This is Apple’s lower-cost Apple Watch, which is now available for purchase.
What are your thoughts on the Apple Watch SE? Is it worth the price tag?
With a price of $279, the Apple Watch SE is one of Apple’s more affordable smartwatches, featuring a dual-core processor, a heart rate sensor, and an altimeter (which always shows altitude) as well as fall detection. Since the Apple Watch SE was introduced in September of 2020, this smartwatch has been over a year old. It is difficult to tell exactly how far through the product cycle an Apple Watch SE is since there has never been an Apple Watch SE before.
It may seem odd, but Apple’s decision to delay the release of its second-generation iPhone SE several years ago demonstrates its preference to update “SE” devices less frequently than flagship devices. This is to provide some context as to why the Apple Watch Series 7 was announced in September 2021, the year in which it will become the company’s flagship smartwatch. It has been reported that Apple is still working on a second-generation Apple Watch SE model.
It is believed that the new model will feature several upgrades and improvements. As for the planned release date, it is expected to arrive within the very near future. The information above suggests that there are still some good reasons for prospective customers to consider purchasing an Apple Watch SE at this time, although some may want to wait until a new version is released in the fall.
Apple Watch Series 7 begins at $399 and offers advanced health features including the ability to detect an ECG signal, as well as premium design features. Although the Apple Watch SE is an excellent all-around Apple Watch option for users looking for maximum flexibility and affordability, users that are interested in advanced health features may want to consider Apple Watch Series 7, starting at $399.
If price is your main concern and if you do not need advanced health functions offered by the Apple Watch SE, you can opt for an Apple Watch Series 3 instead, as it offers many of the Apple Watch’s core capabilities for $199, which will allow you to enjoy the many features of the Apple Watch. Several features of the Apple Watch Series 3 may not be available in the latest version of the device due to it being an older model of the device. Aside from the smaller display, the different chipset, and the absence of functions such as a compass or fall detection, and not even a compass, the lack of features would be noticeable.
How will the Apple Watch SE evolve in the future?
As part of the development process for the Apple Watch SE, Apple is expected to introduce a new version in 2022 along with the Apple Watch Series 8 and a new rugged version of the Apple Watch. No word has been announced yet on what features the new SE might have, but I would anticipate that it would have an upgraded processor and perhaps an always-on display, a feature that has been available since the Series 6 release of the main Apple Watch line.
Apple Watch SE series
In September 2020, Apple announced in addition to the Apple Watch Series 6, a new lower-cost Apple Watch SE option for those looking for a more affordable, fitness-focused Apple Watch option that is full of the essential functionality of the Apple Watch at a lower price point.
It would be no surprise if Apple were to release an Apple Watch SE with the same features as the Series 6, but it would be more accurate to say that the Apple Watch SE does not feature ECG or blood oxygen monitoring, since those two features require hardware components that Apple chose not to include in the Apple Watch SE to keep costs low.
It has some features that are a bit like those of the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 models, and it has a beautiful design that is something of a mix between those models. Currently, there are two sizes available for the Apple Watch SE. It comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes, with the same thin, smaller case introduced in Series 4.
As far as the Apple Watch SE is concerned, it is not available in stainless steel or titanium casings, and can only be purchased with an aluminum band (as of now). Aside from the available colors for the Apple Watch faces, there are also Nike models with Nike bands you can choose from such as silver, gold, and space grey, however, the colors Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED are only available with Apple Watches with Series 7 while Nike models with Nike bands are limited.
It is worth noting that the Apple Watch SE does not have an Always-On feature, as it is equipped with a Retina LTPO OLED display with 1000 nits of brightness, unlike the Apple Watch Series 7.
It features a five-inch Ion-X glass display, which sits on top of a black ceramic and sapphire crystal backing that is equipped with embedded sensors, as well as a Haptic Digital Crown for navigating the operating system. Aside from the fact that the device has the same speaker and microphone as the Series 6, it also has Siri on board to aid in making and taking phone calls, and it even has a walkie-talkie.
