Comparison: Apple Watch Aluminum Vs Stainless Steel

Apple Watch Aluminum
Written by Hassan Abbas

What do you know about Apple watch aluminum or stainless steel? Apple Series 5 is available in stainless steel or aluminum. However, the stainless steel Apple Watch models include powerful case materials. But that probably not matter for those users who upgrade each year and save a few dollars.

Apple Watch Series 5 Aluminium vs Apple Watch Series 5 Stainless Steel:

 Apple Watch Aluminum

Apple Watch Series 5 Aluminium

The Apple Watch Series 5 aluminum offers great specs as the stainless steel model for much less.

  • Price
  • Choice of with or without cellular
  • Same specs for much less
  • Lighter
  • Nike+ model
  • Durability vs. stainless steel
  • Ion-X strengthened glass not as good as sapphire crystal

Apple Watch Series 5 Stainless Steel

The Apple Watch stainless steel cost $300 more than the aluminum model. Thanks to the polished shine, it also displays those microabraisions easier.

  • Stainless steel is a powerful material
  • Sapphire Crystal glass front
  • Costly
  • Scratches are more noticeable
  • No Nike+ version
  • Too much weighs


From a features point-of-view, both Apple Watch Series 5 models are quite similar. Both, for instance, it can record your heart rate because it has a built-in ECG, and compatible the Compass app. Also, they provide storage for podcasts or onboard music. Also, you can use the same third-party apps and faces on both versions.

Series 5 Aluminum Series 5 Stainless Steel
Lowest Price $399 $699
Highest Price $529 $1,499
Color choices Gold
Space Gray
Space Black
Weight 30.1g (40mm)
36.7g (44mm)
39.8g (40mm)
47.8g (44mm)
Display material Ion-X strengthened glass Sapphire crystal
Charging puck plastic stainless steel topped
Wi-Fi only versions Yes No
Onboard storage size 32GB 32GB

As you can view, the main differences between both versions come down to the materials used. Whether you discuss the display, casing, or charging puck, the stainless steel version offers the improved materials. However, the aluminum Watch is made up of softer material. Also, the anodization could chip or scratch, as could its Ion-X-strengthened glass. But the other hand, the stainless steel Watch is very hard, especially the black version with diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating. Still, stainless steel has its own cons — scratches are more noticeable than the aluminum model. These so-called microabrasions can seem on shiny stainless steel once you start wearing one, especially on the silver model.

There’s also the problem of cellular abilities. All Watches having stainless steel add GPS and cellular capabilities. After that, the price of the watch increase and when the feature is enabled needs a monthly data plan. If you don’t bother cellular, you pay for it but it is a waste of money. With aluminum version, Apple provides you a choice between GPS only and GPS+ cellular.

How To Get the Aluminum Apple Watch:

You can get it if you are:

  • into physical fitness and you want the lightest Apple Watch you can ever get
  • going to afford the best alternatives
  • not sure about Apple Watch and like to try it out at the cheap cost-of-entry
  • just loving the way the bead-blasted aluminum gold alternatives looks

How To Get the Stainless Steel Apple Watch:

You can get it if you:

  • love to wear watches and wants something quite heavy but not too heavy
  • want something classy but ultra-modern within
  • wants a watch made out of powerful materials such as stainless steel and sapphire crystal


I think the aluminum version is best for most folks. If you are worried about any damage, then you get an AppleCare+ subscription for the mind relaxation. Rather than this, Nike+ only comes in aluminum, which is something you must know. If you want to keep your watch for two to three years, then the stainless steel version might be the best choice.

Which one did you go for it? Let us know your thought below!

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About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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