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Which Apple Watch size should you buy?

If you’ve looked into getting an Apple Watch Series 6, you probably noticed that the Watch case itself comes in two different sizes: 44mm and 40mm. Those sizes aren’t just about what feels more comfortable on your wrist — they also include some important spec changes to keep in mind. Let’s compare them see which is right for you!

The 44mm Watch size

Different Apple Watch models on a stand.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The good news is that the two primary Apple Watch sizes have a lot in common. The internal features, sensors, Health App compatibility, and everything else that may have you curious about the Apple Watch are the same in either size. So let’s narrow things down by taking a look at what is different between the watches.


The “44mm” in this size directly refers to the vertical (not horizontal) length of the display. That works out to around 448 x 368 pixels. If you’re looking for a larger display size, this is the Watch to choose. Display size is a factor that may be important to many users, as the Apple Watch is a touchscreen designed to enable a variety of touch controls, not to mention reading texts and alerts on the display. For size, the 44mm is an easy victor.


While the cost of the Apple Watch depends a lot on what band you choose to go with it, the 44mm version will generally start off $30 more expensive than the 40mm version. If you are interested in saving the most money, it may be worth it to choose the smaller size.


Apple indicates that the 44mm Watch is designed to fit 140- to 220-millimeter wrists. You can grab some measuring tape and gauge your own wrist size whenever you want for more information. If you’re worried about the Watch fitting under cuffs, there’s not much concern: Both Watch sizes are the same height from the strap to the touchscreen.


Apple has indicated that the 44mm version has a slightly larger battery than the smaller choice. It’s difficult to narrow down exactly what that means for battery life, since the Apple Watch battery usage depends on everything from what apps you use to how often you move your wrist. If you want to squeeze every possible bit of battery life out of the Watch, it’s better to go with the larger model.


While Apple’s band options are always being updated, it’s worth noting that some bands are size-specific, which you can see by scrolling through various available Apple Watch Series 6 models. Options like the Leather Loop and Silver Stainless Steel Case are only available for the 44mm size.

The 40mm Watch size

Apple Watch Series 6 with blue Sport Band.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

While the 40mm version of the Apple Watch is smaller, it offers advantages of its own. Let’s take a look.


The smaller 40mm display on this Apple Watch holds 394 x 324 pixels. That’s visibly smaller, which does pose some difficulties for those with larger fingers or users who want larger icons on their screen. However, it also has benefits for others: Some may not want the extra weight and size on their wrist, and instead prefer a more subtle indicator that may also leave more room for other wristwear or tighter sleeves.


The 40mm lets you save money, too. As we indicated, while prices can vary a lot, the 40mm tends to be $30 less expensive than the 44mm option. This is an easy way to ensure some savings in an Apple Watch.


Apple recommends the 40mm version for 130- to 200-millimeter wrists. Again, you can measure your own wrist if you aren’t sure, but it’s generally a more comfortable fit for smaller wrists.


The battery is slightly smaller than the 44mm version here. It’s difficult to say if this will be noticeable depending on how you are using your Watch, but at least in theory, the 40mm version of the Apple Watch has less battery life to work with.


There are also a number of bands only available on the 40mm version of the Apple Watch. That includes a number of cases that use the Attelage Double Tour band, and previous options like the Modern Buckle band style.

Are there other Apple Watch sizes?

Showing two different Apple Watch bands on wrist.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Apple does have other Watch Series sizes … sort of. Older versions, like the Apple Watch Series 3, came in 42mm and 38mm case options. Eventually, Apple decided to boost case size overall and switched to the 44mm and 40mm sizes that the Series 6 uses. So while it’s technically possible to choose one of these alternative sizes, we don’t suggest it: You would be losing out on a lot of useful features and performance improvements by switching to an older Watch for a very small size difference.


Despite the common expression that one is for men and one is for women, it’s clear the decision between the 44mm and 40mm versions of the Apple Watch isn’t as simple as a “his and her” choice. Different sizes may work best for different users depending on their wrists, battery preferences, what straps they like, and more. When in doubt, venture out to local stores and see if you can try on an Apple Watch in each size to see which you prefer.

Our choice? We like the larger size for its bigger screen and improved battery life alone, but either version will give you the latest Watch features you’re looking for.

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