It is rated water-resistant up to 50 meters and does support Apple Pay with skin authentication, just as prior models have. While it may not possess passive features such as non-invasive blood oxygen monitoring or an ECG, an Apple Watch SE still comes with an optical heart rate sensor, gyroscope, and accelerometer so it can monitor steps taken, calories burned, stairs climbed, and check heart rate, plus it can track sleep, look out for falls with fall detection, make emergency calls with SOS, check orientation with the compass, and listen out for loud noise using the sound detection features.
In addition to the LTE + GPS model of the Apple Watch SE, Apple is also offering GPS-only versions of the Apple Watch SE, so there is a way for Apple Watch users to use their cellular plans. Due to its LTE capabilities, it can be used with the new Apple Watch feature called Family Setup. Family Setup is a feature that Apple introduced with the new Apple Watch models.
The Family Setup allows for multiple Apple Watches to be paired and managed by a single iPhone so that even a member of the family without an iPhone can benefit from using an Apple Watch. Children and elderly adults who need assistance should be able to make use of this feature, according to Apple.
The Apple Watch SE is not equipped with the S7 System-in-Package that powered the famous Series 7 of Apple Watches, but rather with the same S5 System-in-Package used in the Apple Watch Series 5. The chip in the flagship S7 is not as fast as the chip in the Series 3 which is the other low-cost model. It is, however, two times faster than the one in the S7. It is worth noting that both Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 7 offer the same 18-hour battery life, but the Apple Watch Series 7 charges much faster, taking just eight minutes to charge it to provide up to eight hours of sleep tracking time.
Apple Watch SE does support Bluetooth 5.0 and the W3 wireless chip is also present, however, it does not feature the U1 Ultra Wideband chip which is present on the Series 6 and the Series 7. This model of laptop supports only WiFi networks at 2.4GHz, whereas the Series 7 supports WiFi networks at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
Apple Watch SE features a 40mm model which starts at $279 and a 44mm model which starts at $309.
How to Buy
The Apple Watch SE is now available for purchase in Apple’s online Apple Store, as well as in select Apple retail stores. It is also possible to purchase the watch from third-party sellers, sometimes at discounted prices. Furthermore, Apple offers both refurbished and brand-new watches at the same discounted prices. Pricing for the first model starts at $279, and aluminum models are the only models available at this price point.
Aspects the issue
There has been an issue with some Apple Watch Series 5 and SE models that have caused them to not charge after entering Power Reserve mode. As a result of watchOS 7.3.1, this issue has been resolved; however, owners who have already encountered this problem will need to contact Apple for a free Apple Watch repair.
According to initial reports, Apple Watch SE has received positive feedback regarding its competitive price and features similar to the higher-end Apple Watch Series 6 device as its first impression. The reviews of the Apple Watch SE conclude that it is a good value for the money if you do not require both the ECG and the blood oxygen monitoring. The Apple Watch SE retails for $299.99 at Amazon.com.
In general, health-conscious individuals who do not have heart conditions and are not at an age where they might be at risk for conditions like atrial fibrillation may not require the type of advanced health monitoring that is offered.
There is a bit more speed to the S7 chip in the Series 7, but it is still described as being more than adequate, along with having a better battery life and faster performance than the S5 chip within the Series 7. Summary: The Apple Watch SE was described as a “remarkably similar product” to the current generation Apple Watch Series 6, making it a good choice for those who are looking for a good deal on a smartwatch. See our review roundup if you are interested in learning more information about our reviews.
Design and Display
Despite similar design features to the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch Series SE features slim bezel displays in 40mm and 44mm sizes to accommodate a range of wrist sizes.
This latest wearable device from Apple measures 10.7mm thick and retains the same square-shaped design that has been adopted by the company since the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015. In terms of design, Apple Watch SE has not changed in any way and it’s compatible with all previous-generation Apple Watch bands.
With iPhone models with a 40mm thickness, it measures 40mm high and 34mm wide, while with iPhone models with a 44mm thickness, it measures 44mm high and 38mm wide. A 40mm model and a 44mm model are available. Approximately 30.5 grams are weighed by the 40mm model and 36.5 grams by the 44mm model.
