Apple has announced two new smartwatches: the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE. Usually, each new Apple Watch slots in at the top of the company’s lineup, making the older ones a little less expensive as a result, but this year’s cadence is different. The new Apple Watch SE looks very similar to the new $399 Series 6, but it lacks a few of its highlight features to reach a lower $279 price.
So which one should you buy, and how do these smartwatches compare to each other? Should you spring for the Series 6 over the SE? What about the Series 5 that came out last year? And are you really missing out on much if you just get the cheapest Series 3 Watch? It’s getting complicated to suss out the differences, so we’re going to spell out the specs below to make your buying decision a little more clear.
Apple has a comprehensive look at all of the specs of each model right here, but if you just want a quick look at specs, check out the table below. And just to note: we haven’t used the Series 6 or Apple Watch SE yet, so don’t let these specs solely guide you; numbers don’t always tell you everything you need to know about tech.
Apple Watch specs comparison
|Categories||Apple Watch Series 6||Apple Watch SE||Apple Watch Series 5||Apple Watch Series 3|
|Processor||S6 dual-core processor||S5 dual-core processor||S5 dual-core processor||S3 dual-core processor|
|watchOS version||watchOS 7||watchOS 7||watchOS 7||watchOS 7|
|Water resistance||Water resistant up to 50 meters||Water resistant up to 50 meters||Water resistant up to 50 meters||Water resistant up to 50 meters|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0||Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2|
|LTE||Yes, $499||Yes, $329||Yes, but hard to find||Yes, but hard to find|
|Built-in mic and speaker||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|W-series Wireless chip||W3||W3||W3||W2|
|U1 Ultra Wideband support||Yes||No||No||No|
|Always-on altimeter||Yes||Yes||No, but still has an altimeter||No, but still has an altimeter|
|Digital Crown haptic feedback||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Heart sensor||second-gen optical heart sensor||optical heart sensor||second-gen optical heart sensor||optical heart sensor|
|Case sizes||44mm, 40mm||44mm, 40mm||44mm, 40mm||38mm, 42mm|
|Display||Always-on OLED Retina display||OLED Retina display||Always-on OLED Retina display||OLED Retina display|
|Display size (approx.)||44mm: 1.78-inch, 40mm: 1.57-inch||44mm: 1.78-inch, 40mm: 1.57-inch||44mm: 1.78-inch, 40mm: 1.57-inch||42mm: 1.65-inch, 38mm: 1.5-inch|
|Screen resolution||44mm: 368 x 448, 40mm: 324 x 394||44mm: 368 x 448, 40mm: 324 x 394||44mm: 368 x 448, 40mm: 324 x 394||42mm: 312 x 390, 38mm: 272 x 340|
|Battery Life||Up to 18 hours||Up to 18 hours||Up to 18 hours||Up to 18 hours|
|Family Setup support||Yes, with cellular version||Yes, with cellular version||Yes, with cellular version||No|
|Blood Oxygen app||Yes||No||No||No|
|High, low, or irregular heart notifications||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Optical heart sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Apple Watch Series 6 /
Starts at $399, available starting Friday, September 18th.
Apple Watch SE /
Starts at $279, available starting Friday, September 18th.