Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch SE: A Comprehensive Guide缩略图

Introduction to Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE

Apple has firmly established itself in the smartwatch market with its Apple Watch lineup. The Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE are two of the most popular models, each offering distinct features and advantages. These models appeal to different types of users based on their needs and budgets.

In this comprehensive comparison, we will delve into the history, key features, differences, and benefits of the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Apple Watch SE. By understanding these aspects, you can make an informed decision about which Apple Watch best suits your lifestyle and preferences.

History and Evolution of Apple Watch Models

Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple Watch Series 3 was introduced in September 2017. It marked a significant advancement in Apple’s wearable technology.

Early Innovations: Before the Series 3, Apple had already set high standards with its previous models. The original Apple Watch, introduced in 2015, focused on basic smartwatch functionalities. Subsequent releases added improved processing power, better displays, and advanced health tracking features.

Significant Upgrades: The Series 3 introduced cellular capabilities, allowing users to make calls, send texts, and stream music without an iPhone nearby. It also included a faster chip and enhanced health monitoring features.

Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch SE: A Comprehensive Guide插图

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE was launched in September 2020. The SE aimed to provide a blend of advanced features and affordability.

Target Audience: The SE stands for Special Edition. Apple designed it for users who wanted a modern Apple Watch experience without paying the premium price of top-tier models. It combines some of the best features from previous watches, making it a versatile choice.

Balancing Act: The SE bridges the gap between basic and premium models. It offers functionalities that appeal to both new users and those upgrading from older models, balancing performance and cost.

Key Features of Apple Watch Series 3

Design and Display

The Apple Watch Series 3 retains a design that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Simple Design: The Series 3 features a square face with rounded corners. It is available in two case sizes, 38mm and 42mm, making it suitable for different wrist sizes.

Retina Display: The watch comes with a Retina display, ensuring clarity and brightness in various lighting conditions. This display is essential for quickly checking notifications and health stats on the go.

Interchangeable Bands: Like all Apple Watches, the Series 3 supports interchangeable bands. This feature allows users to customize the watch’s appearance easily, switching bands to match different outfits or occasions.

Performance and Hardware

Despite being an older model, the Series 3 offers reliable performance and essential features.

S3 Chip: The Series 3 is powered by the S3 chip, ensuring smooth performance for everyday tasks like checking notifications, tracking workouts, and using apps.

Battery Life: Battery life remains one of its strong points. It can last up to 18 hours on a single charge, sufficient for a full day of use before needing a recharge.

Storage: The Series 3 includes 8GB of internal storage, which is used for apps, music, and other data. While not extensive, it is adequate for basic use and minor apps.

Health and Fitness Tracking

Health and fitness tracking are core functionalities of the Series 3, making it a valuable tool for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Workout App: The Series 3 includes the Workout app, offering various workout types such as running, cycling, and swimming. This variety allows users to track their workouts accurately.

Heart Rate Monitoring: One essential feature is continuous heart rate monitoring. The watch can alert users to abnormal heart rates, acting as a preventive health measure.

Built-in GPS: The Series 3 comes with built-in GPS, enabling accurate tracking of distances and routes during outdoor activities without needing to carry an iPhone.

Connectivity and Smart Features

The Series 3 includes several connectivity options and smart features, enhancing its overall utility.

Cellular Capability: One of the Series 3’s standout features is its cellular capability. With the cellular model, users can make calls, send texts, and stream music without their iPhone.

Siri Integration: Siri is integrated into the Series 3, allowing users to set reminders, send messages, and control smart home devices using voice commands.

Apple Pay: The watch supports Apple Pay, enabling users to make contactless payments directly from their wrist. This feature adds a layer of convenience to daily transactions.

Key Features of Apple Watch SE

Design and Display

The Apple Watch SE offers a more modern design and improved display characteristics.

Modern Aesthetics: The SE features a design similar to the Series 4 and later models. It is available in 40mm and 44mm case sizes, catering to a wide range of users.

Retina Display: The SE also includes a Retina display, but with enhancements that provide greater clarity and brightness compared to older models. This improvement makes it easier to read information at a glance.

