There is no denying that the Apple Watch is a sought-after device with iPhone users worldwide. But when you take a moment to put the hype to one side, it can be hard to decide which model to purchase. With yearly launches of new models, we thought it was time to look at two in particular and work out which is the best to invest in. Take a look and find out which you should be spending your cash on. An Apple Watch 3 or Apple Watch 5!
If you’d rather save money and go with an older model, the good news is that the Apple Watch Series 3 or Series 5 are also excellent choices. Both offer the same fitness monitoring capabilities, alerts, and easy iPhone connectivity. So, if cost is your primary concern, be assured that the Series 3 will provide you with all you want at a significantly lower price. However, if you have some wiggle space in your budget, the Series 5 includes a few noteworthy features that may be worth the extra money.
Apple Watch Series 5
When it was first introduced, the Series 5 was the gold standard for smartwatches. It offers all of the essentials plus some standout features like an always-on display and an FDA-approved ECG app. If you want your Apple Watch to last a long time, the Series 5 is a superior option. Apple has phased out the previous three versions of the Apple Watch with its newest upgrade to WatchOS 7, and the Series 3 might be next.
Apple Watch Series 3
If you’re on a budget, the Series 3 is the Apple Watch for you. It contains the same fitness monitoring features as the Series 5, as well as heart-rate alerts to keep you on track and easy iPhone connectivity. More importantly, it’s much less expensive than the Series 5, so you can either use the money saved into the LTE model or keep it in your pocket. Find it on eBay here.
Key Comparisons Between the Apple Watch 3 and Apple Watch 5
Before we dive into a thorough comparison, take a look at our key comparison table below for an overview of what each device has to offer:
|Apple Watch 3||Apple Watch 5|
|Size Options||38mm & 42mm||40mm & 44mm|
|Colour & Finish Options||One||Nine|
|Heart Rate Monitor||Yes||Yes & ECG|
|Battery Life||Max 18 hours||Max 18 hours|
|Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 44MM) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band (Renewed)||Check Amazon Price|
What Are the Design Differences?
When you consider that all Apple watches have the same look, you would be forgiven for believing that they are designed the same. But this is definitely not the case, with some significant differences between the two. The most obvious design difference is the sizing of the watch. The Series 3 comes in 38mm and 42mm, whereas the Series 4 comes in 40mm and 44mm. Leaving you to decide which one is a better fit for your wrist.
Though, you should note that although the Series 5 is a few millimetres larger than the Series 3, the screen will seem to be substantially larger due to the thinner bezels. It’s still a little screen in comparison to your phone, but it’s much easier to read. The display of the Series 5 is significantly brighter than the Series 3, making it easier to view outside and in direct sunlight. This will be particularly useful for monitoring live metrics during a run without having to stop and goggle at the screen.
The other design consideration you will need to consider is that the Series 5 comes with the always-on feature, a high-quality screen display, and a more rounded screen. We feel that the Series 5 offers a much more finessed version when it comes to design. However, if it’s your first Apple Watch purchase, you will be impressed with either device.
Are They Different Inside?
The Series 5 has a faster CPU and additional storage capacity. You may not notice the change in speed until you have two watches executing the same tasks side by side.
On the other hand, the Series 5 features a speedier CPU and Wi-Fi chip, making it more responsive to things like beginning a workout and moving between applications. It also offers a larger storage capacity for listening to music offline and is more dependable while connected to LTE.
How Well Do the Apple Watch 3 and Apple Watch 5 Track Fitness?
Keeping fit and active is a priority for many of us. So, investing in a smartwatch can help you get the best results and have a record of the efforts you have taken. Both the Apple Watch 3 and Apple Watch 5 offer Apple Fitness as standard. This will count your steps, activity levels, and stand goals throughout the day. Furthermore, it will track all your exercise using the in-built GPS.
Both of these watches are excellent fitness partners, tracking almost any exercise and reminding you to start active on your off days. They both include built-in GPS, so you can run without your phone and still monitor your route and mileage through the Watch, and they’re both water-resistant up to 50 metres for both salt and fresh water swimming. The biggest distinction is that the Series 5 has a compass, which may be useful if you go trekking often.
Apple has worked hard to make the tracking as intuitive as possible. It offers a number of watch faces to choose from for you to see your progress over the day. They also both provide gentle reminders to stand and breathe each hour so that you can work on reducing sedentary behavior and focus on wellbeing. While the two devices are different in many ways, fitness is a pretty standard feature on both devices.
What Smart Features Do the Apple Watch 3 and Apple Watch 5 Offer?
Most people buy an Apple Watch as a companion to their iPhone as they come with many great features. From making calls and sending messages, these watches are well connected to enable you to get on with life in the most streamlined way. Apple is renowned for wanting to support a well-balanced life, and you can be sure that whichever device you choose, you are bound to be impressed with the lengths to which the design team has gone to provide a device that can do it all!
However, there are some key differences in what is possible between these devices. The Series 5 comes with the capability to perform ECGs on the wrist to help monitor your heart health, and there is also a fall-detection facility on the watch in case you are hurt and need emergency assistance. Both of these features are not available on the Series 3, meaning that if they are essential to you, then you should definitely choose the Series 5 for your next purchase.
Which Watch Has the Best Battery Life?
The one thing that all Apple Watch users will tell you they want to see improved is the watch’s battery life. Both the Series 3 and Series 5 come with an 18-hour battery that takes a couple of hours to recharge, making sleep tracking the feature that often doesn’t get used.
The battery is no longer because there are so many different features on offer and ready to use that the battery cannot be expected to last any longer. In reality, if you choose your device based on battery life, both devices are the same.
However! The Series 5 has the benefit of allowing you to turn off the always-on function if you need to extend the battery life. In that scenario, once sleep monitoring is enabled with the WatchOS 7 upgrade in the autumn, you may be able to get in nearly two full days’ worth or a full 24 hours. During outdoor exercises, you’ll gain an additional hour of battery life, which might be crucial if you’re preparing for a race.
The Series 5 will monitor around 6 hours of continuous activity (5 with LTE), compared to 5 hours (4 with LTE) on the Series 3.
Should I Choose the Apple Watch 3 or Apple Watch 5?
When it comes to choosing between these devices, there is no simple answer. The Apple Watch 3 is a great budget choice with many great features perfect for a first-time Apple Watch owner and will work well for many years. However, the Apple Watch 5 comes with ECG and Always-on that will make your life easier and allow you to track your heart health better than ever before.
The one consideration that all consumers should consider is that when Apple releases their latest models each year, their former models become less accessible. This means that if you buy the Apple Watch 3, you will have to consider upgrading in a couple of years, whereas the Apple Watch 5 will last that bit longer. All in all, both watches are great, but we would recommend the Apple Watch Series 5 to anyone serious about investing in a new smartwatch.
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Last Updated on December 24, 2021
Emma brings over a decade of freelance copy and content writing experience and is our Editor, Social Media Manager, and regular contributor. Specializing in long-form content such as blogs, articles, lead magnets, and white papers, Emma also provides businesses with email marketing, website copy, and landing pages.