but the durability might be worth the price tag especially for resale.
 
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nokkynuk

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2017
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Space City
I think you should go with LTE. The LTE version comes with the Ceramic Heart Rate Sensor & Ion-X strengthened Glass. Although Sapphire would be nice, the Ion-X glass scratch resistance is pretty decent. The Ceramic Back on my apple watch series 3 LTE hasn't scratched either.

I did regret not going with Ceramic back on my S1 apple watch. By the time i upgraded to S3, my S1 composite back was scratched up. My watch would scratch every time i set it on the charger, so frequently that i put a felt cutout on my charger to prevent future scratching.
 

americafirst

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May 22, 2018
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#backtheblue
EDIT: nvm, I just read that the ceramic comes with the sapphire. Ugh, ceramic + sapphire might just be worth the investment. I have no intentions of using the LTE but the durability might be worth the price tag especially for resale.
The stainless steel comes with a sapphire crystal as well that's what I have. Is the only ceramic model available the Apple Watch Edition? I got the LTE because there are times I have my cell phones in my cubicle at work and I need to be able to respond to text messages
 

HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
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Miami, FL
Storage isn't a deal breaker for me. The more I think about it, the more I can't justify the price difference. Going to continue to listen to everyones thoughts and try to make a decision soon.
 

nokkynuk

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2017
94
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Space City
This is important if you plan to store a lot of music locally on you watch BTW.
Completely agree! I love being able to have my photo gallery to the max available, as well as tons of music from Apple Music. Is there currently a way to add songs from Radio to your library from Apple Watch alone?
 

gahig ulo

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2017
581
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riverside california
Storage isn't a deal breaker for me. The more I think about it, the more I can't justify the price difference. Going to continue to listen to everyones thoughts and try to make a decision soon.
I have the gps s3 and dont think its a bigdeal going for ceramic back im sure alot of people are buying the cheapest model as they can.i never heard or read somewhere about the composite back not reading heart rate accurately because of scratches and yes it will scratch even just charging it.if apple made the lte model saphire and only 140 more i would buy in an instant but i dont think its worth it to get the ceramic back/lte for 140 more because you can buy a series 1 on that price
 

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
4,418
2,813
Completely agree! I love being able to have my photo gallery to the max available, as well as tons of music from Apple Music. Is there currently a way to add songs from Radio to your library from Apple Watch alone?
That I do not know, Sorry.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,208
1,237
East Coast
EDIT: nvm, I just read that the ceramic comes with the sapphire. Ugh, ceramic + sapphire might just be worth the investment. I have no intentions of using the LTE but the durability might be worth the price tag especially for resale.
I think you have the ceramic back and the ceramic case confused.

All LTE AW watches have the ceramic back. If it has an aluminum case, then it has an ion-X glass screen. If it has a SS or ceramic case, then it will have the sapphire screen. Additionally, all Nike AW's have an aluminum case, therefore all Nike AW's have the ion-X screen.

The lowest priced AW3 with a sapphire screen is the 38mm SS AW3 with sports band. It retails for $599.
 
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HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
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Miami, FL
I think you have the ceramic back and the ceramic case confused.

All LTE AW watches have the ceramic back. If it has an aluminum case, then it has an ion-X glass screen. If it has a SS or ceramic case, then it will have the sapphire screen. Additionally, all Nike AW's have an aluminum case, therefore all Nike AW's have the ion-X screen.

The lowest priced AW3 with a sapphire screen is the 38mm SS AW3 with sports band. It retails for $599.
I was mistaken, thank you for clarifying!
 

americafirst

Suspended
May 22, 2018
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#backtheblue
I think you have the ceramic back and the ceramic case confused.

All LTE AW watches have the ceramic back. If it has an aluminum case, then it has an ion-X glass screen. If it has a SS or ceramic case, then it will have the sapphire screen. Additionally, all Nike AW's have an aluminum case, therefore all Nike AW's have the ion-X screen.

The lowest priced AW3 with a sapphire screen is the 38mm SS AW3 with sports band. It retails for $599.
Thanks that cleared up some confusion I had
 

Lennyvalentin

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2011
1,429
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Is the composite that fragile and worth upgrading to the ceramic back?
Well, no, it isn't (particularly fragile) I'd say. Or well, it might depend on how you treat your watch perhaps, but I charge mine daily using Apple's supplied puck, and the back is a little fuzzy after nearly three years, primarily in the very center of the back*, where it doesn't matter. The area around the center where the LEDs and photo diodes are located does have visible microscratches, but they're so fine and so sparse that it can't possibly affect the functionality of the pulse sensor to any measureable degree, and that's after three years (in a few weeks.)

I just wouldn't worry about it. If you're a little OCD about scratches just keep your watch laying on its side when you're not wearing it, to keep the back from rubbing against any hard surfaces. Still, I don't think it's a big deal. Be happy with your choice and the nice deal you made. The plastic back is also lighter than the ceramic one, so if weight is a big deal to you (like if you're a runner for example), you'll save a few grams here. Think positively! :)

*Which is plastic actually - technically composite, since it's a multi-injection molded piece with fresnel lenses set into it, but "composite" is really just a fancier way of saying plastic without having to use that word. :p
 
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HiDEF

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jun 23, 2010
1,704
393
Miami, FL
Well, no, it isn't (particularly fragile) I'd say. Or well, it might depend on how you treat your watch perhaps, but I charge mine daily using Apple's supplied puck, and the back is a little fuzzy after nearly three years, primarily in the very center of the back*, where it doesn't matter. The area around the center where the LEDs and photo diodes are located does have visible microscratches, but they're so fine and so sparse that it can't possibly affect the functionality of the pulse sensor to any measureable degree, and that's after three years (in a few weeks.)

I just wouldn't worry about it. If you're a little OCD about scratches just keep your watch laying on its side when you're not wearing it, to keep the back from rubbing against any hard surfaces. Still, I don't think it's a big deal. Be happy with your choice and the nice deal you made. The plastic back is also lighter than the ceramic one, so if weight is a big deal to you (like if you're a runner for example), you'll save a few grams here. Think positively! :)

*Which is plastic actually - technically composite, since it's a multi-injection molded piece with fresnel lenses set into it, but "composite" is really just a fancier way of saying plastic without having to use that word. :p

Thanks for the advice! I believe I'm going to keep the GPS model and hold off until the S4 to get the LTE variant. Again, I just can justify the price difference; specially when there's rumors of the S4 being released at the end of the year.

Even the 8GB should be enough for my usage.
 
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