Apple Watch 40 vs. 44: Which Is Better?

Imagine you need to communicate hands-free so that you can keep an eye on your kids. Buying a smartwatch can help solve that problem, but you should decide between the Apple Watch 40 vs. 44 mm sizes.

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Both sizes offer many advantages, and neither is perfect for everyone. Consider the following differences between the two sizes to help choose which is better for you.

Battery Size and Life

apple watch battery life

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One of the most significant differences between the Apple Watch 40 mm and the Apple Watch 44 mm is the battery. The larger watch model features a larger battery which offers a slightly longer battery life.

Both watches can get about 18 hours of use on a single charge. However, you may be able to use it for a bit less time if you go with the smaller watch.

That means you'll need to have your wireless charger on hand to keep the watch on. The difference in battery life might not make a huge difference most days.

But if you forget to charge your watch one day, it can be nice to have an extra battery.

Display Area

display area apple watch

Of course, the different Apple Watches also have unique display sizes. An Apple Watch 40 mm has a display area of 759 square millimeters or about 1.1 square inches.

Meanwhile, the 44-millimeter model's display area is 977 square millimeters. That comes out to roughly 1.5 square inches, and it might not sound like much.

However, you may find it's much easier to view things on the larger screen. Trying to read text messages or other updates may not take as much straining, especially if your vision isn't perfect.

Screen Resolution

screen resolution apple watch

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Another thing to consider is the screen resolution on both Apple Watch sizes. The 40-millimeter watch has a screen resolution of 324 by 394 pixels.

If you choose the larger watch, you'll get to enjoy 368 by 448 pixels on the screen. Both models feature a retina OLED display with 1000 nits of brightness.

No matter which watch you select, the resolution will be pretty good.

Ease of Use

apple watch workout

Using the Apple Watch can be easy, but one size may be easier for you depending on how you want to use the watch. For example, the Apple Watch 44 mm will probably be better for texting or viewing messages.

However, the Apple Watch 40 mm may be easier for more active things, such as tracking your workouts. You won't have as much weighing down your wrist with the smaller model.

Both watches are easy to set up and use, so it mostly comes down to your preferences. That way, you can determine which watch will suit your needs better.

Wrist Size

wrist size apple watch

The difference may be small, but one Apple Watch size may be the clear choice based on your wrist. If your wrist is between 5.1 and 7.9 inches (130 and 200 mm), you should choose the Apple Watch 40 mm.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch 44 mm may be more comfortable if your wrist measures 5.5 to 8.7 inches (140 to 220 mm). You can measure your wrist with a soft measuring tape.

Another option is to place your opposite hand around the wrist and see if your thumb and second finger touch. If so, measure the distance between those to help confirm the size of your wrist.

Watch Weight

The Apple Watch 40 mm weighs about 30.5 grams for the GPS-only model, and the cellular model adds an extra 0.2 grams. If you choose the Apple Watch 44 mm, it will weigh about 36.2 to 36.4 grams.

Five or six grams might not sound like a lot, but it can feel more significant on your wrist. If you tend to use your wrist a lot, you might want the smaller watch.

That way, you won't have to work as hard to lift your wrist throughout the day. However, wearing the larger watch might help you build some wrist strength, which could come in handy.

No matter what, think about how the watch's weight can affect you. Then, you'll have a better chance of selecting the right Apple Watch size for you.

Watch Cost

apple watch price

Another one of the big Apple Watch differences is how much the models cost. Now, the price can vary depending on the specific model you select and if you get a new or used one as well as if you upgrade your band.

However, the base price for a new Apple Watch SE is $279. The SE is the only model available new that comes with the 40 and 44mm size options.

If you want to get the larger model, it will start at $309. Adding a cellular connection will increase the price by $30, regardless of the specific size you select, but you might also need to pay monthly to put the watch on your cell carrier plan.

Who It Suits Best

You should consider the size of your wrist, but that doesn't always help. If your wrist is 5.5 to 7.9 inches (140 to 200mm), you could wear either size and be comfortable.

But you might find one size is better depending on how you plan on using the watch. For example, you might want to use it as a sleep tracker, in which case the smaller watch can be less intrusive at night.

Or perhaps you prefer to use the watch as a replacement for when you can't dig out your phone. In that case, getting the larger Apple Watch could be a better option since the screen is easier to use.

Available Models

Of course, you might also want to look at the available models that offer the 40 and 44-mm sizing. As mentioned, the Apple Watch SE is the only model that offers these sizes and is new.

If you're willing to get a used watch, you also have access to the Series 4, 5, and 6. You can compare these to other series, such as the Series 3, which is still available new.