Customization: The SE supports a variety of bands and watch faces, allowing extensive customization. Users can personalize their watch to fit their style and preferences.

Performance and Hardware

The SE incorporates more advanced hardware, resulting in better performance and efficiency.

S5 Chip: The SE is powered by the S5 SiP (System in Package) chip, which is significantly faster than the S3 chip. This chip ensures quicker app launches, smoother transitions, and better overall performance.

Battery Efficiency: Despite its enhanced hardware, the SE maintains a similar battery life of up to 18 hours. The improved efficiency of the S5 chip helps balance power consumption.

Storage Capacity: The SE comes with 32GB of storage, providing ample space for apps, music, and other data. This larger capacity allows users to store more content without worrying about running out of space.

Advanced Health and Fitness Tracking

The SE offers more advanced health and fitness tracking features, providing a broader range of functionalities.

Expanded Workout Options: The Workout app on the SE supports more workout types, including dance, functional strength training, and core training. This versatility caters to a wider range of fitness routines.

Fall Detection: One of the standout features is fall detection. The SE can detect when the user takes a hard fall and can automatically notify emergency contacts if needed.

Noise Monitoring: The SE includes a noise monitoring feature that alerts users when the decibel level in their environment is high enough to potentially cause hearing damage. This feature adds an extra layer of health awareness.

Connectivity and Smart Features

The SE excels in connectivity options and smart features, making it a more versatile device.

Enhanced Cellular Options: The SE also comes in GPS and GPS + Cellular models, but with improved performance in cellular connectivity. This enhancement ensures more reliable connections when away from the iPhone.

Siri Capabilities: Siri on the SE is more responsive and capable thanks to the improved hardware. Users can issue commands and receive responses faster.

Family Setup: The SE supports Family Setup, allowing users to set up and manage multiple Apple Watches from a single iPhone. This feature is particularly useful for families, enabling parents to manage their children’s Apple Watches.

apple watch 3 vs se

Comparison: Apple Watch Series 3 vs. Apple Watch SE

Design and Aesthetics

Design and aesthetics are essential factors when choosing a smartwatch. Both the Series 3 and SE offer attractive designs but cater to different preferences.

Series 3 – Classic Design: The Series 3 retains a classic Apple Watch design that many users find appealing. Its smaller case sizes (38mm and 42mm) are perfect for those who prefer a more compact watch.

SE – Modern Elegance: The SE’s design aligns more closely with later Apple Watch models, offering a sleek and contemporary look. Its larger case sizes (40mm and 44mm) provide a more modern aesthetic and are suitable for those who prefer a bigger display.

Performance and Hardware

Performance is a crucial differentiator between the Series 3 and SE, with the latter offering more advanced technology.

Series 3 – Reliable Performance: The Series 3, with its S3 chip, provides reliable performance for basic tasks. It handles daily activities like notifications, fitness tracking, and app usage efficiently.

SE – Superior Speed: The SE, powered by the S5 SiP, offers faster processing speeds and improved efficiency. It can manage more complex tasks and provides a smoother user experience, making it ideal for those who want a more responsive device.

Health and Fitness Tracking

Health and fitness tracking are vital functionalities of any smartwatch, and both models offer robust features.

Series 3 – Essential Tracking: The Series 3 covers the essentials with continuous heart rate monitoring, GPS tracking, and the Workout app. These features are sufficient for users who want to monitor their basic fitness and health metrics.

SE – Advanced Monitoring: The SE surpasses the Series 3 with advanced features like fall detection, noise monitoring, and an expanded range of workout options. These enhancements make the SE more suitable for users who require detailed health insights and diverse fitness tracking.

Connectivity and Smart Features

Connectivity options and smart features significantly enhance the overall utility of a smartwatch.

Series 3 – Basic Connectivity: The Series 3 offers essential connectivity options, including cellular capability and Siri integration. These features are adequate for users who need basic smart functionalities.

SE – Enhanced Functionality: The SE excels with improved cellular performance, more responsive Siri capabilities, and Family Setup support. These enhancements provide a more connected and versatile experience.

Price and Value

Price is a determinative factor when choosing between the Series 3 and SE, with each model offering different levels of value.

