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Apple announced the launch of its Apple Watch SE and Series 6 on September 15th, 2020. On September 18th, 2020, they were both released on the market. Apple Watch Series 6 came with several attractive features that subdued its 2019 Series 5. In addition, it included a modification of the latter’s existing features. 

The Apple Watch Series 6 presents a novel S6 processor — a U1 ultra-wideband chip and health features that support oxygen blood oxygen sensors, with a starting price of $399. The Watch SE, on the other hand, presents several amazing features popular with the Apple Watch line. This makes it a viable option for many people with its more contending starting price of $279. 

Comparing the two watches may seem impossible because of their many similar features. These features include water resistance, a similar-looking design, and an optical heart rate detector. Most people would opt for the cheaper Apple Watch SE than the Series 6 as they both present nearly the same features. 

However, the Apple Series 6’s blood oxygen monitor and “always-on display” brighter screen lights feature holds an edge over the SE. This factor places it in a more affordable position but left with fewer key features.

Now, let’s properly delve into the actual comparison so you can determine which of the watches best fits you.

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 6: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Apple Watch SEApple Watch Series 6
Price$279$399
In-built Processor S5 SiP with a 64-bit dual-core processorS6 SiP with a 64-bit dual-core processor
Water Resistance Features Up to 50 metersUp to 50 meters
Screen Display QualitiesRetina LTPO OLED display of 1,000 nitsAlways-on Retina LTPO OLED display of 1,000 nits
Material Used for ScreenIon X glass for a single Aluminum caseSapphire Crystal for Titanium and Stainless Steel case, Ion X glass for Aluminum case
Size of Case40mm, 44mm40mm, 44mm
Material UsedfFor CaseAluminum onlyStainless Steel, Aluminum, and Titanium 
Ultra WidebandZero/NoneU1
Wireless ChipsetW3W3
Battery Performance Up to 18 hours per full chargeUp to 18 hours per full charge
Storage Capacity32GB32GB
Device Features Compass, second-generation optical heart monitor, fall detector, accelerometer up to 32 g-forces, always-on altimeter, ambient light sensorCompass, second-generation optical heart monitor, fall detector, accelerometer up to 32 g-forces, always-on altimeter, ambient light sensor, EGC measure, blood oxygen sensor, and always-on screen display

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 6: What’s the Difference?

Let’s take a deeper look at the two watches to uncover how they stack up. In addition, we’ll be looking at their differences using their unique design and features to compare them, including their display, battery life, performance, and health features to determine which of the watches tops the charts.

Pros

  • Contains most features of the Series 6
  • Great alternative for a mid-range priced watch

Cons

  • Does not support an “always-on” screen display
  • Does not support a blood oxygen sensor and EGC feature

Pros

  • Has the always-on screen display
  • Supports blood oxygen sensor and EGC feature
  • More screen material and casing color options

Cons

  • No big difference from its preceding Series 5
  • More on the pricey side

Design Structure

The design structure of the Apple Watch SE and the Series 6 is almost identical. Moreover, they present similar case sizes of 40mm and 44mm. In addition, these models consist of rounded edges and slim bezels and are compatible with the whole of Apple’s watch bands

Furthermore, the only difference in design between the two watches is that Apple Watch Series 6 provides a wider range of colors. In addition, it comes with different case material finishes. Unlike the Apple Watch SE, which provides a single aluminum finish, with only three different colors — space gray, gold, and silver. 

The Apple Watch Series 6 offers three finishes and seven different colors. The finishes are aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium, while its offered colors are red, blue, silver, graphite, space black, space gray, and gold. 

So, with the wider array of colors and finishes the series 6 provides over the Apple Watch SE, it is the better choice if having your favorite color is a big deciding factor. 

Watch Display

The display resolution of the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Series 6 is of the same feature. Although, this display resolution clocks at 368 x 448p in the 44mm design and 324 x 394p in the 40mm design. However, the major difference between the two is the “always-on” feature of the Series 6 which isn’t in the SE. 

In addition, the “always-on” display feature lets you easily view the time without raising your head or tapping your screen. This, therefore, suggests that you can easily check what time it is and view other intricacies on your watch’s screen. Moreover, you can do this while the display is still dim. However, it automatically returns to full brightness as soon as you take up your hand or tap on the screen. That is why several apps and watch interfaces are being modified to benefit from the “always-on” display feature fully. 

