Deciding between the 40mm and 44mm Apple Watch but not sure about the differences? You‘ve come to the right place!
In this guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about the 40mm vs 44mm Apple Watch sizes. I‘ll compare the weights, screen sizes, battery life, and more between the two models. My goal is to help you decide which Apple Watch size is right for your needs and preferences!
Weighing the Weight Difference
One major difference between the 40mm and 44mm Apple Watches is the weight. Based on Apple‘s tech specs, here‘s how the weights compare across the latest models:
- Apple Watch Series 6 40mm (GPS): 36.4g
- Apple Watch Series 6 40mm (Cellular): 37.8g
- Apple Watch Series 6 44mm (GPS): 39.7g
- Apple Watch Series 6 44mm (Cellular): 41.1g
As you can see, the 44mm weighs about 3-4g more than the 40mm on average. That may not seem like a huge number, but you‘d be surprised how noticeable those extra grams can feel when worn all day on your wrist!
The same weight difference applies to the new Apple Watch SE models:
- Apple Watch SE 40mm (GPS): 32g
- Apple Watch SE 40mm (Cellular): 33.3g
- Apple Watch SE 44mm (GPS): 36.2g
- Apple Watch SE 44mm (Cellular): 37.6g
Again, the 44mm SE weighs around 3-4g more than the 40mm version.
Now 3-4g might not be a dealbreaker for you. But if you prefer lightweight, compact wearables, the 40mm is the way to go. For those who don‘t mind a bit more heft, the 44mm could be a nice choice.
And if you plan to use your Apple Watch during workouts, the lighter 40mm model may feel more comfortable for intense exercising like running or HIIT training. But it really comes down to personal comfort and what feels best on your wrist.
Sizing Up the Screen Size Difference
Aside from the weight, the next major difference is the screen size.
According to Apple, here are the display dimensions:
- Apple Watch 40mm screen size: 1.57 inches
- Apple Watch 44mm screen size: 1.78 inches
While the screen height is the same on both models, the 44mm has more width. So the total screen area is about 21% larger on the 44mm compared to the 40mm.
To put some more concrete numbers to this:
- Apple Watch 40mm screen resolution: 324 x 394 pixels
- Apple Watch 44mm screen resolution: 368 x 448 pixels
As you can see, the 44mm display also has higher pixel density for sharper images and text.
How does this translate to real-world usage? Well, the 44mm‘s larger screen allows you to view more content at a time. Text can be displayed in bigger font sizes for improved readability. Images and app interfaces also have more room to breathe.
So if you plan to read a lot of messages, emails, and notifications on your Apple Watch, the extra screen real estate on the 44mm will really come in handy.
However, the 40mm display is still perfectly usable too. Unless you require maximal screen space, the 40mm provides enough room for basic functions like telling time, tracking fitness, receiving alerts, and more.
Ultimately it comes down to your vision needs and how much content you plan to consume on the smaller vs larger display. Both are quality Retina displays, but the 44mm does offer more real estate.
Finding the Right Fit Based on Wrist Size
To choose the size that fits best, you‘ll want to consider the circumference of your wrist.
According to Apple, here are the recommended wrist sizes for each model:
- 40mm – Best for wrists 130-175mm in circumference
- 44mm – Best for wrists 140-220mm in circumference
To visualize those numbers, 130-175mm is approximately 5 inches to 6.9 inches wrist circumference. And 140-220mm is around 5.5 inches to 8.7 inches.
I‘d recommend using a soft measuring tape to get your exact wrist size. Simply wrap the tape around the wrist bone below your hand. This will tell you whether your wrist falls into the ideal range for the 40mm or 44mm.
Some general guidance based on those measurements:
If your wrist measures under 140mm, the 40mm will likely fit better. Its snug size is suited for petite wrists.
If your wrist measures over 175mm, the 44mm would be the way to go. It provides more breathing room for larger wrist sizes.
