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Apple Watch Series 5 vs 6 vs SE – Which Apple Watch is Right For You?

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Last Updated on September 20, 2020 by Jude Simeone

Apple Watch 6 has been released alongside Watch SE which is a lower-end version that lacks blood oxygen and ECG monitoring. The price difference between the two is about $130 and above which begs the question, which should you buy? However, the new Apple smartwatches come with WatchOS 7 out of the box with lots of interesting new features. The new OS will also be available on Watch 5 that was released last year. The Watch 5, 6, and SE share a lot of features in common which is why this comparison post compares Apple Watch Series 5 vs 6 vs SE – Which should you buy? Find out in this comparison of three of the best Apple smartwatches.

Apple Watch Series 5 vs 6 vs SE Full Specifications Compared

 Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm) (Cellular)Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm) (Cellular)Apple Watch SE (44mm) (Cellular)
apple watch series 5 (44mm) specsApple Watch Series 6 specsApple Watch SE (44mm) full specs

EDITOR'S RATING

Design:
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Battery:
3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Features:
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Price:
4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Design:
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Battery:
3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)
Features:
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Price:
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Average:
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Design:
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Battery:
3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Fitness tracking:
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Features:
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Price:
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Average:
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

WHERE TO BUY

Check @ Amazon View @ Amazon View @ Amazon

ABOUT DEVICE

Device nameApple Watch Series 5
(discontinued)
Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm) (Cellular)Apple Watch SE (44mm) (Cellular)
Device typeSport/Fitness smartwatchStandalone/Fitness smartwatchStandalone/Fitness smartwatch
PredessesorApple Watch Series 4Apple Watch Series 5__
SuccessorApple Watch Series 6----
Released dateSeptember, 2019September, 2020September, 2020
Ideal forUnisexUnisexUnisex

DISPLAY

Display typeLTPO OLEDLTPO OLEDLTPO OLED
Display size1.78 inches (44mm)1.78 inches (44mm)1.78 inches (44mm)
Display resolution448 x 368 pixels (44mm)448 x 368 pixels (44mm)448 x 368 pixels (44mm)
Pixel density------
Input typeTouchscreen
1 button plus
Digital Crown with haptic feedback
Touchscreen
1 button plus
Digital Crown with haptic feedback
Touchscreen
1 button plus
Digital Crown with haptic feedback
Always-onYesYesNo

BODY

ShapeRectangular/curvedRectangular/curvedRectangular/curved
Dimension44 x 38 x 10.7 mm (44mm)
40 x 38 x 10.7 mm (40mm)

44 x 38 x 10.4 mm (44mm)
40 x 34 x 10.4 mm (40mm)

44 x 38 x 10.4 mm
Weight47.8g (LTE)36.5 grams36.36 grams
Casing materialStainless steel
Aluminum
Titanium
Ceramics
Stainless steel
Aluminum
Titanium
Aluminum
Strap/band materialElastomerSolo loop
(silicone)

Braided loop
(Silicone and Polyester)
Solo loop
(silicone)

Braided loop
(Silicone and Polyester)
Bezel MaterialCeramicsCeramicsCeramics
Strap size125 - 210mm125 - 210mm125 - 210mm
Screen protectionSapphire crystal glassSapphire crystal glassSapphire crystal glass
Water resistant/ProtectionYes, IP68, 5ATMYes, IP68, 5ATMYes, IP68, 5ATM
Swim-proofYes, recommendedYes, recommendedYes, recommended
Color(s)Black
Silver
Gold
(Aluminum & Stainless steel)

Black
Silver
(Titanium)

White
(Ceramics)
(Aluminum)
Space gray
Gold
Silver
Red
Blue

(Stainless Steel)
Gold PVD
Graphite
Silver

(Titanium)
Space black
Titanium
Space gray
Gold
Silver
Red
Blue

MEMORY

RAM0.768GB1GB1GB
Internal storage32GB32GB32GB
Memory card slotNoNoNo

CONNECTIVITY

BluetoothBluetooth v5.0Bluetooth v5.0Bluetooth v5.0
Bluetooth callingYesYesYes
Wi-FiYesYesYes
NFCYesYesYes
GPSA-GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO/QZSSA-GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO/QZSSA-GPS/GLONASS/GALILEO/QZSS