The product is suitable for active users since it uses lightweight, 7000-series aluminum manufactured from 100 percent recycled materials, which is inexpensive, durable, and designed to be lightweight. The Apple Watch SE comes in three different aluminum colors: silver, space grey, and gold.
On the Apple Watch SE’s back, there is a black ceramic and crystal heart rate sensor that enables the watch to detect your heart rate and enable the heart rate detection features.
There is a Digital Crown on the side of the Apple Watch that provides navigation capabilities, and a Side Button available for accessing frequently used apps, emergency services, and confirming Apple Pay purchases
With the Digital Crown, you’ll be able to scroll through lists, control the various features of the Apple Watch, and even experience haptic feedback when scrolling through lists. Your Apple Watch model will have a different look for the Digital Crown. The Digital Crown of LTE support models will be surrounded by a red ring so that you can easily identify which models support LTE. Models that support GPS will not have this red ring.
There are many similarities between the Apple Watch Series 6 and its SE counterpart, except for Always-on functionality. It has a brightness of 1000 nits and protects itself from scratches with Ion-X glass.
There is a substantial difference between the 40mm Apple Watch Series 6’s resolution of 324 x 394 pixels, compared to the 44mm Apple Watch Series 6. As a consequence, the 40mm Apple Watch possesses a 759 mm2 display area, and the 44mm Apple Watch possesses a 977 mm2 display area.
Some water-resistant seals and adhesives are used in Apple Watch SE models that can withstand immersion in water up to 50 meters deep. The only point of entry is the speaker, which requires air to create sound. It is designed to expel moisture by using sound vibrations after being exposed to moisture.
Considering that the Apple Watch is rated for 50 meters of immersion, it is suitable for swimming in a pool or the ocean. However, the device can only be utilized for shallow-water activities, and it cannot be used for scuba diving, water skiing, showering, or activities involving high-velocity water or deep submersion.
It is recommended that you exercise caution when exposing your Apple Watch to water, as Apple’s warranty does not cover damage caused by water.
As with the Apple Watch Series 5, the Apple Watch SE has a dual-core S5 System-in-Package (SiP) chip. This chip is the same one used in the Apple Watch Series 5. According to Apple Watch S5 reviews as of May 2016, the Apple Watch S5 is two times more powerful than the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple’s other low-cost Apple Watch option.
Apple Watch SE offers many of the same health features as Apple Watch Series 7, however, it does not support blood oxygen sensors or ECG readings.
An optical heart rate sensor of the second generation is a device that can track metrics such as calories burned, activity level, heart rate, and many others.
The Apple Watch can detect a low heart rate, a high heart rate, and an abnormal heart rate, monitoring for health problems such as atrial fibrillation and sending notifications when these are detected.
Integrated accelerometers and gyroscopes provide other valuable health-related features, such as fall detection, and LTE models offer international SOS capabilities, enabling you to call emergency services wherever you are.
As part of watchOS 7, the Apple Watch SE can be worn during the night for tracking your sleep, with Apple providing information about your sleeping habits. The Sleep Tracking feature also provides several tools that can assist in getting a better night’s sleep. Further information can be found in our Sleep Tracking guide.
Apple Watches with older software versions are also capable of tracking sleep, but the SE provides greater battery life and faster charging, so it can be recharged more quickly in the morning after a night’s sleep.
Up to 18 hours of battery life are available with the Apple Watch SE. Specifically, Apple bases “all-day” battery life on 90-time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of application usage, and 60 minutes of Bluetooth music playback during a workout. Apple assumes that LTE models will be connected for four hours and an iPhone will be connected for fourteen hours.
Using the Apple Watch as a phone, or while exercising, is one of the circumstances in which the battery drains faster than in other instances. The following are Apple’s battery life estimates for each activity:
A time period of up to ten hours can be devoted to playback of audio from storage
via LTE streaming Up to seven hours of streaming
from the family set-up Battery Life of the device Up to 14 hours
and 15 minutes of talk time when using LTE
While exercising Indoors Up to 10 hours of talk time
while exercising outdoors (GPS) Up to 6 hours of talk time
while exercising outdoors (GPS + LTE) Up to 5 hours of talk time
In Apple’s estimation, it takes For an Apple Watch to be charged from 0 percent to 80 cents, will require 1.5 hours, and for the Apple Watch to be charged from 0 percent to 100% it will require 2.5 hours
Rather than including a USB-A cable with the Apple Watch SE, Apple began including a USB-C charging cable in September 2021.
