Apple Watch SE Review
Product Name: Apple Watch SE
Product Description: The Apple Watch SE is designed to be a more affordable option but still provide you with all the essential core functionality of the Apple Watch Series. When it comes to the design and features, the SE is almost identical to the Series 4, 5, and 6. It comes in two size options, 40 and 44 mm, with thinner and smaller aluminum casing. Its Retina LTPO OLED display is really bright giving you up to 1000 nits, all protected within an Ion-X glass. Furthermore, the watch has a black ceramic and sapphire crystal back with built-in sensors, Haptic Digital Crown, and the same speaker and microphone. This is a great outdoors and activity watch, water-resistant up to 50 meters with an optical heart rate sensor, gyroscope, and accelerometer which helps to keep tabs on your heart rate, calories burned, and steps taken or stairs climbed.
Price: 270 - 330
- Build Quality
- Easy to Use
The Apple Watch SE offers some of the best features present in a fully featured Apple Watch. Losing the oxygen level tracker and the always-on display won’t be a deal-breaker for most people, especially when you look at its budget-friendly price. In short, the Apple Watch SE is the perfect smartwatch for people who are not fascinated with the luxurious materials and unique features of the more expensive apple watches. If you are interested in an Apple Watch that focuses on Fitness and Health yet comes at a reasonable price, then the Apple Watch SE is the best wearable for you.
Sleek and classic design
Cheaper than Apple Watch Series
A variety of colorful straps/bands
Lacks always-on display
No blood oxygen and ECG tracker
Low battery life
Compatible only with iPhones
User Review( votes)
Apple Watch SE Review
The Apple Watch SE is the first smartwatch that goes in a slightly different direction than the fully-featured Apple Watch Series 1 to 6. But rather than calling it a cheap Apple Watch, it is a mass-appealing smartwatch that everyone can afford. It may lack some of the advanced features of Series 6 but in terms of price and experience, it is a great contender and offers all the company’s core smartwatch features.
The Apple Watch SE is designed to be a more affordable option but still provide you with all the essential core functionality of the Apple Watch Series. When it comes to the design and features, the SE is almost identical to the Series 4, 5, and 6. It comes in two size options, 40 and 44 mm, with thinner and smaller aluminum casing. Its Retina LTPO OLED display is really bright giving you up to 1000 nits, all protected within an Ion-X glass. Furthermore, the watch has a black ceramic and sapphire crystal back with built-in sensors, Haptic Digital Crown, and the same speaker and microphone. This is a great outdoors and activity watch, water-resistant up to 50 meters with an optical heart rate sensor, gyroscope, and accelerometer which helps to keep tabs on your heart rate, calories burned, and steps taken or stairs climbed. In addition, the Apple Watch can track your sleep, make emergency calls through SOS, and detects falls with fall-detection software along with sound detection features and compass.
New Apple Watch models like SE support both GPS only and the LTE + GPS combo which allows the use of a cool feature called Family Setup. This feature allows several Apple Watches to be managed by a single iPhone to assist children and the elderly. You can, for instance, use your watch to set fitness goals for them, send them money, and more importantly, limit features they can use or get distracted with when they are in school. And one thing we found extremely useful is that providing that the watch has LTE, you could also monitor where they are. We admit that it is a rather expensive GPS tracker for kids, but ultimately one that works very efficiently and you can rely on.
Also, the Apple Watch SE offers the same 18-hour battery life as the Apple Watch Series 6 but the compromise is the charging time as it recharges in 2.5 hours compared to the 1.5 hours in the Apple Watch Series 6. It supports Bluetooth 5.0, W3 wireless chip, and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, though it lacks the U1 Ultra-Wideband and 5 GHz Wi-Fi that Series 6 has. Given the fact that the SE was released right after the Series 6, we expected for it to run on the S6 chip, but unfortunately, Apple used the S5 System-in-Package chip. A compromise that stands out is that the Apple Watch SE does not have an ECG or blood oxygen tracker and the always-on display which were the main feature of Apple Watch Series 6. In all fairness to Apple, there would have to be features dropped from the Series 6, otherwise, why would anyone pay the extra cost if they could get the same features with the SE? It makes sense.
- S5 chip
- Optical heart rate sensor
- Fall detector
- Water resistance up to 50 m
- 32 GB of storage
- LTE and non-LTE options
- 368 x 448 pixels for 44 x 38 x 10.4 mm dimensions
- 324 x 394 pixels for 40 x 34 x 10.4 mm dimension
Design-wise, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Apple Watch SE is a sleek and stylish smartwatch. It comes in standard Gold, Silver, and Space Gray to suit a wide range of styles. Although it lacks the new Red and Blue from Series 6, you can still get a very extensive range of bands like the newest loop. Apart from the common sport bands, leather, and stainless steel straps, Apple has created new straps with no connectors or clasps, known as Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop. This band stretches to a custom fit so you have to know your wrist size before ordering the watch. Everything about the watch is controlled by the touchscreen, digital crown, and side button and the integration, as with everything Apple, is flawless. The watch is water-resistant so you don’t need to worry about wearing or bother taking it off when swimming. Charging is also quite simple by using the Magnetic Charging Cable or Dock, though it may be an hour slower than the Apple Watch Series 6 it is still pretty fast at 2.5 hours.
