Foolishly, I bought the 44mm Apple Watch Series 6 at full price—$529—back in September. For a limited time, however, you can snatch one up yourself in the smaller, 40mm form factor for just $350 in your choice of (PRODUCT)RED, Gold, or Space Gray. Meanwhile, the 44mm version I have is down to $380 in (PRODUCT)RED, Space Gray, and Silver. Keep in mind, these are all GPS-only models, so anyone hoping to stream music or receive text messages on the go without your phone nearby is out of luck. Another caveat is that only certain colors will arrive before Christmas, which could be a dealbreaker for some last-minute holiday shoppers. Still, it’s the biggest discount we’ve seen on the Apple Watch Series 6 since Black Friday.
So far, the Series 6 has been kind to me, what with its faster S6 dual-core processor, advanced fitness tracking capabilities, and most importantly to me, the ability to stream music without my phone in reach. That said, I almost regret buying the Series 6 knowing what I know now about the SE. The exclusive features aren’t for everyone, including myself. If you don’t need an ECG sensor or blood oxygen monitoring, the more affordable Apple Watch SE is the Apple Watch to buy this year. Though it does use the 1-year-older Series 5 chip, it’s still twice as fast as a Series 3 and honestly doesn’t cost much more at the current $250 to $300 sale price depending on the configuration.
But don’t take it from me. My wife, the wearables expert in our household had this to say in her review for Gizmodo:
Unless your top priority is future-proofed advanced health-monitoring, or you just really love an always-on display, you should get a Watch SE. I promise you won’t feel like you’ve been cheated. If you’re not sure if you like smartwatches enough to plop down $400, then absolutely the Watch SE is the way to go. Don’t even look at the $200 Series 3. Don’t even think about it for your children, as it doesn’t even support the Family Setup feature that the cheapest watch seems perfect for. While the Series 3 was a great smartwatch, its time has passed. We thank it for its service and wish it a happy afterlife.
This story was originally published by Gabe Carey on 11/16/2020 and updated with new information on 12/17/2020.