Apple Watch Series 5 vs Watch SE – Which is a Better Apple Smartwatch?

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In today’s post, we’re comparing two fantastic smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 5 vs Watch SE – which is a better Apple smartwatch for you, and which should you buy? This post compares the differences between these two to help you make the right choice. Recall that Watch SE which is an entirely new model was released alongside Watch 6 which is now succeeded by Apple Watch Series 7. The Watch SE is a lower-end version lacking an always-on display, blood oxygen measurement, and ECG tracking. And the Watch SE is only available in aluminum material. Compare Watch SE to the now discontinued and a little pricey Watch 5 that was released in 2019 and features an always-on display and ECG tracking, but also lacks blood oxygen measurement.

Apple Watch Series 5 vs Watch SE
The Watch SE is only available in aluminum material. It lacks ECG and blood oxygen measurement

Please note that the Apple Watch Series 4, 5 and 6 are discontinued. Apple currently sells the Apple Watch 3, 7 and Watch SE. However, you might still find the discontinued Apple watches in certain stores.

The Watch SE seems to be the mid point between the pricey Watch 7 and the cheaper Watch 3. The Watch 7 is available in aluminum, stainless steel and titanium materials just like Watch 6, while the Watch SE and Watch 3 are only available in aluminum materials. The aluminum units are the cheapest of all Apple Watches.

The Watch 7 comes in 41mm and 45mm while the Watch SE is available in 44mm and 40mm just like the Watch 4, 5 and 6. Meanwhile, the Watch 3 is available in 38mm and 42mm.

All the sizes are available in Cellular and GPS-only models except for the Watch 3 which is only available in GPS-only model.

Apple Watch Series 5 vs Watch SE: Specifications Compared

 
 
Product Info
Apple watch series 5 (44mm) specs

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

Apple Watch SE (44mm) (Cellular) Specifications

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

Price - -
ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE ABOUT DEVICE
Device name (Cellular), (Discontinued), Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm), (Cellular), Apple Watch SE
Device type Standalone/Fitness smartwatch Standalone/Fitness smartwatch
Gender Unisex Unisex
Release date September, 2019 September, 2020
Predecessor Apple Watch Series 4
Successor Apple Watch Series 6
Versions Apple Watch Hermès, Apple Watch Nike+ Apple Watch Hermès, Apple Watch Nike+
BODY BODY BODY
Dimension 44 x 38 x 10.7 mm 44 x 38 x 10.4mm
Weight 47.8g (GPS + Cellular) 36.36g
Shape Rectangular Rectangular
Case material Aluminum, Ceramic/Sapphire crystal back, Stainless steel, Titanium Aluminum
Strap material Elastomer Polyester, Silicone
Bezel material Bezeless, Sapphire glass Bezeless, Sapphire glass
Strap size 24mm 24mm
Screen protection Sapphire glass Sapphire glass
Water resistance Yes, 5ATM Yes, 5ATM
Durability test
Swim-proof Yes Yes
Color Gold, Gray, Silver Gold, Gray, Silver
DISPLAY DISPLAY DISPLAY
Display size 1.78 inch 1.78 inch
Display type 1000nit, OLED 1000nit, LTPO OLED
Display resolution 448 x 368 pixels 448 x 368 pixels
Pixel density
Always on Yes No
Custom watch face Yes Yes
Input type 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen 1 Physical button, Digital crown, Touchscreen
CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY CONNECTIVITY
Bluetooth Bluetooth v5.0 Bluetooth v5.0
Bluetooth calling Yes Yes
GPS GLONASS, GPS GLONASS, GPS
NFC Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY
RAM 0.768GB 1GB
ROM 32GB 32GB
Memory card slot No No
CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE GSM / HSPA / LTE
SIM type e-SIM e-SIM
Band
NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS NOTIFICATIONS
SMS alert Yes Yes
Calls alert Yes Yes
Email alert Yes Yes
Event reminder Yes Yes
Third-party apps alert Yes Yes
MEDIA MEDIA MEDIA
Audio mp3/mp4 mp3/mp4
Bluetooth music Yes Yes
Loudspeaker Yes Yes
Microphone Yes Yes
Camera No No
Radio No No
SENSORS SENSORS SENSORS
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Altimeter Yes Yes
Ambient light Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes
ECG Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
HRM Yes Yes
Pulse oximeter (SpO2) No No
Thermometer App, No App
Other sensors
ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING ACTIVITY TRACKING
Blood oxygen No No
Blood Pressure No No
Calories Yes Yes
Distance Yes Yes
ECG tracking Yes No
Heart rate monitoring Yes Yes
Sleep tracking (Third-party app), Yes Yes
Steps Yes Yes
Floors climbed Yes Yes
Stress Yes Yes
Incidental fall detection Yes Yes
Menstrual cycle Yes Yes
VO2 Max Yes Yes
Swim-tracking Yes Yes
Underwater heart rate tracking No
On-screen workout No No
Sport modes Yes Yes
BATTERY BATTERY BATTERY
Battery type Non-removable Li-ion battery Non-removable Li-ion battery
Battery capacity
Battery life Regular: up to 18hrs Regular: up to 18hrs
Charging type Charging dock Charging dock
Charging time 1-2 hours 1-2 hours
Solar charging No No
PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM
Chipset Apple S5 chip (64bits) Apple S5 chip (64bits)
CPU Dual core Dual core
GPU
Operating system WatchOS 6 WatchOS 7
MISC MISC MISC
Companion app Apple Watch App Apple Watch App
Compatibility iOS 12.0+ iOS 12.0+
Payment system Apple Pay Apple Pay
Interchangeable strap 24mm, Yes 24mm, Yes
Voice command Yes, Siri Yes, Siri
Find my phone Yes Yes
Box content Apple Watch Series 5, Charger, Manual, Straps Apple Watch SE, Charger, Manual, Straps
Price

