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5 Reasons the Aluminum Apple Watch is Better Than Stainless



The Aluminum Apple Watch is better than the Stainless Steel models for most users. This is essentially an Apple Watch Sport, and it’s the Apple Watch most buyers should choose.

The models are simply Aluminum, Stainless, Nike+, Titanium and Hermes. The Nike+ and Aluminum models are essentially the same.

If you’re looking at the Apple Watch 3, Apple Watch 4, Apple Watch 5, or Apple Watch 6 these are the same options.

The Apple Watch 3 is still a good deal in 2020, and you can find it as low as $169 on sale. The Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch 6 are the newest models and offer more features at higher price points. Here are all the cool things the Apple Watch can do.

After using the Aluminum Apple Watch for years and comparing that to the more expensive Stainless Steel Apple Watch, these are the reasons that the Aluminum Apple Watch is a better choice for most users.

I bought the 44mm Apple Watch 6 GPS + LTE in aluminum. I think you should also consider the aluminum model.

After an extended time using the Aluminum Apple Watch and looking at some of the Apple Watch problems that come with the Stainless Steel model, here are five reasons the Apple Watch Sport is better than the Apple Watch.

We are already seeing a wide variety of Apple Watch accessories and there are a multitude of new Apple Watch bands from third-parties that plan to add new styles and cheaper options to change the look of your watch without upgrading. There are also a number of stands and docks that work with both models featured in this comparison for a more elegant charging solution.

Aluminum Apple Watch is Lighter

Aluminum Apple Watch is Lighter

If you aren't used to wearing a watch and you want to work out, the aluminum Apple Watch is a clear win. The aluminum case is lighter which means you won't notice it on your wrist as much as the Apple Watch with a Stainless Steel case.

The aluminum Apple Watch weighs 26.7 grams in 38mm and 32.3 grams in 42mm. Cellular connectivity adds about 2 grams to the aluminum models. The Stainless Steel Apple Watch is 42.4 grams in 38mm and 52.8 grams in 42mm thanks to the heavier Stainless Steel.

With the Apple Watch 4, the aluminum model is 30.1g for the 40mm and 36.7g for the 44mm. The Stainless Steel model is 39.8g for the 40mm and 47.9g for the 44mm model.  

The Apple Watch 5 in aluminum is about 10 grams lighter than the stainless steel models. 

The Apple Watch 6 in aluminum is about 9 grams lighter than stainless. 

A nickel weighs 5 grams, so if you want to feel the difference you can hold two or three nickels in your hand. It's not a major difference, but it will matter to some users. You can also try on the Apple Watch models at a store to see the difference for yourself.



  1. Patrick Jensen

    07/02/2015 at 9:35 am

    This is the dumbest list I’ve written. Stainless steel does scratch, yes, but those scratches can be buffed out extremely easily, in a matter of minutes. Aluminum scratches however, cannot be buffed out and dig deeper in to the material. The sapphire crystal display on the apple watch is of much higher quality, a hardness only second to diamond. The apple watch glass or “ion X” scratches EXTREMELY easily. The apple watch sport is also too light, it feels like a gimmicky, cheap toy. The apple watch on the other hand, feels solid, it has some heft to it. It feels like a real time peace and not like a little toy. The apple watch stainless steel will without a doubt hold up better over time. Also, while all the bands can be interchangeable the sport model looks stupid sporting a stainless steel band or a leather buckle. The stainless steel matches well with all the bands, no matter which one. While I do appreciate the sport model as well, I feel as though this article was written by someone who is jealous they couldn’t afford the stainless steel model, so they resulted to bashing it and saying why the cheaper model is “so much better”.

    • Stop Complaining

      08/21/2015 at 8:11 pm

      Did your mommy let you on the computer again? ;-)

      • You deserve a facepalm

        09/14/2015 at 5:49 pm

        Hey! Didn’t your mommy ground you from trolling in the internet?

