At its “Far out” event this month, Apple announced the second-generation Apple Watch SE and the 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 the Apple Watch Series 8 offers a more feature-rich experience with additional health monitoring capabilities.
Both the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Series 8 feature the S8 chip, Crash 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 Apple Watch SE is much more competitively priced at just $249. So what exactly do you get by spending the additional $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.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is a minor improvement over the previous Series 7 model, offering Crash Detection and body temperature sensing. Yet compared to the Apple Watch SE, the Apple Watch Series 8 is a considerably more feature-rich device with advanced capabilities.
With its larger display, advanced health monitoring features, and 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 casing and color combination not available with the Apple Watch SE, the Apple Watch Series 8 will be the best model for you.
If you are on a budget and are not particularly attracted to the additional features of the Series 8, the Apple Watch SE is still a very compelling option. As it shares so many features with the Apple Watch Series 8, in most cases you should probably choose the more inexpensive model, unless you particularly value features such as the larger, always-on display or advanced health monitoring and can justify the added cost.
The Apple Watch SE is an ideal device for children and senior citizens who do not have an iPhone thanks to Family Setup, but it is also the go-to model for most customers who are new to the Apple Watch and those who are upgrading from a Series 3 or older due to its competitive pricing and generous feature set, allowing users to get an unconstrained Apple Watch experience at a low cost.