Series 3 – Budget-Friendly: The Series 3 is more affordable, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers. It provides a solid range of features without the premium price tag.

SE – Value for Money: The SE, though pricier, offers advanced features and better performance. For users willing to invest a bit more, the SE provides excellent value with its modern technology and extensive functionalities.

User Experience and Practicality

Everyday Use

Both the Series 3 and SE are designed to enhance daily life, but their effectiveness depends on the user’s needs.

Series 3 – Practical Simplicity: The Series 3 is straightforward and reliable for everyday activities. It handles notifications, casual fitness tracking, and basic health monitoring smoothly, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

SE – Feature-Rich Experience: The SE offers a more feature-rich experience with advanced health metrics, improved connectivity, and additional smart features. It is ideal for users who want a more comprehensive smartwatch experience.

Sports and Fitness

When it comes to sports and fitness, both watches offer excellent tracking and support, but their capabilities vary.

Series 3 – Fundamental Fitness: The Series 3 provides essential fitness tracking capabilities, making it sufficient for most users. It supports a variety of workout types and offers basic health monitoring.

SE – Comprehensive Fitness: The SE’s advanced health metrics and expanded workout options cater to users who take their fitness more seriously. These features offer detailed insights and support a wider range of fitness activities.

Safety Features

Safety features are crucial aspects of any smartwatch, and both the Series 3 and SE include essential safety functions.

Series 3 – Basic Safety: The Series 3 includes emergency SOS, which provides added security during workouts and daily activities. This feature offers peace of mind, especially for older users or those with health concerns.

SE – Enhanced Safety: The SE goes beyond basic safety with features like fall detection and enhanced connectivity for quicker emergency responses. These additions make the SE a safer option for users who prioritize emergency preparedness.

Customization and Personalization

Personalization options vary between the Series 3 and SE, catering to different user preferences.

Series 3 – Limited Customization: The Series 3 offers basic customization with interchangeable bands and watch faces. While it allows for some personalization, its options are more limited compared to the SE.

SE – Extensive Personalization: The SE provides a broader range of customization options, including more band styles, colors, and watch faces. Users can extensively personalize their watch to match their style and preferences.

apple watch 3 vs se

Choosing the Right Apple Watch for You

Assessing Your Needs

Choosing between the Apple Watch Series 3 and SE involves assessing your specific needs and lifestyle.

Casual Users: If you need a reliable smartwatch for basic tasks and fitness tracking, the Series 3 is an excellent choice. It provides necessary features at a more affordable price, making it suitable for users who want functionality without extra cost.

Advanced Users: If you demand more advanced health monitoring, faster performance, and enhanced connectivity, the SE is worth the investment. Its additional features and modern technology cater to users seeking a more comprehensive and luxurious experience.

Budget Considerations

Budget is a significant factor in decision-making.

Series 3 Affordability: For those on a tighter budget, the Series 3 offers excellent value. It covers essential features without exceeding your financial limits.

SE’s Value for Investment: Although pricier, the SE justifies its cost with advanced features and improved performance. If budget constraints are less of a concern, the SE offers enhanced capability and a future-proof investment.

Future-Proofing Your Purchase

When investing in a smartwatch, consider its longevity and future-proofing.

Series 3 Stability: The Series 3, while not having the latest chip, is robust and reliable. It will continue to perform well for the foreseeable future, making it a stable and lasting choice.

SE’s Advancements: The SE, with its advanced technology and features, is more future-proof. It will likely remain relevant and perform exceptionally well as future updates and apps become available.


The Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch SE each offer unique benefits, catering to different user needs and preferences. The Series 3 stands out for its affordability and essential features, making it an excellent choice for casual users. On the other hand, the SE offers advanced health monitoring, superior performance, and a more modern design, catering to users who want the latest technology and are willing to invest in it.

Choosing the right Apple Watch involves assessing your needs, budget, and the features most important to you. Whether you opt for the Series 3’s simplicity and cost-effectiveness or the SE’s advanced capabilities and modern look, both watches provide robust functionality and reliability, enhancing your daily life and fitness journey.

By Griley