That model comes in smaller screen sizes, but one size is between the 40 and 44. So if you find neither size quite works for you, it might be worth looking at other models.

Then, you can make sure you find an Apple Watch that fits your wrist and serves all of your needs.

Watch Colors

apple watch gold color

The color of your watch is a small detail, and many people might not notice it. However, you can look at the different colors to help express your style.

An Apple Watch SE comes with an aluminum finish in silver, gold, or space gray. Some of the colors available on older models, like the Series 5 and 6, include gold, space black, and graphite.

If you have a specific color in mind, that may help narrow your choices to the best model and size. But you might also need to compromise on the color if the size and model available won't meet your other needs.

Available Cases

apple watch cute case

When you buy an Apple Watch, you get to select a band that will come with it. However, you might want more protection, so you can buy a case from a third party.

Either way, you should consider the colors and styles of the available cases and bands. In some instances, color or style might only come in one size.

If that happens, you'll have to decide if the color or style is important enough to get the size it comes in. Or you might decide to look at other colors and styles that will fit the watch size that you prefer.

Adjustable Bands

When choosing a case or band, consider how easily you can adjust the band to tighten it. This is particularly important if you decide to get the Apple Watch 44 mm model.

Since that watch is a bit heavier, it could easily slide around your wrist as you move throughout the day. That can quickly get annoying, so you need a watch band that you can adjust to fit your wrist.

Even if you get the smaller Apple Watch, it's nice to be able to keep it in place. Having a band or case that you can tighten or loosen is easy to forget about, but it can make a huge difference.

How to Choose Between an Apple Watch 40 vs. 44 mm

It's one thing to understand the features of the Apple Watch 40 vs. 44 mm. But it's another thing to put those differences into perspective and help choose the better size for you.

Whether you're looking for your first Apple Watch or an upgrade, you have to think about it a lot. That way, you can make sure not to forget essential aspects of your choice.

Here are some things that matter when shopping for different Apple Watches.

Consider How You'll Use It

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First, you should determine how you plan on using it. Of course, plans can change, but it's useful to have an idea of how and where you'll wear your new Apple Watch.

Maybe you want a fitness tracker to connect to your phone, so you'll use the watch to work out. In that case, you might want the smaller, lighter-weight option to keep from weighing you down.

On the other hand, perhaps you want to be able to leave your cell phone in your bag. You may need to check texts on your watch, so having the larger model can come in handy.

If you're a mom and plan on getting a watch for your kids, you might want to think about their use cases. Or if you're shopping for your mom, think about how she might wear the watch.

Know How Much You'll Wear It

You should also think about how much you'll wear the watch each day. You can get up to 18 hours of battery life with either size, though the smaller one may die a bit sooner.

Either way, think about if you plan to wear the watch all day at work. This is a good option for teachers, nurses, and anyone else who needs a good watch for their job.

Or maybe you don't need a watch for daytime use, but you want to track your sleep. You could get the larger one, but that may be uncomfortable as you try to fall asleep at night.

Decide If You Want Cellular

As you consider how and how much you'll use the watch, that can help you decide if you need a cellular connection. You can get either size and connect the watch to your cellular network.

However, in either case, that will increase the price, and it can slightly increase the weight. If you're on a budget, you might want to go with the Apple Watch 40 mm model.

Then, you can still get the connection you need to use your Apple Watch farther from your iPhone. But if you don't expect to need that, it makes more sense to choose the GPS-only watch.

And you can still decide between the Apple Watch 40 vs. 44 mm sizes.

Compare the Sizes

apple watch different sizes

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You can read a lot about the display area and size of each watch. However, the best way to learn if an Apple Watch is the right size is to try it on in person.

If you live near an Apple Store, go to the store to check out the selection. Even if you can't get one in the color you want, you can get a feel for how bulky or light a watch can be.

During your shopping trip, compare the other available sizes as well. Apple Watches also come in 38, 41, 42, and 45 millimeters, so one of those sizes might meet your needs a bit better.

Be sure to also test out the screen to determine if you can see everything easily. If not, you might want a larger watch.

Ask to Borrow a Friend's

If you can't go to an Apple Store, consider if you know anyone with an Apple Watch 40 or 44. Ask that person if you can borrow their watch, even if only for a few minutes.

Then, you can test out what at least one size feels like and how the screen looks. If they're willing, you can ask to borrow the watch for a full day or two so that you can really test the watch.

You can also ask anyone you know with an Apple Watch if they're willing to sell it to you. If you like the watch, you may be able to start using that specific one, and you won't have to worry about ordering a new one.

