Here’s how to pick between the Apple Watch Series 6, SE, and older models

Here’s how to pick between the Apple Watch Series 6, SE, and older models

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 Categories Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch SE Apple Watch Series 5 Apple Watch Series 3 Starting price $399 $279 $399 $199 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 Compass Yes Yes Yes No 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 Storage 32GB 32GB 32GB 8GB 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 Fall detection? Yes Yes Yes No Emergency SOS Yes Yes Yes Yes ECG app Yes No Yes No Blood Oxygen app Yes No No No Noise monitoring Yes Yes Yes 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. Preorder at Apple

Apple Watch SE

Starts at $279, available starting Friday, September 18th. Preorder at Apple

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