Bigger and better?
The 44mm Apple Watch is the largest Apple Watch in the SE series, replacing the 42mm versions on the Apple Watch Series 1 through Apple Watch Series 3. This model is the one with more official bands available.
- More real estate
- Larger battery, slightly longer battery life
- More expensive
- Too big for some
The 40mm Apple Watch has a screen size that's slightly bigger than the 38mm Apple Watch Series 3, but that's mainly because the display is so much larger. Smaller wrists will love this model — and your pocketbook will too!
- Less expensive
- Smaller display
- Slightly less battery life
Choosing the right Apple Watch size is important when it comes to style and functionality. While Apple's newest watches, the Apple Watch Series 8, for example, come with 41mm and 45mm casings, the Apple Watch SE, Series 4, 5, and 6 come in either 40mm or 44mm. So which Apple Watch size should you choose?
Apple Watch 40mm vs. 44mm: Time to compare
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Unlike traditional watches, which measure case size horizontally, Apple measures the Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, Apple Watch Series 6, and Series 7 vertically. The smaller of the two Apple Watch sizes has a height of 40mm; the larger, 44mm. When it comes to width, the smaller Apple Watch is 34mm wide; the larger, 38mm. When comparing Apple Watch 40mm vs. 44mm, below are the details of the dimensions.
|Header Cell - Column 0||44mm||40mm|
|Display area||977 sq mm||759 sq mm|
|Display size||448x368 pixels||394x324 pixels|
|Official Apple band exclusives||3||3|
The size differences between the Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, and Apple Watch Series 6 models might not sound like very much — 3-4mm here or there — but 4mm out of 40mm is one-tenth of the Apple Watch's dimensions.
The rounded rectangular shape of the Apple Watch makes it hard to compare directly with your average round watch. Still, neither of the Apple Watches would be considered overly wide or high in the traditional watch world. Big watches are typically closer to 45mm wide.
Even if you think you want to go small, you can still consider both sizes — neither is enormous — though those with smaller wrists may find the 40mm fits more comfortably.
The Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, and Apple Watch Series 6's two case sizes also translate to two different display sizes. Both are Retina-quality, which means the pixels are invisible to the naked eye at normal viewing distance. The bigger Apple Watch simply has more of those pixels:
- The 40mm Apple Watch has a display size of 394x324 pixels
- The 44mm Apple Watch has a display size of 448x368 pixels
When it comes to picking pixel density with Apple Watch 40mm vs. 44mm, watchOS will fill whatever size display you choose, and for many people, it won't make any difference. That said, if you want more pixels, which translates into bigger text and images, it's worth considering.
Apple Watch 40mm vs 44mm: Depth perception
Unlike the Watch's two height options and two display densities, there's no difference when it comes to the thickness (or thinness) of the Apple Watch 40mm vs. 44mm.
That's because, unlike traditional mechanical or digital watches, the Apple Watch case has to hold a Retina display, the system-in-a-package (chipset), a battery, and sensors. If you're trying to figure out which Apple Watch will best fit under the tight cuffs of your shirt, they're both about the same.
Apple Watch 40mm vs. 44mm: Hers and his
Because there are two sizes, and because some of Apple's bands are unique to one size or another, some have tried to simplify the size discussion down to "hers" and "his."
People come in all shapes and sizes, though, and so do tastes. Some women will want the bigger Apple Watch, and some men, the smaller one. Some people with small wrists will want the bigger watch and vice versa.
All this to say — get the size you prefer. Try both on, and see which one better fits your wrist, style, and personality. That's why Apple has sizes, after all, and why both sizes come with identical features.
Apple Watch 40mm vs. 44mm: Band Bias
Since Apple only offers some bands in some sizes, if you have your heart set on a certain band, you may have to be willing to go with the size that matches it. That said, you can get third-party knockoffs for everything in every size and then some, so it doesn't truly matter if you're looking for the best Apple Watch bands.
Apple Watch 40mm vs. 44mm: Battery life
The 44mm Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4, Apple Watch Series 5, and Apple Watch Series 6 have a slightly bigger battery than the 40mm watch due to more room in the casing. If battery life is most important to you, this is something to consider.
Apple Watch 40mm vs. 44mm: Which should you buy?
If you want the largest and clearest screen available on an Apple Watch, then the 44mm is the one for you. You will also benefit from a larger battery and, therefore, more battery life with the 44mm.
If you have a smallish wrist or simply want the least expensive Apple Watch, then the 40mm will suit you perfectly.
If you are still undecided, try them both on, and see how they feel and look on your wrist. You can then make the decision that works best for you.
Look at that!
If you have vision requirements that benefit from bigger graphics, you want a longer-lasting battery, or if you like bigger watches in general, get this one.
Smaller, yet powerful
If you have a small wrist and want the Apple Watch to look comfortable on it, you should consider this Apple Watch.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9