Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Apple Watch: Which Is Better?

Aluminum Apple Watch vs Stainless Steel Apple Watch

Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Apple Watch: Which Is Better?

The Apple Watch ranks among the most popular smartwatches on the market. It is available in different materials, with aluminum and stainless steel being the most common metal options. However, which is better?

If you’re trying to decide between two materials but can’t seem to figure out which one to go for, read this Apple Watch aluminum vs. stainless steel comparison article. It covers these two materials in detail — their durability, design, cost, and experience.

Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Apple Watch: Side-by-Side Comparison 

FeatureAluminum Apple WatchStainless Steel Apple Watch
WeightFrom 26.4 gramsFrom 42.3 grams
PriceFrom $399 newFrom $699 new
Color OptionsAvailable in 5 colorsAvailable in 3 colors
Cellular OptionsGPS-only or GPS + cellularOnly GPS + Cellular
DurabilityMore prone to scratchesHigh scratch resistance
AestheticsCasual and modernSophisticated and classic
DisplayIon-X strengthened glassSapphire crystal

Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Apple Watch: What Are the Differences?

To help you decide the right choice for you, here are some key differences between the aluminum and stainless-steel Apple watch models.


Price points vary with each Apple Watch series, but stainless steel Apple Watches are generally very expensive compared to aluminum Apple Watches. This is because stainless steel is stronger and more durable than aluminum.

For example, getting the aluminum Series 7 Apple Watch would cost you $399, while the same stainless steel model would cost you $699.  Another example is the Apple Watch Series 3, which may be purchased for as little as $199 for the aluminum model and $469 for the stainless steel one. This is $300 more than the aluminum alternative.

So if you’re searching for a low-cost solution, an aluminum model like the Apple Watch Series 8 Smart Watch with Silver Aluminum Case would be ideal! 

Best Overall
Apple Watch Series 8
  • Always-On Retina display
  • Innovative safety features like Crash Detection and Fall Detection
  • Advanced health monitors for temperature, sleep, blood oxygen, and heart rate
  • IP6X-certified dust resistant plus WR50 water resistance
  • Compatible with all of your Apple devices and services
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02/02/2024 10:53 am GMT


On average, stainless steel is two and a half times denser than aluminum. This means the aluminum Apple Watch is significantly lighter than the stainless steel model.

Depending on the size, the aluminum Apple Watch weighs 26-32 grams, while the stainless-steel Apple Watch weighs between 42-52 grams. The weight variance can make a noticeable difference when wearing the watch for long periods of time.

So, if you have a smaller wrist or don’t like the feel of a heavy watch, you may consider the aluminum apple watch model. Conversely, choose a stainless-steel Apple Watch model if you prefer heavy watches.

Color Options

Aluminum watches are available in five color options; Starlight, Midnight, Blue, Red, and Green. These colors give a sleek and sophisticated style that is perfect for those looking to make a fashion statement.

On the other hand, stainless steel apple watches are readily available in just three colors; Silver, Graphite, and Gold. These colors are considered perfect for those who wish to add a touch of elegance to their style.

Cellular Capabilities

The capabilities of aluminum and stainless-steel Apple watches also differ in terms of cellular connectivity. The Stainless-Steel Apple Watch only has GPS + Cellular variants. They do not have GPS-only functionality; such honor goes to the Aluminum models that feature GPS-only or GPS + cellular.

This makes stainless steel Apple watches inconvenient for some customers since they will have to pay for a monthly data subscription even if they do not utilize the cellular capabilities.

The aluminum Apple Watch takes the victory for having more alternatives, making it a more budget-friendly option. Users that don’t require the cellular function can opt for the less-expensive GPS-only model.


No question regarding the quality of the products Apple produces. That’s to say that both stainless steel Apple Watches to aluminum Apple Watches are durable. However, compared to aluminum, stainless steel is generally highly durable.

It is stronger and does not shatter or break when struck. This explains why it has a higher resistance to dents, scratches, dents, and other forms of wear and tear. Furthermore, it is more resistant to corrosion and high temperatures than aluminum.