CELLULAR TECHNOLOGY

Technology2G/3G/4G2G/3G/4G2G/3G/4G
SIMe-SIMe-SIMe-SIM
Band______

NOTIFICATIONS

Email alertYesYesYes
SMS alertYesYesYes
Calls alertYesYesYes
Event reminderYesYesYes
WeatherYesYesYes
Third-party appsYesYesYes

FITNESS TRACKING

Sleep apneaNoNoNo
Sleep trackingYes (Third-party app)YesYes
StepsYesYesYes
Floors climbedYesYesYes
Heart rate monitoringYesYesYes
CaloriesYesYesYes
DistanceYesYesYes
StressYesYesYes
VO2 Max.YesYesYes
Blood oxygenNoYesNo
Blood pressureNoNoNo
Menstrual cycle trackingYesYesYes
Swim trackingYesYesYes
Under-water heart rate trackingNo____
Preloaded mapsYesYesYes
On-screen workout modesNoNoNo
Triathlon modeYesYesYes
ECG TrackingYesYesNo
Preloaded sport modesYesYesYes
Safety trackingYesYesYes

MEDIA

Audiomp3/mp4mp3/mp4mp3/mp4
Music streamingYesYesYes
Bluetooth musicYesYesYes
RadioNoNoNo
LoudspeakerYesYesYes
MicrophoneYesYesYes
CameraNoNoNo

SENSORS

AccelerometerYesYesYes
Barometer/AltimeterYesYesYes
Heart rate monitor (HRM)YesYesYes
CompassYesYesYes
Gyroscope YesYesYes
Ambient lightYesYesYes
Pulse Ox.NoYesYes
ECGYesYesYes
ThermometerYes, (App)Yes, (App)Yes, (App)
Other sensors______

PLATFORM

Operating system (OS)WatchOS 6.0WatchOS 7WatchOS 7
ChipsetApple S5, 64bitApple S6, 64bitApple S5, 64bit
CPUDual coreDual coreDual core
GPUPowerVRPowerVRPowerVR

BATTERY

Type of batteryNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion batteryNon-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity ------
Battery lifeStandby:2 days+
Mixed usage: 18 hrs+
Mixed usage: 18 hrsMixed usage: 18 hrs
Charging typeMagnetic chargingMagnetic chargingMagnetic charging
Charging timeAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hoursAbout 1-2 hours
Battery saver modeYesYesYes
Solar powerNoNoNo
Rapid charging_NoNo

CLOCK FEATURES

Time/DateYesYesYes
StopwatchYesYesYes
AlarmYesYesYes

OTHER FUNCTIONS

Control cameraYesYesYes
Music controlYesYesYes
Find phoneYesYesYes
Text responseYesYesYes

MISC

Payment systemApple PayApple PayApple Pay
Compatibility iPhone 5s+
iOS 12+
iPhone 5s+
iOS 12+
iPhone 5s+
iOS 12+
Companion appApple watch APPApple watch APPApple watch APP
Customizable watch faceYesYesYes
Interchangeable band YesYesYes
Voice commandYesYesYes

BOX CONTENTS

Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm)Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm)Apple Watch SE (44mm)
StrapsStrapsStraps
Magnetic charging cable + USB adapterMagnetic charging cable + USB adapterMagnetic charging cable + USB adapter
Quick start guideQuick start guideQuick start guide
NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.
Official SiteOfficial SiteOfficial Site

READ ALSO

Apple Watch Series 5 vs 6 vs SE – The Differences?

Features compared
  • Same Appearances – Sophisticated Designs
  • Nothing much has changed in the appearance, it’s still the same rectangular shape and same sizes of 44mm or 40mm. However, while Watch 6 and 5 are available in three materials; aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium, the Watch SE is only available in aluminum case material. Apple has discontinued the ceramic model on Watch 5, while there are new strap designs; a solo loop made of silicone and a Milanese loop made of silicone and polyester. These new straps designs are very easy to wear compared to the buckle design.

    Each of these three is very lightweight with slight differences in the weight. Sapphire glass material protects the screen of all three, and the ceramic back lives a very polish design. Navigation is also easy with touchscreen support and a digital rotating crown button with a haptic feedback mechanism that makes any of these Apple smartwatches very easy to operate. New watch faces have been added, and with the new memoji app, emojis can be sent as stickers in messages or used as watch faces. You can also create a watch face and share it.

