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Apple Watch Series 7 or 3 or at least the SE: Which should you buy?

The new top model Apple Watch Series 7. (Image: Apple)
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On Tuesday, Apple presented the new top model Watch Series 7. This will appear later in the fall and represents the current line-up with the Watch SE and Series 3. We’ll look at the differences and give them a buy recommendation.

The previous watch portfolio, consisting of the Watch SE presented in the previous year , the older Series 3 and Series 6 will only be changed at one point – namely the new top model. Instead of the Series 6, watch enthusiasts will in future be able to choose the brand new Series 7, which is only a moderate evolution compared to the previous year’s model. Therefore, the question of which of the three available watches from the production of the Californian manufacturer is best for a purchase in 2021 remains interesting. We’ll show you in comparison which watch offers which features and what you should consider when making your purchase decision.

Amazing, but true: All three watches use the same battery. Apple indicates its performance with around 18 hours of endurance. Differences in the specific stamina result from the hardware and software optimization in detail. In terms of performance, however, the three watches differ significantly. Of course, the Watch 7 is the fastest, but the SE can also keep up because it runs on the dual-core S5 processor. That had driven the Watch Series 5. The current Watch Series 7 runs with the S7 processor, which, however, does not promise a leap in performance for a very good reason.

Apple Watch SE: The best compromise between price and performance

Let’s start with the Apple Watch SE. This smartwatch is designed as a compromise between price and performance. It offers many features of the high-end series, but in some places it also makes compromises due to the lower price.

The Apple Watch SE can still be ordered. (Photo: Apple)

As with the iPhone, the SE in the name stands for “Special Edition” and says little at first glance. In fact, the abbreviation is reminiscent of one of the most popular Macintosh models of the eighties, the Macintosh SE.

The Apple Watch SE is visually indistinguishable from the flagship, the Series 7. The Series 7, however, offers five new colors and thus a little more variation in the case colors. The Apple Watch SE is only available in the basic colors silver, gold and gray.

Hardly any visual differences between Watch SE and Series 6

Only those who deal with the details of the different Knowing Apple Watches has a chance to distinguish the Watch SE from the Series 6 – at least when the display is off on both. The only visual difference is that the Watch SE does not have an always-on display, i.e. only shows the screen content with a tap or gesture. Otherwise, the optically identical front is installed as in the Series 7. The latter, however, has been given a more robust finish. More on that later.

The display corresponds to that of the previous Series 6 model and is 30 percent larger than that of the Series 3. At the same time, the housing is 10.7 millimeters thinner than that of the Series 3 with 11.4 millimeters. The larger screen in the Watch SE is not least due to the larger housing dimensions. While the Series 3 is only available in 38 and 42 millimeters, the SE, like the Series 7, can be selected between 40 and 44 millimeters.

1: Series 6, 2: Watch SE, 3: Series 3 (from left to right). (Screenshot: t3n)

The digital crown of the Watch SE (and the Series 7) offers haptic feedback, while the digital crown of the Series 3 does not know this feedback. Visually the difference is not noticeable.

If you look at the back of the Watch SE, you can see differences here: The Series 7 sensor array is not present. The underside of the Watch SE looks like the Series 5. While the underside of the Watch SE and Series 7 is made of ceramic and sapphire glass, the Series 3 has to make do with a base made of composite material.

With the mentioned Series 5, i.e. the flagship of the year 2019, the Watch SE shares the dual-core 64-bit processor with the designation S5. It should offer twice the performance of the S3 processor from the Watch Series 3. Last year’s Series 6 S6 processor should only provide around 20 percent more performance than the S5. This puts the Watch SE just below the Series 6 in terms of performance. The big difference to the Series 3 is explained by the fact that the Series 3 does not have a 64-bit processor.

The Watch SE also receives all sensors in their current Versions that the Series 7 also has, with the exception of the EKG and blood oxygen sensors. However, the Watch SE does not have the U1 ultra-broadband chip introduced with the Series 5 and iPhone 11 on board. It is responsible for spatial localization in the immediate vicinity and enables convenience functions such as simplified sharing of content with other devices in the vicinity.

Apple Watch SE. (Image: Apple)

The Series 3 will not be updated in terms of sensor equipment. In comparison, the Watch SE can also come up with a real-time altimeter, a compass and fall detection with emergency notification. It only offers a standard altimeter. Emergency SOS can also be sent through the Series 3, but only manually. The Series 3 also has an acceleration sensor on board. However, it is only half as sensitive as the two more recent models and therefore not as accurate in recognition.

The integrated noise monitoring of the Watch SE (and Series 7) warns of noises that can damage your hearing organ. The Series 3 doesn’t have that to offer. The integrated microphone is said to have been significantly improved for this. In addition, Apple wants to have improved the integrated loudspeaker in the Watch SE and Series 7 so that it is 50 percent louder than that of the Series 3. This should enable more comfortable telephoning and improved listening to podcasts or audio books. This is also supported by the fact that the Watch SE and the Series 7 with 32 gigabytes of capacity have three times more memory than the Series 3 on board

The watch SE handles radio communication via Bluetooth 5 and the integrated W2 radio chip. The Series 7 already has the W3 on board. The Series 3 also relies on the W2 and the lower Bluetooth version 4.2.

The Watch faces of the Apple Watch SE do not make boredom so easy. (Photo montage: Apple)

The Apple Watch SE (GPS) costs around 291 euros in the smaller version with a 40 millimeter case. The corresponding LTE variant is available over the counter for around 340 euros. With a case size of 44 millimeters, the Apple Watch SE starts at around 321 euros, the LTE version then costs around 370 euros. With the housing colors you have the choice between a subtle gold tone, silver and the well-known space gray, a dark gray.

The Apple Watch SE can be used with a variety of price-relevant bracelet variants can be configured, but the housing is always made of aluminum. Apple does not offer any other metals for the SE. In the Apple Store you will find all configuration options for the Watch SE.

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Tyler Hromadka
Tyler is working as the Author at World Weekly News. He has a love for writing and have been writing for a few years now as a free-lancer.

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