If you recognize you would like an Apple Watch, the Watch SE is that the one to travel for: it’s got all the useful features of the Watch 6, but it’s less expensive, and thus one among the simplest smartwatches around. The always-on display is sorely missing, but the fitness tracking – including motivating nudges to stay you active – is nearly as good as ever, and can improve when Fitness Plus lands. However, the Watch SE comes with an equivalent issue because the remainder of the Apple Watch line: some features and apps are too lightweight, and therefore the battery life is simply too short to urge the simplest out of the watch.
Before you grind to a halt into this review, believe one thing: what does one want from a smartwatch? Because if it’s just ‘an Apple Watch’, then the Apple Watch SE is an under-rated hit within the making, the better-value smartwatch to urge.
However, it doesn’t manage to deal with the issues that remain in Apple’s smartwatch line, despite some notable advantages, and a starting price of just $279 / £269 / AU$429.
The design of the Apple Watch SE is as familiar as you’ll get – an equivalent curved edge, rounded aluminum chassis, and Digital Crown on the side. If you’ve had an Apple Watch before, or simply admired the devices and aspired to own one, there’s nothing new here.
Along with the Apple Watch 6, it’s also a ‘larger’ Apple Watch, coming with a wider display and offered in 40mm and 44mm sizes, compared to the still-on-sale-from-2017 Apple Watch 3, which is 38mm and 42mm and packs a smaller screen.
Apple Watch SE Release Date And Price
The price of the Apple Watch SE will depend upon whether you decide on the GPS-only version or the cellular edition, and whether you favor the straightforward Solo Loop / Sport band or the more elegant Braided Solo Loop.
We were sent samples of the Solo Loop, but unfortunately, they were a touch overlarge for our wrists. However, there was something far more pleasing about just slipping them on, instead of having to twiddle a buckle instead.
The Apple Watch SE is out there now from the Apple Store or online, having gone on sale September 18, 2020, in key territories worldwide.
The design of the Apple Watch SE isn’t getting to surprise anyone – the cheaper Watch is no different from the other Apple Watch that’s been launched since the Apple Watch 4 in 2018.
The same curved outline, which folds elegantly into the OLED display (more thereon during a moment) is present and proper, packing the Digital Crown that rolls pleasantly under the finger when you’re using it to scroll through an inventory on the Watch face.
Below that resides the facility/multitasking button, which you’ll use to flip through recently-opened apps to urge back to the one you were just using.
Despite this being a less expensive Apple Watch, there is no hint of curtailing within the design process.
The Apple Watch SE display uses an equivalent OLED display technology you’ll see on the Watch range stretching right back to the primary model. As we mentioned above, it’s larger than the Apple Watch 3, because of coming in 40mm and 44mm sizes, and that’s a very key reason why you’d back the Watch SE over the Watch 3.
For those that loved the thought of the always-on display of the Watch 5 or Watch 6, that’s the large thing that’s missing on the Watch SE. What’s interesting is that the SE uses an equivalent coldness polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) technology as those Apple Watches with the always-on display, but disappointingly, it doesn’t appear to be Apple will enable this technology within the future.
The fitness capabilities of the Apple Watch SE are likely the key reason you will be buying this device. Apple has been hard at work turning its wearables into serious fitness and wellness devices since the primary Watch was first unveiled in 2015, and it’s doing a far better job with each iteration.
Given that the Watch SE is broadly like last year’s Apple Watch 5, aside from missing out on the always-on display, you recognize you’re getting a robust health and fitness device for less money than 2019’s model cost.
The key features here are GPS and Glonass (another satellite the Watch SE can track to assist improve location accuracy), 5 ATM water resistance, which suggests you’ll go swimming with this device right down to 50 meters, and now on-board sleep tracking.
The Apple Watch SE battery life is straightforward to review: it’s longer than you’d expect if you listened to Apple. The brand says you’ll get around 18 hours or ‘all-day’ battery life, but the truth is that you’ll get far more than that.
Thanks to the Watch SE display being turned off most of the time, we enjoyed 24-36 hours of use from a full charge during our testing – which was with running nearly a day, so firing up the GPS for love or money from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
The Watch SE features a lower cost, but you continue to get tons of the high-end features of the Watch 6 – it largely depends on what proportion you would like an always-on display.