Apple Watch SE isn’t as cheap as the Series 3. So how do you decide which to buy?


This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple’s two newest smartwatches consists of the reasonably priced $279 Apple Watch SE (£269, AU$429) and the flagship $399 Apple Watch Series 6 (£379, AU$599). Each wearables run WatchOS 7, however the Watch SE has fewer options than the Collection 6, together with a much less superior S5 chipset. 

Regardless of its cheaper price, nonetheless, the Watch SE is not the most cost effective wearable you should buy new from Apple. Its personal Apple Watch Series 3, which launched in 2017, presently goes for $199 (£199, AU$399).

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As a result of the Watch Collection Three is three years older, it clearly is not as high-powered and sturdy because the Watch SE. However it nonetheless packs a number of options and you might want it over the Watch SE for those who have in mind how a lot cash you may save. Learn on to be taught extra about their variations and see which one is best for you.

Learn extra: Apple Watch Series 6 vs. SE: What’s the difference between them anyway?

Design: Watch SE is greater and sharper

From afar, the Watch SE and Watch Collection Three look comparable. They every are available two completely different sizes, are fabricated from aluminum and are water-resistant. However the former has a display that is sharper and 30% larger, or by rather less than a tenth of an inch (2mm) in each of its measurement variants. Apple’s two new watchbands, the Solo and Braided loops, accommodate the bigger sizes, so they will not match the Collection 3. The Watch SE’s digital crown gives haptic suggestions as properly, and it is available in another gold colour choice along with the usual silver and grey.

Notice that neither watches have an always-on show. Initially introduced in the Watch Series 5 last year, it signifies that the display is consistently on and also you need not elevate your wrist or faucet the display to have a look at the time or test for notifications. Of Apple’s new watches, solely the Watch Collection 6 has this characteristic.


The Watch Collection SE with its new loop bands.


{Hardware}: Watch SE is twice as quick

When it first launched, Apple offered a mannequin of the Watch Collection Three that had mobile connectivity. However the firm does not promote these variants anymore and in order for you one, you may need to get it refurbished and from a third-party vendor. Because the newer system, Apple shares each variations of the Watch SE. Mobile fashions are dearer than the bottom Wi-Fi solely watches, however having LTE lets you use the system with out tethering to a cellphone or a Wi-Fi community. That is helpful whenever you need to depart your handset behind throughout a exercise, however do not need to lose key features like making calls (together with worldwide emergency calls) or connecting to apps.


The Watch SE has a built-in compass, however the Watch Collection Three doesn’t.


The Watch SE is quicker too. Apple mentioned its S5 dual-core processor is twice as quick than the Watch Collection 3’s S3 chipset. For wirelessly connecting to units, just like the iPhone, the Watch SE makes use of the newer W3 chip and Bluetooth 5.0. The Collection 3, then again, makes use of the previous W2 chip and Bluetooth 4.2. Which means connecting to different telephones on the Watch SE must be smoother and extra secure. 

Each telephones have altimeters, which measure your altitude and elevation. As a result of the Watch SE’s altimeter is all the time on, nonetheless, its elevation readings are accomplished in real-time. The newer watch additionally has a compass and 4 instances extra reminiscence (32GB in comparison with the Watch Collection 3’s 8GB).

As for the battery, we weren’t in a position to take a look at the Watch SE’s battery life but. However again once we had been reviewing the Watch Collection 3, battery life was unimpressive. As a result of Apple mentioned that each units have the identical battery life — about 18 hours — we anticipate extra of the identical underwhelming efficiency. However once more, we’ll need to get our fingers on the watch to know for positive.

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Software program options: Watch SE displays for falls and loud noises

The Watch SE runs WatchOS 7, Apple’s newest smartwatch software program, proper out of the field. Although the Watch Collection Three can download the update, not all of Watch OS 7’s options will probably be obtainable on the older wearable. That features Family Setup, which helps you to pair your iPhone to another person’s Apple Watch, be it a member of the family like a younger little one or an aged grownup. You’ll be able to then apply controls, like limiting contacts and app downloads, or automated location monitoring.

The Watch SE additionally has different options that are not new to Watch OS 7, however had been obtainable after the launch of the Watch Collection 3. That features fall detection and noise degree monitoring, so if these are vital to you, go together with the Watch SE.

Lastly, for those who’re a runner, Apple will promote a Nike model of the Watch SE, which has the Nike Run Membership app preloaded and comes with customizable watch problems to collect, analyze and share knowledge out of your runs.

Apple Watch SE vs. Collection Three specs

Apple Watch SE Apple Watch Collection 3
Show measurement, decision 40mm, 44mm Retina OLED 368×448 pixels 38mm, 42mm Retina OLED 312×390 pixels
At all times-on No No
Dimensions (millimeters) 40mm: 40mm (top), 34mm (width), 10.4mm (depth); 44mm: 44mm (top) 38mm (width) 10.4mm (depth) 38mm: 38.6mm (top), 33.3mm (width), 11.4mm (depth); 42mm: 42.5mm (top) 36.4mm (width) 11.4mm (depth)
Weight (grams) 40mm Wi-Fi: 30.49g, Wi-Fi + Mobile: 30.68g; 44mm Wi-Fi: 36.2g Wi-Fi + Mobile: 36.36g 38mm Wi-Fi: 26.7g, Wi-Fi + Mobile: 28.7g; 42mm Wi-Fi: 32.3g Wi-Fi + Mobile: 34.9g
Supplies/ finishes Aluminum Aluminum
Colours Silver, gray, gold Silver and gray
Interchangeable bands Sure Sure
GPS Constructed-in Constructed-in
Automated exercise detection Sure Sure
Compass Sure No
Altimeter Sure Sure
Water resistance Sure, as much as 50m Sure, as much as 50m
Calls Sure Sure
Notifications Textual content replies Textual content replies
Microphone Sure Sure
Speaker Sure Sure
Voice assistant Siri Siri
Music Onboard, playback and streaming (with Mobile mannequin) Onboard, playback and streaming (with Mobile mannequin)
Cellular Funds Apple Pay Apple Pay
Sleep monitoring Sure Sure (with replace to Watch OS 7)
Interval monitoring Sure Sure
Emergency options Coronary heart fee notifications, emergency SOS calling (worldwide, 911 and emergency contacts), fall detection, listening to alerts Coronary heart fee notifications 
Compatibility iOS/iPhone solely iOS/iPhone solely
Software program WatchOS 7 Can replace to WatchOS 7
Processor S5 chip dual-core processor and W3 wi-fi chip S3 chip dual-core processor and W2 wi-fi chip
Connectivity Wi-Fi and Mobile choice ($100 extra) Wi-Fi (Apple discontinued Mobile choice)
Storage 32GB 8GB
Bluetooth 5.0 4.2
Energy Magnetic Apple charging cable and USB connector (backward appropriate) Magnetic Apple charging cable and USB connector (backward appropriate)
Battery life All day (18 hrs.) All day (18 hrs.)
Value (USD) Beginning at $279 (40mm aluminum) Beginning at $199 (40mm aluminum)
Value (GBP) £269 £199
Value (AUD) AU$429 AU$399

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