That way, you can save money on a watch, and your friend has an excuse to upgrade. Just make sure that you do want that particular size and configuration since you can't customize it like you can with a new watch.

Think About Your Current Watch

apple watch watch face

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If you have a current watch, think about how big and heavy it is. Your watch doesn't have to be from Apple, and it doesn't even have to be a smartwatch of any kind.

However, you can get the measurements to see how big it is and how it might compare to an Apple Watch 40 mm or 44 mm. If you like the size of your current watch, you know to look for a model that comes close to that.

Or if you think it's a bit small or large, you can adjust your watch shopping accordingly. You can also test any other watches you have access to, such as those of your friends or family members.

This is an excellent way to narrow your search if you can't try an Apple Watch specifically. You'll at least get an idea of which size is better, which can help you order the perfect model.

Set a Budget

set a budget

Before you buy any Apple Watch, you should consider your personal budget. Apple Watches can easily get expensive, especially if you choose a unique band and add a cellular connection.

If you want the Apple Watch 44 mm, you'll have to decide if it's worth paying more. Or you can decide if you want to save money and go with a GPS-only watch.

You'll also want to look at the available stock of used Apple Watches if you want a Series 4, 5, or 6. The SE model, even though it's new, costs a lot less than those other options.

If you're tight on cash, you can either get a smaller, cheaper watch now. Or you can wait a few months and save up some extra money, and you may be able to get a good deal on a newer watch, especially if you wait until the next series comes out.

Review Available Colors and Models

When you're ready to purchase a watch immediately, you'll want to look at the colors and models that are in stock. You might also want to consider if you can pick up the watch or if you'll need to have Apple ship it to you.

Depending on your order, you may need to wait a few days or weeks for it to arrive. However, if you can go to an Apple Store, they may be able to prepare the order that day.

In some cases, you might need to wait a while for the finish or model that you want to come back in stock. This can be especially common around the holidays when a lot of people might order the same configuration as you.

Now, if you plan on purchasing a case from another company, the stock might not matter. You can choose a finish that isn't your first choice, and you might not even remember that's the color once you start wearing the watch.

Look at Bands and Cases

apple watch watch band case

As you compare the Apple Watch 40 vs. 44, look at the available bands and cases. Consider how bulky the case or band you want is and how that might affect the overall feel of the watch.

If you want a thicker, more protective case, that can be worth it. However, it might make the watch feel bigger and heavier than it is, which can get uncomfortable.

In that scenario, it can make sense to choose the smaller watch model. That way, the watch won't be too big or intrusive when you add a case to it.

This doesn't matter as much with some of the thin Apple Watch bands. But if you expect to use the watch outside or in other extreme conditions, you might want to keep it safe with a heavy-duty case.

Don't Ignore Used Watches

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If you only stick to new Apple Watches in 40 or 44 millimeters, the SE is your only option. However, you might want a watch with more features from a standard series.

To help broaden your options, look at used Series 4, 5, and 6. Ideally, you'd find one from Apple through its refurbished program, or you can go through an authorized Apple partner.

You can also buy from a friend if you know that they've taken good care of the watch. Be careful when buying from someone random online because you might end up with a watch that doesn't work well.

Check Out the Return Policy

return policy apple watch

Whether you buy the watch from Apple or another company or person, think about returns. Apple lets you return purchases for up to 14 days after you receive the item.

That means you have a couple of weeks to test out your new Apple Watch to make sure it's the right size. If you realize it's too small or too large, you can exchange it for another option.

Other stores will have their own return policies, so review that before you purchase. Having some sort of return window is essential if you can't try the watch before you buy it since you get to see how it feels and fits.

When buying from an individual, you might not have a return window. In that case, do what you can to try the watch, so ask to meet somewhere in public where you can put the watch on and confirm if it's the best size for you.

Which Apple Watch Will You Buy?

apple watch 40 vs 44

If you want to start using a smartwatch, you should compare the Apple Watch 40 vs. 44 mm models. While there are other sizes, these are two of the most popular.

Be sure to consider how each size fits, how long the battery is, and how you plan to use the watch. That way, you can decide if the model is a good fit for you.

Are you ready to buy a case for your new Apple watch? Check out our smartwatch case selection today.
Kristel Silang
Kristel is the Content Marketing Manager for i-Blason. She has been in the marketing industry for 12 years with expertise on content marketing, search engine optimization, and photography. Previous publications she has contributed to include The Manila Times, Compound Butter, and Livingston County CVB.

1 comment

  • Tracy

    This was a very helpful article. Thank you!

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