If you’re new to smartwatches, the most basic thing to consider is simply the fit of the device on your wrist.
Since you’re likely to be wearing it every day, you have to be able to live with it comfortably, and not all watches are created equally when it comes to design and size. Thankfully, though, the Apple Watch is one of the most customisable and versatile smartwatches you can buy. And with the new Apple Watch Series 4, we've been treated to a bit of a change in the fit and measurements.
Hands-on: Apple Watch Series 4 review
Below, we’ll be walking through all the steps you’ll need to consider if fit is your priority, including how to measure your wrist and the difference between all the Apple Watch sizes you can now choose from.
How to measure your wrist
The fit of your watch is a fairly subjective thing – after all, some people just don’t mind having something a bit looser on the arm – but it’s important to know just how big your wrist is before buying the Apple Watch or an additional band.
As we’ll explain in more detail below, the Apple Watch previously came in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. Now, with the Series 4, the two models are 40mm and 44mm. If that 4mm gap doesn't sound like a substantial difference, trust us, it's more significant than you might think. The smaller model can often look tiny on those with bigger wrists, while the larger bezel can appear too dominant on those with daintier wrists.
Missing manual: Tutorials and guides for your Apple Watch
So, how can you tell for sure? Well, get out the flexible tape measure and size up that wrist. Hold the strip just below where your wrist bone sits and around where you’d normally wear the band, wrap it around your wrist and line that up with the sizes of your Watch model.
Generally speaking, a small wrist is 5-6.5 inches and a large wrist is between 7 and 8.5 inches, but the good thing about many Apple Watch bands is that you can adjust with velcro or within the perforations of sports straps to find a very specific fit. Just don't go too tight or too loose – not only can it become uncomfortable, but it also affects the accuracy of the Apple Watch's heart rate monitor.
Apple Watch model sizes and fits
As we mentioned just above, Apple now classifies the Watch in two different categories, the 40mm and the 44mm - though you can still buy the older models with the 38mm and 42mm casing. These measurements denote the size of the bezel, though the straps do always play a role in the specific fit of the smartwatch on your wrist.
Apple takes its Watch measurement vertically, as opposed to most other brands, which do so horizontally. So, for the 40mm model, expect a width of 34mm, depth of 10.7mm and a case weight of around 30g. For the bigger 44m model, you'll have to deal with a width of 38mm, the same 10.7mm depth and a 36g case weight.
For the 38mm model, the width is 33.3mm, while its larger sibling has a width of 35.9mm. Again, like with the Series 4, there's no disparity in the depth of each device, with both coming in at 10.5mm.
Read next: Picking the right Apple Watch model
These sizes are important for establishing which face will be best suited to your wrist, so it doesn't hurt to print out a paper equivalent to compare on your wrist – or, you know, go to an Apple store and try on all four sizes.
What actually affects the comfort more, of course, is the material and tightness of the band. Apple itself has a full guide to the specifics of each of its own band type (Modern Buckle, Sport, Milanese Loop, Classic Buckle and Link Bracelet), some of which you'll have to choose a size for when buying, and some (like the Sport bands) which come with both a S/M and M/L strap for you to pick from. Remember, too, that all bands that worked with previous generations will work with the Series 4.
There's also a full crop of third-party Apple Watch bands that you can explore. They're almost always cheaper, and many can pass as the same style as the Apple-own variants.
Having a good selection of bands, in many ways, is just as important to the overall fit as picking the right size model. Exercising with a leather band will see it go damp and sweat-smelling within a couple of wears, while wearing a metal band during a run or swim is just downright uncomfortable – trust us, we've done it. The rubber bands are often the most versatile – smart enough to wear for social occasions and still able to handle sweat, though switching out to something more fancy is an option than can easily be achieved.
Wearing and washing the Apple Watch
If you're wearing your Apple Watch too tight or too loose, or even as a sleep tracking or exercise companion, you may have noticed that you'll beginning to get a rash where the bezel rests on your skin, or even where the strap is resting. That's why it's important to know how to clean your device from the get-go.
Apple itself provides a complete run-through on how to clean the Apple Watch, the Digital Crown and the band itself, but here it is in brief: whack out a lint-free cloth to lightly dab water onto the device or band with before drying. Just don't soak leather bands in water, as they're obviously not waterproof, and try to avoid leaving it too long in between cleaning when the likes of soap, sunscreen or sweat have been in contact with the band.
For those with seriously sensitive skin who want to check out exactly what materials are in each official band, you can do so through Apple's guide to wearing the Apple Watch, too.
Hot smartwatch deals
Wareable may get a commission