Yes, you should upgrade from the Apple Watch 3 to 4.

I accidentally got the Apple Watch 4.

When the Apple Watch Series 4 was revealed at the September 12th Apple event, I was not going to upgrade. As it was, I had already owned the following ...

  • Apple Watch Series 0
  • Apple Watch Series 2
  • Apple Watch Series 3

...and that is since the Apple Watch was first released in April of 2015. Yup. That means that I upgrade every year. Yikes.

Being that I was seeing a trend, and that my wallet was hiding in the corner, I decided that I would only upgrade my iPhone and Watch every two years, when the phone got non-"S" upgrades. I am happy as heck with my iPhone X, and see no reason to upgrade.


There's always a "but". I was thinking about the fact that my 41-year old eyes would love to gaze at a larger watch face, especially since I use the Watch regularly. So I decided just to stop by my local Apple store to check out the Infographic faces. They were a siren song. The watch face itself has been pleasantly enlarged toward all 4 (now rounded) corners, but otherwise the 44mm casing does not look that much larger than my 42mm Series 3. I can see that the watch is slimmer overall, which is nice.

But the real comparison came when I stood there at the watch demo table and lifted my left wrist, which housed my Series 3, and compared it side by side to the Series 4. A "big" difference!

I compared opening the Calendar, Reminders and other stock apps side-by-side in a non-scientific speed test and was blown away. The already fast Series 3 was flat-footed against the Series 4. I gave a solid 10 minutes of comparison in the store, and then walked out. "I don't need it", I thought. "Come on, it's $429 for the GPS-only version, and I just bought my new watch not long ago."

I then slept on it. I awoke the next morning and checked the ebay resale value of the Series 3, and was comfortable with the $200 price difference. Apple even had a trade-in offer for the Series 3 - $175. Ouch. A bit of a bath on that, but for as much as I use this thing, I was going to take the plunge and see if I could trade in my Apple Watch Series 3 for the 4. I arrived at a different local Apple Store 15 minutes before opening that morning. I was pleased to find that they had one Series 4 in stock in the 44mm Space Gray Aluminum GPS only model. It came with a Black Sport Loop Band. When I was let into the store I came over to the watch table and waited as instructed. The store rep told me that he would get my watch traded in. He input the serial number and it didn't come up in Apple's system as valid. After several tries he called over a manager. Same results. I was prepared to pay the $254 plus tax difference between the watch prices when the manager said, "You know what? I see that you bought this just a few months ago," (I was late to upgrade from the Series 2 to the 3), "so why don't we do this. I am going to do an exception and return the watch at full going price today, and you can pay the difference.

Umm...excuse me? I felt that my Irish luck was certainly with me in this moment.
Long story short, for $50 I upgraded that watch and bought AppleCare for $80 as an oath to myself that I now need to hold onto this fine timepiece for another two years.

I would upgrade the watch from the Series 3 to the Series 4 if:

  1. You value having the fastest Apple Watch on your wrist
  2. Your eyes could use any strain help that they can get
  3. You want the Infographic faces
  4. You would love the raise to speak (no longer do you have to say, "Hey Siri". Just raise the watch to your face quickly and start speaking.

On the Infograph face I am using Battery, Weather, Overcast (podcast app) and Debit & Credit (finance app) in the corners. In the center circle is where i have my "mindfulness" area : Calendar (I have to have the Calendar on there!), Heart rate measurement, Activity, and Breathe.

In the new Infographic Modular face I am using Battery, Date, Calendar, Weather, Activity, and Breathe, as these are the only apps that provide value to me. OmniFocus is not on the new faces yet, but I think that the Omni Group may be working on this.

When I am working I use the Siri Face, which has OmniFocus at the top left spot, and the date at the top left, with every app except photos enabled. I love my family and dogs, but looking down at my wrist to check the time and seeing my Shih Tzu wearing swimming goggles and overalls is not going to anything for my productivity throughout the day.

I guess the moral for me is that there may always be a way to get that upgrade!

You should upgrade if you have a Series 0, 1, or 2. The speed is completely worth it. For the series 3, you have to love the Apple Watch. I do.