Apple Watch SE review

Apple Watch SE review

The Apple Watch SE is the "better" part of Apple's new good-better-best strategy for its smartwatches. At $120 much less than the premier Apple Watch Series 6, yet $80 greater than the budget Apple Watch Series 3, the Apple Watch SE has a lot of what you'll locate in the Series 6, but its lower starting price of $279 makes it a bit extra palatable.


  • Starting price: $279 (GENERAL PRACTITIONER), $329 (LTE+GPS).
  • Size: 40, 44mm.
  • Display: 324 x 394 (40mm), 368 x 448 (44mm).
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes.
  • ECG: No.
  • Blood Oxygen sensor: No.
  • Compass: Yes.
  • Storage space: 32GB.
  • Water resistance: 50m.

So what does the Apple Watch SE give you that the Apple Watch 3 does not? You get a larger display, global emergency calling, drop discovery, noise tracking, as well as optional LTE. After using the Apple Watch SE for a while, I have actually found it to be an excellent smartwatch, however it really feels valued too expensive for the features it supplies. That said, be certain to have a look at why we identified it in the 2021 Tom's Guide Awards for Health and Fitness. Spoiler, there's a certain customer we assume it's an ideal wearable for.

If you are buying an Apple Watch, it may be worth holding back a couple of weeks, as Apple has announced the launch of the Apple Watch Series 7. Hitting stores later on this autumn, the Apple Watch 7 flaunts a brighter screen and faster charging, as well as a new design with thinner display borders.

Apple Watch SE: Price as well as availability.

The Apple Watch SE begins at $279 for the 40mm general practitioner variation and $309 for the 44mm situation. If you desire an LTE version, the 40mm version begins at $329 as well as the 44mm variation is $359. That's just a $50 premium for LTE; if you want the cellular alternative for the Apple Watch Series 6, it'll cost you $100 even more.

Apple Watch SE: Design and also display.

Apple Watch SE review

No large adjustments right here: The Apple Watch SE's design is essentially that of every various other Apple Watch that came previously. The Apple Watch SE will only be available with an aluminum case (the Apple Watch 6 is additionally available in stainless steel and titanium), yet you will be able to choose in between silver, gold, and area gray finishes. Apple sent me the room grey finish, which has a great, tidy appearance.

The Apple Watch SE has the same screen and also S5 cpu as the Apple Watch 5-- which is 30% bigger than that on the Apple Watch 3-- though there's no always-on display choice with the SE, as there is on the Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch 5.

I know that Apple is trying to distinguish between the SE and also the Apple Watch 6, however the lack of an always-on display, particularly on a gadget that costs more than $250, is a real frustration. Still, the Apple Watch SE's display was really receptive, coming to life with an easy flick of my wrist.

The 44mm model I checked has a screen resolution of 368 x 448 pixels; the smaller 40mm version has a 324 x 394-pixel display. It's excellent that Apple provides the SE in 2 sizes; my wife tried out my review device and thought it was too large for her smaller wrists.

Apple Watch SE: Solo Loop.

Apple Watch SE review

Apple also sent out along a number of its new Solo Loops; these rubber bands lack a hold, however stretch to fit about your wrist. As a person that invests a great deal of time keying, I find that the hold on a traditional watch band presses versus my wrist, making it uneasy to use while functioning. The thinner, uniform Solo Loop removed this problem completely.

However, a variety of customers have reported issues with Apple's sizing chart, which has actually resulted in them getting Solo Loops that were either also huge or as well tiny for their wrists. Due to the fact that you can not merely return the Solo Loop-- you have to return the entire Apple Watch. I encourage that you purchase a conventional watch band until you have the possibility to attempt out a Solo Loop in an individual.

Apple Watch SE: Health features.

Apple Watch SE review

The Apple Watch has actually always focused much more on general health than a pure fitness device from the likes of Garmin and also Fitbit somewhat. As well as that proceeds with this brand-new, less costly version.

The Apple Watch SE has the exact same accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter as the Series 6. It additionally has fall detection, soundtracking, emergency SOS, and also worldwide emergency calling, points you don't obtain on the Apple Watch 3.

Unlike the flagship Apple Watch 6, the Apple Watch SE does not have blood oxygen (SpO2) surveillance. Taking into consideration that this function has been around for many years on Garmin tools-- and you can get an SpO2 sensor on the $50 Amazfit Band 5-- this isn't as novel an attribute as Apple makes it out to be. And also, the SpO2 sensor on the Apple Watch 6 is not FDA-approved, so users ought to not consider it to be a clinical device.

