Apple Watch Series 9 (41mm) vs (45mm) – Which Size is Right For You?

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Last Updated on October 13, 2023 by Senior Editor

On September 12th, Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, both of which were later released the same month. While the Series 9 succeeds the Series 8, the Ultra 2 succeeds the Ultra which debuted in 2022. Nothing much has changed, however, the new watches come with a more advanced S9 chip that enables enhanced hand gesture features and welcomes higher storage and brighter displays.

The Apple Watch Series 9 like the Watch 8 comes in aluminum and stainless steel materials. Each of these comes in two sizes; 41mm and 45mm. These two sizes are identical in appearance and share the same features except for a few differences in the display and case sizes, weights and of course, price. In today’s guide we’ll take a look at the differences between the 41mm and 45mm units of the Watch 9, but before that, let’s take a look at the specifications.

Apple Watch Series 9 (41mm) vs (45mm) vs Watch 9 Stainless Steel – Full Specifications Comparison

 
 
Product Info
Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum (41mm) - Full Smartwatch Specifications

Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum (41mm) - Full Smartwatch Specifications

Apple Watch Series 9 [GPS 45mm] Smartwatch with Midnight Aluminum Case with Midnight Sport Band M/L. Fitness Tracker, Blood Oxygen & ECG Apps, Always-On Retina Display

Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum (45mm) - Full Smartwatch Specifications

Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless steel - Full Smartwatch Specifications

Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless steel - Full Smartwatch Specifications

Price $303.89 $315.84 $799.00
ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE
Device name Apple Watch Series 9 Apple Watch Series 9 Apple Watch Series 9 (stainless steel)
Device type Fitness/Sport smartwatch Fitness/Sport smartwatch Fitness/Sport smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex Unisex
Release date September, 2023 September, 2023 September, 2023
Predecessor Apple Watch Series 8 Apple Watch Series 8 Apple Watch Series 8
Successor
Versions GPS/WiFi/Blutooth, GPS/WiFi/Blutooth/Cellular Model GPS/WiFi/Blutooth, GPS/WiFi/Blutooth/Cellular Model GPS/WiFi/Blutooth/Cellular Model
BODY BODY BODY BODY
Dimension 41 x 35 x 10.7mm (41mm), 45 x 38 x 10.7 mm (45mm) 41 x 35 x 10.7mm (41mm), 45 x 38 x 10.7 mm (45mm) 41 x 35 x 10.7mm (41mm), 45 x 38 x 10.7 mm (45mm)
Weight 31.9 grams (aluminum, GPS), 32.1 grams (Aluminum, Cellular) 31.9g (Aluminum, GPS (41mm)), 32.1g (Aluminum, Cellular (41mm)), 38.7g (Aluminum, GPS (45mm)), 39g (Aluminum, Cellular (45mm)) 42.3g (41mm), 51.5g (45mm)
Shape Rectangular Rectangular Rectangular
Case material Aluminum Aluminum Stainless steel
Strap material Silicone, Stainless steel, Textile Silicone, Stainless steel, Textile Silicone, Stainless steel, Textile
Bezel material Aluminum Aluminum Stainless steel
Strap size 22 mm, (130mm – 200mm) 22mm (41mm), 24mm (45mm) 22mm (41mm), 24mm (45mm)
Interchangeable strap 22 mm, Yes Yes Yes
Screen protection Ion-X glass Ion-X glass Sapphire glass
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes Yes Yes
Color Midnight, Pink, Red, Silver, Starlight Midnight, Pink, Red, Silver, Starlight Gold, Graphite, Silver
DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY
Display size 1.69 inches 1.69 inches, 1.9 inches 1.69 inches (41mm), 1.9 inches (45mm)
Display type 2000nits, LTPO OLED 2000nits, LTPO OLED 2000nits, LTPO OLED
Display resolution 352 x 430 pixels 396 x 484 pixels 352 x 430 pixels (41mm), 396 x 484 pixels (45mm)
Pixel density 326 ppi 326 ppi 326 ppi
Always on Yes Yes Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes Yes
Input type 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen
CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth Bluetooth v5.3 Bluetooth v5.3 Bluetooth v5.3
Bluetooth calling Yes Yes Yes
GPS BEIDOU, Galileo, GLONASS, GPS, QZSS BEIDOU, Galileo, GLONASS, GPS, QZSS BEIDOU, Galileo, GLONASS, GPS, QZSS
NFC Yes Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes Yes Yes
MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY
RAM 1GB
ROM 64GB 64GB 64GB
Memory card slot No No No
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
Technology (Cellular model), GSM / HSPA / LTE (Cellular model), GSM / HSPA / LTE (Cellular model), GSM / HSPA / LTE
SIM type (Cellular model), e-SIM (Cellular model), e-SIM (Cellular model), e-SIM
Band
NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS
SMS alert Yes Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes Yes
Reply to Notifications Yes Yes Yes
MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA
Audio mp3 mp3 mp3
Bluetooth music Yes Yes Yes
Loudspeaker Yes Yes Yes
Microphone Yes Yes Yes
Camera No No No
Radio No No No
SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS
Sensor(s) Accelerometer, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Skin temperature sensor, Third-generation optical heart sensor, Water temperature sensor Accelerometer, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Skin temperature sensor, Third-generation optical heart sensor, Water temperature sensor Accelerometer, Barometric altimeter, Compass, Gyroscope, Skin temperature sensor, Third-generation optical heart sensor, Water temperature sensor
ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING
Blood oxygen Yes Yes Yes
Blood Pressure No No No
Calories Yes Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes Yes
ECG tracking Yes Yes Yes
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes Yes Yes
Stress Yes Yes Yes
Fall detection Yes Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking Yes Yes Yes
On-screen workout No No No
Sport modes Yes Yes Yes
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
Battery type Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity 282mAh 308mAh 282mAh (41mm), 308mAh
Battery life Battery saver mode: Up to 36 hours, Regular: Up to 18 hours Battery saver mode: Up to 36 hours, Regular: Up to 18 hours Battery saver mode: Up to 36 hours, Regular: Up to 18 hours
Charging type (Fast charging), Charging dock (Fast charging), Charging dock (Fast charging), Charging dock
Charging time 30min-1hr 30min-1hr 30min-1hr
Solar charging No No No
PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM
Chipset Apple S9 Chip (64bit) (A15 Bionic) Apple S9 Chip (64bit) (A15 Bionic) Apple S9 Chip (64bit) (A15 Bionic)
CPU Dual core Dual core Dual core
GPU
Operating system WatchOS 10 WatchOS 10 WatchOS 10
MISC MISC MISC MISC
Companion app Apple Watch App Apple Watch App Apple Watch App
Compatibility iPhone XS+ with iOS 17+ iPhone XS+ with iOS 17+ iPhone XS+ with iOS 17+
Payment system Apple Pay Apple Pay Apple Pay
Voice command Yes, Siri Yes, Siri Yes, Siri
Find my phone Yes Yes Yes
Box content Charger, Manual, Straps, Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum (41mm) Charger, Manual, Straps, Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum (45mm) Charger, Manual, Straps, Apple Watch Series 9