As with the Apple Watch Series 7, the Apple Watch SE models are powered using the same W3 chip designed by Apple. In terms of the configuration of Apple Watch SEs, there are two types: GPS and GPS with cellular connectivity. There is an LTE connection available for the GPS + Cellular SE models, but not for the GPS-only models.
Apple Watch Series 3 is the first Apple Watch to be equipped with an LTE connection, so it is untethered from the iPhone and does not require an iPhone or WiFi network to connect to the internet.
The Apple Watch is not completely independent from the iPhone, however, to access LTE, both an Apple Watch and an iPhone 6s or later must be on the same carrier’s cellular plan. It is also not possible to use the Apple Watch without an iPhone nearby as it does not possess the necessary battery capacity.
It is possible to purchase Apple Watch LTE models in several countries around the world, with a full list available on Apple’s website.
Through the use of LTE, the Series 5 was able to launch an international emergency SOS feature. As part of Emergency SOS, the Apple Watch can make international calls to emergency services no matter where the device originated from or whether it is registered to a cellular plan.
This means that should you be injured while traveling abroad or in a situation where you need assistance, you can activate the SOS function on your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the Side button until the emergency services in that country are automatically contacted.
As part of the Apple Watch’s fall detection feature, international emergency calling is automatically initiated if the watch senses that you have taken a hard fall and remain motionless afterward.
WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS
Additionally to 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Apple Watch SE also supports Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth 5.0 features a larger range, faster speed, and better integration with other wireless technologies. If that weren’t enough, it also offers a better range, faster speed, and more compatibility with Apple Watch SE.
The Apple Watch uses a GPS chip since the Series 2 model and all Series 5 models, both LTE and non-LTE, feature a GPS chip that determines the Apple Watch’s location without having to be near an iPhone.
While walking, running, hiking, or biking, the Apple Watch uses GPS technology to calculate your speed, distance, and route, allowing you to gain more information about your fitness. In multiple countries, positioning technology is supported by GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS.
Unlocking Face ID iPhones With Apple Watch
Apple introduced a new “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature with iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 that enables the use of an authenticated and unlocked Apple Watch as a secondary authentication measure when a mask is worn, and this feature is integrated with the new iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 operating system versions.
Since Face ID will not function when someone is wearing a mask, Apple Watch authentication allows iPhone users to avoid constantly entering a passcode when wearing a mask. You can enable this feature in the Settings app under Face ID and Passcode, similar to how you can unlock your Apple Watch on a Mac.
When a mask is worn, an unlocked Apple Watch paired with a Face ID can unlock the iPhone, but this is only functional when the mask is worn. Apps that require a Face ID scan cannot be unlocked with the Apple Watch as it cannot authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases. If this occurs, either the mask needs to be removed or the passcode/password needs to be entered.
Upon unlocking your iPhone with your Apple Watch, you will feel a haptic tap on your wrist, and you will receive a notification on your watch, just as you do when using the watch to unlock your Mac. With both iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4, unlocking the device with the Apple Watch has become possible.
With the Apple Watch SE, you can track flights of stairs climbed, elevation gains when climbing, and more with a heart rate sensor, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a light sensor, and a barometric altimeter. In certain weather conditions, the altimeter may not be accurate.
With the Apple Watch SE, users can view their heading, slope, latitude, longitude, and elevation by utilizing the Compass app.
Compass capabilities have been integrated into the Maps app so that users can see which way they are facing when asking for directions, and there are three new Compass complications available for Apple Watch faces.
Regardless of the model, GPS or LTE, all Apple Watch SE models offer 32GB of memory for music and apps, an increase of 16GB over previous models.
Apple Watch Series 7 comes pre-installed with watchOS 8, which is the latest version of the Apple Watch operating system. There are many new features in the watchOS 8 update that help users stay healthy, active, and connected to friends and family. Many of those new features are extensions of those added in the iOS 15 update.
