Apple Watch SE vs. Series 6, Compared

More than one watch by Apple was launched at the company’s virtual event held this September. This time Apple presented two new models, namely Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6. While they do have a lot in common, the former is more affordable and offers slightly different functionality and design. Here’s how.

Software Comparison

Both models use the same operation system, namely Apple’s WatchOS 7. Apple Watch Series 6 as well as the less-expensive SE supports the new Family Setup, where you can use your iPhone to access the smart watch that another person uses, like a young child whom you want to offer limited access to the device’s functionality. Automatic location tracking is also supported in both models. The software aspect hardly differs between SE and Series 6, even when it comes to performance and efficiency.

Functional Differences

While similar in terms of the operation system, the two watches offer different sets of features to their users. This is mostly due to the hardware. Apple’s most recent S chipset ensures advanced functionality with the Apple Watch Series 6 that’s not available to SE users.

In particular, only those wearing Series 6 watches will be able to measure their blood oxygen. This is done with the help of a built-in oximeter. The device provides you with important information regarding your respiratory and heart function, in particular during COVID-19. A dedicated app can be used for continuous monitoring when asleep.

In addition to a heart rate sensor present in both models, the Series 6 has an ECG feature enabling it to detect abnormal heart rhythms.

Design Options

The two models look very similar due to the fact that they use the same 40/44 mm Retina OLED display with a resolution of 368x448 pixels. Both are water-resistant to the point of being swimmer-friendly.

Apple’s new Solo and Braided bands work with both the SE and the Series 6. However, the latter comes with more color options, with blue and red added to the standard silver, grey, and gold aluminum finishes. Variants made of steel and titanium are also available with Apple Watch Series 6, with plenty of colors to choose from. Fans of the luxury fashion brand Hermès will probably appreciate its designer bands made specially for Series 6 watches.

Most importantly, the Apple Watch Series 6’s display stays on forever, so you don’t have to awaken it by tapping it or moving your wrist. By contrast, the SE model doesn't have an Always-On display.


Built on a less advanced chipset than the flagship Apple Watch Series 6, the SE model is more budget-friendly and has fewer features. It’s somewhat limited in terms of design, too. Those looking for a basic smartwatch will clearly prefer the Apple Watch SE, which Series 6 boasts a number of really useful functions not available with the SE.

What do you think of Apple’s new smartwatches? Tell us in the comments, and feel free to like and share this post so more people can learn the difference!

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