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Apple Watch SE is not as low-cost because the Series 3. So how do you resolve which to purchase?


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

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

Despite its lower cost, nonetheless, the Watch SE is not the most cost effective wearable you should purchase new from Apple. Its personal Apple Watch Series 3, which launched in 2017, at present goes for $199 (£199, AU$399).

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Because the Watch Series Three is three years older, it clearly is not as high-powered and sturdy because the Watch SE. But it nonetheless packs lots of options and you might desire it over the Watch SE for those who take into consideration how a lot cash you will save. Read on to study extra about their variations and see which one is best for you.

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

Design: Watch SE is larger and sharper

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

Note that neither watches have an always-on show. Originally introduced in the Watch Series 5 last year, it implies that the display is continually on and also you needn’t increase your wrist or faucet the display to take a look at the time or examine for notifications. Of Apple’s new watches, solely the Watch Series 6 has this function.


The Watch Series SE with its new loop bands.


Hardware: Watch SE is twice as quick

When it first launched, Apple offered a mannequin of the Watch Series Three that had mobile connectivity. But the corporate does not promote these variants anymore and in order for you one, you will should get it refurbished and from a third-party vendor. As the newer machine, Apple shares each variations of the Watch SE. Cellular fashions are dearer than the bottom Wi-Fi solely watches, however having LTE lets you use the machine with out tethering to a telephone or a Wi-Fi community. This is helpful whenever you need to go away 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 Series Three doesn’t.


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

Both telephones have altimeters, which measure your altitude and elevation. Because the Watch SE’s altimeter is at all times on, nonetheless, its elevation readings are performed in real-time. The newer watch additionally has a compass and 4 instances extra reminiscence (32GB in comparison with the Watch Series 3’s 8GB).

As for the battery, we weren’t capable of take a look at the Watch SE’s battery life but. But again after we have been reviewing the Watch Series 3, battery life was unimpressive. Because Apple stated that each gadgets have the identical battery life — about 18 hours — we count on extra of the identical underwhelming efficiency. But once more, we’ll should get our fingers on the watch to know for positive.

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Software options: Watch SE screens for falls and loud noises

The Watch SE runs WatchOS 7, Apple’s newest smartwatch software program, proper out of the field. Though the Watch Series Three can download the update, not all of Watch OS 7’s options might be obtainable on the older wearable. That contains 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 youngster or an aged grownup. You can then apply controls, like limiting contacts and app downloads, or computerized location monitoring.

The Watch SE additionally has different options that are not new to Watch OS 7, however have been obtainable after the launch of the Watch Series 3. That contains fall detection and noise stage monitoring, so if these are vital to you, go along 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 Club app preloaded and comes with customizable watch problems to assemble, analyze and share information out of your runs.

Apple Watch SE vs. Series Three specs

Apple Watch SE Apple Watch Series 3
Display dimension, decision 40mm, 44mm Retina OLED 368×448 pixels 38mm, 42mm Retina OLED 312×390 pixels
Always-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 + Cellular: 30.68g; 44mm Wi-Fi: 36.2g Wi-Fi + Cellular: 36.36g 38mm Wi-Fi: 26.7g, Wi-Fi + Cellular: 28.7g; 42mm Wi-Fi: 32.3g Wi-Fi + Cellular: 34.9g
Materials/ finishes Aluminum Aluminum
Colors Silver, gray, gold Silver and gray
Interchangeable bands Yes Yes
GPS Built-in Built-in
Automatic exercise detection Yes Yes
Compass Yes No
Altimeter Yes Yes
Water resistance Yes, as much as 50m Yes, as much as 50m
Calls Yes Yes
Notifications Text replies Text replies
Microphone Yes Yes
Speaker Yes Yes
Voice assistant Siri Siri
Music Onboard, playback and streaming (with Cellular mannequin) Onboard, playback and streaming (with Cellular mannequin)
Mobile Payments Apple Pay Apple Pay
Sleep monitoring Yes Yes (with replace to Watch OS 7)
Period monitoring Yes Yes
Emergency options Heart fee notifications, emergency SOS calling (worldwide, 911 and emergency contacts), fall detection, listening to alerts Heart fee notifications 
Compatibility iOS/iPhone solely iOS/iPhone solely
Software 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 Cellular choice ($100 extra) Wi-Fi (Apple discontinued Cellular choice)
Storage 32GB 8GB
Bluetooth 5.0 4.2
Power 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.)
Price (USD) Starting at $279 (40mm aluminum) Starting at $199 (40mm aluminum)
Price (GBP) £269 £199
Price (AUD) AU$429 AU$399

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