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Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 6: Which One Should You Buy?

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Let’s rewind to the tech excitement of September 2020 when Apple introduced two remarkable smartwatches – the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. For someone passionate about Apple Watches, it was a moment filled with anticipation and excitement.

The Apple Watch Series 6 stole the spotlight, showcasing its powerful features: a super-fast S6 processor, the futuristic U1 ultra-wideband chip, and the groundbreaking addition of blood oxygen monitoring.

All these technological wonders came with a starting price of $399. On the flip side, the Apple Watch SE made a splash, providing a budget-friendly option starting at $279, all while packing many of the impressive Series 6 features.

Looking back, it’s evident that these releases marked a significant moment in the world of smartwatches. Both models brought a variety of features to the table, making the decision-making process similar to choosing a favorite chapter in an engaging tech story.

So, let’s go down memory lane and delve into the key features that defined these two iconic Apple Watch models.

Here is a summary of the main differences between the two models:

Apple Watch Series 6Apple Watch SE
Blood Oxygen MonitoringNo Blood Oxygen Monitoring
Always-On AltimeterNo Always-On Altimeter
Always-On DisplayNo Always-On Display
S6 ChipS5 Chip
U1 ChipNo U1 Chip
More Color and Finish OptionsLimited Color and Finish Options
Higher Price PointMore Affordable Price Point
Main Differences between the two models

Key Takeaways

  • The Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE were released in September 2020.
  • The Apple Watch Series 6 offers a range of new features, including a new S6 processor and blood oxygen monitoring, while the Apple Watch SE is a more affordable alternative.
  • It can be challenging to determine which model is the best fit for your needs, but by comparing the features of both models, you can make an informed decision.
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Comparing the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE

Similarities between the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Following are the similarities between the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE:

1. Case Size Options (44mm or 40mm)

Both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE offer users the flexibility to choose between two case sizes: 44mm or 40mm.

2. Retina LTPO OLED Display with 1,000 Nits Brightness

Equipped with a high-quality Retina LTPO OLED display, both models boast a brightness of 1,000 nits. This ensures vivid and clear visibility of the screen content, even in varying lighting conditions.

3. GPS and GPS + Cellular Models

Both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE come in GPS-only and GPS + Cellular models, providing users with the option to choose the connectivity that aligns with their needs. The GPS + Cellular models offer enhanced functionality and independence.

4. 64-bit Dual-Core Processor and W3 Wireless Chip

Powered by a 64-bit dual-core processor and the W3 wireless chip, these watches deliver robust performance, enabling smooth operation and efficient wireless connectivity for various applications.

5. Digital Crown with Haptic Feedback

Featuring a Digital Crown with haptic feedback, users can interact seamlessly with the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. This intuitive control element enhances the overall user experience.

6. Optical Heart Sensor with Various Health Notifications

Both models are equipped with an optical heart sensor, providing users with real-time insights into their heart rate. Additionally, they offer various health notifications, including alerts for high and low heart rates, as well as irregular heart rhythm notifications.

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7. International Emergency Calling, SOS, and Fall Detection

Ensuring user safety, both watches support international emergency calling, SOS functionality, and Fall Detection. These features contribute to a sense of security for wearers in various situations.

8. Noise Monitoring, Water Resistance, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0

The Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE share advanced features such as noise monitoring for hearing health, water resistance up to 50 meters for aquatic activities, Wi-Fi connectivity, and Bluetooth 5.0 for seamless wireless communication.

9. Support for Family Setup (GPS + Cellular Models), Compass, and Always-On Altimeter

Offering enhanced capabilities, both models support Family Setup for GPS + Cellular variants, allowing users to set up watches for family members. Additionally, they feature a compass for directional orientation and an always-on altimeter for tracking elevation changes.

10. 32GB Storage Capacity and 18-Hour “All-Day” Battery Life

With a substantial 32GB storage capacity, users can store apps, data, and more on both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. The devices are designed to provide an 18-hour “all-day” battery life, ensuring they can accompany users throughout their daily activities.

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1. Display

Apple Watch Series 6:

The Apple Watch Series 6 features an always-on Retina display, allowing users to glance at their watch without the need to raise their wrist.

This feature enhances user convenience and outdoor visibility, making it easier to check the time or notifications even in bright sunlight.

Apple Watch SE:

In contrast, the Apple Watch SE does not include an always-on display. Users need to raise their wrists or tap the display to activate and view the watch face.

While this may not be a dealbreaker for some, it’s a notable distinction in user experience compared to the Series 6.

2. Processors (S6 vs. S5)

Apple Watch Series 6:

Powered by the S6 processor, the Series 6 offers a 20% increase in speed compared to the SE’s S5 processor. Built on the A13 Bionic chip, the Series 6 balances enhanced app launch speed while maintaining the “all-day” 18-hour battery life.

Apple Watch SE:

The SE features the S5 processor, offering efficient performance. While not as powerful as the S6, the S5 still provides a smooth user experience, making it a reliable choice for those not requiring the latest processing capabilities.

3. U1 Ultra-Wideband Chip

Apple Watch Series 6:

Exclusive to the Series 6, the U1 ultra-wideband chip holds potential for future features, including short-range wireless location capabilities.

Although its current applications are limited, its exclusivity makes the Series 6 more future-proof.

Apple Watch SE:

The SE lacks the U1 chip, potentially excluding it from future functionalities dependent on ultra-wideband capabilities. Users looking for the latest connectivity options may find the Series 6 more appealing in this regard.

4. Health Monitoring

Apple Watch Series 6:

The Series 6 introduces blood oxygen monitoring, providing users with valuable insights into their overall health. With an array of LEDs, it measures blood oxygen saturation and seamlessly integrates with the Health app, offering trends over time.