Apple updated the watchOS7 by adding new watch faces to show different time zones, Count Up to track time, Chronograph Pro with tachymeter to convert time, Typograph to display custom-styled numerals, Stripes to customize patterns, Memoji, and more. There is also a Family Setup option that uses your iPhone to control multiple Apple Watches for your kids and oldies allowing them to call and text, stream music, download apps, talk to Siri, use Apple Pay, and more. And due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Apple thought of incorporating a handwashing detector to ensure the proper way of washing your hands. Many people will find this feature super helpful, although it does take a few seconds for the watch to realise what it is that you are doing. A gentle buzz on your wrist will let you know the watch has started timing you and a second buzz lets you know that your hands are clean. Be mindful of the fact that given its sensitivity, it might get trigger with certain movements such as washing or cutting food.
Additionally, the Apple Watch SE has a sleep tracker that detects movements when you are sleeping and provides a simple sleep analysis. This is really helpful but if you want to use it properly you need to understand its limitations. For instance, the watch will think that you are sleeping when in fact you might be watching TV in bed before going to sleep. The feature is great and gives you a lot of very useful information about your sleep patterns, but it is not perfect. The Activity app or Fitness app lets you access workouts on Apple TV and other Apple devices and customize Activities found in the Health app, which includes new workouts such as core training, strength training, cool-down and dance.
Wearing the Apple Watch SE helps you to monitor your sleep, how long you sleep at night, and provides all of that information in a visual and easy to understand display. The tracker also suggests helpful sleeping tips to give you a good night’s sleep, which you can check on the Sleep Tracking guide. Simply open the Sleep app on your Apple Watch, tap the current bedtime, and set a new wake up time by turning the digital crown, then press set. You can choose if you want to turn the alarm in the morning or not. Older Apple Watches also have a sleep tracker but the Apple Watch SE provides better battery efficiency and quicker charging.
Optical Heart Rate Sensor
Although the Apple Watch SE lacks the blood oxygen tracker and ECG reading, it has an optical heart rate sensor to determine your heart rate, calorie burned, and activity level. Monitoring your metrics can save you from having low, high, and/ or an abnormal heart rate or related health issues. The watch has a fall detection which sends a notification when something is not right, hence gives you an opportunity to seek help. Along with the heart rate sensor, there is a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope to sense and measure any changes in the orientation of the device. Additionally, LTE models provide SOS capabilities so that you can call emergency hotlines wherever you are. Tip; we still recommend you download an app called “what3words” as it is the safest way to tell anyone (including emergency services and the police) where you are if you get lost or disorientated in the middle of nowhere, forest, mountain and even at sea.
You can use your Apple Watch SE for swimming in the ocean, pool or any water activities up to 50m. This we feel is enough for most people unless you are someone who does deep diving, then this might not be a good smartwatch option for you (unless you leave it up on the boat). Activities involving high-velocity water or deep submersion such as diving, waterskiing are strictly prohibited. If you are the kind of person who spends a lot of time in the water, you might want to consider other more suitable options such as sports watches, the likes of the Suunto 9 Baro or Garmin Fenix 6x or Garmin Swim 2. Be mindful that the Apple Watch’s warranty does not cover water damages, so you need to take extra precautions when using it underwater. To help combat any potential water problems, the speaker is specially designed to remove the water from itself through sound vibrations, but think of the watch as providing water-resistant as protection, rather than a fully functional feature, and you will be safe. Like we said earlier, if you want a fully functional water-resistant watch, consider a sports watch instead and you will be safe, whatever activity you do. They are built like a tank.
Even if the Apple Watch SE has LTE connectivity, it still requires an iPhone to share a cellular plan with the same carrier. Its battery capacity can’t be used full-time without the help of an iPhone. LTE enables Emergency SOS to allow you making international calls to emergency services no matter where you are. It works alongside the watch’s fall detection to automatically call for help in times of need. Regardless of what country you are in, holding the side button helps you to get in touch with the country’s emergency services.
The Apple Watch SE claims you get a full day usage in terms of battery life. Well, to be exact, the new range of Apple Watches, and that includes the SE model, last around 18 hours. This is for average use of around 45 minutes of app use, 60 minutes of workouts, 4 hours of LTE connection, and other activities running in the background. Obviously, battery life very much depends on how much you will use the watch, with some apps using up more power than other such as Family Setup, streaming audio, or when you use the device as a phone. You need to be aware of the fact that unlike the Apple Watch Series 6 that only takes an hour and a half to fully charge the watch, the SE takes an hour longer to fully charge.
After days of testing and trying the Apple Watch SE, it is safe to say that this is an impressive smartwatch. It may not have all the advanced features of the Apple Watch Series 6 but the price is great and helps compensate for its shortcomings. This is the ideal combination of design, functionality, and great value that will help you stay connected while keeping an active and healthy lifestyle. With the S5 SiP and dual-core processor, the Apple Watch SE runs smoothly and twice as fast as the Apple Watch Series 3. The Digital Crown features haptic feedback upon rotation while the speaker and microphone are optimized for superior sound quality. Overall, it is a great smartwatch. You are not going to find a more well-rounded smartwatch in the market today and Apple knows one or two things about smartwatches. In terms of design, features and functionality, no other smartwatch come close.
Since the Apple Watch SE was released we have been wondering how it compares to the old Apple Watch Series 3 due to its affordability. Far from the latest Apple Watch Series 6 premium features, SE still offers some of the best features in an Apple Watch. Losing the oxygen level tracker and the always-on display won’t be a deal-breaker for most people, especially when you look at its budget-friendly price. In short, the Apple Watch SE is the perfect smartwatch for people who are not fascinated with the luxurious materials and unique features of the more expensive apple watches. If you are interested in an Apple Watch that focuses on Fitness and Health yet comes at a reasonable price, then the Apple Watch SE is the best wearable for you.
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