Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 3

Wondering whether to buy the Apple Watch SE or the Apple Watch Series 3?

Apple in 2017 introduced the Apple Watch Series 3, adding built-in cellular to the world’s number one watch, allowing users to stay connected, make calls, receive texts and more, without iPhone nearby. The third-generation Apple Watch also offers water resistance 50 meters and a barometric altimeter that measures relative elevation.

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular)
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular)

Apple this month unveiled the Apple Watch SE with the largest and most advanced Retina display allowing customers to easily see more details and the information that matters most, right on their wrist. Apple Watch SE features the same accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter as Apple Watch Series 6, and with the latest motion sensors and microphone, it offers robust health and safety capabilities including fall detection, Emergency SOS, international emergency calling, and the Noise app.

Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch SE

Hartley Charlton for MacRumors:

As these two models composite the lower-cost Apple Watch offerings and share many features, including a Retina Display, water resistance, and an optical heart sensor, it may not be immediately clear which model is better for you. Is it worth purchasing the older, cheaper Series 3 to save some money?

Overall, the ‌Apple Watch SE‌ is a device that has a lot more to offer than the Apple Watch Series 3 across the board. If you can afford to spend the additional $80, you will get a wearable that feels considerably more modern and developed, with a host of additional features.

If you are new to the Apple Watch or only have basic needs, the Apple Watch Series 3 allows you to get a capable device for the lowest possible price.

MacDailyNews Take: Get the Apple Watch SE.


  1. I thought it was a mistake for Apple to keep making the 3 back when they did. The SE has a faster CPU. The 3 was way too slow! I am assuming the SE also has better battery life. The 3 was way too short! These two things alone are enough to choose the SE as you will be dealing with both issues on a daily, in not hourly, basis.

    1. Greyhound was good, although not great.
      Home Before Dark was excellent. Great drama for the whole family.
      Defending Jacob was extremely well done, well acted, but the story was incredibly depressing.
      The Banker was outstanding. Deserves at least a couple Oscar nods.
      Amazing Stories was interesting, not great.
      Started to watch Ted Lasso, which should be a quirky, funny, family-friendly drama, and really liked the premise, and the characters, BUT it was full of completely unnecessary, inappropriate language which seemed completely antithetical to the whole vibe of the show.

    2. I have a Series 3 that I purchased last December (2019) as for Battery life I can use it from 6AM till the following Day at 8 or 9 PM most days. I have had 2 times where for a week at a time something was draining the battery and I didn’t even get 12 hours but those were anomalies.

      Other than a faster Processor, I really don’t see a need to get the SE (I was hoping it would have the ECG), if they had made it basically the series 5 I would have jumped on it but with them pulling that it’s a no go for me.

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