Apple Watch SE:

While lacking blood oxygen monitoring and ECG capabilities, the SE retains basic health monitoring features. These include an optical heart sensor for heart rate tracking and notifications for irregular heart rhythms, catering to users with simpler health tracking needs.

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5. Battery and Charging

Apple Watch Series 6:

Both models boast an “all-day” battery life of around 18 hours, ensuring reliability throughout the day. However, the Series 6 stands out with faster charging capabilities, completing a full charge in under one and a half hours.

Apple Watch SE:

The SE, while maintaining the same all-day battery life, lacks the accelerated charging speed seen in the Series 6. Users valuing quicker recharge times may find the Series 6 more appealing.

6. Design and Material Options

Apple Watch Series 6:

For those seeking design versatility, the Series 6 offers aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium cases. This range of materials allows users to choose a watch that aligns with their style preferences and durability requirements.

Apple Watch SE:

In contrast, the SE is limited to aluminum cases, providing variations in finishes and materials within this category. Users looking for premium materials like stainless steel or titanium may find the Series 6 more accommodating.

Apple Watch Pricing: SE vs. Series 6

Apple Watch SE

  • Price: Starts at $249 for the GPS model, and $299 for the GPS + Cellular model.
  • Availability: You can buy it on Apple’s website

Apple Watch Series 6

  • Price: No longer available on Apple’s website. Expect to pay around $300-$400 for a used Series 6 from third-party retailers.
  • Availability: You can find it on Amazon or any other third-party retailer.
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Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 6: Which One Should You Buy?

Apple Watch SE Might Be Enough For:

Budget-Conscious Buyers

If you prioritize basic fitness tracking, notifications, and essential smart watch features without breaking the bank, the Apple Watch SE offers excellent value at a significantly lower price.

Those Not Needing Advanced Health Features

For users who don’t require blood oxygen monitoring, ECG readings, or sleep tracking, the SE provides most other health-related features, including heart rate monitoring and fall detection.

People Preferring a Simpler Interface

With a slightly simpler design and interface compared to the Series 6, the SE might be appealing to users who appreciate a straightforward user experience.

Series 6 Might Be Worth the Extra Cost For:

Health Enthusiasts and Athletes

The Series 6’s blood oxygen sensor, ECG app, and sleep tracking feature offer comprehensive health insights, making it a preferred choice for those deeply invested in their well-being.

Always-On Display Enthusiasts

If having a display that stays lit at all times is crucial for quick glances at the time or notifications, the Series 6’s always-on display sets it apart from the SE.

Users Seeking the Latest Features

As a newer model, the Series 6 may boast slightly faster performance and receive software updates for a more extended period, making it ideal for users who want access to the latest features.

Other Apple Watch Options

In addition to the Apple Watch SE and Series 6, Apple offers the more budget-friendly Apple Watch Series 3 at $150 to $199.

Despite its reliability with 8GB storage, water resistance, and an optical heart sensor, the Series 3 has a smaller screen and fewer features compared to newer models.

Suited for those prioritizing affordability, it may not be as future-proof and could receive fewer software updates.

For better performance and enhanced features, especially if the budget allows, opting for the Apple Watch SE or Series 6 is recommended over the Series 3.

If you want to know more differences between the both, you can check out the video below:

Apple Series 6 vs SE

Final Thoughts

After reviewing the features and benefits of both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, I believe that the choice between the two models ultimately comes down to personal preference and budget.

If you are looking for the most advanced health and fitness monitoring features, as well as an always-on display and a wider range of color and finish options, the Apple Watch Series 6 is a clear choice.

However, this model comes with a higher price tag and may not be necessary for those who do not need these advanced features.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch SE offers many of the same features as the Series 6 at a more affordable price point. It is a great option for those who are new to the Apple Watch or are on a budget.

Overall, both models are excellent choices and offer a great user experience. It is important to carefully consider your needs and budget before making a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences in features between the Apple Watch SE and Series 6?

The Apple Watch Series 6 has a few features that the Apple Watch SE lacks. For instance, the Series 6 comes with an always-on display, blood oxygen monitoring, and the ECG app. The Series 6 also has a more powerful processor than the SE. However, the SE has a few features that the Series 6 lacks, such as the fall detection feature and the ability to measure VO2 max.

How does the battery life compare between the Apple Watch SE and the Series 6?

Both the Apple Watch SE and Series 6 have a similar battery life of up to 18 hours. However, the battery life may vary depending on usage and settings.

Can the Apple Watch SE track fitness and health metrics as effectively as the Series 6?

Yes, the Apple Watch SE can track fitness and health metrics as effectively as the Series 6. Both models come with features such as heart rate monitoring, activity tracking, and workout detection.

Are there any significant design differences between the Apple Watch SE and Series 6?

The Apple Watch SE and Series 6 have a similar design, with a square face and rounded edges. However, the Series 6 comes in more colors and finishes than the SE. Additionally, the Series 6 has a ceramic and titanium finish option, while the SE only comes in aluminum.

What price point differences should I expect when choosing between the Apple Watch SE and Series 6?

The Apple Watch SE is more affordable than the Series 6, with a starting price of $279, while the Series 6 starts at $399. However, the price may vary depending on the size, finish, and band type.

Which model offers a better value for someone looking to use the Apple Watch for everyday tasks?

If you’re looking for an Apple Watch for everyday tasks, both the Apple Watch SE and Series 6 are great options. However, the SE may offer a better value, as it has most of the features of the Series 6 at a more affordable price point. Additionally, the SE has a more powerful processor than the Series 3, which may make it a better option for those looking for a more budget-friendly Apple Watch.

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