The big, or the little question... 42 or 38mm Apple Watch… do we need that screen estate?

watchOS & Apple Watch Apps

Don't know if you realised, apple have released a watch... Okay, okay, late to the party. I'm looking to buy one but it crossed my mind, is there really any value in getting the larger sport, a premium of £40 over here, when it does everything the same as, well, any of the other apple watches, up to £10,000?

I often wonder this about the + phones, for me the 6 is a perfect size as have long fingers, 6 + is just a pain and ungainly.

So, my question is, why should I buy a 42 mil screen over a 38 mil? Is the 38 mil harder to control? Is it that different in size? Are there advantages with the smaller face, excluding the cheaper cost?

As my music teacher used to say... Discuss...

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Submitted by Dalia on Thursday, April 7, 2016

Something to possibly factor into the decision is the fact that the 42mm Watch has a larger capacity battery, hence longer time between charges.

The difference isn’t perhaps significant, but with battery life already low, every extra minute might count.

You could argue that the smaller screen requires less juice anyway, but I have read there is a slight difference when using it in a normal mode, i.e. without VO. Factor in exactly the same amount of power being needed for voiceover/speaker and I think that gap will increase.

Thanks for this one. It's a very good point.

How about navigating the screen, does anyone find the smaller screen fiddly, considering we're using a lot of gestures as it is?

Submitted by Serena on Friday, April 8, 2016

hey, one thing that a lot of people may not factor in also, isn't just the size of the screen, how hard or easy it is to navigate, and or battery life. there is also weight! if you are sensitive to weight on your arm, the bigger the watch, the heavier it feels. now that may not seem quite right, after all, it only weighs in at 30 grams. or i think, 25 grams for the 38 mm. but people can, and do notice a difference in feel of the weight on their arms. it's strange how our bodies can tell the difference between 5 or so grams. seems a tiny difference in the hand, but when wearing it, you sure feel the difference. anyways, if weight is a concern, perhaps check that out. if not, say, if you're used to having watches on and don't notice much difference these days through accustoming yourself to feeling something there, then that won't be a worry. and yes. battery life is the main reason i'd go 42 mm.

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Friday, April 8, 2016

I'm also considering moving into the future and getting an Apple watch, since my beloved Tissot is starting to act weird, but i've got one more thing to add into the pot: What with the new watch that's rumored to be presented at the next WWDC? One thing that makes me reluctant to buying an applewatch in the first place is that once a year has passed a new model or watch comes out and then we have to fork out money for getting that new one again. Watches are meant to last i think, they shouldn't have to be changed every single year like computers or iPads or the like.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, April 8, 2016

Hi, I know what you mean about the updates and I think this is something apple is very aware of. Updating a phone every couple of years is the standard and we can spread our costs over that time too, whereas a watch? Probably not. I think they'll introduce a new watch this year with a couple of added features, FaceTime camera for example, and launch it at the original price of the watch. My gut feeling is that they'll split it into three tears, as they have with the iPhone, so we're getting the feature set we want. I mean, a FaceTime camera, to me, sounds a little dumb on a watch, even if I could see.

Apple have recently patented modular systems which suggests that they will incorporate other features, not into the watch itself, that will remain 'the brain', but into the straps through the service port. So, you could get a wrist projector, bigger battery, a speaker, extra sports logging capabilities or even a means of continually charging the watch through motion. I think it is the customisable route which they will head down and not making millions of watches obsolete. That would really anger the fans I think. Just my view anyway.

Submitted by Megan on Friday, April 8, 2016

I have tried both watches, 42 and 38, and one thing to consider if you have larger fingers is that split tapping (I.E. when entering your passcode) is a lot easier on the 42 MM one because there's a little more room for your second finger. That said, I went with the 38 because I felt that the 42 was just too big for my wrist, plus I couldn't get the modern buckle if I went with the 42. My only suggestion is to go to the Apple store and try them both out and see what works well for you.