We have created this Apple Watch Comparison and made sure it updated as of 2021. It now includes all the watches from the first Apple Watch to the newly released Apple Watch 6. Feel free to share but we ask that you include a link to Superwatches as the source. This comparison is also available as a PDF Download. Hope you find it useful. Share comments below.
Which is the best Apple Watch in 2021?
You might know which Apple Watch Series you want. Perhaps you’ve not given thought to the case material, size, colour or kind of strap, though? There are a lot of combinations to choose from. And making a choice can be overwhelming.
With that in mind, our comparison of the Apple Watch models will help you choose the right one.
The Apple Watch Series Range
Apple discounted every other model. These being the Series 1 through 5. Despite this, you can pick them up either refurbished or secondhand.
Going back to the current range. Some features appear on all three models. But, you’ll notice the Series 3 isn’t as sophisticated as the SE or 6. More, the latter has some unique features. And here we’ll go into them.
Considering the SE and Series three only come in aluminium and the Series 6 additionally comes in stainless steel or titanium,
Additionally to case material, you’ll find each model has different finishes and colours. Firstly, the Series 6 aluminium variant comes in space grey, silver, gold and, new for this year, blue and red. Secondly, the stainless steel model has silver, gold and graphite versions. Finally, titanium comes in space black or titanium.
Now, for the SE your only options are silver, gold and space grey.
Finally, the Series 3 will offer you a choice between space grey and silver only.
Each model has plenty of strap options, but these affect the price.
You get two screen sizes for all of three models. Specifically, the SE and 6 both have either 40mm or 44mm sizing. However, the Series 3 offers 38mm or 42mm because the bezels are significantly bigger.
In the case of the SE and Series 6 you can opt for cellular connectivity. If not, you still get GPS. As it stands today there is no cellular option for the Series 3.
How much does the Apple Watch cost?
Apple offers a simple pricing system. You select the model you like and can add extras to upgrade it if you wish.
We’ve created a comparison chart to show you everything that each model has to offer. So, use that chart to see what features, sizing, materials, colours and other factors you’re interested in.
The kinds of strap you can get hold of are:
- Solo Loop
- Braided Solo Loop
- Sport Loop
- Sport Band
- Leather Loop
- Leather Link
- Link Bracelet
- Milanese Loop
Which Apple Watch should I buy?
Firstly you should decide how much you can or want to pay for a model. For example, if you want the newest and best Series 6 then you’ll have to pay at the higher end. However, if the Apple Watch Series 3 meets your requirements then you may be more comfortable with the lower price. Consequently, the middle ground Apple Watch SE will cost you a little less than the 6.
Undeniably the cheaper price tag is going to appeal but we advise you go for the SE if you can push your budget a little. This is because you’ll get the benefits of three version’s worth of upgrades. Also, the Series 3 will no longer have WatchOS software updates sooner rather than later, so it’s not a long-term option.
Saying that we do highly recommend the Series 3 for kids and we’ve written about that, here. Perhaps you like the idea of Family Set up, in which case you’ll want to treat them to an SE.
The Apple Watch SE has a lot of features not seen on the Series three. So you do get extra for only a little extra money.
Notedly, the Series 3 doesn’t have fall detection, nor does it have an altimeter or compass. Also, the speaker and mic aren’t as sophisticated as the later versions. Consequently, it does have an Always-On screen.
Apple Watch SE
We’ve somewhat discredited the Series 3 model but do not be fooled into thinking it isn’t a great watch, it is! There’s a reason it’s still in production over its predecessors.
But, what about the Apple Watch SE? The cost isn’t much more than a Series 3. Again, the prices are so close. Considering the Apple Watch Series 6 isn’t much dearer, and how long you’ll want the watch for, it might be worth having a realistic look at what you can afford and go for the newest and best.
The SE has features that the Series 3 doesn’t. Equally, the SE doesn’t have features the Series 6 does. So what’s lacking?
The SE and 6 both come in 40mm and 44mm sizing. Both are thinner than the Series 3. What’s more, Family Set Up can be used if you have a Series 6 or SE. Finally, both have an altimeter.
The SE lacks the Always-On screen. Meaning you must raise your wrist to see the time.
