Stainless steel vs Aluminium

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by The Game 161, May 8, 2019.

  1. EdMan macrumors 6502

    EdMan

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #26
    I have both. I definitely like the SS more in terms of over all looks but each has it's place. I bought the aluminum to wear in the gym because to me the SS feels a bit out of place. But when thinking about purchases in the future I don't know that I would buy the SS again. I don't use the LTE and for the price I could have 2 aluminum's in different colors.
     
  2. jamdex macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #27
    Stainless all the way for me. Regularly catch my watch walking past things and the screen is flawless. Any scuffs on the body can be buffed out.

    My first Apple Watch was the 2nd gen SS, upgraded to S4. Will skip the next one and probably upgrade to the S6 or 7.
     
  3. ckip10 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2013
    Location:
    Lincoln, Alabama
    #28
    I have to have the stainless because I work around CNC machines and there’s no comparasion between the anti-scratch properties of the sapphire screen.
     
  4. SamwellG macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    #29
    I currently have the SS series 4, LOVE IT! Had the aluminum series 3. I'm pretty active, feel like the SS holds rugged across all activities. I was just too scared with the aluminum so its peace of mind too. Super shiny so even dressed it still fits and doesn't look as cheap. Then again, my rolex takes over when im dressed dressed.
     
  5. Frosties, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019

    Frosties macrumors 6502a

    Frosties

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #30
    The choice is aluminium for me, a smartwatch that is light and rugged enough for most uses. For me less weight is a positive. Purchased it near release and have no faults that can be seen on the glass even after wearing it at work or during sport activity. Go with what you like; the Apple Watch works in all it’s forms. I have added Apple care if it breaks but that would have been added on any Apple Watch regardless of case material.

    ”Do you like having a good time? Then you need-a-good-watch!”
     
  6. metalsiren macrumors 6502

    metalsiren

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #31
    I like the SS besides the other things mentioned, I like a watch that has some weight and the Aluminum one is way to light for my taste.
     
  7. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #32
    My Series 0 was stainless, my Series 4 is aluminum.

    The two biggest selling points for the stainless, to me, were the Milanese Loop band (I've loved that look for a long time) and the sapphire crystal. Over time, even the stainless steel showed some scuffs and scratches, including on the tab at the end of the band. The sapphire crystal remained pristine.

    The Milanese Loop still looks fine attached to the aluminum Series 4, though someone who knows Apple Watch would likely notice the mismatch.

    I long ago switched to various sports bands for day-to-day use - the Milanese Loop was seeming too formal when worn with t-shirts and jeans. I've only had the Series 4 a few months, but so far no scratches on the crystal.

    In the end, for the second watch I was more interested in functionality than appearance. I couldn't justify the higher price.
     
  8. T5BRICK macrumors G3

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #33
    Coming from an automatic stainless steel watch, I wanted something different.

    [​IMG]

    I went with the SBSS 44mm and the standard sport band. I actually like the way it blends in, but I also have a link bracelet on the way and I’m planning on ordering a red cordura band with PVD black hardware in the near future.

    As a side note, the 44mm Apple Watch actually feels small and light compared to my Tissot.
     
  9. Phil77354 macrumors regular

    Phil77354

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Location:
    Eastern Washington State
    #34
    Regarding SS vs Aluminum, since the SS is only available for the GPS + Cellular model, then if you only want GPS without paying for cellular, the SS is not a consideration.

    My desire was to get the least expensive model since frankly its likely that I'll upgrade from time to time, so why pay the extra money for a more expensive case (and get the cellular capability that I really don't want or need).

    Now, if Apple offered the stainless steel model with GPS only, I might be interested - if the price difference was not too large.
     
  10. ssledoux macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Down south
    #35
    I have aluminum. I had a SS (I think the 2nd gen), but couldn't tolerate the added weight. I realize it isn't much, but I have been super sensitive to the way the AW hits a certain nerve in my arm, and when I tried that heavier/thicker watch, it would send a burning sensation up my arm.

    Weird I know, but it happened repeatedly, and did not happen with the aluminum version of the same watch.

    Now that I've worn an AW for a long time, it might be different, but I've never tried it again.

    I like the aluminum anyway - matches all my other Apple products. I'm kinda goofy like that.
     
  11. russell_314 macrumors 6502

    russell_314

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    #36
    I have the aluminum version. The only reason to justify the stainless steel version is if you have lots of $$$ and want a stylish watch to go with a stylish outfit. If it was a mechanical watch that you plan on keeping for decades then stainless steel is probably a good thing. I don't see myself keeping my AW past two years.
     
  12. bambooshots macrumors 65816

    bambooshots

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    #37
    I’m a watch guy. Have worn watches since I was a dorky kid in 3rd grade.

    My first two Apple watches were SBSS; since I got a Series 4 this late in the game and I intend on getting the Series 5 when we it comes out, I wanted to get one as cheaply as possible. Got an open box unit from Best Buy. It was like new; the previous owner hadn’t even removed the sport loop band from the box.

    That, and I don’t use cellular on my watch at all and don’t see the point of paying $130 for the antenna.

    So far, I have been pleasantly surprised with my 44mm aluminum case. I’ve always liked the heft of SS watches but as I told my gf last night, I am pleasantly surprised by the lightness of the aluminum mode.
     
  13. Relentless Power, May 18, 2019
    Last edited: May 18, 2019

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #38
    That’s definitely not true. If you think that’s the only reason, then I can’t tell you how many times members have opted for the stainless watch because of the sapphire display. That’s a _huge_ selling point when you realize that it has an extreme durability against scratches and scuff‘s. Yes, the stainless steel 316L is premium, and it does look nice, but the sapphire display is a major benefit versus just having something that looks nice.
     