The Wallet application has been improved significantly, including Ultra-Wideband support for digital car keys, as well as new digital keys to unlock doors at home, the office, and hotels. Several new features of the Apple Watch can be used in conjunction with the tap to unlock feature. A limited number of states will allow users to add their licenses or state IDs to Wallet, and a portion of TSA checkpoints will accept digital identification.
We have redesigned the Home app to make it easier to gain access to HomeKit accessories and scenes, and to provide status updates for thermostats, bulbs, and other accessories. Devices enabled by HomeKit can be controlled by room, and those who own cameras enabled by HomeKit can now see who is at the door on their wrist. Users of Intercom have access to a quick tap feature that keeps them in contact with everyone in the house.
Tai Chi and Pilates are new workout types that Apple Watch users can choose from when choosing a Workout on the device. Picture in Picture support, filter options, and the option to resume or stop a workout in progress are available for Apple Fitness+ users.
We have renamed the Breathe app Mindfulness, and it has been enhanced with a new Breathe experience as well as a Reflect session for mindful intention. The Reflect feature provides users with a thoughtful notion to consider, which promotes a positive frame of mind. New animations as well as meditation tips are available in Breathe and Reflect.
In addition to measuring time asleep, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation while sleeping, the Apple Watch now measures respiratory rate (number of breaths per minute). The Health app provides access to respiratory data, which can be used to evaluate overall wellness.
Portrait Watch Face, which overlays the time with your favorite people’s faces, pulls photos from the iPhone, and uses depth data, a redesigned Photos app, with new ways to view and navigate collections. Your Featured Photos and Memories can be synced to your Apple Watch and shared directly from your wrist.
You can now find your lost devices with Apple’s dedicated Find Items app, and the Music app has been redesigned to allow users to share songs, albums, and playlists. This atmosphere app for the Apple Watch supports severe weather notifications, next-hour precipitation alerts, and updates on complications of severe weather.
There is a new option in Messages that allows you to combine Scribble, dictation, and emojis inside a single message, and you will also be able to edit dictated texts. With watchOS 8, Apple Watch can send GIF images through Messages, and there is now a Contacts app that makes it easier to get in touch with people when an iPhone isn’t available.
As part of iOS 15, the new Focus feature also syncs with the Apple Watch to lessen distractions and allow you to be in the moment to concentrate on your task at hand. As well as suggesting Focus modes, Apple also suggests fitness-specific Focus settings. So, if you are exercising, you will be prompted to choose the Focus fitness settings.
There is also support for multiple timers at once in watchOS 8 as well as an increased number of apps that can make use of the Always-On screen, including maps, mindfulness, now playing, phone, podcasts, stopwatches, timers, and voice memos, in addition to the fact that third parties can develop apps that utilize the Always-On display.
AssistiveTouch on the Apple Watch, which is part of Apple’s WatchOS, incorporates sensors into the device to detect hand gestures to control it.
It is worth noting that watchOS 8 includes a large number of new features. For more details about watchOS 8, make sure you check out our complete watchOS 8 roundups.
Apple Watch Series 7
Apple will sell both the Apple Watch SE and the high-end Apple Watch Series 7 alongside the more expensive models. In addition to the increased price and the lack of certain features in the Apple Watch SE, the Apple Watch Series 7 has health features that are missing in the Apple Watch SE.
Apple Watch Series 7 is equipped to take ECG readings using the Digital Crown and the sensors at the bottom of the watch and it can also measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. The features offered by both of these devices can be useful in medical emergencies, as they can detect heart issues such as atrial fibrillation and other potential problems requiring immediate medical attention.
In addition to the Always-On display, larger casings and display sizes, stainless steel casing options and titanium casing options, a range of different color options, a faster S7 System-in-Package, faster charging, improved durability, and standards for 5GHz WiFi are also higher than those in the SE.
Below you’ll find some comparisons between the different Apple Watch models that may be helpful to you if you’re considering a purchase and need some guidance deciding between the Apple Watch SE, the Apple Watch Series 7, and the Apple Watch Series 3.