When choosing between an Apple Watch aluminum vs stainless steel case, there are a few key factors to consider. Cost is likely the biggest factor, as stainless steel models are significantly more expensive than aluminum.
But weight and durability are also important factors to consider. Stainless steel is heavier than aluminum but more resistant to scratches and dents. So which is the best option for you?
Apple Watch Aluminum
The aluminum version of the Apple Watch Series 7 has the same amazing internals as the stainless steel version. Then some versions are even less priced but have fewer features.
- With or without cellular connectivity, the Lighter Nike+ version is available.
- In a wider range of hues
- Stainless steel vs. long-term durability
- Sapphire crystal is superior to Ion-X reinforced glass.
Apple Watch Stainless Steel
This Apple Watch is more durable than the aluminum model, but it costs at least $300 more. Micro-abrasions are more visible because of the polished sheen.
- Stainless steel is a more durable option than other metal options.
- A variant with a Sapphire Crystal glass face is available from Hermés
- Pricey scuffs make a bigger statement.
- The Nike+ variant does not weigh more than the regular model.
Apple Watch: Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Compared
Durability and Strength
Aluminum is softer than stainless steel. Hence it may be more prone to obvious fractures than stainless steel. However, this isn’t a huge problem since aluminum cases are hard to fracture on contact.
Aluminum has an edge when it comes to the appearance of small scratches and micro-abrasions. Despite its matte texture, the aluminum casing is not scratch resistant. Thus even the tiniest scratches on the watch are hidden.
To avoid breaking or fracturing, stainless steel is substantially tougher than aluminum. For usage in sports or other vigorous activities, it is more resistant to wear and tear.
Even though it has a shiny finish, it is more susceptible to nicks and dings. Graphite Apple Watch wearers won’t notice scratches as much as those with Silver watches, but those with Graphite watches will.
The bright stainless steel surface also makes fingerprints more noticeable. Get an Apple Watch Case or Cover from the wide selection available exclusively to address this issue.
Make sure to clean your Apple Watch regularly to keep it in good working order.
Stainless steel is more dense than aluminum by two and a half. Hence it is the heavier material. There is a 10-gram difference between the stainless steel and aluminum models of the Apple Watch Series 6, with the stainless steel version weighing 52.8 grams vs. 42.4 grams for the aluminum 42mm model.
Aluminum is the finest choice if you have a smaller wrist or don’t like the sensation of a heavy watch on your wrist. If you’re an athlete or do a lot of physical activity, you’ll appreciate the lighter finish.
A sapphire crystal display is included in the stainless steel Apple Watch. Protective and scratch-resistant, this material is ideal for encasing the display. When it comes to Sapphire crystal, diamonds are the only thing that can break through it.
The Ion-X reinforced glass used in the metal Apple Watch is less resistant to massive fractures than sapphire crystal, making it more susceptible to breakage.
The stainless steel Apple Watch is the more upscale choice when comparing the two materials. Shiny and shimmering, it offers an attractive finish. It’s hard to go wrong with the stainless steel version, whether you’re a traditional watch enthusiast or want something that looks good.
On the other hand, the metal Apple Watch is no less eye-catching. The metal Apple Watch is a better option if you prefer a matte look than a sparkly one.
You may choose between GPS alone and GPS plus cellular on the aluminum Apple Watch and GPS just and cellular on the stainless steel Apple Watch.
If your iPhone is linked to it through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you can only receive calls and messages on a GPS-only watch. You can use these capabilities with or without an iPhone, thanks to GPS and cellular watches. Apple Music and Podcasts may be streamed through GPS and cellular data on Series 6.
You’ll need a monthly subscription to use the cellular features of your Apple Watch. In addition, the stainless steel Apple Watch comes with a GPS and cellular option that automatically raises the price, even if you don’t use cellular.
You may choose the GPS-only option for the metal Apple Watch and avoid paying a monthly subscription fee. Due to the non-cellular alternative, the price will also be lower than stainless steel.
When comparing Apple Watch models made of aluminum and stainless steel, there is a clear trend in price ranges. The stainless steel variants are more expensive than the aluminum equivalents.
The lowest pricing for the metal Apple Watch is $199 for the Series 3 of the Apple Watch. For $469, the lowest stainless steel model is reconditioned.
The most affordable aluminum Apple Watch Series 6 costs $399, while the most expensive stainless steel model costs $699.
The case comes in various eye-catching colors to go together with the wide variety of Apple Watch Bands.
The metal Apple Watch Series 6 now comes in a wider range of hues. In contrast, the stainless steel Apple Watch is only available in the following colors: Gold, Silver, and Graphite.
Only three watch models are now available from Apple: the Series 3, 6, and SE.
Aluminum and stainless steel variants are available in all three of these series. However, for the Nike and Hermès editions of the Apple Watch, this is not the case.
Stainless steel is the only option for the Apple Watch Hermès, whereas aluminum is the only option for the Apple Watch Nike Series 6 and Nike SE.
The metal Apple Watch’s charging puck is plastic. This is thicker than the stainless steel charging puck for the stainless steel variant, which looks slick.
Which Apple Watch Should You Buy: An Aluminum or Stainless Steel Model?
Both materials offer advantages and disadvantages that may be considered when making a decision.
Aluminum is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a lighter, more affordable Apple Watch with a matte surface that’s less likely to scratch. If you plan on upgrading to a newer model every year or so, this is the more cost-effective alternative.
A more expensive, glossy, and heavier stainless steel Apple Watch is an excellent choice for those who don’t mind paying a little more for a more classic-looking, durable, and substantial watch.
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Does the aluminum Apple Watch scratch easily?
Since aluminum is a weaker metal than stainless steel, the anodization and Ion-X-strengthened glass on the Apple Watch might scratch or chip.
Which is more scratch-resistant stainless steel or aluminum?
To avoid breaking or fracturing, stainless steel is substantially tougher than aluminum. For usage in sports or other vigorous activities, it is more resistant to wear and tear. Even though it has a shiny finish, it is more susceptible to nicks and dings.
Is stainless steel or aluminum better?
Because it’s lighter than stainless steel by nearly a third, aluminum is often employed in the aerospace and bicycle manufacturing sectors. In the automobile industry, you’ll also discover aluminum sheets. On the other hand, Aluminum has a far greater strength-to-weight ratio than stainless steel.
Which Apple Watch is scratch-resistant?
Although the ceramic Apple Watch may be the most scratch-resistant, it is also the most costly, at more than three times as much as the aluminum version of the device.
There are a few key differences between the aluminum and stainless steel Apple Watches. The aluminum is lighter and more affordable, while the stainless steel is more durable and has a luxurious feel. Both materials are scratch-resistant and look great, so it comes down to personal preference.