      • D Camp

        03/06/2016 at 4:15 am

        No, but it does appear that not only were his reasons “not” to purchase rather…lame, he left his spell check off. And THAT alone precludes me from listening to his reasoning.

    • Wap

      02/07/2016 at 7:38 am

      Calm down. People are allowed to have their own opinions you know?

    • Just the Facts

      02/24/2016 at 7:24 pm

      You are absolutely right. Steal is harder than aluminum:

      Its crazy to say or imply that aluminum is better because its scratches less. This idea is born form pure ignorance. The author should simply amend this section stating a correction and swallow the pride instead of making some weird anonymous insults, in the comments.

    • basri kaplan

      09/15/2019 at 12:21 pm

      The sapphire crystal for apple is very bad compared to other brands such as tisto watches. The screen scratches at level 6 and 7 on the apple watch on both models lol

  2. Kingsley Arthur Rowe

    07/31/2015 at 4:01 pm

    i pick my watch for most of the reasons you listed in your article great minds think alike. :)

  3. mj

    08/14/2015 at 2:37 pm

    It really doesn’t matter if it will “hold up over time.” This is first-gen tech that will soon be obsolete and replaced by better tech. It most likely isn’t going to be a collectable, and it’s not fine craftsmanship that will last for decades like an expensive handmade watch that you would pass down to family. I’m going for the Sport model, and I’m gonna have fun with it :)

    • Luke

      02/27/2016 at 12:14 am

      I love your thinking, I’m doing the same thing! Have fun with your Apple Watch Sport!

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  5. robbym

    01/26/2016 at 6:36 pm

    I have both and prefer the black sport model for day to day and save my stainless steel with stainless steel band for dressing up. I find the sport to be much more comfortable but it cant compete when looks matter..

  6. Just the Facts

    02/24/2016 at 7:20 pm

    Steal is harder than aluminum, thats just a fact.

  7. Just the Facts

    02/24/2016 at 7:27 pm

    A much better article that seems to have all the facts checked and weighs the pros and cons with balance:

    • Brian

      04/07/2016 at 2:17 pm

      Great other review you posted for ‘betanews’… something else everyone should consider; Apple Watch 2.0 is due out later this year. I just bought my first one and did go with the 42mm Sport along with the Armorsuit screen protector for two main reasons. #1 – Cost… $250 cheaper than the comparable Apple Watch model. If I don’t like this then I’m not out as much $$.

      #2 new model on the horizon. Didn’t want to spend $600 on
      something I may want to replace later this year or early next (presuming I still like the Apple Watch brand).

      You could add a 3rd reason though and that is while the Apple Watch may “look” better and the sapphire glass is harder (but not as much) those reasons (along with a “prettier box”) left me not to be able to justify the Apple Watch over the Apple Watch Sport model.

      Just my 2 cents.

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  9. Pipemon

    03/27/2016 at 11:09 am

    Jesus…What a bunch of idiots!

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  11. Monique

    05/04/2016 at 9:47 pm

    No comments !

  12. Cris

    05/14/2016 at 12:21 am

    Ok, this review didn’t help me at all. It seems like the one who wrote it, was choosing the sport because it cost less. I don’t really care about the cost. Im searching for reviews about the difference of them, because I want something that will last. Something that is durable, and that will withstand the weather, if it gets wet, everyday use. Im tired of my watches that I have to take to the store to change the battery every time they stop working. Tired of having to buy a different watch every time they tell me we can’t figure out how to take the battery out you have to take it to a jeweler. This article just said that the sport watch is a lot lighter then the stainless steel one, and that the prices differ by a lot. Also would like to find an article on how to change the apple watch band to a different one.

    • James

      06/07/2016 at 8:41 am

      If you need help with that Chris maybe you don’t need one. There really isn’t a difference in the watch other that steel,glass,and price. Also if you’re complaining about a battery then this watch isn’t for you. Only last for 18hrs before you need to charge it.

