Apple Watch Series 5 vs Watch SE compared

Apple Watch Series 3 vs 5 vs 6 – What’s The Difference?

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With the release of Apple Watch Series 6 and SE, there are more options for Apple Watch fans to choose from. While Apple Watch 6 is the most comprehensive and advanced Apple watch featuring blood oxygen tracking and an S6 chip, Apple Watch SE is a lower-end and cheaper version that is still well equipped. Although, featured in this comparison chart is Apple Watch Series 3 vs 5 vs 6 – which is the right Apple Watch for you? We’ll take a critical look at the differences to help you make a more informed choice. Watch 5 has now been discontinued with the release of Watch 6, it’s still available in many stores across the world, and the nearest as far as features are concerned to Watch 6, while Apple Watch 3 Cellular model has also been discontinued.

The table below shows the full specifications of all three smartwatches, compare the differences.

Apple Watch Series 3 vs 5 vs 6 Specifications Compared

 
 
Product Info
Apple watch series 3 (42mm) specs

Apple Watch Series 3 (42mm) Specifications, Features and Price

Apple watch series 5 (44mm) specs

Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm) (Cellular) Specifications, Features and Price

Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm) (Cellular) Specifications

Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm) (Cellular) Specifications/Features/Review and Price

Price $199.00 $179.00 $529.99 $749.00 $709.00
ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE
Device name Apple Watch Series 3 (42mm) (Cellular), Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm), (Cellular), Apple Watch Series 6
Device type Standalone/Fitness smartwatch Standalone/Fitness smartwatch Standalone/Fitness smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex Unisex
Release date September, 2017 September, 2019 September, 2020
Predecessor Apple Watch Series 2 Apple Watch Series 4 Apple Watch Series 5
Successor Apple Watch Series 4
Versions Apple Watch Nike+ Apple Watch Hermès, Apple Watch Nike+ Apple Watch Hermès, Apple Watch Nike+
BODY BODY BODY BODY
Dimension 42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4 mm 44 x 38 x 10.7 mm 44 x 38 x 10.4mm
Weight 52.8 grams 47.8g (GPS + Cellular) 36.5g
Shape Rectangular Rectangular Rectangular
Case material Aluminum Aluminum, Ceramic/Sapphire crystal back, Stainless steel, Titanium Aluminum, Stainless steel, Titanium
Strap material Elastomer Elastomer Polyester, Silicone
Bezel material Bezeless Bezeless, Sapphire glass Bezeless, Sapphire glass
Strap size 24mm 24mm 24mm
Screen protection Sapphire glass Sapphire glass Sapphire glass
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes, recommended Yes Yes
Color Black, White Gold, Gray, Silver Black, Blue, Gold, Gold PVD, Graphite, Gray, Red, Silver, Titanium
DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY
Display size 1.65 inch 1.78 inch 1.78 inch
Display type 1000nit, OLED 1000nit, OLED 1000nit, LTPO OLED
Display resolution 312 x 390 pixels 448 x 368 pixels 448 x 368 pixels
Pixel density
Always on No Yes Yes
Custom watch face Yes Yes Yes
Input type 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen
CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth v4.2 LE Bluetooth v5.0 Bluetooth v5.0
Bluetooth calling Yes Yes Yes
GPS GLONASS, GPS GLONASS, GPS GLONASS, GPS
NFC Yes Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY
RAM 0.768GB 0.768GB 1GB
ROM 16GB (GPS + Cellular), 8GB (GPS) 32GB 32GB
Memory card slot No No No
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
Technology 4G LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE
SIM type e-SIM e-SIM e-SIM
Band
NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS
SMS alert Yes Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes Yes
MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA
Audio mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4
Bluetooth music Yes Yes Yes
Loudspeaker Yes Yes Yes
Microphone Yes Yes Yes
Camera No No No
Radio No No No
SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes
Altimeter Yes Yes Yes
Ambient light Yes Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes Yes
Compass No Yes Yes
ECG No Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes Yes
HRM Yes Yes Yes
Pulse oximeter No No Yes
Thermometer App, No App, No App
Other sensors
ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING
Blood oxygen No No Yes
Blood Pressure No No No
Calories Yes Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes Yes
ECG tracking No Yes Yes
Fitness Level Yes Yes Yes
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes Yes
Sleep tracking Yes (Third-party app), Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes Yes
Stress Yes Yes Yes
Incidental fall detection No Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes Yes
Swim-heart tracking No No
On-screen workout No No No
Sport modes Yes Yes Yes
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
Battery type Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity 279mAh
Battery life Regular: up to 18hrs Regular: up to 18hrs Regular: up to 18hrs
Charging type Charging dock Charging dock Charging dock
Charging time 1-2 hours 1-2 hours 1-2 hours
Solar power No No No
PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM
Chipset Apple S3 Apple S5 chip (64bits) Apple S6 (64bits)
CPU Dual core Dual core Dual core
GPU
Operating system WatchOS 4 WatchOS 6 WatchOS 7
MISC MISC MISC MISC
Companion app Apple Watch App Apple Watch App Apple Watch App
Compatibility iOS 12.0+ iOS 12.0+ iOS 12.0+
Payment system Apple Pay Apple Pay Apple Pay
Interchangeable strap 24mm, Yes 24mm, Yes 24mm, Yes
Voice command Yes, Siri Yes, Siri Yes, Siri
Find my phone Yes Yes Yes
Box content Apple Watch Series 3, Charger, Manual, Straps Apple Watch Series 5, Charger, Manual, Straps Apple Watch Series 6, Charger, Manual, Straps
Price $199.00 $179.00 $529.99 $749.00 $709.00

