At an “elusive” event this month, Apple announced the second generation Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 8. The Apple Watch SE is a low-cost option that still offers many of the Apple Watch features that have made the device so popular over the years, While Apple Watch Series 8 provides a feature-rich experience with additional health monitoring capabilities.
The Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 8 feature the S8 chip, fault detection, water resistance, an optical heart sensor, up to 18 hours of battery life, and more, but there are significant differences between the two devices.
The aluminum Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399, while the more competitive Apple Watch SE is priced at just $249. So what exactly do you get by spending that extra $150 and is it worth it? Our guide answers the question of how to decide which of these two Apple Watch models is best for you.
Apple Watch SE
- aluminum casing
- Ion-X windshield
- Color-matched nylon composite backpack
- Case size 44mm or 40mm
- retina screen
- 324 x 394 pixels with a display area of 759 mm square (40 mm) and 368 by 448 pixels with a display area of 977 mm (44 mm)
- 2nd generation optical heart rate sensor
- Cycle Tracking
- Available in midnight, star and silver colours
- Starting at $249
Apple Watch Series 8
- Aluminum or stainless steel housing
- Front windshield Ion-X (aluminum) or sapphire crystal (stainless steel)
- ceramic background case
- 45mm or 41mm case size with edge-to-edge display (~20% more screen space than Apple Watch SE)
- Retina display is always on
- 352 x 430 pixels with a display area of 904 mm (41 mm) or 396 by 484 pixels with a width of 1143 mm (45 mm)
- 3rd generation optical heart rate sensor
- blood oxygen sensor and blood oxygen app
- Electric heart rate sensor and ECG app
- temperature sensor
- Cycle tracking with retrospective ovulation estimates
- U1 . chips
- Fast Shipping
- Available in Midnight, Starlight, Silver, PRODUCT (RED) (aluminum), silver, graphite, or gold (stainless steel)
- Starts at $399 (aluminum) and $699 (stainless steel)
The Apple Watch Series 8 is a slight improvement over the previous Series 7 model, offering fault detection and body temperature sensing. However, compared to the Apple Watch SE, the Apple Watch Series 8 is a feature-rich device with advanced capabilities.
With its larger screen, advanced health monitoring features, and a range of colors and finishes, the Apple Watch Series 8 will be the model of choice for those who want the most out of their smartwatch. If you feel that the always-on display, additional health-monitoring features, or fast charging would be particularly useful to you, or simply like a specific color and case set not available with the Apple Watch , the Apple Watch Series 8 would be your best model.
If you’re on a tight budget and aren’t particularly drawn to the 8 Series’ extra features, the Apple Watch SE is still a very compelling choice. Since it shares so many features with the Apple Watch Series 8, in most cases you’ll likely opt for the less expensive model, unless you particularly value features like the larger always-on display or advanced health monitoring and can justify the added cost.
The Apple Watch SE is an ideal device for kids and seniors who don’t have an iPhone thanks to the family setup, but it’s also the go-to model for most customers new to the Apple Watch and those upgrading from Series 3 or earlier due to its competitive pricing and generous feature set, allowing users to have an experience Apple Watch Untethered at Low Cost.