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Apple Watch vs Watch Sport comparison: Is it worth paying extra for the Watch?

Lewis Painter | April 6, 2015
Apple has announced three variations of the Apple Watch - the Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Watch Edition. The Watch Sport and Apple Watch are very similar, with only a few hundred pounds between them - but what are the differences between them? Read on and find out.

With regards to the display, the Watch Sport has drawn the short straw. Whereas the Watch and Watch Edition both have sapphire glass, the Watch Sport boasts a strengthened Ion-X glass. Apple claim the reason behind this was to make the Sport model as light as possible, but also wanted to make sure it was scratch and impact resistant.

How was this achieved? Prepare for a science lesson; According to Apple, the glass is fortified at a molecular level through ion exchange, a process that replaces smaller ions with larger ones. The end result? A surface layer that the company claims is far tougher than ordinary glass.

That's great, but compared to the sapphire display used on the Watch and Watch Edition, the Ion-X glass seems a bit underwhelming. Why? Apart from diamond, sapphire is the hardest transparent material in the world, which should mean ultimate protection of the watch display. The process is intricate, as Apple has said that the crystal is harvested using a thin diamond-cutting wire, which is then precision machined into its final form and polished for hours to achieve its smooth, shiny finish.

Watch Sport vs Apple Watch: Which watchstraps are available?

Upholding the idea is that the Apple Watch Sport is to be used mainly for sporting activities, the only strap available at purchase is a sports band. You generally have a choice between white, blue, green, pink or black unless, as mentioned earlier, you opt for the Space Grey option in which case you're given a black sports band with no other choices available.

The sports band itself is made from a "custom high-performance fluorelastomer" which Apple claims makes the band durable and strong, but soft and comfortable to wear. Described as smooth but dense, the sports band uses a pin-and-tuck closure to ensure a good fit. The only issue is that it isn't the most aesthetically pleasing watchstrap, and against the other types of strap available, it looks quite cheap.

The Apple Watch boasts a much larger variety of watchstraps, including the sports bands available for the Watch Sport, as well as straps made from leather and stainless steel in various premium designs. As mentioned earlier, the choice of watchstrap is reflected in the price you pay - but at least you have the option to choose from premium watchstraps, unlike with the Watch Sport. You can choose from:

Link BraceletSport BandLeather LoopClassic BuckleModern BuckleMilanese Loop

The wider selection of watchstraps means that you can customise your Apple Watch depending on the occasion. While a leather loop may be understated and comfortable for every day use, special occasions may call for a Milanese loop or a link bracelet. The good thing is that the Apple Watch goes perfectly with any style of watchstrap, which is partly down to its stainless steel, mirror finish. It looks like it belongs on a premium watchstrap.


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