  13. ace

    06/15/2016 at 11:45 am

    Stainless steel runs around the same tensile yield strength (really the best measure of strength for these metals) as standard aluminums. This will govern damage from impacts etc. Comparing the two on that level is kind of worthless. The elastic modulus (how rigid it is) of steel is about 2.9 times higher than the aluminium; given the similar strengths, this means that steel is 2.9 times “scratchier” than Al. This will mean that stainless steel will scratch Al and Al will not scratch stainless steel, and applies generally to how frequently a thing will scratch. It’s called the hardness of a material, and you can verify the info i have given by checking the brinell hardness of the materials: 6000 series Al runs around 95, while 304 stainless runs 265. Neither material is actually going to be fixed by polishing, but Al oxidizes when exposed to air, so part of that scratched material is actually powdered into a non-metal rather than pushed out of the way. At the end of the day, the scratch resistance is similar, and both kick the crap out of precious metals, let alone your skin, so i don’t really see this as a make or break criteria. -Structural Engineer.

    PS Please stop saying “steal” is “hard”.

  14. Rachita

    07/27/2016 at 1:43 am

  15. Chris Stanley

    08/23/2016 at 1:21 pm

    The writer can only be responsible for what he says, not what we understand. Stop crying. I read this opinion piece because I’m trying to make a decision. I can read many of these opinion pieces and put it all together and make my own decision based on my own desires and the opinions of others. If you don’t care about a 200 dollar difference then why are you even reading this? Just go out and buy one.

  16. cestasol11

    08/24/2016 at 3:30 am

    i like this watch

  17. crafthouseimages

    08/24/2016 at 7:26 am

    I’d like to know if you can change the display, or are you stuck with the one chosen on purchase.
    I’d also like to know exactly what the features are; like, can you use it as a phone, now that would be cool.
    Does it receive text messages and other inherit features of our new phone devices?

    • Brian

      08/24/2016 at 9:13 am

      The face size and casing are part of what you buy. Sure you can get a band for an Apple Watch and put it on a sport but the watch case itself remains. Also if you wanted the larger screen then you would buy a new watch (because even if you find a larger face on the Internet it would cost about the same… the tech is in the face).

      You can make/receive calls (as long as your phone is in range w/ Bluetooth) but from what others have said the quality is same or worse than putting the phone on speaker. I do use it to answer but usually say “hold on… transferring the call to the phone”.

      Text come thru, simple emoji and preset simple replies but you can also use voice to text (which works except in loud areas). Again, your phone has to be in Bluetooth range.

      As I mentioned in a post back in April I bought the sport to “try it out”. I love it and would buy the Apple Watch but at this point waiting for (hopefully) the next hardware revision before plunking down the extra dough for the nicer one isn’t worth it.

      I’m hoping for integrated music playback (it can store music but you can only listen through Bluetooth). Better Bluetooth. Camera (because sometimes I want a quick shot without pulling out my phone with little regard to quality). WiFi would be really nice as BT lags sometimes. That’s on my “wish list” if Apple does continue hardware dev on the Watch.

      • Malcolm McKay

        09/07/2016 at 12:31 am

        All food for thought Brian.
        Sheesh, sorry for the late response to your reply.
        I think I may wait until the new one ships (I heard late Aug)
        Can’t wait to have a great Apple watch, lol.
        Sports are tempting but surely they must have a lesser build to be so much cheaper.
        All the best, Mal

  18. Malcolm McKay

    09/07/2016 at 12:29 am

    All food for thought Brian.
    Sheesh, sorry for the late response to your reply.
    I think I may wait until the new one ships (I heard late Aug)
    Can’t wait to have a great Apple watch, lol.
    Sports are tempting but surely they must have a lesser build to be so much cheaper.
    All the best, Mal

  19. Nate

    01/02/2017 at 2:32 pm


  20. Anik

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  21. Osama Shiekh

    06/26/2019 at 2:38 am

    That’s an amazing insight on apple watches.
    I’ve been wanting to buy a smartwatch myself. Thankfully I read your article. So I really appreciate it!
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