Series 7, Series 6, SE, special edition… Which Apple Watch to choose?


The undisputed leader of the connected watch market, Apple crushes the competition with its Apple Watch. With several models available for sale, however, it can be difficult to make an informed choice. We take stock of the different versions and the elements to take into account to find the watch that will best suit your wrist.

Apple Watch Series 7, Series 6, SE, Series 3… understand the range

Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is worth taking stock of the watches currently sold by Apple. The Cupertino giant’s range includes three different models, namely the Watch Series 7, the Watch SE and the Watch Series 3. These connected watches are available in several sizes and colors and are also entitled to special editions. The catalog is rather clear since the new Watch Series 7 stands out as the spearhead of the brand, ahead of a more accessible Watch SE that focuses on the essential. Finally, the Watch Series 3 has been in the catalog since 2017 and acts as a gateway to the ecosystem of Apple watches.

Launched in 2020, the Apple Watch Series 6 has officially disappeared from the manufacturer’s list, but it is still available at retailers while stocks last.

Three generations of Apple watches: Series 3, Series 6 and Series 7 © Apple

Apple Watch Series 7: the new benchmark

Announced in September 2021, the Apple Watch Series 7 has recently been available for sale. This model does not revolutionize the Cupertino approach since it does not offer new health-related functionalities. The manufacturer is content to mention better detection of falls, but this is not in this area that this watch is performing well.

The biggest change brought by this version is at the level of its screen. Apple has not hesitated to trim the edges (thickness of 1.7 mm) to make them 40% thinner than those of the Watch Series 6. This change allows the tocante to offer nearly 20% of surface area. additional display without changing the dimensions of the watch too much. Compared to its predecessor, the Watch Series 7 goes from 40mm (324 x 394 pixels) to 41mm (352 x 430 pixels) and from 44mm (368 x 448 pixels) to 45mm (396 x 484 pixels).

Apple offers the Series 7 in silver, graphite and gold stainless steel © Apple

The LTPO OLED screen still displays a brightness of up to 1000 nits, but the company ensures that it is 70% brighter with the “always-on” function than that of its predecessor. Added to this are more robust glass and IP6X ratings for dust resistance and WR50 for water resistance. The other big news is the 33% faster charging than the Series 6, thanks to a new charging architecture and a magnetic USB-C cable. The new watch recovers 80% of autonomy in 45 minutes.

The reasons that make us prefer the Apple Watch Series 7

This new model is aimed at those who want to enter the world of Apple’s connected watches through the front door. It benefits from the latest advances from the manufacturer to enjoy WatchOS 8 in great detail and comes in five new aluminum case finishes (midnight, starlight, green, a new blue and (PRODUCT RED), in addition to the different styles of straps. Finally, it is displayed at the same starting price as the Series 6 (429 euros).

Apple Watch Series 7 is right for you if:

  • You don’t have an Apple Watch and want a premium experience
  • You have an old version (Series 3, Series 4)
  • You need faster charging and a bigger screen

If you already have a recent watch (Series 5 or 6) and you are not looking for the latest Apple brand features, these versions are still sufficient and can take advantage of WatchOS 8.

Apple launched WatchOS 8 in September © Apple

Apple Watch SE: the Apple experience without breaking the bank

IPhone enthusiasts know that the Cupertino company is moving towards the high end. Nevertheless, the manufacturer has learned to make concessions to offer more accessible devices like the second generation iPhone SE. In the same vein, Apple launched the Watch SE last year to accompany Series 6. While the latter did not survive the arrival of Series 7, the Watch SE is still available thanks to its more accessible approach. . Close to high-end models in terms of design, this affordable watch comes in 40 or 44mm versions and uses the same strategy as the iPhone SE.

© Apple

There are slightly older components, but still efficient, such as the S5 processor (Series 5) and several so-called “Essential” such as accelerometer, compass, altimeter or GPS. It can also measure heart rate, but does not offer the always-on and electrocardiogram (ECG). It is also not possible to measure oxygen in the blood, these functions being reserved for the more upscale models.

The reasons that make us prefer the Apple Watch SE

The Watch SE has found its place in the Apple catalog thanks to a starting price set at 299 euros. Despite some concessions, its presence allows the Californian firm to make life difficult in the competition. It benefits from a modern design and the know-how of the manufacturer, without reaching the price of the Series 6 or 7. Before opting for this model, check whether the absence of certain features (ECG, always-on, blood oxygenation …) will not fail you on a daily basis.

Apple Watch SE is right for you if:

  • You want a modern, yet affordable Apple Watch
  • You don’t mind the concessions made by Apple
  • You think the Apple Watch Series 7 costs too much

Apple Watch Series 3: for small budgets, but …

Should we still recommend the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2021? The answer is no. If it was able to seduce us when it was released in 2017 (!), Time has done its work and the Apple Watch Series 3 can no longer be considered as a benchmark model. However, it continues to appear in Apple’s catalog with a weighty argument: its price.

Excluding promotion, it is the most affordable officially sold Apple Watch (219 euros), but this is its only great asset. This version must do with an aging design and a smaller screen (38 or 42 mm), with a display area more than 30% less than that of the Watch SE and 50% less than that of the Series 7. If it benefits from the experience of Cupertino, it lacks features such as fall detection, compass or family configuration. Not surprisingly, it is also not entitled to modern features such as ECG, blood oxygenation or the always-on screen to constantly see the time.

Four years after its release, the Apple Watch Series 3 is still on the market © LaboFnac

Why we prefer the Apple Watch Series 3

Its price which allows it to be the cheapest Apple connected watch. She is also entitled to WatchOS 8, but will not be able to access all features. Unless you want an Apple-branded watch on a very limited budget, it’s more relevant to head for the Watch SE.

Apple Watch Series 3 is right for you if:

  • You don’t have the budget for the Watch SE
  • You absolutely want an Apple Watch without spending too much

Now that you know the different models offered by Apple, it is necessary to ask yourself the right questions before taking the plunge. First of all, you have to choose the right case size for your wrist and your preferences. The Series 3 is available in two case sizes: 38mm or 42mm. The SE (or Series 6) is available in 40mm or 44mm. The Series 7 is available in 41mm or 45mm.

Regarding the weight of the watch, it may vary depending on the materials (aluminum, stainless steel, titanium), size and certain functions. It should also be noted that the brand offers special Nike and Hermès editions. Finally, it will be necessary to decide between the GPS version and the GPS + cellular version which makes it possible to do without the smartphone. The presence of cellular connectivity allows you to make calls or send messages without needing your iPhone nearby.

The experience can be tempting, but keep in mind that these models cost more to buy and that it is necessary to add additional costs (package, options) to access its features. So, if you are used to always having your iPhone with you, it may not be interesting to opt for this version. On the other hand, you might be won over by the idea of ​​being able to leave your phone behind while still accessing some essential functions.

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