The Apple Watch SE affords all the corporate’s core smartwatch options for much less cash, with few compromises.
It is the primary deviation from the usual path of Apple smartwatches we’ve seen because the launch in 2014.
It falls outdoors the straightforward Collection 1-6 generations we’ve seen up to now, and with the Apple Watch Series 3 staying on sale, there are formally now three Apple Watch fashions to decide on between.
However don’t name it the ‘low-cost Apple Watch,’ because it was broadly touted earlier than launch.
Whereas the Apple Watch SE does undercut the fully-fledged Collection 6, it’s nonetheless a reasonably expensive$279.99for the smaller 40mm mannequin.
However maybe the higher method to consider it’s the mass-appeal Apple Watch. The best hits album, that everybody can take pleasure in. A real contender for the best smartwatch money can buy, when it comes to worth and expertise.
Whereas ECG and SpO2 have been thrilling additions when it comes to development, we really feel many individuals will fortunately forgo them to avoid wasting 1/three of the value tag. And the Apple Watch SE affords them that likelihood.
However is it best for you? Learn on for our full assessment.
Apple Watch SE worth, rivals and context
Let’s put the Apple Watch SE in context. It’s cheaper that the Galaxy Watch 3 which challenges the Apple Watch Series 6 with ECG and blood strain monitoring, nevertheless it’s nonetheless greater than nearly each Amazfit, the Huawei Watch GT2e and Fitbit Versa 3.
However it fills the yawning hole between the $199.99 Collection three and $399 Collection 6.
And at $80 greater than Collection three, for us it’s a no brainer given the design enhancements and important improve in options.
This shouldn’t take lengthy, because the Apple Watch SE is bodily an identical to the Collection 6 and Collection 5.
We’re followers of the Apple Watch design, and it is a assertion that you simply purchase into, simply as you do for Rolex or Tag Heuer. We completely perceive those who want spherical watches. However it’s private style.
Whereas the Collection three makes use of the older, boxier form with the smaller show, the Apple Watch SE comes with the form launched with the Collection four. It’s a better-looking gadget in just about each respect, and we’d advocate paying the additional for the Watch SE over the Collection three simply on seems to be alone.
The bigger display permits extra problems on watch faces and extra data on display – and it is available in each 40mm and 44mm fashions.
You do get far much less selection of finishes with the Apple Watch SE. You may solely get aluminum in a selection of gold, area gray and silver. The brand new colours are reserved for Collection 6, and also you gained’t get stainless-steel.
The Watch SE makes use of the S5 processor, which was engineered for Collection 5, so the entire thing is fast and snappy. It’s 2x sooner than Collection three, though we’d say you’d solely discover this when utilizing extra cumbersome apps.
There’s no always-on show right here, solely the Collection 6 will get that. We turned used to the always-on show with Collection 5, and it does really feel as backwards step. Having a darkish display in your wrist feels somewhat old style, even when the Apple wrist elevate is sort of seamless. That is most likely the compromise folks will really feel most keenly.
Once more, you get extra storage on the Apple Watch SE than Collection three, with 32GB obtainable for music and media, up from 16GB.
The variety of watch faces has once more elevated in watchOS 7, and there’s extra selection than ever earlier than. Apple nonetheless takes a less-is-more strategy, however helps you to customise most faces with first and third get together problems. These are small items of data or fast hyperlinks to apps, proper from the watch face, akin to seeing your health aim progress or battery information.
Well being and health options
The place the Apple Watch SE differs from the Collection 6 (and Collection 5) is what you don’t get.
There’s no ECG or SpO2 sensor, so should you’re trying to max out on well being knowledge then the Watch SE comes up quick.
However it’s nonetheless a superb health watch.
For starters there are the three exercise rings – energy, train minutes and standing time – that are a strong health motivator. And if that wasn’t sufficient, you are able to do battle with mates in weekly challenges.
There’s GPS in-built, which locks on mechanically whenever you begin an exercise – one of many Apple Watch’s least
and the Exercise app retains rising in each replace of watchOS. It tracks most operating and biking disciplines, swimming, and now tennis, yoga, purposeful energy coaching and extra.
It’s grow to be a strong app in its personal proper, and can now push knowledge out to Strava if you’d like. Nevertheless, for operating we’re nonetheless followers of the Strava devoted app from the Apple Watch App Retailer.
There’s nonetheless a coronary heart charge monitor, in fact, and that gives loads of well being knowledge. It analyses your exercises, in addition to maintaining tabs 24/7. It populates resting coronary heart charge knowledge on watch and within the Apple Heath app, which is a crucial statistic to watch.
You additionally get excessive/low coronary heart charge alerts, which have confirmed to be a life saver.
