Apple Watch SE vs. Series 5: An In-Depth Comparison缩略图

Introduction: A Tale of Two Apple Watches

The Apple Watch Series 5 was a groundbreaking device when it launched in 2019. It introduced an always-on display and a host of other features that set a new standard for smartwatches. But in 2020, Apple released the Apple Watch SE, a more budget-friendly model that still packs a punch. Many potential buyers are left wondering: which is better? This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparison between the Apple Watch SE vs. Series 5.

apple watch se vs series 5

Both Watches: Strengths and Weaknesses

Before diving into the details, it’s essential to understand that both watches represent different ends of the Apple Watch spectrum. The Series 5 was designed to be the best smartwatch available. Meanwhile, the SE was aimed at providing most of the smartwatch experience at a lower cost. Each has strengths and weaknesses.

Design and Display

Apple Watch Series 5: A Visual Delight

The Apple Watch Series 5 introduced the always-on Retina display. This feature allows users to see the time and notifications without needing to lift their wrist. The screen uses LTPO (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) technology. This helps conserve battery life, despite the always-on feature. The display is bright, vibrant, and easy to read, even under direct sunlight.

Build-wise, the Series 5 is available in various materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, and ceramic. This gives users a choice of styles and weights. The watch itself feels premium, and the range of bands available allows further customization.

Apple Watch SE: Cost-Effective Without Compromising

The Apple Watch SE, while not featuring an always-on display, has a Retina display that is nearly as vibrant. Most casual users may not notice the difference. The SE also uses LTPO technology but sacrifices the always-on feature to keep costs down. While it might miss out on that one aspect, it maintains the same display resolution and brightness levels as the Series 5.

Material options are more limited with the SE. Buyers can only choose between aluminum frames, which are available in fewer color options. However, the build quality remains solid and durable. For those who prioritize function over form, the SE does an impressive job without the more premium material choices.

apple watch se vs series 5

Performance and Software

Operating System: WatchOS

Both the Apple Watch SE and Series 5 run on Apple’s WatchOS. This operating system ensures consistent performance and allows access to an extensive App Store. Users will find virtually no difference in software capabilities between the two devices. Both watches support features like notifications, fitness tracking, and third-party apps.

Processing Power: Series 5 Holds the Edge

The Series 5 is equipped with the S5 chip coupled with a 64-bit dual-core processor. It ensures smooth performance even when running multiple apps. Users will rarely experience lag, making the watch highly reliable for both casual and intensive use.

The SE features the S5 chip as well, making it largely comparable in terms of processing power. However, it does not have some of the advanced health sensors found in the Series 5. Despite this, the SE is highly efficient and smooth in performance. For everyday tasks and most apps, users will not notice a significant difference between the SE and Series 5.

Health and Fitness Tracking

Series 5: The Premium Health Companion

The Apple Watch Series 5 offers a more advanced array of health features. It includes an electrical heart sensor capable of taking electrocardiograms (ECGs). This feature can detect irregular heart rhythms and alert the user. Additionally, the Series 5 includes a second-generation optical heart sensor for more accurate readings.

Beyond heart health, the Series 5 also has a built-in compass and an always-on altimeter. These are particularly useful for those who enjoy hiking or other outdoor activities. The watch’s fall detection feature can automatically alert emergency services if a hard fall is detected.

SE: Practical Yet Advanced

The Apple Watch SE also offers an array of health features, though not as extensive as the Series 5. The SE includes the same second-generation optical heart sensor but lacks the ECG capability. Despite this, the heart rate monitoring is still very accurate and useful for everyday users.

The SE also includes an accelerometer and gyroscope, which can assist in detecting falls. However, it does not include the built-in compass or always-on altimeter found in the Series 5. While it lacks some advanced features, the SE still offers robust health and fitness tracking capabilities. It will meet the needs of most users who don’t require medical-grade monitoring.

Connectivity Options

Series 5: Staying Connected

The Apple Watch Series 5 offers excellent connectivity options. Users can choose between GPS only or GPS + Cellular models. The Cellular version allows users to make calls, send texts, and use data without needing their iPhone nearby. This is highly convenient for those who like to stay connected while exercising or running errands.

Another feature of the Series 5 is improved Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. This ensures smoother synchronization with other Apple devices, like iPhones and AirPods. The watch also includes a speaker and microphone for taking calls directly.

SE: Essential Connectivity

The SE also comes in GPS-only and GPS + Cellular variants. Like the Series 5, the Cellular version allows for independent operation from the iPhone. This means users can still access calls, messages, and apps while leaving their phone behind.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi performance are equally robust on the SE. Though it might miss out on some premium aspects, it still performs impeccably for everyday use. In terms of staying connected, the SE offers most of the same benefits as the Series 5 at a lower cost.

Battery Life and Charging

Series 5: Consistency and Stability

Battery life is a crucial factor for any smartwatch user. The Series 5, despite its always-on display, manages to maintain a reliable battery life of 18 hours. This means users can get through an entire day without needing to charge. The watch also supports fast charging, allowing users to quickly get back to full power when needed.

SE: Efficiency at its Best

The Apple Watch SE, without the always-on display, enjoys a slight edge in battery life. Users can often find that they can go slightly beyond the advertised 18 hours. Like the Series 5, the SE also supports fast charging.

For both models, it’s important to note that battery life can vary based on usage. Activities like GPS tracking, calls, and streaming music will consume more power. Overall, both watches offer similar battery performance.

Apple Watch SE vs. Series 5: An In-Depth Comparison插图2

Pricing and Value

Series 5: Premium Investment

When it first released, the Apple Watch Series 5 came with a higher price tag, reflective of its premium features. Although newer models have been released, the Series 5 remains available through various retailers. Its price has slightly dropped but it still remains a premium offering. For users who need advanced health features, the extra investment might be worth it.

SE: Affordable Excellence

The SE was designed to be a more affordable Apple Watch without cutting too many corners. It provides a majority of the features found in premium models like the Series 5. It is available at a significantly lower price, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers.

When considering value, it’s essential to weigh what features are critical for the user. The SE offers excellent value, but those who need comprehensive health monitoring may find the Series 5 worth the extra cost.


Which One to Choose?

Choosing between the Apple Watch SE and Series 5 ultimately depends on the user’s needs and budget. The Series 5 offers an always-on display, advanced health features, and a range of premium materials. It is perfect for those who want the best smartwatch experience and don’t mind paying extra for it.

The SE, on the other hand, is a fantastic option for users who want a reliable and feature-rich smartwatch at a lower price point. It may lack some of the advanced health features but retains the core functionalities that make Apple Watches great.

Final Thoughts

Both the Apple Watch SE and Series 5 are exceptional devices. They each have their strengths and cater to different types of users. Whether you choose the SE or the Series 5, you will get a high-quality smartwatch experience that complements your lifestyle.

By Griley