If your wrist is between 140-175mm, right in the middle, both sizes could potentially work. So you‘ll have to try them on and decide based on look and feel.
The goal is to get an Apple Watch that sits comfortably on your wrist without the lugs extending beyond the edges. An oversized watch can look awkward and also get caught on sleeves when you move your arm.
So pay close attention to the fit when deciding between 40 or 44mm. For some, wrist size will be the deciding factor on which is better suited.
Comparing Battery Life
How does battery life compare between the 40mm and 44mm Apple Watch models?
Well according to Apple, both sizes are rated for up to 18 hours of battery life per charge. So in Apple‘s testing, battery performance is identical.
However, some real-world usage suggests the 44mm may have a slight edge in daily battery life, typically lasting 2-3 hours longer than the 40mm before needing a recharge.
This is likely thanks to the larger capacity battery that the bigger 44mm case can accommodate. While Apple doesn‘t disclose exact battery specs, teardowns reveal the following battery capacities:
- Apple Watch 40mm – 245 mAh battery
- Apple Watch 44mm – 296 mAh battery
As you can see, the 44mm has a 21% larger battery, which allows it to run a bit longer even with the bigger screen.
Keep in mind that 2-3 hours of extra runtime is not a game-changing difference for most users. Both models still need to be charged daily. But if you want to maximize battery life, the 44mm does appear to have a slight advantage in real-world performance.
Comparing Additional Specs and Features
Aside from the physical differences in size, weight, and screen, here are a few other things to compare between the 40mm and 44mm:
Chip – Both models contain the same internal chips and processors. Whether you pick 40 or 44mm, you‘ll get the fast new S6 dual-core processor in the Series 6, or the capable S5 chip in the SE.
Storage – The storage capacity is identical at 32GB on both the 40 and 44mm models. Plenty of room to store music, photos, apps, and more.
Sensors – All the same motion sensors and health tracking capabilities are present in both sizes. You get accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate sensor, pulse oximeter, and more regardless of 40 or 44mm pick.
Water resistance – Both sizes meet the same 5ATM water resistance rating, allowing you to swim and wear your Apple Watch in the shower without issue.
Colors – The same color options are available for both 40 and 44mm sizes. You‘ll have your pick of silver, space gray, gold, blue, and (PRODUCT)RED aluminum cases.
Bands – One difference is that 40mm and 44mm use different size bands. So if you‘re switching sizes, you‘ll need new bands that properly fit your watch case.
Price – In terms of cost, Apple prices the 40 and 44mm models the same. You‘re looking at a $399 starting price for GPS or $499 for Cellular models.
So in summary, besides the physical watch case and display differences, the 40mm and 44mm offer nearly identical specs, power, and smart features. You can opt for either one knowing you‘ll get the full Apple Watch experience!
Which Apple Watch Size Is Better for You?
So now that we‘ve compared the ins and outs of the 40mm vs 44mm Apple Watch, which size reigns supreme?
Well, there‘s no universally "better" option since it really depends on your needs and preferences.
But here are some general recommendations on which size may be ideal for you:
The 40mm is likely better if:
- You have a petite wrist under 140mm circumference
- You want an ultra-lightweight and compact watch
- You plan to use it for active workouts like running
- You don‘t require maximal screen space
The 44mm may be better if:
- You have a larger wrist over 140mm circumference
- You value screen real estate for content consumption
- You want the best possible battery life
- You prefer larger touch targets and interface elements
For most people with average wrist sizes, either 40 or 44mm could work nicely. If your wrist measures between 140-175mm, I suggest trying both models on at the Apple store to determine which size and weight feels best on your wrist.
Both are amazing smartwatches that you‘ll love wearing each day. The size decision just comes down to fit, comfort, and personal priorities. So think about which features matter most to you, and choose the Apple Watch size that aligns with your needs.
I hope this comparison helps you feel confident deciding between 40mm vs 44mm. Let me know if you have any other questions!