Difference Between 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch

These two types of apple watch of 38mm and 42mm have a great debate about the most efficient one. The 38mm Apple watch is much lighter, while the other 42mm is much heavier but with more pixels.


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They have many common features, and there are many differences as well.

The 38mm Apple watch have much lesser dimensions, as we can understand by the name itself, but it has lesser weight and more PPI.

It has a weight of 87 grams (3.05 ounces) which is better in a way for those who want watches of lesser weight and also have more pixel density.

The 42mm Apple watch, on the other hand, have a bigger dimension and is much bulkier than the 38mm watch. But two advantages that we get in this is that it has much more and better pixel and along with the huge screen.

It has 312 × 390 pixels along with 1.54 inches screen.

38mm vs 42mm Apple Watch

The difference between 38mm and 42mm apple watch is that 38mm watch is with 44% screen to body ratio while in 42mm watch is 49.5% screen to body ratio. The display size and resolution are what we can first differentiate along with the difference in weight.

38mm vs 42mm Apple Watch

The 38mm Apple watch have many same features as the other watch, but the big difference can be few in which the difference in screen and weight affects the decisions of the buyer the most.

There are around six kinds of models in this 1st generation of 38mm apple watch of 2015. 

The 42mm Apple watch have common features like depth of the watch, materials, water protection, but it is bigger with the dimension of 35.9 × 42 mm and 101 grams of weight.

It also is from Apple watch 1st generation of 2015 A1554 Stainless steel while 38mm watches have a difference in A1553 Stainless steel.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison38mm Apple Watch42mm Apple Watch
Height1.52 inches 1.65 inches
Width33.3 millimeter 35.9 millimeter
Screen size1.34” inches 1.54” inches
Pixel density385 PPI 384 PPI

What is 38mm Apple Watch?

The 38mm Apple watch is from the 1st generation or Series 0, released in April 2015. It comes in an A1553 Box in which, along with the apple watch, we get a magnetic charging cable,

one USB power adapter, Band, and lastly Quick start guide. This was the first release which was continued with Apple Watch Series 1. 

It is rectangular with dimensions of 38.6 x 33.3 x 10.5 mm, along with a body of stainless steel case with the option of a replaceable band.

The water resistance is high with depth up to 1 meter and for around 30 minutes with lots of colours to choose from. 

The screen is 1.5 inches with a 385-pixel density. The touch screen is 44% in ratio with the body with 16 million colours in the display with scratch-resistant glass.

There is no support for SIM cards and cameras. It doesn’t support active noise or radio or TV, but it supports loudspeakers.

The option of Bluetooth and WiFi is seen in this Watch along with sensors like vibrating alert, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, etc. The battery is of Li-on: Lithium-lon of 205mAh.

It has Standard charging and Magnetic charging as well with a standby time of 18hrs and charging time of 3hrs.

What is 42mm Apple Watch?

The 42mm Apple Watch is a 38bit – Apple S1 (28nm) chipset with a Single-Core, 1 Processor. It consists of 520 MHz single-core ARM Cortex- A7 in CPU. It has PowerVR SGX543 in GPU graphical controller.

In RAM, it has 512MB LPDDR and 8GB internal storage. It also has an AMOLED display.

The 42mm Apple watch, just like the 38mm watch, doesn’t have network support as well. It has WatchOS 1.0 as its system version, which can be further updated to WatchOS 4.0.

It also has video formats of MP4, H.264 and H.263 and audio formats as MP3, WAV, eAAC+ and FLAC.

This 42m Apple watch is from 1st generation of the 2015 Apple watch. It has a stainless body and an A1554 box. This doesn’t have an extra card slot for storage.

It has a Glass front of Sapphire crystal and 3d touch display as well, which is bigger, making it an advantage in many places.

Due to the bigger size of the watch, the weight of the watch is also more, but it has better resolution or pixel. The option of Bluetooth and WiFi is also available.

This watch also has a lot of colour options. Due to a little more feature, the price also varies a little for this watch.

Main Differences Between 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch

  1. 38mm watch is smaller in size, while the 42mm watch is bigger when compared.
  2. 38mm watches have lesser weight while 42 mm have more weight due to the size when compared.
  3. 38mm watches have lesser picture quality or pixel, while 42mm watches have better picture resolution.
  4. 38mm watch due to the small size of the display makes it more difficult to read or text when we compare the comfortability with the 42mm watch.
  5. 38mm is lesser in price while 42mm is a little costlier when compared


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4842-1025-3_1
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3123021.3123049
  3. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4842-1281-3_2
  4. https://publishing.rcseng.ac.uk/doi/full/10.1308/rcsbull.2021.147
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