So, if you can’t bear the thought of donning an Apple watch with fingerprints marks and small scratches, you may consider an aluminum version. Its matte finish hides strains well. However, get a watch like the , and you will have the best of both worlds — more durability and fewer scratch marks.

Advanced Health and Fitness Trackers
Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS + Cellular 45mm)
  • Graphite stainless steel case with Graphite Milanese Loop band
  • Fitness tracker
  • Blood Oxygen and ECG apps
  • Sleep tracker
  • Crash detection and fall detection
  • Stay connected even without your phone
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02/01/2024 08:50 pm GMT


Aesthetically, both models have very distinctive appearances. The stainless-steel Apple Watches have a more luxurious look than their aluminum counterparts. They have a glossy finish with a polished finish that gives them a sophisticated and classic look. This makes them ideal for individuals who prefer conventional timepieces or want something visually gratifying.

On the other hand, the aluminum Apple Watches have a matte finish that gives them a contemporary look. Hence, they are a great choice for individuals who prefer a more modern style and want to don a casual and stylish watch.


Another distinction between Apple Watch models made of aluminum and stainless steel is the material utilized for their separate casings. The stainless-steel Apple Watch has a sapphire crystal display, one of the most sought-after display materials for high-end timepieces. It is strong and rigid, offering the watch’s display excellent protection and high scratch resistance. Furthermore, it has a more premium appearance and feel.

The Aluminum Apple Watch, on the other hand, employs Ion-X strengthened glass, which is not as durable as sapphire crystal, thus making it more likely to scratch and crack.

Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Apple Watch: 7 Must Know Facts

  • The aluminum watches are lighter than the stainless steel watches.
  • The aluminum watches come in five colors but stainless steel only comes in three colors.
  • The sapphire crystal material on the stainless steel display offers better protection than the Ion-X strengthened glass material on the aluminum watches.
  • The aluminum watches are generally cheaper than the stainless steel watches.
  • The aluminum watches have GPS-only and GPS+Cellular, but stainless steel watches only have GPS+Cellular.
  • The aluminum watches have a matte finish, while the stainless steel watches have a glossy finish.
  • The stainless steel models are more durable and resistant to scratches and dents, while aluminum watches are less durable and prone to scratches.

Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Apple Watch: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Buy?

It all comes down to personal preference considering all Apple Watches are superbly designed and offer a variety of features and band styles. So, no matter the material you choose, you can be sure that it will provide you with years of wear.

Nevertheless, if you are looking to invest in a lightweight and comfortable watch, make sure to opt for the aluminum Apple Watch. It has a sleek, modern design that is perfect for everyday wear. Aluminum Apple Watch models are mostly sought by Apple Watch enthusiasts who are on a budget or who prefer less flashy watches.

However, if you have eyes on a luxurious Apple Watch designed to stand up to everyday wear and tear, consider investing in a stainless steel option. This model comes with a wide range of features and modern watch capabilities like fitness tracking. Stainless steel Apple Watches are common among watch enthusiasts who like wearing luxurious watches that speak volumes.

In summary, the decision will come down to personal preference and budget. Either way, these two types of Apple Watch models — aluminum and stainless steel — will for sure provide you with an excellent user experience!

Aluminum Apple Watch vs Stainless Steel Apple Watch

Last update on 2024-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Apple Watch is better for everyday use?

Aluminum is the ideal choice. It is lightweight and comfortable on the wrist, making it one of the best everyday watches.

Is an aluminum Apple Watch worth buying?

This watch comes in a wider variety of colors. Besides, it is less expensive than its stainless-steel counterpart, meaning you can upgrade yearly without breaking the bank.

What are the advantages of a stainless-steel Apple Watch?

The watch is more durable and resistant to scratches. Moreover, it sports a more luxurious and stylish look compared to the aluminum Apple Watch.

How can I protect my aluminum and stainless-steel Apple Watches?

A watch case would provide added protection. However, ensure you get the right one for your watch.

Which Apple Watch has a better battery life?

Battery life is more or less the same for both aluminum and stainless-steel Apple Watches, with typical use lasting around 18 hours.

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