Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 3: Which Should You Buy?

Apple Watch SE was announced by Apple with the proposal to be a more affordable version of the smartwatch. The smartwatch combines current hardware with the same format as Apple Watch 3, released in September 2017. Among the novelties are the launch of a wristband without clasps or buckles, fall detectors, and noise monitoring. The devices are similar in some specifications, but it is possible to notice evolutions in the recently released smartwatch. Check below the differences in the technical specifications of the Apple devices.

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch SEApple Watch 3
LaunchSeptember 2020September 2017
Pricefrom $279from $169
ScreenLTPO OLED RetinaOLED Retina
Screen resolution324 x 394 or 368 x 448 pixels272 x 340 or 312 x 390 pixels
ProcessorS5 dual-core SiPS3 dual-core SiP
Storage32 GB8 GB
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0, GPS, and Cellular NetworkBluetooth 4.2 and GPS
Battery lifeUp to 18 hoursUp to 18 hours
Operating systemwatchOS 7.0watchOS 4.3.2
Dimensions and weight40mm or 44mm box; 30.49 g or 36.20 g38mm or 42mm box; 26.7 g or 32.3 g
ColorsSilver, gold, and space graysilver and space gray
Source: Apple

Screen and Design

Apple Watch SE

Both watches have a similar design. Both devices have a rectangular shape with rounded edges. The finishing of the products is also the same, made of 100% recycled aluminum.

Among its differences, Apple Watch SE offers 44mm and 40mm editions. The Retina screen of the device features LTPO OLED technology and, according to Apple, is 30% larger than Series 3. The launch is available in silver, gold, and space grey.

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Apple Watch 3 offers 38 mm and 42 mm editions. The Retina screen also uses OLED technology and, in both cases, just raises the wrist to be activated. The 2017 model can be found in the colors silver and space gray.

Another novelty brought by SE is the bracelets without buckles and clasps, called Loop. Made of silicone or braided wire, they promise to be more practical and comfortable options for users.

Performance and Storage

Apple Watch Series 3

According to the manufacturer, the Apple Watch SE processor promises to be up to twice as fast as the Apple Watch 3 processor. The models in question are the recently launched two-core S5 SiP chip, against the two-core S3 SiP, released in 2017.

Both devices feature an Apple chip for wireless connections, W3 and W2, respectively.

It is also possible to point out an evolution in the question of clock storage. While Series 3 can be found with 8 GB memory, SE offers 32 GB of capacity. The device’s RAM has almost doubled between versions, from 512 MB to 1 GB.

Battery and Connectivity

Apple Watch SE

Apple has not disclosed the exact mAh battery capacity of any of the devices. However, the company promises that both are capable of providing up to 18 hours of use away from the outlets.

It is worth noting that the technology giant has announced that the new smartwatch models will not have a plug adapter in the box. Therefore, consumers will have to buy it separately.

Regarding connectivity, Apple Watch SE offers Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, and GPS. The cellular network function (4G) is only available in some versions of the product. On the other hand, Apple Watch 3 brings Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, and GPS.

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Fall Detector and Electrocardiogram

Apple Watch Series 3

Health-related resources are among the main attractions for purchasing a smartwatch. One of them is the electrocardiogram (ECG), but the function is only available for Series 4, 5, and 6 models. Still, Apple Watch SE and Series 3 are able to issue high or low heart rate alerts and identify irregular heart rates.

Another interesting function available in Apple Watch SE is the fall detector. The service that has already been credited for saving the life of a 92-year-old after unbalancing from a ladder, is able to recognize sudden falls and automatically call the rescue. The function is not present in Apple Watch 3.

Other Features

Both devices offer a microphone and speaker, Apple Pay, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. In addition, Apple Watch SE provides users with a compass, emergency calls in overseas countries, a Sono app, and noise monitoring. This last function is responsible for alerting when environmental decibels reach levels that are detrimental to hearing.

Price and Availability

Apple announced the arrival of the Apple Watch SE for prices between $279 and $329. The launch brings the idea of being a more accessible product when compared to the Apple Watch Series 6.

It is worth remembering that the date of arrival of the device is September 18th, 2020.

Apple Watch 3 is available and can be found online retail starting from $169.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


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