Apple Watch 8 vs. Apple Watch SE (2022): Which One Should You Buy?

While Apple’s new Apple Watch Ultra has received much attention, most people should still purchase the new Apple Watch Series 8 or the new Apple Watch SE.

I think it’s fair to say we can make a lot of assumptions about both products, given that they primarily use existing technology and features found on previous Apple Watch devices. You might want to wait for a full review before purchasing either of these products.

Apple Watch Series 8Apple Watch SE
+Same outstanding quality
+Potentially life-saving crash detection
+QWERTY keyboard
+More for less
+Great iPhone integration
+Crash detection
Incremental upgrade
Temperature sensor underutilized
Ovulation predictions retrospective
Still no always-on display
Inconsistent exercise detection

Apple Watch 8 vs. Apple Watch SE (2022): Specs

CategoriesApple Watch Series 8Apple Watch SE
Size41mm or 45mm40mm or 44mm
FinishesAluminum or stainless steelAluminum
ColorsAluminum: Midnight, starlight, silver, Product Red; Stainless steel: Graphite, silver, goldMidnight, starlight, silver
SoftwareWatchOS 9WatchOS 9
Screen904 sq mm display area (41mm); 1,143 sq mm display area (45mm)759 sq mm display area (40mm); 977 sq mm display area (44mm)
Health sensorsBlood oxygen, electrical heart (ECG), third-gen optical heart, temperatureSecond-gen optical heart
Health featuresHigh and low heart rate notifications, irregular heart rate notifications, blood oxygen, nighttime wrist temperature deviations, cardio fitness level, cycle tracking, retrospective ovulation estimates, sleep trackingHigh and low heart rate notifications, irregular heart rate notifications, cardio fitness level, cycle tracking, sleep tracking
ChipApple S8 SiPApple S8 SiP
DurabilityIP6X dust resistant; water resistant up to 50mWater resistant up to 50m
SafetyEmergency SOS, international emergency calling, crash detection, fall detectionEmergency SOS, international emergency calling, crash detection, fall detection
BatteryUp to 18 hours with fast charging, support for low power modeUp to 18 hours, support for low power mode
Other featuresGPS, optional cellular, Compass Backtrack, always on altimeter, Family Setup, speaker, microphone, activity and exercise tracking, Apple Pay, GymKit, ultrawideband supportGPS, optional cellular, Compass Backtrack, always on altimeter, Family Setup, speaker, microphone, activity and exercise tracking, Apple Pay, GymKit
Starting priceView on AmazonView on Amazon

Apple Watch 8 vs Apple Watch SE (2022): Performance

  • Both the watches use the same processor s8 chip.
  • Both the watches have the storage of 32 GB.

All right The first thing to know about the series 8 and the apple watch SE this year, in my opinion, is that they both use the same s8 chip. This means that, for the first time, the pricier series 8 and the cheaper Apple Watch SE will perform identically, which is fantastic news for anyone considering purchasing the Apple Watch SE.

I already have a lot of experience using watches like this because the series 8 and the new Apple Watch SE share the same processor as my Series 7 watch. Therefore, it might not be all that different.

The user interface will be just as fluid, the apps will run precisely the same, and even syncing the Apple Watch will now be quicker, thanks to the speed improvement on the SE model.

Because every Apple Watch in the lineup, from the SE to the ultra, has the same performance and 32 GB of storage for apps, music, podcasts, and audiobooks, consumers don’t need to worry about which model to choose based on speed.

Apple Watch 8 vs Apple Watch SE (2022): Design

  • The Series 8 is certified for ip6x dust resistance.
  • The SE has a 44 and a 40-millimeter display.
  • The Series 8 has a 45 and a 41 -millimeter display.
  • Both the watches have OLED displays.

There are currently some differences between the Series 8 and SE’s durability. In contrast to the SE, the Series 8 is now certified for ip6x dust resistance.

The watch’s back is made of plastic or a nylon composite. There are now additional differences. While the SE has a 44 and a 40-millimeter display, the Series 8 has a slightly larger screen on both models, measuring 45 millimeters on the larger model and then 41 millimeters on the smaller model.

Although the specifications of both displays appear to go to 1000 nits and both have OLED displays, their quality seems to be the same, so both should be excellent for outdoor use.

Apple Watch 8 vs Apple Watch SE (2022): Features & Battery Life

  • Only the Series 8 has an always-on display.
  • Both the watches give 36 hours of battery life with the new low-power mode.

However, there are two key differences that you should be aware of. The first is that the Series 8 has an always-on display, whereas the SE requires you to raise your wrist to see the information on the watch.