Apple Watch Series 8 vs 9 – What’s New?

Moving on, let’s take a look at what is new in the Watch 9 when compared to its predecessor, the Watch 8.

Apple Watch Series 8 vs 9 vs Ultra vs Ultra 2

  • Watch 9 has a brighter display
  • The first noticeable difference between the Watch 9 and its predecessor is the brightness of the display. The Watch 9 boasts up to 2000 nits in display brightness which will make it even easier to read outdoors, and interestingly, it can also dim to as low as 1 nit which should also make it easy to read when you are indoors. In contrast, the Watch 8 spots a 1000nits brightness which is also very easy to read outdoors, though Watch 9 is brighter.

  • Watch 9 has a bigger storage
  • Storage has been ramped up. In fact, this is the highest storage I have seen on any watch. It’s 32GB for the Watch 8, Pixel Watch and the newly released Galaxy Watch 6 series. Meanwhile, the Watch 9 boasts a whooping 64GB which of course means more storage for your favorite tracks and podcasts.

  • Watch 9 has a new S9 chip and Ultrawide Band 2 chip
  • The Watch 9 and Ultra 2 have a new S9 chipset with a 4-core neural engine that enables enhanced hand gesture features. Before now you have the assistive touch features on older Apple Watches that enable hand gesture features. However, the new chip brings enhanced double-tap gestures that will allow you to play and pause music, stop a timer, snooze an alarm and even control the new Smart stack widget by simply double-tapping your index and thumb fingers.

    The 4-core neural engine also enables Siri to process requests directly on the device which makes it faster and more secure. Apple stated that later in October, Siri will also be able to access your health data. Thus, you can ask Siri how you slept, log medication and more. Additionally, the 4-core neural engine now makes Siri dictation 25% more accurate.

    Alongside the 4-core neural engine is a secondary generation Ultra Wideband 2 chip that also brings new functions to the new Apple Watches. The UW2 chip now features Precision Finding which makes it easy to find a misplaced iPhone. With Precision Finding, you get distance and direction as well as audio and visual guidance to help you locate a misplaced iPhone. Note that Precision Finding requires both iPhone and Watch to have the Ultra Wideband 2 chipset to work.

    The Ultra Wideband 2 also enables new integration for Homepod devices. The Watch 9 and Ultra 2 will be able to remotely control music playing on a Homepod device when the watch is 4m near.

  • Watch 9: New Pink Model
  • For the first time, Apple has introduced a pink color to the Watch 9. The aluminum model of the Watch 8 is available in midnight, starlight, silver and red colors. Meanwhile, the Watch 9 aluminum model comes in Midnight, starlight, silver, red and pink colors. The addition of pink color means you now have more options to choose from.

    So in summary, the Watch 9 welcomes a brighter display, bigger storage, a new S9 chipset and a new pink model. Beyond these significant additions, the Watch 8 is similar to Series 9.

