Apple Watch SE vs Series 6
According to many tech experts most people should go for the SE instead of the Series 6. It has most of the features of the Apple Watch Series 6 without the hefty price.
The Apple Watch SE does not have
- Blood oxygen saturation sensor
- Always-on display
- The latest and greatest S6 processor chip
- U1 chip
While the Series 6 has more features, they're not available in every country. If the ECG app and Blood Oxygen is not available in your country of residence then you'd just be paying extra for a slightly faster processor, an always-on display that may or may not be to your liking, and chip that you have yet to have much use for.
Even if all the features of the Series 6 is available to you, some tech observers still recommend the SE over the Series 6. Here are the reasons why you should get the SE instead of the 6:
- You don't need a blood oximeter and ECG – some users of the Series 5, which comes with ECG, have reported using the ECG only a few times and mostly only why they first got it
- You don't want always-on-display – some people like it, some people don't. Always-on-display affects battery life and a slight flick of the wrist wakes up the Apple Watch.
- The S6 chip is fast but the difference is barely noticeable in everyday use. The SE uses the same processor as the one in Series 5.
- As of writing, there's not much use for the U1 chip in the Series 6. A U1 chip is used for precise location tracking; it was rumored to work with Air Tags, which was rumored to be announced in October 2020 Apple Event but wasn't.
- The cellular version of the SE is only $40 more than the base version. The Series 6 cellular version is $100 more than its base version.
- The blood oximeter is not as accurate as the real thing. If your life depended on it, you'd probably be better off with a portable medically approved blood oximeter.
Blood Oxygen app available in the following countries
ECG app only available in following countries
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- US Virgin Islands
Check out the whole watchOS feature availability from Apple
The Series 6 is the latest and greatest
Even if not all of the features of the Series 6 available, you might still find it an attractive option especially if you have the money. Here are reason why you might want to the get the Series 6 even when you think the SE is more value for money:
- The Series 6 is the best Apple Watch yet
- You want the premium stainless steel version or the high-end Hermes version
- You want to look down on peasants or you don't want to be looked down on as a peasant
- You need a blood oximeter and ECG with you at all times even though they're not accurate
- You anticipate the release of AirTags so you can look for your stuff with accuracy
- You want a more future proof Apple Watch than the SE
- The SE might not take full advantage of future WatchOS updates (e.g. when it requires the U1 chip or S6 processor)
- More affordable than Series 6
- Cheap upgrade to cellular version
- Good battery life
- Almost as fast as the Series 6
- No always-on display
- No U1 chip
- No stainless steel version
The Series 6 is good but it feels like it could be better. If it's your first Apple Watch or you have an older version up to the Series 3, I would recommend getting the SE.
The Series 6 is not much of an upgrade to the Series 5 and if you plan on upgrading to the Series 7 when it becomes available, the SE might seem to be the right choice for you. Unless you really need to have a blood oximeter and ECG with you at all times even though they're not as accurate as the real thing.
The more expensive stainless steel version is not available on the SE and a cellular version upgrade is more expensive on the Series 6. This tells us that the Series 6 is targeted towards people with money and that Apple is milking them out of their money as much as possible.
Still, the best Apple Watch is the Series 6 and not the SE. The SE just has more value for money and al the necessary features for most people.