Personally, I prefer to keep it visible at all times. I have met quite a few people who disable the always-on display because they don’t like it or want to conserve battery life. Still, I find having all that information at a glance to be very helpful, and I like having the watch face always visible because I think it also looks better on your wrist.

You can get 36 hours of battery life with the new low-power mode coming to the SE and Series 8, but it also turns off the always-on display, so if you intend to use this feature, the always-on display won’t be helpful to you.

The native Apple Watch keyboard allows you to type messages on the watch’s small screen, a pretty handy feature that gives you more direct control over your watch and makes it possible to occasionally enter things like passwords in addition to messaging. The big display size itself might not seem like a big difference considering it only differs in size by one millimeter, but it enables one feature that I find very helpful.

It’s a solid consideration to upgrade to the Series 8 just for that feature because even though it seems like a minor feature, it could change how you use your apple watch.

Additionally, as I previously mentioned, the watch will disable many of these features to give you the extra 36 hours of battery life if you use the new low-power mode found in watch OS9. As a result, if you intend to use low-power mode for multiple days, these extra features won’t be of much use to you.

Apple Watch 8 vs Apple Watch SE (2022): Health Features

  • Both the watches have features like the heart rate monitor, fall detection and the car crash detection features.
  • The Series 8 has the features like an ECG reader, A Blood Oxygen Sensor and Body Temperature Sensor.

I believe the most important question to ask yourself when choosing between these models is whether you want all the additional health features.

In my opinion, the heart rate monitor on the SE is one of Apple’s most important health and life-saving features because it can automatically identify high and low heart rates and alert the user that they might want medical attention. Additionally, the heart rate monitor is great at calculating how many calories you’ve burned throughout the day and while exercising, making it a fantastic choice as a fitness tracker.

It also includes fall detection and the newest car crash detection features, which can automatically call emergency services in case of a severe car accident or a hard fall. There are already countless accounts of how this fall detection feature has saved users’ lives.

The Series 8 also has these features and more. It also has an ECG reader that can read an electrocardiogram and alert you if you have an irregular heartbeat rhythm. This is a beneficial feature, but hey, if you don’t have an irregular heartbeat or have no family history of one, you might never use it.

The series 8 also has a blood oxygen sensor, which can provide blood oxygen readings automatically or manually. This is another potentially excellent feature if you need it, but in my experience using this watch for more than two years with that feature, it’s something I rarely check up on and the information has yet to be useful for me personally. Depending on your health circumstances, your needs may vary and this feature may be helpful.

Finally, the Series 8 this year has a new body temperature sensor. This is somewhat unproven because there hasn’t been much time to test this feature. After all, it hasn’t been released yet, but supposedly the spotty temperature sensor will help women with cycle tracking and tracking ovulation. It may be a great new feature for women, but to me, it doesn’t seem like there are any benefits.

If you’ve never owned an Apple Watch, it may be challenging to determine whether you need some of these specific health features. Still, thankfully, I think I can say that most people will be fine without requiring a lot of those additional health features that the series 8 brings, so you need to take that into your purchasing consideration.


Now, if the prices were the same for both watches, it’s safe to say that everyone would choose the Series 8 because having more features is always preferable, even if you never intend to use them. However, the prices aren’t the same.

The Series 8 starts at $400, while the Apple Watch SE is $250. The SE appears to be a great value for anyone looking to purchase their first apple watch or upgrade from a series 3 or lower. Additionally, if you intend to use the cellular apple watch connectivity features, the SE is only a $50 upgrade to get a cellular model, making it a great choice for parents who want to give their child an Apple Watch.

These watches now cost $200 instead of the original $150 difference because the series 8 demands a pricey $100 upgrade for the cellular model. There are now more choices for Series 8. You can choose the red product option to get a second product color, and you can upgrade your apple watch’s design to a sleek stainless steel version starting at $700. This model also has a sapphire display that resists scratches.

You might want to purchase the stainless steel model if you can’t bear the thought of getting a scratch on your watch’s front display. However, you should be aware that the price of the Ultra App Watch and the 45-millimeter size of the series 8 watch are equal. Therefore, consider both of those options before choosing a premium model. However, this post concerns the series 8 and the stainless steel model.


Hey, looking at these two watches, I genuinely don’t think there’s a wrong decision. You know, there might not be a compelling reason to upgrade to the Series 8 if you already have a reasonably recent Apple Watch. Even though it’s only a minor upgrade, getting the SE is still a great option if you’re upgrading from an older watch or buying your first Apple Watch and want a feature that the SE lacks.

On the other hand, I can’t help but think that the SE, at $250, looks like a great value, especially if you intend to use the new low-power mode for 36 hours of battery life. Thankfully, this year, I can say there is no wrong choice; it all comes down to preference, budget, and deciding which features you want on your apple watch.