Apple Watch Series 6 vs. Apple Watch SE (Which One Should You Buy?)

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch SE Which Should You Buy Credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock
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Apple changed things up this year. For the first time in the history of the Apple Watch, in addition to releasing the new Apple Watch Series 6, the company also revealed a second, more affordable Apple Watch model named the Apple Watch SE.

The Apple Watch SE is everything you would expect from an “SE” product from Apple. It’s essentially as powerful as the Apple Watch Series 6, but at a more affordable price of just $279 for the GPS model. That sounds great, but it does come with some compromises.

The Apple Watch SE loses some features you’ll only find in the Apple Watch Series 6, like a blood oxygen monitor. That being said, you might not need or use the features that are missing.

So here’s the question – Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE? Which one should you get?

Let’s talk about everything that’s different (and what remains the same) to see if you really need the more expensive model.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs. Apple Watch SE: What’s Different?

There aren’t many differences between the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. But the differences that do exist might be reason enough to buy one or the other.

Let’s start with the most important difference for most of us: the price.

  1. The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399 and $429 for the 40mm and the 44mm models respectively.
  2. The Apple Watch SE comes at a price of $279 for the 40mm model and $309 for the 44mm model.

But if you want your Apple Watch to have GPS and cellular connectivity, you’ll have to pay $100 more for the Apple Watch Series 6. On the other hand, the Apple Watch SE only costs $50 more for the cellular model.

Apple delivers apple watch series 6 09152020

Right from the start, if you’re on a budget or you just don’t want to spend much on a wearable, the Apple Watch SE, which costs over $100 less, is the best option for you.

On the other hand, if what you’re looking for is variety, the Apple Watch Series 6 offers more color and material options compared to the Apple Watch SE.

The Series 6 comes in aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel, with a bunch of colors to choose from, including (PRODUCT)RED and a new blue option for the aluminum models.

The Apple Watch SE, on the other hand, only comes in three colors: silver, gold, and space gray, and all of these models come in aluminum.

Regarding performance, both Apple Watches will run great, no matter how you use them, but the Apple Watch Series 6 is more powerful than its affordable counterpart, as you might expect.

The Apple Watch Series 6 has the all-new S6 chip and the Apple Watch SE brings back the previous S5 chip that we saw in the Apple Watch Series 5 just a year ago. That being said, you likely won’t notice any difference at all in performance.

Now, let’s talk about the two biggest features the Apple Watch SE is missing.

Apple watch series 6 sensor 09152020

First, let’s start with the Blood Oxygen Monitor, which was the biggest health feature added this year to the Apple Watch Series 6. Although it’s nice to have the opportunity to check the oxygen in your blood, this feature is not 100% accurate. It won’t be as precise as other full-fledged blood oxygen monitors that you can get elsewhere.

Still, if you’re constantly wanting to learn and track more things on your body, this feature might be a must-have for you.

The other big feature is the Always-On Display. First introduced in the Apple Watch Series 5, Apple improved the Alway-On Display on the Series 6 to make it brighter so you can always tell the time, especially when you’re outdoors.

The Apple Watch SE doesn’t have this feature, which might be a deal-breaker for most people, especially long time Apple fans who have been asking for this feature for a long time.

Shop Apple Watch SE Here Shop Apple Watch Series 6 Here

Apple Watch Series 6 vs. Apple Watch SE: What’s the Same?

So after covering all the major differences between the Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, everything else is basically the same.

Both devices have the same design, although that’s not a surprise since Apple hasn’t changed the Apple Watch’s design since the Series 4. Still, if you had both watches in your hands, it’d be really hard to tell which is which.

The display is the same as well. Of course, the only difference is the Always-On feature that we mentioned before. Besides, both devices also support Apple’s new Solo and Braided Loops, so you won’t be missing out on these new accessories either.

In the performance department, as we mentioned the Series 6 comes with the S6 Chip, which makes it 20% more efficient compared to the SE model.

Nevertheless, both watches are extremely fast and run smoothly. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in performance unless you’re comparing them side-by-side.

Something else that’s worth mentioning is that both have the same expected battery life. Apple states that both watches last up to 18 hours. With that in mind, you also have to take into consideration the Always-On Display.

Because of this feature, it’s possible that the Apple Watch Series 6’s battery life will be shorter than the Apple Watch SE’s. So if you’re looking for a watch that lasts longer, you should turn your focus on the cheaper model. Of course, you can also just turn off Always-On Display, but then why have it?

Besides this, basically, everything else remains the same on both devices. Both come with 32 GB of storage, both are water-resistant, and both come with watchOS 7 installed right from the get-go.

Which One Should You Get?

Both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE are great devices for people who are thinking about getting their first smartwatch.

Both offer super-quick performance, a great battery that can last all day, and the same quality and design you want and expect from Apple.

That being said, if you’re not sure which Apple Watch should you get, the best option for most people is the Apple Watch SE.

Despite having more features, the Apple Watch Series 6 doesn’t offer anything too groundbreaking or (maybe even necessary) for most people. The Apple Watch SE, on the other hand, has everything you need from a smartwatch.

Even if you don’t get all the health features that the Series 6 offers, you still gain features like Fall Detection and the heart rate sensor, which is extremely accurate and has proven to be a lifesaver for some people.

The biggest downside of the Apple Watch SE is the lack of an Always-On Display, and I could see this being a huge reason to get the Series 6 instead.

Still, if you don’t mind having to turn your wrist or tap the display to see the time, which is what most of us do, anyway, then the Apple Watch SE is still the best option.

You could buy the most expensive SE model at MSRP $359, and it’d still be $40 cheaper than buying the base Apple Watch Series 6 model.

On the other hand, if you feel like you need to have an Always-On Display, and you want or need to track your blood oxygen levels constantly, and the price is not an issue, you should go for the Apple Watch Series 6. The watch is faster, more customizable, and it brings new health features that you won’t find anywhere else.

Shop Apple Watch SE Here Shop Apple Watch Series 6 Here
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