Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: What’s the Difference

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 13 Sep 2018

Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: What's the Difference

The iPhone XS series might have been a dud in terms of design upgrade but that’s because Apple’s design team was more focused on improving the Apple Watch Series 4. Apart from coming with a bigger edge-to-edge display, the new Apple Watch also comes with a brand new design and massive improvements to health tracking.

What’s the Difference Between Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 3?

If you are an Apple Watch Series 3 owner and are wondering how the Apple Watch Series 4 is better or what’s the difference between the two wearables, read our comparison below.


  • Apple Watch 4 – Available in 44m and 40mm case sizes, 10.7mm thin; Two finishes – Stainless Steel and Aluminum, 50m water resistant, 50 percent louder speaker
  • Apple Watch 3 – Available in 42mm and 38mm case size, 11.4mm thin; One finish – Aluminum, 50m water resistant

The new Apple Watch is slightly bigger than the existing model, though it is noticeably thinner which is always a good thing. What’s better is that Apple has improved the design tremendously. The display now has rounded corners to match the rounded cover glass which gives the wearable a far more sophisticated look and feel. Oh, and the speaker on the Apple Watch Series 4 is 50 percent louder as well.

Apple is also offering the Apple Watch Series 4 in a new Stainless Steel finish. It’s only available for the GPS + Cellular variant of the watch though, with the Series 3 only being available in an aluminum finish. The new wearable is also available in three different colors: Silver, Gold, and Space Black. The Series 3 is only available in Silver and Space Gray colors.


  • Apple Watch 4 – 977 sq mm for 44mm, 759 sq mm for 40mm case, LTPO OLED with Force Touch,
  • Apple Watch 3 – 740sq mm for 42mm, 563mm for 38mm case, OLED with Force Touch

Thanks to a bigger edge-to-edge display and slightly larger chassis, the Apple Watch Series 4 comes with a substantially bigger display. When compared to the Apple Watch Series 3, even the smaller 40mm Series 4 comes with a bigger display than the 42mm — 759 sq mm vs 740 sq mm.

Apple watch 4 vs 3


  • Apple Watch 4 – 64-bit dual-core S4 processor, 2x faster than S3 processor, W3 wireless chip,
  • Apple Watch 3 – Dual-core S3 processor, W2 wireless chip

The new Apple Watch comes with a 64-bit dual-core S4 processor that is up to 50 percent faster when compared to the S3 processor found inside the Apple Watch Series 3. As for the new W3 wireless chip, it is the same as W2 except that it now supports Bluetooth 5.0.

Digital Crown

  • Apple Watch 4 – The new Digital Crown on Apple Watch 4 offers haptic feedback
  • Apple Watch 3 – No haptic feedback


  • Apple Watch 4 – New gyroscope and accelerometer (32g) allowing for Fall detection and precise step tracking, second-generation optical heart sensor, Electrical heart sensor, Barometer, Ambient light sensor, GPS
  • Apple Watch 3 – Gyroscope and Accelerometer (16g), Optical heart sensor, Barometer, Ambient light sensor, GPS

The Apple Watch Series 4 comes with a bevy of new generation sensors that apart from improved step tracking also allow for Fall detection, low heart rate detection, Atrial fibrillation, and ECG. The ECG feature will be available later this year with a dedicated app to go along with it. For now, the feature will only be available for Apple Watch users in the United States.

Connectivity and Storage

  • Apple Watch 4 – Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE (optional), GPS, eSIM
  • Apple Watch 3 – Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE (optional), GPS, eSIM

The new Apple Watch offers better Bluetooth connectivity and that’s about it. The switch to a ceramic back should also allow for improved network reception though.

  • Apple Watch 4 – All variants of the Apple Watch come with 16GB storage
  • Apple Watch 3 – 8GB for GPS variant, 16GB for GPS + Cellular variant

The base storage has now doubled on the Apple Watch Series 4 which is always a welcome addition.

Battery Life

  • Apple Watch 4 – Up to 18 hours, lasts longer while tracking GPS activities
  • Apple Watch 3 – Up to 18 hours

Despite so many improvements to health tracking, the Apple Watch Series 4 continues to offer the same 18-hour battery life as the Apple Watch Series 3. It also continues to be charged magnetically. Apple now also bundles a USB power adapter with all variants of the Apple Watch Series 4, which it previously only used to bundle with GPS + Cellular variant of the Apple Watch Series 3.


  • Apple Watch 4 – GPS variant starts from $399, Cellular from $499
  • Apple Watch 3 – GPS variant starts from $279, Cellular from $379

The new Apple Watch Series 4 is substantially more expensive than the outgoing model. This difference is further exacerbated by the fact that Apple discounted the Apple Watch Series 3 by $50 after unveiling Series 4.

As the comparison above shows, the Apple Watch Series 4 offers a serious upgrade across the board when compared to Series 3. However, this improvement also comes with a steeper price tag which might be a deal breaker for many.