Apple unveiled the much-anticipated Apple Watch Series 6 at the event held on Tuesday. Besides, the Cupertino-giant also launched the Apple Watch SE as an affordable successor to the three-year-old Series 3, which is still on sale. So, how do all the three watches compare against each other? Which one should you buy? Let’s find out the same in our detailed Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 3 comparison.
Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 3: Comparison
Design & Build
- Series 6: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Titanium | 44mm, 40mm | 10.74mm Thick
- Watch SE: Recycled Aluminum | 44mm, 40mm | 10.74mm Thick
- Series 3: Recycled Aluminum | 42mm, 38mm | 11.4mm Thick
The Apple Watch 6 case is 11% slimmer than the Apple Watch Series 3. It is available in a range of materials, including Aluminum, Stainless Steel, and Titanium. The Watch SE, too, features the same case size but is available in recycled aluminum like the Series 3.
As for size options, you get to choose between 44mm and 40mm cases for Series 6 and Watch SE. Whereas, the Apple Watch Series 3 can be bought in 42mm and 38mm sizes.
You can buy Series 6 in five colors for the Aluminum lineup (including new Product RED), three for Stainless Steel, and two for Titanium options. It also comes in Nike+ and Hermès models. In comparison, the Watch SE gets three colors, including Silver, Space Grey, and Gold, while Series 3 gets only Silver and Space Grey options.
All three models are water-resistant up to 50 meters, which means you can take them to the swimming pool to track your splits and sets.
Solo Loop Bands
With Series 6, Apple has introduced new watch bands- Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop. These watch bands come without any buckles or clasps and instead use a smooth uniform loop of rubber that fits right on the wrist. They’re available in different sizes and are compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and later.
- Series 6: Always-On Retina LTPO OLED display | 1.78″ & 1.57″
- Watch SE: Retina LTPO OLED display | 1.78″ & 1.57″
- Series 3: Retina OLED display | 1.65″ & 1.33″
The Apple Watch Series 6 uses an Always-on Retina Display, which is 30% larger than the one on Series 3. Watch SE, too, features the same display from Series 6 but lacks the always-on functionality. You can still use raise to wake the screen on SE and Series 3.
As for the Series 6 and Watch SE, the 44mm version gets a 1.78-inch display with 368 x 448p resolution. At the same time, the 40mm variant features a 1.57-inch panel with 324 x 394p resolution.
On the other side, the Series 3’s 42mm model gets a 1.65-inch display with 312 x 390p resolution, followed by the 38mm model having a 1.5-inch screen with a 272 x 340p resolution. As evident, it has relatively larger bezels all around.
All three displays are equally bright at 1000nits. However, the always-on mode on Series 6 is now 2.5 times brighter than the previous generation.
- Series 6: S6 Chip | 32GB Storage | U1 Chip, W3 Wireless Chip (Bluetooth 5.0)
- Watch SE: S5 Chip | 32GB Storage | W3 Wireless Chip (Bluetooth 5.0)
- Series 3: S3 Chip | 8GB Storage (GPS) | W2 Wireless Chip (Bluetooth 4.2)
The Apple Watch Series 6 gets powered by the brand-new dual-core S6 chip, which is 20% faster than the S5 on Apple Watch Series 5 and the Watch SE.
Yes, the Apple Watch SE uses the dual-core S5 chip from the previous generation, which still is up to two times faster than Series 3 running on a dual-core S3 chip. Furthermore, the new siblings have 32GB capacities, as opposed to Series 3 (GPS)’s 8GB storage.
Interestingly, Series 6 also features the U1 chip or Ultra-Wideband support, introduced in iPhone 11- it enables precise location and improved spatial awareness. All three watches run the WatchOS 7; however, the Series 3 may soon lose out on support for updates.
- Series 6: Blood O2, ECG, Optical Heart, Always-On Altimeter, Louder Speaker, Noise Monitor, Fall Detection
- Watch SE: Optical Heart Sensor, Always-On Altimeter, Louder Speaker, Noise Monitor, Fall Detection
- Series 3: Optical Heart Sensor, Altimeter
The Apple Watch Series 6 comes with several new features, including a Blood oxygen sensor, Optical heart sensor, ECG, Noise monitor, Digital Crown with haptic feedback, GPS, Compass, Always-on altimeter, and a second-gen speaker and microphone.
The Watch SE has the same accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, GPS, and altimeter as the Series 6. It also carries over the same Optical heart sensor, Noise monitor, Digital Crown with haptics, Always-on altimeter, speakers, and microphone from the former. However, you won’t find the Blood O2 sensor and ECG.
Launched in 2017, the Watch Series 3 lacks several new features. It gets an Optical heart sensor, regular Digital Crown, GPS, and a standard Altimeter as opposed to an always-on Altimeter. The speakers on the other two are 50% louder than Series 3.
Series 3 also doesn’t feature fall detection, which could be a life savior in some cases. Plus, it no longer comes in GPS + Cellular version and hence won’t work with Family Setup.
All three smartwatches come with a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries touted to last up to 18 hours on a single charge. You can charge them with Apple’s Magnetic Charging Cable.
In India, the Apple Watch Series 6 stands as the most expensive of the trio at a starting price of ₹40,900 ($399 in the US) for the GPS variant. Whereas, the GPS + Cellular model costs upwards of ₹49,900 ($499 in the US).
The Apple Watch SE will set you back ₹29,900 ($279 in the US) for the GPS model and ₹33,900 ($329 in the US) for the GPS + Cellular variant. The dated Apple Watch Series 3, on the other hand, starts at just ₹20,900 ($199 in the US).
Like other Apple products, all three watches are costlier in India due to taxes. If you’re planning to buy any of the cellular variants from a different region, do check if it supports Indian bands. An Apple Watch purchased in the USA will not work with Indian cellular networks.
Should I Buy Apple Watch Series 6, Watch SE, or Series 3?
The Apple Watch Series 6 is the company’s most advanced smartwatch with a Blood Oxygen sensor, Always-on display, ECG, fall detection, and an always-on altimeter. The cheaper Watch SE offers the same large screen while skipping a few features like the always-on display, ECG, and Blood O2 sensor.
Apple Watch Series 3, on the other hand, gives you the core fitness and health features of an Apple Watch at an affordable price. However, in comparison with Watch SE, it lacks fall detection, gets a regular altimeter, lesser storage, and comes with dated hardware.
All-inclusive, if budget is not a constraint, you can straight up buy the new Series 6. However, if those extra features aren’t on your list, the Watch SE would be an ideal choice considering the lower price. Buying a Series 3 may save you even more cash, but then again, you’ll lose out on a lot of crucial features.