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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 15, 2018
Thinking about buying one as a birthday present for my wife. I'd probably buy the series 6. I'd buy the SE except I think she'd really prefer the always on face. She has an old Garmin that she likes to use to track her runs but it seems to be struggling to maintain accurate gps tracking. Are the Apple watches accurate for timing and tracking things like runs, hikes, bike rides, etc.? Are the heart rate monitors accurate? I know the pulse ox seems to be problematic at this point. I'm thinking the smaller watch would be the better option? I'd especially like to hear from women whether they prefer the 40 or 44 mm watches. Thanks.


macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
Long time (former) Garmin running watch user here.

My Series6 Apple Watch is as good if not better with the GPS tracks as the best Garmin running watch I ever had. Anecdotally though, I've not done specific head to head comparisons since my S3 or S4 watches.

HRM is also solid (I've used Garmin & Polar chest straps, as well as Garmin optical HRM).

Not sure I've found a use for pulseox yet but that wasn't a factor in my choosing to buy an S6.

Can't help you with the 40/44 question tho, I'm a guy and like my 44. My wife isn't interested in an Apple Watch.

FYI - check out


macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2014
If she has a really small wrist I would go with the 40mm. That's what I have ....I have an extra small frame so really small wrists. The 44 has better battery life b/c of the bigger battery but there is no way it would work on my arm. A lot of bands and such for women are sized for the 40 mm....something else to keep in mind.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2017
I had the S3, S4, and now S6 and I am a 6-day-a-week, 40-mile-a-week runner and the S6 is much more consistently accurate than the others, even on a track, where GPS is usually very iffy. I’m really happy with it.

I use an app called HealthFit that gives some extra data and since getting the S6, I noticed it uploads a new section called GPS Accuracy that wasn’t there before - which leads me to believe this was something they tried to improve or are at least thinking about more. It usually averages accuracy within 3 meters.

I’m a smaller woman with very small wrists - like I can wear kids’ bracelets - and I have the 40mm.


macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2018
I have average size wrists and after the first AW, always a 44mm. Better battery and am able to interact with the watch display. Something the 40mm was too small to really do.


macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2020
I'd especially like to hear from women whether they prefer the 40 or 44 mm watches. Thanks.

I had a 42mm S3, and just replaced it with a 40mm S6. I have an average to small wrist, but always liked larger watches. The 44mm is just too large for me; if you're familiar with the Garmin Fenix line, the 44mm looks similar on my wrist -- really bulky. I know it sounds strange to say that 2mm makes that much of a difference, but it did for me.

As for running apps, the Apple workout app is fine, but there are a bunch of 3rd party apps that are great, depending on what you like doing and tracking. I've been generally happy with GPS and with heart rate monitoring using just the watch.


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 15, 2018
Thanks for the helpful comments. Seems the current Apple Watch is probably as good as these things get in terms of gps. I think I'll buy it somewhere locally so we can just go back and let her decide if she wants the 40 or 44. Her old Garmin is pretty chunky, and she's generally more interested in function than style. She'll take the new skis over jewelry every time. It's why I love her.


macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2013
My personal experience buying Apple Watches for my girlfriend might help.

I personally use Apple Watch lots when running and cycling and have found the GPS accuracy to be second to none and superior to my friends Suunto Watch. (I haven’t yet directly compared with Garmin). Heart rate accuracy mirrors what I see on other devices such as chest straps (which do seem to get a better reading throughout the workout if the watch isn’t work ‘snug’, but if the watch is worn correctly there’ll be no issue).

When I bought my girlfriend her first Apple Watch a few years ago it was a series 2 Nike+, 44mm in space grey with a black Nike Strap. She wore it for a few weeks before declaring it was too ‘gadgety’ and not really suitable for her. At the time I was a bit disappointed but for a while it made a good additional watch for me.

I was really keen for her to like the Apple Watch so 2 months later bought a second hand series 3, but this time it was a silver aluminium 38mm with a lavender strap. She wore it for a few weeks and this time kept it on and she’s worn it ever since. She’s a smaller build and the smaller Watch suits her better (particularly with a more ‘feminine’ strap). She’s since upgraded to a gold Stainless steel series 4 and doesn’t stop talking about it.

My advice, buy the watch from Apple (at a physical store if nearby) within 14 days of the gift being opened and let your wife try it on (when she receives the gift). Ask her for her honest opinion on the size and if she’d prefer the bigger/smaller option you can always take advantage of Apple’s return policy. Stock of the Apple Watch should be more stable by then too.


macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
Perth, Western Australia
My GF has a S3 38mm (same size as current 40mm) and she's not had any complaints with battery life.

If you use it "normally" generally all of them will get 1-2 days and charging is something you can generally get enough of while say, in the shower or getting ready for work.

I've pushed my 42 or 44 mm watches to 2 days with no charge.

Generally, if you treat it as a "charge once a day while I go through my morning routine" thing, you'll be fine.
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macrumors member
Oct 2, 2020
If your wife is small boned, I'd say the 40. I have very small wrists and the 44 is just overwhelming on me, but everyone has their own preference. Check out the comparison pictures in this post for a nice visual of the size difference...

Remember that you have a 14 day return policy (if purchasing from Apple), and 30 days from other retailers like Amazon. So she can try it on and if she wants the other size, it will be a fairly easy exchange.
Last edited:

Knowlege Bomb

macrumors G4
Feb 14, 2008
I originally bought my wife a S3 and a knockoff sport loop and she wore it every day she worked for two years until I upgraded us both to S5s. We were just talking about them earlier (I’m always showing her techy Apple stuff and she surprisingly puts up with it) and she said she uses it constantly at work. She says the timers and any face with a second hand are priceless.

Anyway, she’s like 5’3 and wears a 40mm.
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