    The Watch 9 ships with WatchOS 10 out of the box which will also come to Apple Watch Series 4 and above. The WatchOS 10 succeeds WatchOS 9 and brings new features such as new watch faces, better controls and a Smart Stack feature that hides widgets behind the watch face making it easier to access your favorite widgets without putting too many complications on the watch face.

Interestingly, the Watch 9 retails at the same price as the Watch 8. A good bargain if you ask me.

Now that you know what’s new in Watch 9, let’s take a look at the differences between the 41mm and 45mm units.

Apple Watch Series 9 (41mm) vs (45mm) – The Difference

The 41mm unit of the Watch 9 is typically the same as the 45mm unit. Both have the same design, features and possibly the same battery life. The only difference here is that the 45mm unit has a bigger display size but the 41mm unit is cheaper.

  • Display sizes
  • The first noticeable difference between the 41mm and 45mm units is the display sizes. The 45mm unit has a 1.9-inch display while the 41mm has a 1.69 inches display. So you get to see more at a glance with the bigger display. Meanwhile, both watches have a very colorful display – thanks to the LTPO OLED technology that boast up to 2000nits – that’s one of the brightest display you will see on a watch. This means no matter how sunny it is, the Series 9 will still be very legible.

  • The 41mm unit is more compact
  • The price to pay for the bigger display is a bigger case size. As a result, the 41mm unit is more compact and of course more comfortable to wear. Nonetheless, the 45mm unit is also very lightweight and comfortable to wear. I have used the Watch 7 aluminum (45mm) unit and not for once did I find it too heavy or bulky. Though, considering that stainless steel weighs a little more than aluminum, the 45mm unit of the stainless steel model at 51.5 grams might be a bit heavy for some especially if you pair it with a stainless steel bracelet. Overall, whether stainless steel or aluminum, the 41 and 45mm units are some of the lightest watches out there.

  • Prices: The 41mm unit is cheaper
  • As a result of its smaller display, the 41mm unit is cheaper than the 45mm unit. While the GPS model of the 41mm aluminum unit retails for $399, it’s $429 for the 45mm unit. Meanwhile, the cellular models of each of the sizes attract an additional $100.

    If you choose to go for the stainless steel build which is only available in cellular models, it’s $699 for the 41mm unit and $749 for the 45mm unit.

  • Strap Sizes
  • Due to the difference in case size, the strap sizes also differ. Just like older 40mm units, the 41mm unit has a 22mm wide strap which measures 130mm – 180mm in length.

    In contrast, the 45mm unit has a 24mm wide strap which measures 150mm – 200mm in length. So keep that in mind if you wish to get additional straps from third-party sellers. Beyond these few differences, the 41mm unit is the same as the 45mm unit.

Available colors

Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum available colors
Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum available colors

Now that you know the differences between the 41 and 45mm units, let’s take a look at the available colors. Both the 41mm and 45mm units of the aluminum model are available in midnight, starlight, silver, red and pink colors.

Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless steel (available colors)
Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless steel (available colors)

On the other hand, the 41mm and 45mm units of the stainless steel model come in graphite, silver and gold colors.

Available Straps

Apple Watch Series 9 rubber straps style and colors
Apple Watch Series 9 rubber straps style and colors

In terms of available straps, Apple sells different straps for the Series 9. It is the same band for both the aluminum and stainless steel models. You have the option to choose from rubber, textile or stainless steel straps. The rubber straps come in three designs; solo loop, sport band and Nike sport band.

Apple Watch Series 9 textile straps style and colors
Apple Watch Series 9 textile straps style and colors

On the other hand, the new textile straps come in five different designs which include a sport loop and a Nike sport loop. You also have a magnetic link and braided solo loop bands that cost $50 more. There is also a beautiful modern buckle exclusive for the 41mm unit that costs $100 more.

Apple Watch Series 9 stainless steel straps style and colors
Apple Watch Series 9 stainless steel straps style and colors

Meanwhile, the stainless steel straps come in a Milanese loop that costs $50 more and a premium link bracelet band that costs an additional $300.

Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless Steel vs Aluminum

Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless steel vs Aluminum
Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless steel vs Aluminum

Like I mentioned earlier, the Apple Watch Series 9 is available in aluminum and stainless steel materials, and these two come in 41mm and 45mm sizes. The stainless steel and aluminum models have similar features and share the same straps.

However, the difference between these two is that the stainless steel has a more durable build, weighs a little more and is only available in the cellular model while the aluminum model is available in both cellular and GPS models. As a result of the more durable build, the stainless steel model is priced a little higher.

41mm or 45mm – Which Size is Best For You?

So which size is right for you? 41mm or the 45mm unit? The simple way to find out is to simply measure the width of your wrist using a meter rule. That is, place a meter rule on your wrist, take the measurement and compare it to the sizes. You want a watch that sits comfortably in the middle of your wrist. It shouldn’t be too small and it shouldn’t be too big.

If you don’t care about the size, of course, go with the 45mm unit, it lets you see more at a glance.