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Apple Watch 40 vs 44: Which size should you buy?

At first glance, the 40mm and 44mm are identical, with one just being a slightly larger version of the other. But, do these size differences affect performance, display resolution, battery life, and other key features that make a good smartwatch? Read this Apple Watch 40 vs 44 comparison article to find out the differences and similarities of these two models, and see which one is better for you.

Apple Watch 40 vs 44

Apple Watch 40mm

The Apple Watch 40mm is the smaller of the two we’re comparing in this article. It’s a beautifully designed smartwatch packed with great features that make your everyday life easier and more convenient. It offers great future-proof value and comes in many design options. Here are some key advantages of the 40mm version you should know before buying:

Pros:

  • More affordable
  • Excellent memory capacity
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Great sleep tracking features

Cons:

  • Smaller display size
  • Slightly shorter battery life

Apple Watch 44mm

Compared to the 40mm variant, the 44mm model offers identical performance characteristics across all major parameters, including the same visual design. The only difference is the overall size of the watch. That said, this difference does draw some unique features, so let’s take a look at the most significant pros and cons of the 44mm Apple Watch version:

Pros:

  • Larger display size
  • Excellent memory capacity
  • Better battery life
  • More convenient for texting

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Too big and heavy for some

Apple Watch 40 vs 44 – Quick Comparison Table

If you’re looking for quick information on the most important differences between the 40mm and 44mm watch, this helpful Apple Watch 40 vs 44 comparison table holds all of the key things you need to know:

Key SpecificationsApple Watch 40mmApple Watch 44mm
Dimensions40 x 34 x 10.4 mm (1.57 x 1.34 x 0.41 in)44 x 38 x 10.4 mm (1.73 x 1.50 x 0.41 in)
Display Size1.58-inches1.78-inches
Display Resolution394 x 324 pixels448 x 368 pixels
BatteryLi-Ion 265.9 mAh (1.03 Wh), non-removableLi-Ion 303.8 mAh (1.17 Wh), non-removable
Weight30.5g36.5g

As you can see from the feature comparison table above, the two models differ in many key specs. However, it’s crucial to highlight that these differences primarily boil down to varying physical characteristics. The performance features are still the same in both models.

Features Face to Face

Apple Watch 40mm vs 44mm
40mm vs 44mm

Design

The design of the 40mm and the 44mm models is identical. Apart from their size differences, you can’t tell the difference between a 40mm and a 44mm Apple Watch. Concretely, both variations have the same recognizable Apple Watch rounded edges that merge into the screen. 

The rear part of the watch is also the same on both 40mm and 44mm models and contains a heart rate monitor. Newer models also include a blood oxygen sensing feature and an ECG (Electrocardiogram) monitor. As far as the case itself goes, you can choose between aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium options for your watch case.

Display Size and Type

If the overall size of the display area plays a big part for you when choosing a new Apple Watch, the 44mm version clearly has the upper hand over the 40mm version. This is because the 44’s display is 1.78 inches (45 millimeters),  compared to the 40’s 1.58 inch (40.1 millimeters) display.

Other than that, you can expect pretty much the same performance from both models, as both versions use the same Retina LTPO OLED screen. This is an Apple-developed technology that we first saw with the Apple Watch Series 5 and their always-on display.

Depth Perception

Interestingly enough, even though these two models have different display areas, there’s no noticeable difference in overall depth perception. This makes these two Apple watches unlike traditional mechanical and digital watches, which have different depth perceptions based on their design. The advanced Retina display, chipset, and watch design allow for excellent depth perception on both the 40mm and the 44mm model.

Resolution

As the two models have different display sizes, the resolution is also understandably different. The 40mm model has a resolution of 394 x 324 pixels. In comparison, the 44mm model’s display has a resolution of 448 x368 pixels. 

In view of this, the 44mm offers a higher resolution, coupled with a broader display area, as we’ve mentioned above. This means that the text and images on the display are bigger on the 44mm watch than they are on the 40mm one.

However, because the 44mm also has a bigger display area, this enhanced resolution doesn’t make much difference in quality compared to the 40mm model. It is simply scaled to fit the larger display better. Plus, as the two models use the same Retina-quality display, the pixel difference is invisible at normal viewing distance, no matter how sharp an eye you have.

Battery Life

Both the 40mm and the 44mm versions come with a standard Li-Ion non-removable battery. That said, the 44mm version has a 303.8 mAh (1.17 Wh) battery, while the latter comes with a 265.9 mAh (1.03 Wh) battery.

While the 44mm also has to power a bigger screen surface, its battery is proportionally stronger than the 40mm model. Apple lists that both watches should last around 18 hours with a full overnight charge. However, you can expect the 44mm to offer slightly better battery life thanks to the bigger battery.

