Apple Watch Series 3 vs SE : A Detailed Comparison缩略图

Introduction: The Evolution of Apple’s Wearables

Apple Watch has revolutionized the way we interact with our devices, track our fitness, and manage our daily routines. Since its inception, Apple has continually refined and expanded its capabilities, offering more versatile and sophisticated models. Among the various options in Apple’s lineup, the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Apple Watch SE stand out as significant milestones. Although the Series 3 caters to budget-conscious consumers, the SE offers a middle ground with enhanced features and performance. In this article, we delve into the similarities and differences between Apple Watch Series 3 vs SE to help you decide which one is the best for you.

apple watch series 3 vs se

Display and Design: Timeless Aesthetics between Apple Watch Series 3 vs SE

Series 3: A Classic Design

The Apple Watch Series 3 retains the classic design elements that defined the early iterations of Apple’s wearables. Its rectangular face, curved edges, and simple interface make it instantly recognizable. Available in aluminum, the Series 3 comes in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. The display is a color OLED Retina display, providing vibrant colors and clear visuals even under direct sunlight. However, it lacks the always-on display feature found in later models, meaning you need to raise your wrist or tap the screen to activate it.

SE: A Modern Twist

The Apple Watch SE carries forward the design philosophy of the Series 3 but incorporates advanced aesthetics borrowed from newer models like the Series 4 and 5. It comes in two larger sizes: 40mm and 44mm, offering a more expansive screen for easier navigation and readability. The SE also uses a Retina LTPO OLED display, which is more energy-efficient while maintaining vibrant and sharp visuals. However, like the Series 3, the SE does not include an always-on display, a feature that is reserved for higher-end models like the Series 5 and 6.


Both models are water-resistant up to 50 meters, making them suitable for swimming and other water activities. They are crafted to withstand daily wear and tear with robust materials and build quality. The SE offers a slight edge with its newer materials and larger size options, providing a more modern feel.

Performance and Hardware: Power Under the Hood

Series 3: Reliable Performance

The Apple Watch Series 3 is powered by the dual-core S3 processor and comes with the W2 wireless chip, ensuring smooth performance for most basic tasks. It runs watchOS, offering a stable experience for daily usage. While it may not be the fastest model in Apple’s lineup, the Series 3 can handle essential functions like fitness tracking, notifications, and connectivity without noticeable lag.

However, its limitations become apparent when running more demanding applications or multitasking. The 8GB of storage may also feel restrictive, especially if you plan to store music, apps, and other data on your watch. Furthermore, the Series 3 lacks some of the newer connectivity features like LTE support in certain models.

SE: Enhanced Power

The Apple Watch SE steps up the performance game with the S5 dual-core processor, the same chip used in the Apple Watch Series 5. This provides a noticeable boost in speed and responsiveness compared to the Series 3. The SE also features the W3 wireless chip for improved connectivity and power efficiency. Users benefit from 32GB of storage, allowing for much more app data, music, and other content.

Battery Life

Both models offer similar battery life, typically lasting about 18 hours on a single charge. However, real-world usage can vary based on individual habits, including the types of apps and features you use. The SE tends to be more efficient due to its newer hardware, potentially providing slightly better battery performance under similar conditions.

apple watch series 3 vs se

Health and Fitness Features: Beyond the Basics with Apple Watch Series 3 vs SE

Series 3: Fundamental Tracking

The Apple Watch Series 3 laid the groundwork for Apple’s health and fitness capabilities. It comes equipped with an optical heart sensor, GPS, and an altimeter. These features enable basic activity tracking, heart rate monitoring, and GPS-based workouts. The Series 3 can motivate you with personalized coaching, activity sharing, and achievements.

However, its health capabilities are somewhat limited compared to newer models. It lacks features like the ECG app, fall detection, and irregular heart rhythm notifications, restricting its ability to provide more comprehensive health monitoring.

SE: More Advanced Monitoring

The Apple Watch SE offers a more advanced suite of health and fitness features. It includes the same optical heart sensor as the Series 3, but also incorporates fall detection and irregular heart rhythm notifications, significantly enhancing its health-monitoring capabilities. The SE’s GPS and altimeter offer more accurate tracking for outdoor activities, making it a better companion for fitness enthusiasts.

Activity Tracking

Both watches excel in tracking daily activities like steps taken, calories burned, and exercise minutes. They also support various workout types, giving users a comprehensive view of their fitness routines. While the Series 3 covers the basics effectively, the SE provides a more enriched experience with its additional health features and more accurate tracking.

Connectivity and Software: Staying in Touch

Series 3: Basic Connectivity

The Apple Watch Series 3 supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allowing it to connect seamlessly with your iPhone and other devices. However, not all models come with cellular capabilities. Those that do enable the Series 3 to function independently for calls, messages, and data usage without needing your iPhone nearby.

In terms of software, the Series 3 runs watchOS, benefiting from Apple’s ecosystem of apps and services. However, its older hardware means it may not support future software updates and features as long as newer models.

SE: Enhanced Connectivity

The Apple Watch SE builds on the Series 3’s connectivity features by offering Bluetooth 5.0, which provides faster data transfer and improved range. It also includes models with cellular capabilities, making it a versatile option for those who need constant connectivity.

App Ecosystem

Both watches have access to the extensive collection of apps available on the App Store. The SE’s newer hardware allows for smoother performance and compatibility with more demanding apps. This makes it a better choice for users who rely heavily on third-party applications.

Price and Value: Getting the Most for Your Money

Series 3: Budget-Friendly Option

One of the most appealing aspects of the Apple Watch Series 3 is its affordable price. It offers a wide range of features at a fraction of the cost of newer models, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers. If you primarily need basic fitness tracking, notifications, and app functionality, the Series 3 provides excellent value for its price.

SE: Mid-Range Excellence

The Apple Watch SE positions itself as a mid-range option, offering many of the features found in higher-end models without the premium price tag. While it is more expensive than the Series 3, it provides enhanced performance, better health and fitness features, and a more modern design. For those who want a balance between cost and functionality, the SE is an excellent choice.

Apple Watch Series 3 vs SE : A Detailed Comparison插图2

Long-Term Considerations

While the initial cost is a significant factor, it’s also essential to consider long-term value. The newer hardware and design of the SE make it more future-proof, likely supporting more software updates and new features in the coming years. This can extend its usability and make it a better long-term investment compared to the older Series 3.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Apple Watch SE boils down to your specific needs and budget. The Series 3 is the ideal choice for those seeking a reliable, budget-friendly smartwatch that covers basic functionalities. It offers essential fitness tracking, notifications, and seamless connectivity with your iPhone.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch SE provides a more rounded experience with its enhanced performance, advanced health features, and modern design. It serves well for users who seek more comprehensive fitness tracking, better connectivity options, and a device that can handle more demanding applications.

Consider what features are most important to you and how much you’re willing to invest. If basic fitness tracking and notifications are sufficient, the Series 3 is an excellent value. If you need more advanced health monitoring, better performance, and a more future-proof device, the SE is worth the extra cost.

Ultimately, both models have their strengths and offer substantial benefits to their users. By assessing your needs and preferences, you can select the Apple Watch model that best fits your lifestyle and enhances your daily routines.

By Griley