The Flagship

Apple Watch Series 6

Fresh alternative

Apple Watch SE

The latest Apple Watch flagship offers the most advanced features to date on the wearable device.

From $399 at Apple

Pros

  • Always-on display
  • Blood oxygen app
  • Stainless steel and titanium options

Cons

  • Not much different than Series 5
  • Can get very expensive quickly

Cupertino's first-ever mid-priced Apple Watch comes with lots of bells and whistles for less.

From $279 at Apple

Pros

  • Still packs a punch
  • Great mid-priced alternative

Cons

  • No support for always-on display
  • No blood oxygen app

For 2020/21, Apple has decided to release not one, but two new Apple Watches. If you're looking for everything Apple Watch has to offer, you'll want to invest in the Series 6. If you want to save some money, but still want most of the cutting edge features found on that model, go with the all-new SE.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch SE

It's difficult to see the differences between these two Apple Watch models, at least on the outside. Dig deeper, however, and you can see where the less expensive SE lacks, as the following chart shows.

Series 6 SE
Starting price $399 $279
Case materials Aluminum
Stainless steel
Titanium
Aluminum
Case sizes 40mm
44mm
40mm
44mm
Battery performance Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours
Screen material Sapphire Crystal (Stainless Steel, Titanium)
Ion X glass (Aluminum)
Ion X glass (Aluminum)
Display quality Always-On Retina LTPO OLED display (1000 nits) Retina LTPO OLED display (1000 nits)
Processor S6 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor S5 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor
Wireless chipset W3 W3
Ultra Wideband U1 None
Water resistance 50 meters 50 meters
Features Compass
Always-on altimeter
Second-generation optical heart sensor
Accelerometer up to 32 g-forces
Ambient light sensor
Fall detection
Blood oxygen sensor
Electrical heart sensor
Compass
Always-on altimeter
Second-generation optical heart sensor
Accelerometer up to 32 g-forces
Ambient light sensor
Fall detection

Storage capacity 32GB 32GB

Apple Watch Series 6: Better health and more

The Apple Watch Series 6 is the first to offer a blood oxygen sensor. Like the Series 5 before it, the model also has an electrical heart sensor and always-on display. The latter has been "enhanced" for this year. The Series 6 also includes a fresh dual-core S6 SiP.

As the current flagship, the Series 6 is also the only Apple Watch to come in stainless steel, titanium, and Hermès. There are also Series 6 aluminum model exclusives, blue and (PRODUCT)RED. Finally, Series 6 is the only Apple Watch to include a U1 chip. First introduced on the iPhone 11 series, the chip offers improved spatial awareness and accuracy than Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi.

Who should buy the Apple Watch Series 6

If you're looking for the latest and greatest Apple Watch, the Series 6 is the choice for you. It's the one with the most features and styles. It's two biggest features, the blood oxygen monitor and electrical heart sensor, take wellness to new levels.

Apple Watch SE: Much is the same

With the Apple Watch SE, you still get many of the same features found on the Series 6 but lack the entry-level Series 3. These include 32GB storage, a bigger display, fall detection, international emergency calling, noise monitoring, support for Family Setup, compass, always-on altimeter, Digital Crown with haptic feedback, second-generation speaker, and mic, a ceramic and sapphire crystal back.

Regardless of the model you select, be sure to check out some of our favorite Watch bands!

Who should buy the Apple Watch SE

For those new to Apple Watch, the SE could be the model for you. Offering many of the same features as the Series 6, the SE is aggressively priced and a much better solution than the Series 3.

Our pick

Apple Watch Series 6

Health and wellness tools continue to get added to Apple Watch, as the latest flagship shows.

Budget pick

Apple Watch Series SE

Skip the Apple Watch Series 3 and get this one instead. It's more like the Series 6 and still has many of the same features.

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