The Series 6 is special because it can measure your ECG and blood oxygen. Respectively, both these features are potentially life-saving. Granted, the SE will still notify you if you have an irregular heartbeat. Mainly the features lacking in the SE are the inability to measure blood oxygen, ECG and to provide an Always-On screen. If these features are unimportant to you, then you’ll love the SE.
Apple Watch 6
If you’re able to spend more on the Series 6 then there are some key differentiators. Undeniably, the Series 6 is superior to the SE despite similar features. Namely, the 6 has an S6 chip whereas the SE has an S5. Additionally, the 6 has a U1 chip, providing ultra-wideband. Neither SE nor the Series 3 have this.
You’ll find an Always-On display on the Series 6. Indeed, you can still tap it to wake it or raise your wrist. When it’s asleep it’s simply dimmed and shows a less cluttered version of your watch face.
The Series 6 key features are the addition of measuring blood oxygen and taking an ECG reading. In fact, the ECG feature was present on the Apple Watch Series 5, but it’s not on the SE.
Another feature lacking from the SE and 3 is the choice of materials. For example, with the 6 you can pick from multiple choices of material and colour. Of course, this depends on how much you want to spend. Say you’ve got a lot to spend on a watch, you can go for the titanium version. Subsequently, if you got a matching titanium link bracelet you could easily spend over a thousand dollars. Essentially, there’s a version for all budgets within a given range.
To conclude, this is a quick tour of the main differences between the current Apple models on offer.
What are the cellular options?
Another choice you’ll need to make is if you want a cellular option. Granted, it’s another expense. But these use a SIM card to allow the watch to make and receive phone calls and texts. Additionally, it allows the watch to work independently of an iPhone.
Your decision to opt for the cellular or normal model depends on how much you’ll use it. For example, if you get a lot of calls, it might be handy. However if you just think it’s a cool nice-to-have, then your budget will tell you if it’s worthwhile or not. Of course, if your budget is a restraint you can still enjoy all the features, you’ll just need your iPhone closeby.
Upgrading your Apple Watch from older models
So far we’ve compared the available models, but how about the older versions? Here, we’re talking about the Series 0 through to the Series 5. If you’re currently using any of these (bar the 3, as we’ve discussed) then either of the three is going to feel like a huge improvement!
In fact, we’re going to give you a rundown of the highlights from each model:
Series 0 from 2015: Where it began. Let’s knock the Series 0 out of the running immediately. Essentially, it’s obsolete. Unfortunately, even if you could find a working model, it’ll be painfully slow.
Series 1 from 2016: This has a faster processor but is basically a rebadged version of the 0.
Series 2, also from 2016: A well-received upgrade. Namely, better battery life and a brighter screen. Also the addition of GPS, another, faster, processor and improved water-proof rating.
Series 3 from 2017: Introduction of cellular connectivity and again a faster processor.
Series 4 from 2018: Here we got a bigger screen with a slimmer body. Additionally, the heart rate sensor improved and we saw the introduction of fall detection. Another faster processor.
Series 5 from 2019: The introduction of the Always-On display, more onboard memory and a compass. There were power management improvements which positively impacted the battery life compared to the very similar Series 4. There was an S5 chip introduced but there is little noticeable difference to the S4.
SE from 2020: Here we get the option to use Family Set up. Also, there’s the Always-On feature and an altimeter.
Series 6, also from 2020: A new, faster U1 chip, Family Set Up, ECG and blood oxygen readings.
Which size Apple Watch should I buy?
As we’ve covered, the SE and 6 come in both 40mm or 44mm sizing options. Whereas the 3 comes in either 38mm or 42mm.
The rule of thumb is that these models are designed to fit the average man and woman’s wrist but there are no rules to say you can’t go bigger or smaller depending on your personal taste and wrist size.
Note, there are zero design or feature changes between sizes. Saying that, there are weight changes depending on the size, material and cellular options.
Docks, stands and chargers
Your Apple Watch will come with a charger, but there are some cool docks available. Simply place your watch on a dock next to your bed and it’ll charge overnight for you.
Please note Apple Watches will no longer be delivered with a power adaptor. So if you need one, you’ll have to buy it separately.
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