Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 3: Which Belongs On Your Wrist?

by | 17/09/2020 2:29 pm
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Apple now sells three base versions of the Apple Watch. There’s the all-new Series 6, the all-new SE, and the Series 3. Yeah, that surprised us, too. Apple is keeping the Series 3 around for ANOTHER year despite introducing a “low cost” Apple Watch SE.

It’s obvious that the Series 3 can’t compete with the Series 6. And we’ve already looked at how the Series 6 fares against the SE. But now let’s turn our attention towards how the SE and Series 3 stack up against each other.

Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 3 Quick Comparison

Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 3
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Design

  • Apple Watch SE – The SE comes in two versions: a 40 mm or 44 mm size. It also comes in three different finishes, including Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Titanium. The hot new blue and red colors are only two of the five available colors on offer across all finishes.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – The Series 3 retains the dimensions of the very first Apple Watch: 38 mm or 42 mm sizes. And its only finish is Aluminum, which comes in two color options.

Winner? Apple Watch SE – More finishes and colors aside, the SE beats the Series 3 because of its larger dimensions, which is important on something as small as the Apple Watch. Plus the screen on the SE is rounded in the corners, making it look much more elegant.

Apple Watch SE Compatibility
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Displays

  • Apple Watch SE – Retina display with rounded corners. The display is also 2mm larger than on the Series 3.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – Retina display with sharp corners. We’re not gonna lie: the sharp corners make the Series 3 look more like a gadget than a timepiece.

Winner? Apple Watch SE – Both have the exact same display technology, but the SE looks much more elegant thanks to its larger display and its rounded corners.

Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 3
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CPU/Processor

  • Apple Watch SE – Dual-core S5 SiP and U1 chip.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – Dual-core S3 SiP.

Winner? Apple Watch SE – Not even a contest. The S5 chip in the SE is twice as fast as the S3 chips in the Series 3. Apps will launch up to 2x faster and animations will be smooth and fluid on the SE.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch SE
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Sensors

  • Apple Watch SE – The SE has the following sensors the Series 3 does not: Always-on Altimeter, Fall Detection, Noise Monitoring, Compass.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – The Series 3 has the basics like a heart rate sensor and altimeter, but it lacks the more advanced sensors any Apple Watch user should want.

Winner? Apple Watch SE – While the SE doesn’t have the ECG or pulse ox that the new Series 6 does, it offers way more sensors and tech over the Series 3.

Storage Options

  • Apple Watch SE – 32GB
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – 8GB

Battery Life

  • Apple Watch SE – The SE’s battery will get you about 18 hours of battery life.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – The Series 3’s battery will get you about 18 hours of battery life.

Winner? Draw – Both will get you about 18 hours of battery life.

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Price

  • Apple Watch SE – Starts at $279 for the GPS model and $329 for the cellular.
  • Apple Watch Series 3 – Starts at $199 for the GPS model.

Verdict?

Look, for just $199, the Series 3 is a fantastic deal–especially when you compare it to third-party smartwatch competitors. However, when you compare the Series 3 against the new Apple Watch SE, it’s hard to argue in support of the Series 3. The only thing the Series 3 beats the SE on is the price–but you get many fewer features with it too.

The SE, on the other hand, is an outstanding value for the money. Not only does it have a beautiful, elegant design, but it also features a ton of cool tech like Fall Detection and Noise Monitoring. It also has a bigger, more elegant screen and comes with four times the storage. That’s not even to mention the SE is TWICE as fast as the Series 3.

Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 3: Specs

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Here are the specs for the Apple Watch SE:

  • Processor: Dual-core S5 SiP
  • Models: GPS + Cellular, or just GPS
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Storage: 32GB (all models)
  • Battery: 18 hours
  • Display: 40 mm or 44 mm Retina display
  • Connectivity: GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, and (optional) Cellular LTE
  • Waterproofing: Water resistant 50 meters
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Vibration/Haptics Engine, Heart Rate Sensor, Barometer, Always-on Altimeter, Fall Detection, Noise Monitoring, Compass

And here are the specs for the Apple Watch Series 3:

  • Processor: Dual-core S3 SiP
  • Models: GPS
  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Storage: 8GB (all models)
  • Battery: 18 hours
  • Display: 38 mm or 42 mm Retina display
  • Connectivity: GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
  • Waterproofing: Water resistant 50 meters
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Vibration/Haptics Engine, Heart Rate Sensor, Barometer, Altimeter

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