S3 vs s4

npolly0212

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 21, 2015
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Hey all,
I’m looking to get an Apple Watch and just can’t come to a decision on which to get.

I see the s4 44mm is 429+ taxes but can get a used s3 stainless <350.

What are the major differences? I will be using it to workout, and just check texts and such coming through and whatnot. Won’t be a hardcore user of it, I just love the look of the s4 but think the s3 is good enough
 

cornerexit

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
456
231
S4 screen is larger, more area, larger icons, way better to me. Stainless weighs more, more prone to scratches, and most importantly, the stainless has the highest depreciation. I'd go aluminum S4. You can get stainless watch bands very inexpensively. The Apple branded watch bands are grossly overpriced. Aftermarket, man there are so many options and much much less expensive. I went from S2 to S4 and to me at least, major improvements.
 
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npolly0212

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 21, 2015
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S4 screen is larger, more area, larger icons, way better to me. Stainless weighs more, more prone to scratches, and most importantly, the stainless has the highest depreciation. I'd go aluminum S4. You can get stainless watch bands very inexpensively. The Apple branded watch bands are grossly overpriced. Aftermarket, man there are so many options and much much less expensive. I went from S2 to S4 and to me at least, major improvements.
Thank you so much for the comment!

I am not a fan of any stainless bands or anything - will use the good ole rubber one, or the milanese band (thing is just so comfy). I really want the S4 for the size and such so thats what I have been leaning towards (now ill have to save up some more money but thats alright) - just wasnt sure if an s3 stainless used from someone is worth it to get for 300 as opposed to a aluminum s4 for 440+
 

cornerexit

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
456
231
Thank you so much for the comment!

I am not a fan of any stainless bands or anything - will use the good ole rubber one, or the milanese band (thing is just so comfy). I really want the S4 for the size and such so thats what I have been leaning towards (now ill have to save up some more money but thats alright) - just wasnt sure if an s3 stainless used from someone is worth it to get for 300 as opposed to a aluminum s4 for 440+
No problem. the biggest factor for me is depreciation. With apple stuff, you will upgrade it at some point so make the purchase with some depreciation in mind. Used watches whether via trade in or selling it yourself, the stainless used price isn't much more than the used aluminum. And I detest what Apple charges for watch bands, iPad cases, etc. They charge so much money for plastic, rubber, etc.

Having used G-Shock Casios for 20+ years, I'm trying this out too, when it arrives. Talk about protection for your four hundred dollar watch! Turns it into a G shock.
https://www.amazon.com/SUPCASE-Rugged-Protective-Unicorn-Beetle/dp/B07HC9RM8N/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1539810001&sr=8-13&keywords=apple+watch+series+4+44mm+band
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Hey all,
I’m looking to get an Apple Watch and just can’t come to a decision on which to get.

I see the s4 44mm is 429+ taxes but can get a used s3 stainless <350.

What are the major differences? I will be using it to workout, and just check texts and such coming through and whatnot. Won’t be a hardcore user of it, I just love the look of the s4 but think the s3 is good enough
Opt for the Series 4, you seemingly are interested in the newest model as it is. What you’re really purchasing with the Series 4 is a larger display, faster processor, EKG capability, improved fitness tracking and this speaker is much louder over the Series 3 as well. Something else to consider, the Series 4 will see watchOS updates longer over the Series 3.
 
Last edited:

npolly0212

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 21, 2015
1,279
334
Opt for the Series 4, you seemingly are interested in the newest model as it is. What you’re really purchasing with the Series 4 is a larger display, faster processor, EKG capability, improved fitness tracking and this speaker is much louder over the Series 3 as well. Something else to consider, the Series 4 will see watchOS updates longer over the s
Series 3.
Thanks for the comment. That’s what I was thinking would be smartest and better with speed and such.
I’ve never touched a series 3 so that’s why I wasn’t sure - if it was faster or not and what upgrades there truly are
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,323
30,565
Thanks for the comment. That’s what I was thinking would be smartest and better with speed and such.
I’ve never touched a series 3 so that’s why I wasn’t sure - if it was faster or not and what upgrades there truly are
If your uses are rather simplistic and you really don’t care about having the latest tech, the Series 3 is still very much A viable Apple Watch, however, if you would appreciate a larger display, and the more updated Health features, then the Series 4 would be my preference.
 

Closingracer

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2010
3,472
1,372
Thank you so much for the comment!

