Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch SE, comparison of two hot new wearables

Apple’s Flagship watch against its budget version.

Apple’s two new smartwatches, Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch SE, started shipping out on September 18. The wearbles were launched at Apple Event that took place last week virtually due to COVID precautions. Both watches have two variants each, the GPS+Cellular, and the GPS. Each variant is available in two different, 44mm and 40mm, case sizes.

Apple Watch 6 is the company’s top of the line, Flagship watch, which starts at $399, whereas the SE is a budget version starting at $279. Although both Watches run on watchOS 7, some other differences can help you make a thoughtful decision to buy one. We will highlight all these differences to make it easy for you.

The table below shows prices by variants. 

Prices by VariantsApple Watch 6Apple Watch SE
40mm GPS (Aluminum)Starting at $399Starting at $279
40mm GPS + Cellular (Aluminum)Starting at $499Starting at $329
40mm GPS + Cellular (Stainless Steel)Starting at $699
40mm GPS + Cellular (Titanium)Starting at $849
44mm GPS (Aluminum)Starting at $429Starting at $309
44mm GPS + Cellular (Aluminum)Starting at $529Starting at $359
44mm GPS + Cellular (Stainless Steel)Starting at $749
40mm GPS + Cellular (Titanium)Starting at $899

Apple Watch 6 vs SE: Design

There’s no design difference between the two watches; they even have the same display and resolution so that you won’t notice any differences in the viewing experience. The only difference you will feel is if you opt for a Stainless Steel or Titanium variant of Series 6, in these two finishes Apple has used a sapphire crystal display, which is more scratch-resistant than the Ion-X Glass display used in the Aluminum finish of Watch Series 6 or SE.

The Apple Watch 6 comes with additional color options for the case. Apart from the traditional silver, grey, and gold available for both watches, Series 6 is introduced in red and blue. It also has titanium and steel variants with different color options. Apple’s two new bands, the ‘Solo Loop’ and ‘Braided Solo Loop,’ come with both watches.

Solo Braided Loop apple watch bands
New Solo Loop and Braided Loop bands

Both watches are extremely water-resistant, and Apple believes you can swim (shallow-water) with them — keep in mind water-resistant is a physical feature and resistance might decrease after time. Both watches, Series 6 and SE, have a water resistance rating of 50 meters.

With always-on display, available in Series 6, you do not need to raise your wrist or tap the screen to check the time. The feature was originally introduced in Apple Watch 5 but not present in SE.

A table is shown below for detailed design comparison.

Apple Watch 6Apple Watch SE
Display Size and Resolution40mm, 44mm Retina OLED 368×448 pixels40mm, 44mm Retina OLED 368×448 pixels
Always-onYesNo
Dimensions40mm: 40mm (height), 34mm (width), 10.4mm (depth); 
44mm: 44mm (height) 38mm (width) 10.4mm (depth)
40mm: 40mm (height), 34mm (width), 10.4mm (depth);
44mm: 44mm (height) 38mm (width) 10.4mm (depth)
Weight (grams)40mm GPS: 30.5g,
GPS + Cellular: 30.5g
44mm GPS: 36.5g
GPS + Cellular: 36.5g
40mm GPS: 30.49g,
GPS + Cellular: 30.68g;
44mm GPS: 36.2g
GPS + Cellular: 36.36g
MaterialsAluminum, steel and titaniumAluminium
ColorsAluminum: silver, grey, gold, blue and red; 
Steel: silver, graphite and gold 
Titanium: titanium and black 
silver, grey and gold
Interchangeable bandsYesYes

Apple Watch 6 vs SE: Hardware Specifications

With S6 chip, the Apple’s latest SiP (System in a package), Watch Series 6 is promised to perform 20 percent faster than Series 5. The SE Watch Series has the S5 SiP, and Apple still claims that it will be twice as fast as Watch Series 3, released back in 2017.

READ: Apple Watch Series 6: blood oxygen monitoring and app, watchOS 7, altimeter, other features

A significant new feature that only the flagship version has is the ability to measure blood oxygen levels. With a blood oxygen app, it can get you an insight on your cardiac health. The oximeter sensor in Watch 6 gathers information about your blood circulation and breathing before displaying your results in 15 seconds. 

Apple Watch 6Apple Watch SE
SiP (Processor)S6 chip dual-core processor and W3 wireless chipS5 chip dual-core processor and W3 wireless chip
Power Magnetic Apple charging cable and USB connector (backward compatible)Magnetic Apple charging cable and USB connector (backward compatible)
Battery Life18 hrs18 hrs
Storage32GB32GB
Bluetooth5.05.0

Apple Watch 6 vs SE: Software Specifications

Both devices are supported by watchOS 7 and all of its new features, including Family Setup. With the help of Family Setup, parents can put restrictions on their children’s watches by connecting with their iPhones. Limitations like contacts, app downloads can be put in place. watchOS7 offers several new Watch Faces as well. 

Apple Watch 6Apple Watch SE
SoftwarewatchOS 7watchOS 7

Apple Watch 6 vs SE: Other Features

There are other added features in both watches which can play a role when you are making a choice. 

Apple Watch 6Apple Watch SE
Special FeaturesBlood Oxygen app, ECG app, U1 chip, emergency SOS, fall detection, hearing health alertsWmergency SOS, fall detection, hearing health alerts
Emergency FeaturesEmergency SOS, International emergency calling, fall detectionEmergency SOS calling (911 and emergency contacts)

What’s the right choice?

There cannot be one right choice with so many options of case sizes, colors, bands, and variants. It comes down to one’s budget, style preference, and need to decide which watch will best suit them. So there’s no right choice, just the most suitable one, which is easier to figure out now that all the specs are available to you categorically organized. 

If you are on a budget and want to buy your first watch ever, features like blood oxygen levels, compass, and international emergency calling are something you are never going to use, then you can go ahead with Apple Watch SE and check are you a watch guy? If you are already a returning happy Watch customer, you loved the always-on retina display and the ECG app in Series 5, you want the next big thing with a fancier sapphire glass display we would suggest go for Watch Series 6 with Stainless Steel or Titanium finish. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch SE

READ: Apple opens first water-floating Marina Bay Sands store, revolutionizing in-store experience

Images: Apple

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