The reason why many people like this “always-on” display feature is that when utilizing the workout app on the watch for workout sessions, the watch enables you to view your amount of calories burnt, time spent, and any other necessary information, without the need to abruptly raise your hand or tap on your screen to check for your progress. 

However, using the Watch SE would demand you either tap your screen or take up your hand to check your exercise progress, which can be a huge turn-off. Another noteworthy difference in the display of the SE and Watch Series 6 is the stainless steel and titanium case type that comes with sapphire crystal displays. This sapphire crystal interface has been proven to be longer lasting than the Watch SE’s aluminum Ion X glass display casing, also found in the Series 6 aluminum type.

Watch Performance and Battery Life

The Apple Watch Series 6 tops the chart against Apple Watch SE with its recently released dual-core S6 processor that is claimed to run about 20% faster than the Watch SE’s S5 processor. However, the Apple company states that the Series 6’s recent S6 processor is derived from the A13 Bionic processor of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. 

Using both watches, however, you may not quickly realize any difference between their processors, as the S5 processor is still strong enough when paired with your iPhone to work out and monitor your fitness progress. 

As for their battery life, both watches offer the same amount of working time, consisting of 18 hours per full charge. However, the Apple Watch Series 6 has an advantage over the Apple Watch SE because it charges slightly faster than the latter, with a 1.5 hours charge time from completely low to full battery.

Apple watch 6
The Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6 have the same battery life, but the Series 6 charges faster.

©iStock.com/Seremin

Health Features of Both Watches 

The striking difference between the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6 is the additional remarkable health feature found in the Series 6 that is nonexistent in the Watch SE — the blood oxygen monitor. The blood oxygen monitor feature of the Series 6 models is one of the watch’s main attractions.

In addition, it enables you to observe oxygen saturation levels from your wrist, which refers to the oxygen percentage transported from your lungs by your red blood cells to the entire body system. It points out how accurately oxygenated blood is transported throughout the body. 

Using the blood oxygen app available in Series 6, you can easily determine your blood oxygen level between 70℅ and 100℅. However, manual blood oxygen readings can be carried out in only 15 seconds. When you are dormant, like when sleeping, background measurement of your blood oxygen level occurs regularly. 

Another great health feature of the Apple Watch Series 6 is that it supports electrocardiogram measurement from your wrist. After the ECG measurement is taken, you can now proceed to check your result on your health app. 

These additional blood oxygen sensors and ECG health features are not supported on the Apple Watch SE. Hence, this makes the Apple Watch Series 6 a better advantage for people with predominant health challenges. The two watches, however, support low and high heart rate monitors and irregular heartbeat monitors.

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 6: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • It is important to note that the Series 6 comes with 5GHz Wi-Fi support, which enables your Series 6 watch to perform faster when connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  • The Apple Watch SE, however, is constrained to a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network.
  • Apart from the extra added health features (blood oxygen sensor, ECG) and always-on display in the Series 6, the two watches offer the same features that will still function well for the average user.
  • The regular starting price of the Apple Watch SE is $279 for the 40mm size and $309 for the 44mm size. But, with an additional cellular data connection, the 40mm size of the SE goes up to $329, while the 44mm size goes up to $359.
  • On the other hand, the Series 6 regular starting price is $399 for the 40mm size and $429 for its 44mm size. An added cellular connection, however, reaches up to $499 for the 40mm size and $529 for the 44mm size.

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 6: Which One is Better?

With a proper analysis of the available features of both watches, both the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6 are great choices for anyone wanting to purchase a smartwatch. 

However, the Watch Series 6 holds a higher ground against Watch SE with its blood oxygen sensor, always-on display, ECG calculation, and S6 processor, though it is on the pricier side. The Apple Watch SE, on the other hand, is a great pick for anyone that does not care about the Series 6’s added features.

To make the best decision, figure out what features are most important to you in a smartwatch and go from there.

NEXT UP…

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 6: Full Review with Pros, Cons, and Major Differences FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Where can I buy the Apple Watch SE or Series 6?

Both models are available on Amazon as well as on the Apple website or in stores.

Which watch model is better for fitness, the SE or Series 6?

The Series 6 may be best for fitness tracking as it has ECG monitoring and blood oxygen sensors. Plus, it has an “always-on” display screen so you don’t have to tap your watch while working out to track your metrics.

Which watch is cheaper?

The Apple Watch SE is cheaper on Amazon and Apple.

Which Apple Watch has the better battery life?

Both watches have the same battery life, however the Series 6 charges slightly faster.

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