The Apple Series 3 and Apple Series 6 look very similar at first glance, but upon closer inspection, we will find that there are very distinct differences between them.
Here we have compared the Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch Series 6.
We are going to see the differences and similarities, whether you’re to take the smartwatch plunge or upgrade.
Table of Contents
Design and Display
- Apple Watch Series 3: 11.4mm thick, OLED Retina display, and 5ATM waterproof
- Apple Watch Series 6: 10.7mm thick, OLED Always-On Retina display with Force Touch and 5ATM waterproof.
The Apple Watch Series 3 attributes a solid rectangular body with the Digital Crown and speaker on the right, along with a separate button and microphone on the left.
The Series 3 features lon-X glass on top of the display and it is swim-proof up to 50 meters. The Cellular and GPS model is differentiated with a red accent on the Digital Crown.
The OLED Retina display sits on top, two times brighter than the Series 1 at 1000nits. On the Apple Watch Series, the heart rate monitor is positioned on the underside of the watch, along with the release buttons for switching out the straps.
On the other hand, in Apple Watch Series 6, the dIgital Crown has an electrical heart rate sensor that is built into it. This is in addition to the optical heart rate sensor on the underside of the watch.
Also, case sizing is something that differentiates the Apple Watch Series 3 from the Apple Watch Series 6.
The Apple Watch Series 3 offers 38mm and 42mm case options while the Apple Watch Series 6 offer larger 40mm and 44mm cases.
Those bigger bring larger, higher-resolution displays that include watch faces or more data on apps. The larger display ratio that was added to the Series 6 makes it look quite different from the Series 3 despite a similar design overall.
The Always-On Retina display function that is added to Apple Watch Series 6 means that the user doesn’t have to raise his or her wrist to wake the display up, with the screen always visible.
A tap or raise of the wrist will brighten up the Apple Watch Series 6 display instead.
- Apple Watch Series 3: Aluminium only options, two colours.
- Apple Watch Series 6: Aluminium (five colours), Titanium options, Herm’s models, Stainless steel options (three colours).
When the original Apple Watch was launched, the case was available in stainless steel, aluminum, and special materials like solid gold. All these came in two size options of 38mm and 42mm.
The Apple Watch Series 3 then introduced a ceramic model but was discontinued when the Apple Watch Series 4 arrived. The Apple Watch Series 3 is now only available with an aluminum case, either space grey or silver.
It comes in 42mm and 38mm size options, but it is only available in a GPS-only model, with no Cellular and GPS option available. It doesn’t have the Nike Model also.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has a lot more finish options available than the Apple Watch Series 3. For Series 3, there are five aluminum colours; space grey, gold, silver, blue, and red.
Then it has three stainless steel models; gold (PVD), silver, and graphite (DLC). Lastly, there are two titanium models; space black and natural titanium.
Also, the Apple Watch Series 6 comes in Nike models (all of which are aluminum and come with Nike straps) and Herm’s models (all of which are stainless steel and come with special Herm’s straps.
The Herm’s models are all Cellular and GPS as standard. While all the standard Apple Watch Series 6 models and some of the Herm’s models only come in either 44mm or 40mm. The Nike models come in both case sizes.
- Apple Watch Series 3: From $199
- Apple Watch Series 6: From $399
Series 3 is the cheapest way to get your hands on Apple’s smartwatch through Apple itself. Last year, Apple discounted the Apple Watch Series 3 to an obtainable $199 entry price for the 38mm model.
We can often find it for a lesser price thanks to the best Apple Watch deals, too. Nevertheless, Apple killed off the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE.
On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 6 with GPS only starts at $399 for both the Nike model and the Standard model.
The Apple Watch Series 6 with Cellular and GPS starts at $429 for the larger 44mm model and $399 for the 40mm model.
Also, this increases to $699/$649 if you want a stainless steel model. The Herm’s models start at $1249/$1199.
The Apple Watch Edition models (titanium options) start at $799/$799.
Apple has retained the Apple Watch’s 18-hour battery life for more than three (3) years now. Despite the Apple Watch Series 6 having the S6 chip built on the iPhone 11’s A13, It has the same battery life as the Apple Watch Series 3.
- Apple Watch Series 3: S3 processor, Bluetooth 4.2, W2 wireless chip, altimeter, gyroscope, accelerometer, built-in GPS, Ambient light sensor, 802.11b/g/n 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi, optical heart sensor, 18-hour battery life.
- Apple Watch Series 6: S6 processor, Bluetooth 5.0, W3 wireless chip, U1 chip, electrical heart sensor, fall detection, blood oxygen sensor, compass, always-on altimeter, 802.11b/g/n 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi, Ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, built-in GPS, optical heart sensor, 18-hour battery life.
The Apple Watch Series 3 has the Apple S3 processor, coupled with a wireless chip called the W2. The S3 has a dual-core processor.
The GPS only model comes with 8GB of memory. On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 6 has an upgraded processor called the S6 coupled with the latest wireless chip known as the W3.
Both GPS only and, GPS and Cellular models of the Apple Series Watch 6 have 32GB of memory. The GPS and Cellular model of the Series 6 have LTE connectivity, which means you can make, receive calls and text messages.
In addition, you can perform all the tasks you want to on your Apple Watch Series 3 without your iPhone in range. It also works for Family Setup.
Both Series 3 and Series 6 that are being compared here have an optical heart rate sensor, built-in GPS, speaker, water resistance up to 50 meters, emergency SOS, microphone. Including a gyroscope and an ambient light sensor. They both offer Apple Pay.
The Apple Watch Series 3 has a standard altimeter, second-generation optical heart rate sensor, a built-in compass, fall detection, and international emergency calling.
Also, the S3 has an improved accelerometer that offers up to 32 g-forces. On the other hand, the S6 has all the functions of the S3, including an electrical heart rate sensor for ECG and a blood oxygen sensor.
The Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 3 both run the WatchOS 7.
The Apple Watch Series 3 and Apple Watch Series 6 have a price difference of $200, so there’s not much to consider if we are deciding which one to buy new.
If you are going for a capable smartwatch for health tracking and fitness, but not much more, the Series 3 could well be enough. Also, Apple Series 3 is very affordable.
The Apple Watch Series 6 brings better performance, brighter display, and blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring to users’ wrists, making it a clear contender for the best smartwatch title.
The Apple Watch 3, on the other hand, has slipped behind the competition in terms of health capabilities and features.