Bands and Band Exclusives

Apple Watch Bands

As Apple offers tons of watch band options, you won’t suffer from a lack of options to pick from. However, we should mention that some bands are only available for certain sizes. So, in some situations, you’ll have to decide whether you want to compromise on a particular size or the band. 

Although the 40mm and 44mm support dozens of band designs, both models offer three exclusive band options. You can choose between standard solo loops, braided solo loops, sport bands, sport loops, stainless steel, and leather bands. You can check them out and design your own watch in the Apple Watch Studio.

Additionally, remember that you can always find third-party bands. These often come at a fraction of the cost of original Apple Watch bands. More importantly, in this context, they are available in all kinds of designs and support many wrist sizes.

Weight

Apart from the display size and area, the overall weight of the two models is one of the critical factors to consider. Looking into the specific numbers, the 40mm watch weighs 30.5g. In comparison, the 44mm model weighs 36.5g. 

Additionally, the stainless steel version adds around 30% weight to both models, meaning that the stainless steel 40mm version weighs about 41.5g, while the 44mm model made of the same material weighs closer to 48g.

That said, keep in mind that both models have a thickness of 10.4 mm (0.41 in). In other words, while the 44mm watch is a bit heavier, it’s not any bulkier and is still equally comfortable as the lighter version.

Wrist Size

The performance characteristics and impressive features of Apple’s 40mm and 44mm watch models wouldn’t matter that much if these watches weren’t comfortable to wear. And, as every person has unique preferences, it’s challenging to give a uniform answer to which model is better for you.

There is a simple rule of thumb that may help you pick. The 40mm model is a better choice for people with smaller wrists (up to 140mm in circumference). In contrast, the 44mm is generally more suitable for people with bigger wrists (from 140mm to 220mm wrist circumference). 

Considering all of this, it’s easier to qualify these two watches into two separate categories based on typical wrist size. With this in mind, the 40mm model is generally more suitable for women and the 44mm for men. But again, as preferences can vary from person to person, picking the more suitable model based on your wrist size is primarily a subjective choice.

Text Feature

Both models support a text feature, provided that they come from the same Apple Watch series. You can use this feature in a text-to-speech form or type your message on the watch’s display.

Nevertheless, while both versions support this feature, the 44mm version has an edge in this category, as its text features are easier to use. This is simply because the 44mm model provides you with a bigger surface. This extra space allows for much faster and more precise typing.

Performance / Ease of Use

The two models have identical performance capabilities. As long as you pick from the same Apple Watch series, you shouldn’t notice differing performances. For example, all Apple Watch SE models have the same 32GB capacity, display type, health monitoring features, and connection capabilities across the 40mm and 44mm versions. They are also listed as waterproof, although we recommend you read our previous article on this before actually putting this claim to the test.

However, while the two models are very similar in performance characteristics, the same couldn’t be said for overall ease of use. More precisely, if you don’t mind carrying a slightly heavier watch on your wrist, the 44mm is arguably the easier model to use. 

This is because it offers you more real estate, enabling you to navigate the display more conveniently. In contrast, the 40mm watch is lighter, making it a more suitable choice if you find larger watches cumbersome.

Standout Features

As we’ve discussed through some previous sections above, these two watches primarily differ in appearance. All of the features inside them are identical across the board. 

In this regard, neither variant has any standout features that would give it the edge over the other one. In other words, it primarily depends on which Apple Watch model you buy, not the size you opt for. 

Price

The 44mm Apple Watch is slightly more expensive than the 40mm one. However, this price difference is not that significant, considering that you’re already paying around $300 or more regardless of which option you choose. 

More precisely, the GPS-only 40mm watch costs $279, while the 44mm with the same capabilities costs $309. If you’re looking for a model with GPS + Cellular, you’ll have to pay $329 to purchase the 40mm model and $359 to get the 44mm version.

Conclusion

To sum up this Apple Watch 40 vs 44 comparison article, we need to answer the remaining, most important question. Which model should you go for? The two watches have nearly identical performance features, apart from slight differences like resolution and battery size.

That said, when deciding, you need to identify whether or not a bigger display is important to you. In line with that, if you have a smaller wrist, the 44mm might not be as comfortable to wear around the clock, especially if you want to wear a smartwatch while sleeping. Lastly, if you’re buying on a budget, keep in mind that the 44mm version is more expensive than the 40mm one.

Ultimately, all of these differences are subjective. There’s no clear winner or loser in this comparison. The question is only about which watch suits you better. With that in mind, we recommend trying on both models to determine which looks and feels better on your wrist.

About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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