Apple Watch Series 1 Aluminum 38mm Summary

The Apple Watch Series 1 has been discontinued by Apple. At the moment, the best solution is to get an Apple Watch Series 3 which has been on discount if you want to purchase an Apple wearable. At first, for some people, the name Series 1 is confusing since the smartwatch is actually launched after the original Apple Watch which is now called “Series Zero” launched back in 2015.

Apple Watch Series 1 Launch Date

Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 1 in 2016 along with the Series 2 which has also been discontinued. Both smartwatches have identical second-generation smarts and speed.

Apple Watch Series 1 Design

In terms of design, the Apple Series 1 bears no difference compared to the original Apple Watch. They look basically identical. When you put them on your wrist, you can’t distinguish which one is the Series 1 and which one is the original.

However, what the Series 1 lack is the choice of materials. While there are many colors and straps available, the Series 1 only comes in the Sports model. If you are someone who prefers a stainless steel case, you will need to purchase the Series 2.

On a price level, this actually makes sense. Still, you can choose between four different colored cases: silver, space grey, gold, and rose gold. There are many strap choices both from Apple and third-parties.

The Series 1 still has the 450 nit display like the original while the Series 2 sports a 1,000 nit display. With the Series 2, you will surely get more brightness. The waterproofing feature is also different. For keen swimmers, it is best that they pick the Series 2 over the Series 1. The Series 1 has the first watch’s IPX7 rating, meaning you can take it to the bathroom with you. The rating means the smartwatch can withstand being submerged up to 1 meter underwater for up to 30 meters. However, Apple recommends that users should not dunk it.

Apple Watch Series 1 Performance

This is where the original Apple Watch is outpaced by the Series 1. Apple has equipped the latter with its new S1P dual-core processor that brings a noticeable difference. It is different from the Series 2’s S2 chipset with the inclusion of GPS. In terms of speed, the Series 2 and the Series 1 are the same.

With the original Apple Watch, the performance was one of the main problems as the smartwatch was sluggish when switching between menus. When opening apps, it often froze and was quite sluttery.

The Series 1 offered a much smoother experience. When moving through the operating system, there was less judder. Apps are opened much faster. The spinning wheel does pop up when you load apps that are not in the dock but it only takes a couple of seconds.

The battery life is similar as well. But some users have said that the Series 1 lasted a bit longer than the original one. With normal use, the watch can last for a whole day. So, users will have to charge it overnight to be able to use it the next morning. The smartwatch doesn’t have sleep tracking tech. Users can only use third-party apps such as Sleep++. Luckily, the Apple Watch Series 1 charges up pretty quickly.

Apple Watch Series 1 Watch OS 3

The biggest change that Apple brought to the Apple Watch Series 1 was Watch OS3. Back then, users of the original model could also download and install OS3 to bring some improvements to the watch in terms of performance.

With the Watch OS3, by pressing the watch button, you will see a list of apps that are running in the background. You can access them faster and you don’t need to boot them.

Regarding fitness, you will see the same package as the original watch. And there are some people who look at this to consider between getting the Series 1 or Series 2. The latter has built-in GPS as well as waterproofing. With the Series 1, it is not possible for you to take it to a swimming pool or track your running via iPhone. If you prioritize these factors, it is better that you go with the Series 2. On the back is the optical heart rate monitor that delivers similar readings. The way the activity data is given to you also remains the same.

The Series 1 can still connect to your iPhone if a recognized Wi-Fi network is available. If you are a music lover and you want to listen to music via the Series 1, you will have to pair it to your iPhone or sync albums and playlists onto your smartwatch.

The Series 1 only has 8GB of internal storage. Realistically, you only have around 2GB to store music. But, for a basic playlist, it is more than enough.

Apple Watch Series 1 is only available in aluminum. The display is covered by IonX glass which is too easy to scratch. The sapphire that is more scratch-resistant only comes in ceramic and steel models that are way more expensive.

Pricing is another factor to consider when you are weighing the two watches. Compared to the Series 2, the Series 1 is cheaper.

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Apple Watch Series 1 Aluminum 38mm Full Specifications

  • Technology No cellular connectivity
  • 2G bands N/A
  • GPRS No
  • EDGE No
  • Announced 2016, September
  • Status Available. Released 2016, December
  • Dimensions 38.6 x 33.3 x 10.5 mm (1.52 x 1.31 x 0.41 in)
  • Weight 25 g body (0.88 oz)
  • Build Glass front, composite plastic back, aluminum frame
  • SIM No
  • IPX7 water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes
  • Type OLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size 1.5 inches, 7.1 cm2 (~55.1% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution 340 x 272 pixels (~290 ppi density)
  • Protection Ion-X strengthened glass
  • 3D Touch display 450 nits max brightness (advertised)
  • OS watchOS 3.0, upgradable to 6.2
  • Chipset Apple S1P (28 nm)
  • CPU Dual-core 520 MHz Cortex-A7
  • GPU PowerVR G6200
  • Card slot No
  • Internal 8GB 512MB RAM
  • No
  • Loudspeaker Yes
  • 3.5mm jack No
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0, LE
  • GPS No
  • NFC Yes
  • Radio No
  • USB No
  • Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate
  • Natural language commands and dictation
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 205 mAh battery (0.78 Wh)
  • Charging Wireless charging
  • Stand-by Up to 18 h (mixed usage)
  • Colors Case colors: silver, gold, rose gold, gray Band colors: gray, white, black, pink Band types: sport
  • Models A1802