And the Apple Watch SE additionally brings another attainable lifesaving options.
Fall Detection comes from Collection 5, due to the superior accelerometer that was launched. In case you take a fall and don’t get again up, the Apple Watch will name emergency providers for you.
And there’s additionally the Noise Notifications, that can warn you in case your atmosphere may injury your listening to.
And though it isn’t a life-saver, the always-on altimeter makes it from the Collection 6, so you’ll be able to see reside ascend/descent when out operating or mountain climbing.
The Apple Watch is a wonderful all-rounder for well being and health. In case you’re a marathon runner, or actually pushing your physique in coaching then quick battery life and an absence of top-tier sports activities science metrics would imply you are higher served by Garmin or Polar. However for most individuals, the Apple Watch SE affords a motivating and dependable expertise that comes really helpful.
Sleep monitoring was launched by way of watchOS 7 for the primary time, so naturally that makes an look right here.
It’s no-where close to as detailed or knowledge heavy as you’ll discover on Fitbit or different rivals. However there is sufficient to enhance your sleep.
Apple’s sleep monitoring will supply a abstract of how lengthy you slept, displaying darkish and light-weight durations for any time you awakened within the night time.
Nevertheless, there is a larger deal with consistency, time in mattress and time asleep.
Consistency is essential for for enhancing sleep, and the Bedtime function on iPhone goes hand-in-hand with the Apple Watch’s monitoring. That places your iPhone and Apple Watch right into a don’t disturb state earlier than mattress, reminding you it’s time to hit the hay.
And within the Apple Well being evaluation, it exhibits your most popular bedtime as a baseline towards the time you really fell asleep.
You too can set a wake-up alarm, which makes use of the haptics on the watch to softly rouse you.
It’s not a wise wake function such as you’ll discover on Fitbit and Withings, which use your sleep cycle to softly rouse you. However the advantage of these options is debatable, whereas the Apple Watch once more strips issues again to be easy and important.
It does sufficient to be helpful, however should you’re used to the extent of knowledge on sleep cycles, levels and scores elsewhere, it does really feel light-weight.
In fact, the Apple Watch once more manages to swerve these sorts of criticisms as a result of its App Store is loaded with sleep trackers that present all that stage of element, do you have to need it.
It’s simple get carried away with the Apple Watch’s health, sports activities and well being options – and overlook it’s a fantastic wrist companion.
And it’s the flexibility that makes it one of the best smartwatch on the market.
Personally, I’m not huge on getting plenty of wrist notifications so it’s simple to get these right down to the core necessities.
Likewise, I hold the variety of apps down too. However the Apple Watch App Store selection is unrivalled. Basically, the Apple Watch may be as lively or passive in your wrist as you want it to be, and that’s certainly one of its best strengths.
In fact, you get Apple Pay on the wrist. And there are LTE choices of the Apple Watch SE, if you’d like a knowledge connection for the streaming of music and podcasts, receiving calls away out of your iPhone and all that jazz.
There’s no actual change when it comes to battery life on the Apple Watch SE, and regardless of the shortage of always-on show, you’ll nonetheless get round 18 hours, based on Apple.
This has at all times been the most important grievance in regards to the Apple Watch, and for those who want extra, you now have the likes of Fitbit, Garmin and Huawei providing that.
Nevertheless, in our testing we acquired greater than 18 hours. We’d comfortably get greater than 24 hours, settling right into a rhythm of 36 hour cycles. And that included round 30 – 60 minutes of GPS tracked train.
We’ve by no means had an enormous drawback with Apple’s single day battery life, due to simple nightly charging – however sleep monitoring creates an issue.
That’s as a result of there’s not a pure level within the day to cost.
You now want to make sure you’re grabbing time on the charger both as quickly as you get up (our most popular time) or earlier than you head to mattress. It’s a bit annoying and, not like earlier than, charging requires lively thought.
The excellent news is that charging is fast. The Collection 6 has had charging time slashed to 1.5 hours, and the Apple Watch SE isn’t far off that both.
Battery life remains to be the important thing purpose for iPhone users to look at Apple Watch alternatives and we felt the strain extra with sleep monitoring.
It’s not one of the best Apple Watch, nevertheless it’s probably the most simply recommendable. The Apple Watch SE is something however a ‘low-cost Apple Watch.’ It brings the good core expertise that most individuals need, for much less. It frees the Collection 6 to grow to be a extra aggressive well being watch, whereas enabling extra folks to benefit from the glorious health and sport monitoring options, apps, smarts and Apple Pay.
- High design
- All of the important options
- Aggressive worth
- Battery life
- Lacking ECG and SpO2
- No always-on display