  • Fitness Tracking
  • Each of these three features heart rate tracking, calorie counting, incidental fall detection, and more. New workout modes have been added which allows you to choose your preferred workout routine. Sleep tracking, hearing protection, and handwashing have been added. Other activity features include emergency SOS and international emergency calling that can help you get the needed help when you need it.

    However, only Watch 6 features blood oxygen tracking – A feature that monitors your blood oxygen levels to determine how well your blood absorbs oxygen. ECG tracking that was introduced to Watch 5 is also available on Watch 6 but not on Watch SE. It lets you take ECG test right on your wrist and can help detect the irregular heart rhythm.

  • Media
  • All three smartwatches; Watch 5, 6 and SE come with 32GB storage capacity that enables you to listen to your favorite tracks from the watch. There’s also a loudspeaker and microphone that enables Bluetooth calling as well as Siri voice Assistant that has been updated to be able to translate languages to another.

  • Performance: Apple S5 vs S6 Chip
  • Although the S5 chip that powers Watch 5 has shown to be outstanding when you consider the watch amazing performance. Its same chip on the Watch SE, but Apple claims the S6 chip powering Watch 6 is 20% faster than the S5 chip. For a smartwatch, every inch of improvement in speed means a lot.

  • Notifications and Features
  • Apple Watch app is the companion app for all Apple smartwatches, it syncs data from your iPhone to the watch. In other words, all three smartwatches, Watch 5, 6, and 5 will alert you when you receive notifications on your phone as well as allowing you to manage the watch from the phone. You can reply to text messages from the watch and there’s Apple Pay that allows you to make payments directly from the watch.

  • Battery Life

Battery life has not improved with the release of Watch 6 and SE, it’s the same about 18 hours battery life as Watch 5.

Apple Watch Series 5 vs 6 vs SE Features at a Glance

FEATURESApple Watch Series 5Apple Watch Series 6
(Cellular)
Apple Watch SE (Cellular)
Display1.78 inches1.78 inches
2.5x brighter than SE
1.78 inches
Brighter than Series 3
Share Watch FacesYesYesYes
Add Widget to Watch FaceYesYesYes
Always-On DisplayYesYesNo
MaterialsAluminum
Stainless steel
Titanium
Aluminum
Stainless steel
Titanium
Aluminum
Storage32GB32GB32GB
Memoji App
Allows you to send emojis as sticker in messages or use it as your watch face.
YesYesYes
Family Setup
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.
Yes (Cellular)YesYes (Cellular)
Smart Money With Apple CashYesYesYes
Find my App
A feature that lets you know the location of family members.
Yes (Cellular)YesYes (Cellular)
Cycling Maps
A feature that guides cyclists by showing direction, suggesting lanes, and more.
YesYesYes
Hearing Protection
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.
YesYesYes
Handwashing App
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.
YesYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYesYes
Incidental Fall DetectionYes (Cellular)Yes (Cellular)Yes (Cellular)
International Emergency Calling
Allow you to call emergency contacts almost anywhere in the world.
Yes (Cellular)Yes (Cellular)Yes (Cellular)
Blood Oxygen Tracking
Monitors your blood oxygen to determine how well your blood absorbs oxygen.
NoYesNo
ECG tracking
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.
YesYesNo
Fitness+
Apple introduces a fitness service that features workout plans and coaching from professionals around the world. $9.99/month after the first 3 months.
YesYesYes
ProcessorS5 chip dual-core processor and W3 wireless chip

2x faster than S3
S6 chip dual-core processor and W3 wireless chip

20% faster than S5
S5 chip dual-core processor and W3 wireless chip

2x faster than S3

Which is Better?

Clearly, Watch 6 housing the S6 chip is the best choice out of these three, it features an always-on display, ECG tracking, and blood oxygen monitoring which Watch SE lacks. Watch 5 also features ECG and always-on display. Both the Watch 5 and 6 are available in three materials; aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium with the GPS model being available in only aluminum material. In other words, Watch 5 is the closest to Watch 6 in terms of features.

However, Watch SE is still a decent smartwatch. It offers all the features except for the ones mentioned above, and its cheaper which makes it a decent entry device for anyone looking to experience what an Apple Watch can offer.

Summary: Apple Watch 6 is the best Apple smartwatch, it has the most features, followed by Watch 5, while Watch SE is a cheaper alternative.

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