Apple Watch Series 3 vs 5 vs 6 Features Compared

FEATURESWatch Series 3Watch Series 4Watch Series 5Watch SE (GPS)Watch SE (Cellular)Watch Series 6 (GPS)Watch Series 6
(Cellular)
DESIGN
Case Sizes38mm and 42mm44mm and 40mm44mm and 40mm44mm and 40mm44mm and 40mm44mm and 40mm44mm and 40mm
Thickness11.4mm thin10.7mm thin10.7mm thin10.4mm thin10.4mm thin10.4mm thin10.4mm thin
Always-on-displayNoNoYesNoNoYesYes
Digital crownDigital crown with haptic feedbackDigital crown with haptic feedbackDigital crown with haptic feedbackDigital crown with haptic feedbackDigital crown with haptic feedbackDigital crown with haptic feedback
Available Materials and FinishesAluminumAluminum
Stainless steel
Titanium
Aluminum
Stainless steel
Titanium
AluminumAluminumAluminum
Stainless steel
Titanium
Aluminum
Stainless steel
Titanium
Back MaterialComposite backCeramic and sapphire crystal backCeramic and sapphire crystal backCeramic and sapphire crystal backCeramic and sapphire crystal backCeramic and sapphire crystal backCeramic and sapphire crystal back
HEALTH AND ACTIVITY TRACKING
Family Setup
Allows you to use your iPhone to pair watches for your children or older adults who don’t have their own iPhone
NoYesYesNoYesNoYes
Noise Protection
Protects your ear against high decibels that can be harmful to hearing, also alerts you when you reach your hearing dose for the week according to recommendations from global health authorities.
NoYesYesYesYesYesYes
Blood Oxygen Tracking
Tracks your blood oxygen to determine the amount of oxygen your blood.
NoNoNoNoNoYesYes
ECG Tracking
Allows you to take ECG test directly from your wrist which can help you detect atrial fibrillations.
NoNoYesNoNoYesYes
Heart rate sensor
Tracks your heart rate with high, low, and irregular heart rhythm notifications.
Yes
Optical heart sensor
Yes
Second-generation optical heart sensor
Yes
Second-generation optical heart sensor
Yes
Second-generation optical heart sensor
Yes
Second-generation optical heart sensor
Yes
Second-generation optical heart sensor
Yes
Second-generation optical heart sensor
CompassNoNoYesYesYesYesYes
Incidental Fall Detection
Can help you get help real quick when the watch detects a fall, it calls a preset emergency number.
NoYesYesNoYesNoYes
International Emergency Calling
Allows you to call international emergency contacts almost anywhere in the world.
NoNoYesNoYesNoYes
AltimeterYesAlways-on altimeterAlways-on altimeterAlways-on altimeterAlways-on altimeterAlways-on altimeterAlways-on altimeter
AccelerometerYes
up to 16 g-forces
Yes
up to 32 g-forces
Yes
up to 32 g-forces
Yes
up to 32 g-forces
Yes
up to 32 g-forces
Yes
up to 32 g-forces
Yes
up to 32 g-forces
MEDIA/STORAGE
LoudspeakerYes50% Louder speaker 50% Louder speaker 50% Louder speaker 50% Louder speaker 50% Louder speaker 50% Louder speaker
Storage16GB16GB32GB32GB32GB32GB32GB
Calls
Call and Text From Wrist
YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Apple Pay
Make a secured payment from your watch.
YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Siri
Get help with just about anything, simply by asking with your voice. Including translations.
YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
PLATFORM
CPUS3 with dual-core processorS5 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Up to 2x faster processor
S5 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Up to 2x faster processor
S5 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Up to 2x faster processor
S5 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Up to 2x faster processor
S6 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor
Up to 20 percent faster than S5
S6 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor
Up to 20 percent faster than S5
ChipW2
Apple wireless chip
W3
Apple wireless chip
W3
Apple wireless chip
W3
Apple wireless chip
W3
Apple wireless chip
W3
Apple wireless chip
W3
Apple wireless chip

Which is Right For You?

Although each of these three is a fine smartwatch, Apple Watch 6 is the best. With an S6 chip under the hood and a blood oxygen app, Watch 6 is the most comprehensive out of these three.

Both Watch 6 and 5 have an always-on display mode, higher storage, improved sensors, and available in three materials unlike Watch 3 which is only available in aluminum material. Moreover, Watch 5 and 6 have more health tracking features like ECG tracking which isn’t available on Watch 3. And if you decide to get the Cellular model of Watch 5 or 6, you get access to more activity tracking features such as incidental fall detection, Family setup, and international emergency calling. In other words, Watch 5 and 6 are more advanced Apple smartwatches than Watch 3, but will cost you more.

On the other hand, If you’re low on budget, Apple Watch 3 will serve as a good entry-level device considering its features. However, it’s still a fantastic smartwatch. A better alternative to Watch 3, is the new Watch SE which is relatively cheaper than Watch 5 or 6.

VERDICT: Apple Watch Series 6 is the best Apple Watch if you want to enjoy the best of what Apple has to offer in a smartwatch.

Watch the Watch 6 Review

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