Apple Watch SE 2 vs. Apple Watch Series 8 Buyer’s Guide

At its “Far Out” 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 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.

apple watch watch gen 2
Both the ‌Apple Watch SE‌ and ‌Apple Watch Series 8‌ have 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 for spending the 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.

Differences


Apple Watch SE

  • Aluminum cabinet
  • Ion-X front glass
  • Color-matched nylon composite back case
  • 44mm or 40mm case size
  • retina screen
  • 324 x 394 pixels with 759 sq mm screen area (40 mm) and 368 x 448 pixels with 977 sq mm screen area (44 mm)
  • Second generation optical heart sensor
  • Bicycle tracking
  • Available in Midnight, Starlight and Silver
  • Starting at $249

Apple Watch Series 8

  • Armature of aluminum or stainless steel
  • Ion-X front glass (aluminum) or sapphire glass (stainless steel)
  • Ceramic back case
  • 45mm or 41mm case size with edge-to-edge display (nearly 20% more screen area than ‌Apple Watch SE‌)
  • Always-On Retina display
  • 352 x 430 pixels with 904 sq mm screen area (41 mm) or 396 x 484 pixels with 1143 sq mm screen area (45 mm)
  • Third generation optical heart sensor
  • Blood oxygen sensor and Blood Oxygen app
  • Electric heart sensor and EKG app
  • Temperature sensing
  • Cycle tracking with retrospective ovulation estimates
  • U1 chip
  • Fast charging
  • Available in Midnight, Starlight, Silver and PRODUCT(RED) (aluminium) or Silver, Graphite or Gold (stainless steel)
  • Starting at $399 (aluminum) and $699 (stainless steel)

The ‌Apple Watch Series 8‌ is a minor improvement over the previous Series 7 model, offering Crash Detection and Body Temperature Sensing. But compared to the ‌Apple Watch SE‌, the ‌Apple Watch Series 8‌ is a significantly more feature-rich device with advanced capabilities.

With its larger screen, advanced health monitoring features and choice of colors and finishes, the ‌Apple Watch Series 8‌ will be the model of choice for those who want to get the most out of their smartwatch. If you feel that the always-on display, additional health monitoring features or fast charging will be particularly useful for you, or just want a specific case and color combination not available with the ‌Apple Watch SE‌, the ‌Apple Watch Series 8‌ will be the best model for you.

If you’re on a budget and aren’t particularly drawn to the extra features of the Series 8, the ‌Apple Watch SE‌ is still a very compelling option. Since it shares so many features with the ‌Apple Watch Series 8‌, in most cases you should probably go for the cheaper model, unless you especially value features like the larger, always-on display or advanced health monitoring and can justify the extra cost.

The ‌Apple Watch SE‌ is an ideal device for kids and senior citizens who don’t have an iPhone thanks to Family Setup, but it’s also the go-to model for most customers new to the Apple Watch and those upgrading from a Series 3 or older due to its competitive pricing and generous feature set that allows users to get an unlimited Apple Watch experience at a low price.

William

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