Last Updated on April 19, 2022 by Jude Simeone
Released alongside Apple Watch 6 was Apple Watch SE, a cheaper but lower-end smartwatch lacking an always-on display, ECG, and blood oxygen tracking. Although Apple Watch SE is available in Cellular and GPS models, it’s only available in aluminum material just like Apple Watch Series 3. In this comparison, we’ll compare the differences between Apple Watch SE vs Series 3 to find out which is a better smartwatch. The cellular model of Apple Watch 3 has been discontinued, so this comparison is between the GPS model of the Apple Watch SE and the GPS model of Watch 3.
Apple Watch SE vs Series 3 – Specifications Compared
|Apple Watch SE (44mm) (GPS)||Apple watch series 3|
|[usrlist "Design:4.6" "Battery:3" "Fitness tracking:4.7" "Features: 4.5" "Price:4.1" ]||[usrlist "Design:4.5" "Battery:3" "Fitness tracking:4.6" "Features: 4.5" "Price:4" ]|
WHERE TO BUY
|Device name||Apple Watch SE (44mm) (GPS)||Apple Watch Series 3|
|Device type||Sport/Fitness smartwatch||Sport/Fitness smartwatch|
|Predessesor||__||Apple Watch Series 2|
|Successor||--||Apple Watch Series 4|
|Released date||September, 2020||September, 2017|
|Display type||LTPO OLED||LTPO OLED|
|Display size||1.78 inches (44mm)||1.65 inches (42mm)|
|Display resolution||448 x 368 pixels (44mm)||390 x 312 pixels (42mm)|
1 button plus
Digital Crown with haptic feedback
a button and a
|Customizable watch face||Yes||Yes|
|Dimension||44 x 38 x 10.4 mm||42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
38 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm
|Weight||36.2 grams||52.8 grams (42m)|
|Casing material||Aluminum||Aluminum (GPS)
|Strap/band material||Solo loop |
(Silicone and Polyester)
|Strap size||125 - 210mm||125 - 210mm|
|Screen protection||Sapphire crystal glass||Sapphire crystal glass|
|Water resistant/Protection||Yes, IP68, 5ATM||Yes, IP68, 5ATM|
|Swim-proof||Yes, recommended||Yes, recommended|
|Black, silver, white|
|Memory card slot||No||No|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth v5.0||Bluetooth v4.2|
|Sleep tracking||Yes||Yes (Third-party app)|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Menstrual cycle tracking||Yes||No|
|Under-water heart rate tracking||__||No|
|On-screen workout modes||No||No|
|Preloaded sport modes||Yes||Yes|
|Heart rate monitor (HRM)||Yes||Yes|
|Thermometer||Yes, (App)||Yes, (App)|
|Operating system (OS)||WatchOS 7||WatchOS 5.0|
|Chipset||Apple S5, 64bit||Apple S3|
|CPU||Dual core||Dual core|
|Type of battery||Non-removable Li-ion battery||Non-removable Li-ion battery|
|Battery life||Mixed usage: 18 hrs||Standby :3 days+ , Mixed usage: 18hrs+|
|Charging type||Magnetic charging||Magnetic charging|
|Charging time||About 1-2 hours||About 1-2 hours|
|Battery saver mode||Yes||__|
|Payment system||Apple Pay||Apple Pay|
|Companion app||Apple watch APP||Apple watch APP|
|Apple Watch SE (44mm)||Apple Watch Series 3|
|Magnetic charging cable + USB adapter||Magnetic charging cable + USB adapter|
|Quick start guide||Quick start guide|
|NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.|
Apple Watch SE GPS/Cellular vs Series 3 Features Compared
|FEATURES||Apple Watch SE (GPS)||Apple Watch SE (Cellular)||Apple Watch Series 3|
Brighter than Series 3
Brighter than Series 3
|Share Watch Faces||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Add Widget to Watch Face||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Allows you to send emojis as sticker in messages or use it as your watch face.
Allows family members who don't own an iPhone to still enjoy all the features of an Apple Watch by adding and assigning numbers to different Apple Watches which can be managed from a single iPhone.
|Smart Money With Apple Cash||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Find my App|
A feature that lets you know the location of family members.
A feature that guides cyclists by showing direction, suggesting lanes, and more.
Alerts you when you have reached the maximum recommended listening dose for the week, and also allows you to set maximum volume for your headphone.
Guides you to wash your hand for up to 20 seconds recommended by WHO. Also reminds you to wash your hands when you get home.
|Incidental Fall Detection||No||Yes (Cellular)||No|
|International Emergency Calling|
Allow you to call emergency contacts almost anywhere in the world.
|Blood Oxygen Tracking|
Monitors your blood oxygen to determine how well your blood absorbs oxygen.
Allows you to take an electrocardiogram test on your wrist that's capable of detecting irregular heart rhythm and can help you prevent atrial fibrillations.
Apple introduces a fitness service that features workout plans and coaching from professionals around the world. $9.99/month after the first 3 months.
|Processor||S5 chip dual-core processor and W3 wireless chip|
2x faster than S3
|S5 chip dual-core processor and W3 wireless chip|
2x faster than S3
|S3 chip dual-core processor and W2 wireless chip|
Which is Better?
It obvious Apple Watch SE is a better smartwatch. Although less compact than Series 3, it has a larger display that allows you to see more at a glance. It also has a digital crown with haptic feedback that makes navigation easier.
Apple Watch SE is powered by a more refined S5 chip which offers significantly better performance than the S3 chip powering Series 3. And it has better sensors like an improved heart rate sensor and accelerometer. It also has a louder speaker and more storage capacity, 32GB vs 8GB of Series 3, and with Bluetooth 5.0 on Apple Watch SE, you get a longer range connection with better call quality than v4.2 on Series 3.
Moreover, if you choose to go for the cellular model of Apple Watch SE, you’ll get access to more features such as Family Setup, incidental fall detection, and international emergency calling which certainly makes it a more comprehensive smartwatch than Series 3.
Overall, Apple Watch SE is a better smartwatch to buy than the Series 3. It’s a better investment as it gives you the best experience very close to what you get with Apple Watch 6.
However, Apple Watch Series 3 is a cheaper alternative and a decent entry-level smartwatch for Apple Watch lovers.
Apple Watch SE review
Hi! I’m Jude, the chief editor at Smartwatchseries.com
I’m a scientist, a 3D artist, and a passionate fitness enthusiast. On here, I and other smartwatch fans work hard to help you find the right smartwatch for you with our guides, reviews, and comparisons.
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