Written by Jonna

Apple Watch Series 2 vs Apple Watch Series 3

In September 2017, Apple announced the third generation Apple Watch. At first glance, I don't see many difference with its predecessor, Apple Watch Series 2. The innovations and improvements of the Apple Watch Series 3 are all inside the smartwatch. In this article, you can read about the similarities and differences between the two smartwatches.

Apple Watch Series 3

Optical heart rate sensor | Measures distance, calories burned, heart rate, speed, steps, stairs, and swimming strokes | 8GB storage
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  • The Apple Watch Series 3 also has an altimeter.
  • The Apple Watch Series 3 has an even faster processor.
  • More extensive insight into your heart rate rhythm.

There's no standard app on the Apple Watch to monitor your sleep, but there are free apps available in the App Store with which you can measure your sleep regardless.

Note: Apple Watch 2 is no longer available

Due to the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4, the Apple Watch 2 will no longer be made. The Apple Watch 2 is no longer available.

In short

Apple Watch Series 2 Apple Watch Series 3
Do you want to use your activities with GPS? Yes Yes
Do you want to measure your heart rate while working out? Yes Yes
Altimeter No Yes
Do you want a fast processor? Dual core processor Dual Core Apple S3 processor (70% faster than the Apple Watch Series 2)
Waterproof Yes (IP68) Yes (IP68)

The appearance

Like the previous generations of the Apple Watch, the Series 3 also has the distinctive rectangular appearance. The watch case is available in 2 sizes; a 32-millimeter or 42-millimeter model. Despite the similar appearance, the Apple Watch Series 3 has some interesting improvements and innovations.

Usage situation

Apple Watch 2 usage situation

Apple Watch Series 2: Focus on movement and working out

The Apple Watch Series 2 mainly focused on achieving sufficient movement daily. The integrated GPS sensor, heart rate monitor, and pedometer keep track of all my activities throughout the day. With the help of the 3 activity rings, I can follow the status of my health goals, such as my calorie consumption, steps, and workouts. The Apple Watch Series 2 has various pre-programmed activities, such as cycling, walking, running, or rowing. This is useful to keep track of my performance.

Apple Watch 3 usage situation

Apple Watch Series 3: Focus on health

The Apple Watch Series 3's main focus is on health, other than moving and working out. Apple paid even more attention registering your heart rate with the Watch Series 3. The new Apple Heart Story app not only gives me insight into my heartbeats per minute, but shows me my heart rhythm during the day. In addition, I receive a warning if I have an irregular heartbeat or if my heart rate suddenly increases considerably while I'm at rest. The workout app is more clear now, because I can link my Apple Watch Series 3 to fitness equipment.

Improved hardware

Improved hardware

The Apple Watch Series 2 was a lot faster than the first generation. The Apple Watch Series 3 is even faster. Thanks to the W2 chip and improved dual processor, the Apple Watch Series 3 is up to 70% faster than the Series 2. This makes apps faster and lasts longer. The wireless connections via WiFi and Bluetooth are also faster and more stable. Since I am an outdoor enthusiast, the new altimeter in the Apple Watch Series 3 is interesting to me. Combined with the integrated GPS, I can keep track of my activities in the mountains. Just like Series 2, Series 3 is completely waterproof so you can use it to swim.


Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Series 3 hardly differ in appearance. The difference between smartwatches is mostly on the inside. I can see more data about my health with the Series 3, like my heart rhythm. In addition, the Series 3 has a faster processor, a better battery life, and a better WiFi and Bluetooth connection. Is the heart rate monitor the most important function of the Apple Watch to you? The Apple Watch Series 3 is definitely the better choice. Do you think seeing your heart rate when you're working out is enough and is it mainly an extension of your smartphone? The Apple Watch Series 2 would be a good option for you.

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