Apple Watch Series 6 or SE?

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Hardware & Accessories

I'm planning on buying my first iPhone and Apple Watch as soon as the iPhone 12 drops. So far, the Series 6 hasn't given me any reason to buy it over the SE. For those who formerly owned a series 4 or 5 and upgraded to the Series 6, were there any noticeable improvements in the performance of Voiceover? Were there any substantial gains in battery life? Does the faster charging make any difference in the way you use your Apple Watch?

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Submitted by Michael Hansen on Saturday, October 3, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I have a Series 6 and previously owned a Series 4. VoiceOver is definitely more responsive on the Series 6--I would say about 20-30% more responsive, though this is of course subjective. Dictation is definitely more responsive on the Series 6 than on the Series 4. If you have the means, I would recommend the Series 6, though if the Series 4's performance is any indicator, the SE would be a very good investment if that's what's in the budget.

Better Voiceover performance is the kind of feature that would make me pony up the extra cash for sure. Any word on the battery life?

Submitted by Adi on Saturday, October 3, 2020

In reply to by Pepper Fox

HI,
I was in a similar dilemma. I went for Apple watch SE. In fact just ordered it few minutes back.Felt it is more than sufficient for my needs.Any idea if using tempered screen protecter for apple watch is a good idea and if we as blind can affix the same on our own.Also I believe applevis has some information as to how to get started using apple watch with voice over. However, is there any specific article or podcast we need to refer to get started.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Saturday, October 3, 2020

The only difference between 6 and 5 is the oxygen and speed. Have 5, no issues. The battery last long. I you have see if you can get series 5 from amazon before they are history. iPhone, the 12 pro looks nice but we will know more when they talk about it. I think the best iPhone compare to all that Apple did is 11 pro max. I have it and battery last 2 days before I havto charge it.

Submitted by Travis Roth on Saturday, October 3, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

In reply to by Pepper Fox

I upgraded from Series 3 to 6. Battery life is about the same. In fact possibly slightly less because of the always on screen. It is possible to turn this off; I have not tested how this effects battery performance yet though.
While not the general question here, the advice I would offer is while the Series 3 is still for sale, I'd not buy it. Series SE, Series 5 at a discount if you can still find it, or Series 6 are all nice options. Interestingly, if you want/need to go the cellular route, the Series SE has the cheapest cellular upgrade pricing. I don't use a cellular version.

Submitted by Pepper Fox on Saturday, October 3, 2020

In reply to by Holger Fiallo

Haha, don't tempt me. The rumored iphone battery capacities are already giving me anxiety. I'll have to keep that about the s5 in mind. I already can only find 3rd-party refurvished on amazon by now, which doesn't inspire confidence. It's got the same chip as the SE, so performance should be the same.

Submitted by Pepper Fox on Saturday, October 3, 2020

In reply to by Travis Roth

That's a shame. I guess it's really really hard to keep cramming more tech into such a small package. The only question I've got is, do you think the speed boost is worth an extra hundred bucks for Voiceover users?

Hi again,
I never used Series 5 so can't say for sure. Quite a bit of speed difference between Series 3 and 6 though.
My somewhat educated guess is Series SE chip will be fine for WatchOS 7 and 8. But will seem a little slower in 8, and when get to WatchOS 9 it'll maybe start to be annoying. I opt for the fastest chip because I find I want to help VoiceOver as much as possible. On the other hand, if you save $100 you could in theory upgrade a year sooner than if you get Series 6. Perhaps I really should have went that way, but didn't. I do plan to use Series 6 for at least three years, assuming it stays in one piece.