Apple Watch Series 5 vs Watch SE Features Compared

FEATURESWatch Series 5Watch SE (Cellular)
DESIGN
Case Sizes44mm and 40mm44mm and 40mm
Thickness10.7mm thin10.4mm thin
Always-on-displayYesNo
Digital crown with haptic feedbackDigital crown with haptic feedback
Available Materials and FinishesAluminum
Stainless steel
Titanium
Aluminum
Back MaterialCeramic 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
YesYes
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.
YesYes
Blood Oxygen Tracking
Tracks your blood oxygen to determine the amount of oxygen your blood.
NoNo
ECG Tracking
Allows you to take ECG test directly from your wrist which can help you detect atrial fibrillations.
YesNo
Heart rate sensor
Tracks your heart rate with high, low, and irregular heart rhythm notifications.
Yes
Second-generation optical heart sensor
Yes
Second-generation optical heart sensor
CompassYesYes
Incidental Fall Detection
Can help you get help real quick when the watch detects a fall, it calls a preset emergency number.
YesYes
International Emergency Calling
Allows you to call international emergency contacts almost anywhere in the world.
YesYes
AltimeterAlways-on altimeterAlways-on altimeter
AccelerometerYes
up to 32 g-forces
Yes
up to 32 g-forces
MEDIA/STORAGE
Loudspeaker50% Louder speaker 50% Louder speaker
Storage32GB32GB
Calls
Call and Text From Wrist
YesYes
Apple Pay
Make a secured payment from your watch.
YesYes
Siri
Get help with just about anything, simply by asking with your voice. Including translations.
YesYes
PLATFORM
CPUS5 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Up to 2x faster processor
S5 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Up to 2x faster processor
ChipW3
Apple wireless chip
W3
Apple wireless chip

Which is Right For You?

The Watch 5 priced higher than Watch SE features ECG and is available in aluminum, stainless steel and titanium

The Watch SE and Watch 5 share a whole lot of features in common, both are available in two sizes, and its same display size. These two also have the same health tracking features except that Watch 5 features ECG which is now a big business in the smartwatch industry going by the increasing number of high-end smartwatches that have this feature.

It’s also the same battery life, same storage capcity and Apple’s S5 chip powering both smartwatches.

The difference between Watch 5 and Watch SE is that the latter lacks an always-on display which is present on Watch 5. Watch SE also lacks ECG and is only available in aluminum material. Meanwhile, Watch 5 comes in three different materials; aluminum, stainless steel and titanium which certainly gives you more options to choose from, but the stainlees steel cost more money, while the Titanium model will cost you even more.

In all, both smartwatches are fantastic choices except for the slight differences.

So which is right for you? If always-on display and ECG tracking mean so much to you, then you should go for Watch 5 which is priced higher anyway. However, if you can do without always-on display and ECG tracking, then the Watch SE is a fine choice.

Apple Watch SE Review

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