The Apple Watch SE likewise does not have the ECG app that comes with the Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch 5, and which lets you conduct on-the-spot checks of your heart price. Nonetheless, the SE can monitor your heart rhythm behind the scenes, as well as alert you if it notifications an uneven heartbeat.

Apple Watch 6 review: watchOS 7.

Apple Watch SE review

With watchOS 7, the SE (along with the Apple Watch 3 and later on) additionally obtains sleep tracking, a hand-washing app, as well as Apple's new Fitness application, that includes new workout presets such as core training, useful toughness training, cool off and dancing.

Automatic task tracking functions pretty well. I had to do with 10 mins into a quick stroll when the watch asked me if I desired to record an activity; the Apple Watch's GPS didn't start up until the last quarter mile, however the watch computed my overall stroll as 0.75 miles, just one tenth a mile less than my real distance.

The hand-washing guide functioned, though it takes a few secs for the watch to recognize what you're doing. A gentle buzz lets you understand the watch has begun timing you, while a second buzz tells you your hands are tidy enough.

The hand-washing overview worked, though it takes a few secs for the watch to acknowledge what you're doing. A gentle buzz lets you understand the watch has started timing you, while a second buzz tells you your hands are clean sufficient. It's a little oversensitive; the hand-washing application also turned on when I was peeling vegetables.

Sleep tracking was moderately precise; the Apple Watch SE counted some TV-watching before bed as actual rest. Similar to other Apple Watches, I needed to make certain the SE's battery was completed prior to I went to bed.

Apple Watch SE: Smartwatch features.

Apple Watch SE review

Where the Apple Watch SE-- and all Apple Watches-- stands out is with smartwatch features. Apple has by much the largest app collection of any smartwatch, which makes the SE a real expansion of your phone on your wrist. From the SE, I could manage my smart house gadgets, make and receive phone telephone calls, seek out directions, play music, as well as a lot extra.

Nevertheless, if you have a great deal of apps mounted on the Apple Watch, it takes more time than it should to find the app you desire from the primary app display. While you can relocate the app symbols around as well as team them together, you can't arrange them otherwise.

The Apple Watch has a wide variety of customizable watchfaces, NFC for mobile repayments, and, if you acquire the LTE model, you can utilize it individually of your phone. Apple's brand-new Family members Arrangement likewise lets you establish up as well as handle an Apple Look for your child. You can utilize the watch to set fitness goals, send them allocation money, and limitation features when they're in school. Offered the watch has LTE, you can keep track of where they are, as well. It's a very costly GPS tracker for youngsters, however one that's even more full-featured.

Apple Watch SE: Battery life

Like the Apple Watch 3 as well as the Apple Watch 6, the Apple Watch SE has about an 18-hour battery life, which means you'll be reenergizing your watch every day. When it comes to playing songs as well as making use of GPS, the Apple Watch SE has a somewhat shorter battery life than the Apple Watch 6.

One of the most recognizable differences supervises the time: simply 90 minutes for the Apple Watch 6 versus 2.5 hours for the Apple Watch SE to get to a full charge. I found myself billing it up each day, however obtaining annoyed when I failed to remember and afterward gazed to see I had 10 percent battery remaining.

Apple Watch SE: Decision.

You're not going to locate a much more well-rounded smartwatch than those made by Apple. From the design to the features, nothing else smartwatches come close.

Yet, depending upon how you consider the features offered in the $399 Apple Watch 6, the $280 SE can appear like a bargain or a ripoff. While Apple made a big bargain regarding the SpO2 sensor in the Apple Watch 6, it's a feature that's already found on much less expensive fitness trackers and also smartwatches such as the Fitbit Versa 3, as well as the $50 Amazfit Band 5. As well as, the absence of an Always-on display-- once more, something common to less expensive smartwatches-- is additionally a disappointment.

Does the truth that you have to pay $120 even more for these already-common features make the Apple Watch 6 actually overpriced and also the Apple Watch SE just rather overpriced?

Or is the reality that the SE has as large a display, worldwide emergency situation calling, fall detection, noise surveillance, LTE, and also the exact same battery life as the Apple Watch 6 make it the actual worth amongst Apple's three smartwatches?

My guidance is to get hold of the Apple Watch 5 while it's still for sale-- you can get it for as reduced as $299. While it does not have SpO2, you'll get the ECG application and the always-on display, as well as the exact same CPU as in the Apple Watch SE.

While the Apple Watch SE is inevitably a great smartwatch, there's something about its features as well as the price that doesn't rather click for me.