Home / Technology / New Apple Watch: What’s the Difference Between Series 6 and SE Anyway?

New Apple Watch: What’s the Difference Between Series 6 and SE Anyway?



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Apple

TO Apple’s virtual event on Tuesday, the company has launched two new smartwatches: the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. Both devices work WatchOS 7, but because the Watch SE is a cheaper version of Apple’s flagship Watch line, it has fewer features and a less advanced S5 chipset. The devices have cellular-only and Wi-Fi variants and ship on September 18th.

The Watch Series 6 starts at $ 399 (£ 379, AU $ 599) while the Watch SE costs $ 279 (£ 269, AU $ 429). If you’re interested in one of the two wearables but aren’t sure which one you should get, read on for our in-depth look at how these two compare.






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Design: Similar in appearance, but Series 6 has more design options

Both Watch Series 6 and SE have the same display and resolution, so you’ll have the same viewing experience. They’re also water resistant, so you can swim with them, and they work with Apple’s two new bands, the Solitary and intertwined rings.

The 6 watch series, however, has more design and color choices. In addition to the standard silver, gray and gold aluminum colors, the 6 Series is available in blue and red. It also has variants in steel and titanium, with different color options in both materials. Hermès, the luxury fashion company and longtime Apple Watch partner, also has new bands for the Series 6.

Finally, the 6 Series has an always-on display. Originally introduced in watch series 5 last year, it means the display is constantly on and you don’t need to raise your wrist or tap the screen to check the time or check notifications.

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The Watch Series 6 with its new ring straps.

Apple

Hardware: Look at the Series 6 blood oxygen sensor

The 6 watch series has Apple’s latest S6 chipset while the SE series has the S5 system. Although the Watch SE’s setup isn’t as advanced as the Series 6, Apple said the SE is twice as fast as it was in 2017 Series 3.

One major update that’s only on the 6 watch series is the sensors measure blood oxygen levels. Known as an oximeter, it can gather important information about breathing and blood circulation in 15 seconds and provide key information about respiratory and cardiac health in general. It is especially important for people with COVID-19, as oxygen levels in the blood are indicative of the severity of the disease affecting your body.

The Blood Oxygen app.

Apple

The accompanying Blood Oxygen app will take measurements in the background, such as while sleeping, but users can also manually trigger a reading. The data is viewable through the built-in Health app, where you can see your levels and track trends over time.

Both watches also have an optical heart sensor to measure heart rate. But Watch Series 6 also has an app for its electrical heart sensor (abbreviated to ECG or EKG), which debuted on the Watch Series 4, to detect irregular heart rhythms.

Finally, Watch Series 6 has an Ultra Wideband or U1 chip. Available in iPhones starting with the iPhone 11 line, this chip serves for “spatial awareness” and helps devices find other devices more accurately when they are in close proximity. When it debuted last year, Apple said this chip would enhance AirDrop, a service that allows iPhone users to quickly share files with nearby iPhones. Tantalizingly, Apple added that “this is just the beginning” of its uses. Many believe the U1 chip is actually laying the foundation for a long-rumored Apple card tracker.

Software Features: Both run WatchOS 7

New to WatchOS 7 and available on Watch Series 6 and Watch SE it is Family setup. This allows users to pair their iPhone with someone else’s Apple Watch, whether it is a family member such as a small child or an elderly adult. You can then apply controls, such as restricting contacts and app downloads, or automatic location detection. The other user is also not required to have their own iPhone. WatchOS 7 comes with a number of new watch faces, including those for Memoji stickers.

These updates are included in addition to several standard Apple Watch features such as drop detection, noise level monitoring, emergency SOS contact, and an alimeter to measure elevation levels.

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The Apple Watch Series SE.

Apple

Apple Watch Series 6 vs SE series specifications

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series SE

Display size, resolution

40 mm, 44 mm Retina OLED 368×448 pixels

40 mm, 44 mm Retina OLED 368×448 pixels

Always on

Yup

No

Dimensions (mm)

40mm: 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 Wi-Fi: 30.5g, Wi-Fi + Cellular: 30.5g; 44mm Wi-Fi: 36.5g Wi-Fi + Cellular: 36.5g

40mm Wi-Fi: 30.49g, Wi-Fi + Cellular: 30.68g; 44mm Wi-Fi: 36.2g Wi-Fi + Cellular: 36.36g

Materials / finishes

Aluminum, steel and titanium

Aluminum

Colors

Silver, gray, gold, blue and red (aluminum); silver, graphite and gold (steel); titanium and black (titanium)

Silver, gray and gold

Interchangeable bands

Yup

Yup

GPS

Incorporated

Incorporated

Automatic training detection

Yup

Yup

Compass

Yup

Yup

Altimeter

Yup

Yup

Water resistance

Yes, up to 50m

Yes, up to 50m

Calls

Yup

Yup

Notifications

Text answers

Text answers

Microphone

Yup

Yup

Speaker

Yup

Yup

Voice assistant

Siri

Siri

Music

Onboard, playback and streaming (with cellular model)

Onboard, playback and streaming (with cellular model)

Mobile payments

Apple Pay

Apple Pay

Sleep monitoring

Yup

Yup

Period monitoring

Yup

Yup

Special features

Blood Oxygen App, ECG App, U1 Chip, Emergency SOS, Fall Detection, Hearing Health Alerts

Wmergency SOS, fall detection, hearing health alerts

Emergency functions

Emergency SOS, International Emergency Calls, Fall Detection

Emergency SOS call (911 and emergency contacts)

Compatibility

IOS / iPhone only

IOS / iPhone only

Software

WatchOS 7

WatchOS 7

Processor

Dual-core processor with S6 chip and W3 wireless chip

Dual-core processor with S5 chip and W3 wireless chip

Connectivity

Wi-Fi and cellular option ($ 100 more)

Wi-Fi and cellular option ($ 50 more)

storage

32 GB

32 GB

Bluetooth

5.0

5.0

Power

Apple magnetic charging cable and USB connector (backward compatible)

Apple magnetic charging cable and USB connector (backward compatible)

Battery life

All day (18 hours)

All day (18 hours)

Price (USD)

Starting at $ 399 (40mm aluminum)

Starting at $ 279 (40mm aluminum)

Price (GBP)

£ 379

£ 269

Price (AUD)

AU $ 599

AU $ 429


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