  14. The Game 161 thread starter macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #39
    True, SS does Last better i would say without scratching as it can easily be done even if you don’t go out to do this.
     
  15. MileHighPilot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    #40
    i was about to post the same question since im looking at getting an apple watch
    how so
    sapphire is why im considering the stainless steel model
    i didnt think about the stainless steel holding up better than the aluminum but that seems to be another advantage
    the last few years ive charged my devices whenever i can due to my irregular work activities and havent had any battery issues
    the sapphire display is the only reason i was considering the stainless steel but after reading its more durable than the aluminum i think its what i will purchase
     
  16. Phil77354 macrumors regular

    Phil77354

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Location:
    Eastern Washington State
    #41
    I had forgotten about the sapphire display. Apple's website does not include this in their comparison chart, or elsewhere as far as I can tell. In fact, it mentions sapphire only in describing the back of the watch, where sapphire has been used for both the series 3 and series 4 models (irrespective of case material).

    Macrumors does make the point that the stainless models use the sapphire glass display, and the design differences are more completely described here than on Apple's own website in this respect.

    It makes me think that Apple doesn't think that the sapphire display is enough of a selling point or differentiating factor to bring it out in their product descriptions? Their product info is more focused on capabilities and features of the watch, and less on the construction differences.
     
  17. russell_314 macrumors 6502

    russell_314

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    #42
    Again we're talking about looks. I wear my aluminum Apple watch in some of the worst conditions. I've scraped it against concrete walls (not on purpose) and worked outdoors with it. Sure it has a few scratches on the display that I could have protected with a screen protector but why. The scratches are only visible from an angle and don't interfere with how it works. It's going to last two years then I'll get the newer version. I paid $399 for the wifi only version. Stainless steel ones start at $699. It only comes in cellular so that's $100 plus the $120 a year extra for cellular connection and $200 for stainless. Even if you don't factor in the extra you're paying for cellular because you were going to get it anyways the $200 stainless option is like buying an extra half a watch. Like I said if you have the $$$ and don't mind the extra weight sure go ahead but it's not going to work any better than the aluminum version. You're just paying more for looks.
     
  18. Relentless Power, May 21, 2019
    Last edited: May 21, 2019

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #43
    Incorrect Phil. Apple does list sapphire as a material for the stainless watch for the front _and_ back.

    982D43AA-B014-42B2-B2BD-50CF2350FEDD.jpeg
     
  19. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #44
    If one replaces their watch every year or two, then Aluminum is the better value proposition, I am sure. I expect at least four years of use from my Series 4, so for me the "Stainless Premium" is not a burden.
     
  20. russell_314 macrumors 6502

    russell_314

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    #45
    To each his own but remember smart watch tech isn't like smart phone tech. If you have an iPhone from four years ago you're talking an iPhone 6s. Not the newest but still supported by Apple and will actually work for most tasks. If you're talking about an AW from four years ago it's the OG Apple Watch AKA series 0. It doesn't support the latest version of Watch OS. It's "splash resistant" instead of 50 meters water resistant. The screen... Well I don't need to explain that one. I expect similar comparisons will be applicable for an Apple Watch even two years from now.

    I will say if you're just using basic functionality, don't care about the latest health features, and want a nice looking watch to keep for four years as you say the stainless option might be the better choice. My main gripe of the stainless version is the added weight but some people either don't mind or actually like this. Everything is about what's best for you and since it's your money it should be. I'm all about functionality and looks are important but second place. If I had extra $$$$ I'm not going to lie I'd have one of those Hermes editions just for dressing up to go out.
     
  21. MileHighPilot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    #46
    sapphire is the only reason i am considering the stainless steel version
    --- Post Merged, May 21, 2019 ---
    i wish they would emphasize how durable sapphire is
     
  22. newellj, May 21, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019

    newellj macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #47
    I had a Nike+ S3 that looked like new after a year. I upgraded to a S4 Nike+ and then got SS lust and returned the Nike+. There was a lot to like about the SS, but to me, at least right now (like it was in earlier days with phones) this is a piece of hardware I'm going to be upgrading every year. The economic hit on the SS when you compare resale and trade-in prices vs. the Sport/Nike+ version, is almost 100%. In other words, you get back almost nothing on the extra dollars spent on the SS. Right now, I can't justify that. I know there are still people wearing S0 watches, so if you're thinking you will own the watch for four or five years, you could look at that very differently.
     
  23. DanielNTX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    #48
    The S4 hasn't even been out a year yet. S5? Are you from the future?
     
  24. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #49
    I agree. And the Sapphire is a major selling point when you want to protect a display that small with the Apple Watch. The only time they really have discussed the Sapphire display, has been during their keynotes, but zero marketing behind it, and I think it would also help justify the price for some of Apple would actually discuss it. It’s kind of like 3D Touch and Live Photos, great features to use, but no one really knows they exist or how to use it.
     
  25. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #50
    I admit the primary driver of me buying the Stainless Steel is I just think it looks far nicer than the Aluminum, but my previous watch was a silver Stainless Steel Series 0 and to be honest, it was still working fine for what I was asking of it (Activity Tracking and alerts) and I still saw 15+ hours out of the battery so there was no performance-related reason to get rid of it. Honestly, if the Series 4 had not added a larger screen and I really liking the Space Black and Gold options, I'd likely have still held on to it and waited to see what the Series 5 brought to the table.

    So I am not worried about the "useful longevity" of the Series 4. The S4 CPU should be more than powerful enough to continue to receive watchOS updates for many, many years (considering the S1P CPU in the Series 1 got watchOS 5, I imaging the S1 in the Series 0 could run it, as well, but the performance would have been considered too slow to be an acceptable experience by Apple so they just nixed it).
     

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