I am not a fan of any stainless bands or anything - will use the good ole rubber one, or the milanese band (thing is just so comfy). I really want the S4 for the size and such so thats what I have been leaning towards (now ill have to save up some more money but thats alright) - just wasnt sure if an s3 stainless used from someone is worth it to get for 300 as opposed to a aluminum s4 for 440+
I had the stainless steel s2 and loved it. That being said I went with the aluminum for two reasons with the s4 . I can’t afford the SS, and I don’t need LTE and using it more for the gym so the lightness is better. I can tell the difference with this s4 and the old s2 I had. I can barely feel this s4 on my hand at all where the s2 it wasn’t annoying but you can notice it
 
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Closingracer

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2010
3,472
1,372
I don't know about depreciation, but my stainless S3 has a much better crystal than the Aluminum S0. I'd never go back. If I get a S4, I'd get the Stainless just for the Sapphire Crystal. The Ion-X is no where near as durable as the Sapphire in my experience.
That was my reasoning with the S2 as but tbh the glass on the sport watches is probably around the same as the iPhones which are basically gorilla glass. At the end of the day for me I couldn’t care less about those micro scratches and just appreciate the product. I used to care but I don’t
 
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staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
646
511
Pittsburgh, PA
I think you're right. The S3 will be good enough but the S4 is amazing. The screen size of the S4 by comparison to S3 and earlier is noticeable. My aging eyes appreciate more real estate. The case has been slimmed down also and honestly I find it to be even more comfortable to wear. That's not to say the S2 I upgraded from was uncomfortable by any means.

Stainless watches are amazing, but looks and crystal aside the S4 will allow you more longevity going forward as noted. I've always used a wet application screen protector and as a result, my S2's screen is in perfect condition. Also on this note, because of the differences in the screen dimensions/case design, the protectors go on much easier with the S4. Let us know what you decide. I hope you enjoy it!
 
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npolly0212

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 21, 2015
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Thank you all for the comments!

Looks like I'm going for the s4 in space gray when I can save up the money :)
 

sean000

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2015
1,551
1,895
Bellingham, WA
Does it complicate things knowing the S3 38mm will be available for under $200 on black Friday? It does complicate things a bit for me. That said, after looking at some of the comparisons, I'm going to stick with the S4. I have a $120 credit at Best Buy, which helps. I've worn my S0 for over 3 years now, so if I end up wearing my next Apple Watch another 3 years I might as well go with the latest model. I especially look forward to the larger display size. On the other hand, an S3 for under $200? That's a steal.
 

hipsheik

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2008
106
36
Does it complicate things knowing the S3 38mm will be available for under $200 on black Friday?
If I were going to wear the S3 casually, like for workouts, it would be fine.

But the S4 can be full blown phone replacement, and it's so fluid and polished it makes the S3 feel like an unfinished product.

If I were keeping my watch for 3 years, I'd go for the S4 in a heartbeat.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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But the S4 can be full blown phone replacement, and it's so fluid and polished it makes the S3 feel like an unfinished product.
A full blown phone replacement? I don’t agree with that quite yet, especially with the battery constraints. But I do agree that the S4 64 Bit processor makes the performance tasks extremely quick and a seamless experience from where the Watch once was.
 

Mac'nCheese

Suspended
Feb 9, 2010
3,732
4,967
No problem. the biggest factor for me is depreciation. With apple stuff, you will upgrade it at some point so make the purchase with some depreciation in mind. Used watches whether via trade in or selling it yourself, the stainless used price isn't much more than the used aluminum. And I detest what Apple charges for watch bands, iPad cases, etc. They charge so much money for plastic, rubber, etc.

Having used G-Shock Casios for 20+ years, I'm trying this out too, when it arrives. Talk about protection for your four hundred dollar watch! Turns it into a G shock.
https://www.amazon.com/SUPCASE-Rugged-Protective-Unicorn-Beetle/dp/B07HC9RM8N/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1539810001&sr=8-13&keywords=apple+watch+series+4+44mm+band
That’s nice but you can’t change bands. I’m also thinking I want a screen protector too and can’t tell if it will fit with one on.
 

cornerexit

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2014
456
231
That’s nice but you can’t change bands. I’m also thinking I want a screen protector too and can’t tell if it will fit with one on.
You sure can change bands. Takes just a moment to pop the watch out and put on whatever band you want. I also ordered the new Spigen one similar to the one you quoted me on. It doesn’t ship for a few more weeks.
 
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brentc133

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2012
94
58
I actually returned my AW4 Nike LTE and bought a pristine used AW3 SS and I’m very happy with my decision. I watched several YouTube speed comparisons between AW3 and AW4 and it was not that significant of a difference. To me the fall detection and EKG are gimmicks that I would not make use of after the initial intro period. I still prefer the shape of the AW3. Only thing I miss is the AW4 bigger screen with bigger icons but I don’t notice it much anymore. To me the SS and sapphire were most important and I wasn’t willing to spend over $1000 CDN to have that in the AW4 version. Maybe next year I will upgrade to a used AW4 SS. I used to always buy the newest and greatest but Apples continuous price increases have gone too far for me to accept anymore.
 
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hipsheik

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2008
106
36
I actually returned my AW4 Nike LTE and bought a pristine used AW3 SS and I’m very happy with my decision. I watched several YouTube speed comparisons between AW3 and AW4 and it was not that significant of a difference.
Maybe if you timed the tasks, there wouldn't be much of a difference, but the S4 is just so fluid. It makes it so much more enjoyable to use. I have both S3 and S4, and it's always hard for me to go back to the S3. It really is night and day.

The S4 just feels a like a polished, cohesive product.

And the new S4 larger sized screen is a game changer. I don't mind using the S4 instead of my phone, which is something I could never do with the smaller 40mm S3.