With three new Watch models from Apple, there are options for every price point and feature set. The most costly model, the Apple Watch Ultra, is at the top of the lineup, with the Watch Series 8 in the center.
The Watch SE is the least expensive option and at the bottom of the scale (2022). It is the successor for the original, outstanding Watch SE that debuted in 2020, providing a choice for individuals who do not require all the functionality of the Series 8.
Why should you purchase the Apple Watch SE 2? Here are our immediate thoughts.
Apple Watch SE 2 Review
The Apple Watch SE, which costs $249, is the best choice for people who only need a wristwatch for essential functions like reading iPhone alerts, monitoring exercise, keeping track of sleep, and using Apple Pay on the go.
The Apple Watch SE 2, like the iPhone SE, provides the essentials and Apple’s most recent chipset at a more affordable price than its flagship version. And unlike the cellular Series 8, which costs $100 more than the GPS-only version, if you want cellular access, the LTE-enabled version only costs $50 more.
A flexible and reasonably priced wristwatch is the Apple Watch SE. An always-on display, however, is one feature that I would have delighted to have at this price.
A strong argument for upgrading might be made because there are not many new features that are exclusive to the SE. For anyone upgrading from a Series 3 or earlier Apple Watch or purchasing an Apple Watch for the first time, the SE model is recommended.
Apple Watch SE 2: Design
It would be simple to confuse the new Apple Watch SE 2 for the 2020 version at first glance. The redesigned SE is offered in 40- and 44-millimeter sizes and has an aluminum finish, just like its predecessor.
The colors used for the SE, however, have altered. While the 2020 model was available in silver, space grey, and gold, you can pick from midnight, starlight, or silver in the 2022 model.
Additionally, Apple updated the watch’s back with a new look that resembles the Apple Watch’s shell more closely. It is a great addition that gives the new SE a more upscale feel, but you only notice it when the watch is not on your wrist.
The bigger screen on Series 8 and 7 is absent from the Apple Watch SE. However, this generally did not make much of a difference. Throughout this evaluation, I alternated between wearing the Series 8 and the new SE.
The ability to swiftly reply to texts when I am not near my phone using the on-screen QWERTY keyboard is what I miss most about having that more prominent display. A digital keyboard is included in Samsung’s $280 Galaxy Watch 5, which consists of a 40mm variant and is comparable in price to the Apple Watch SE 2.
I wish Apple could have figured out a way to make this work, too, but you can still dictate or handwrite messages.
Using one of the larger models may also be advantageous if you use a larger text size on the Apple Watch. The SE’s display, however, provides sufficient room for comfortably reading notifications and news headlines.
Apple Watch SE 2: Hardware And Speed
The S8 processor, which also powers the Series 8, is found within the Apple Watch SE. Overall, the SE feels speedy and smooth; the programs ran swiftly, and Siri immediately understood what I said.
The new SE is 20% faster than the old one, according to Apple, and the improvement is apparent. On the new SE, apps opened immediately but occasionally paused on the 2020 Apple Watch SE.
But the SE’s acquisition of the Series 8 processor is highly significant because it partially future-proofs the SE. The 2022 SE uses Apple’s most recent chipset. Thus new capabilities that will be included in later releases of WatchOS are expected to function on it.
Older watches have not always had access to some functions because of their deteriorating hardware, even if the model did support the overall software upgrade. For instance, even though the Series 3 was compatible with Apple’s WatchOS 7 software, handwashing detection is only accessible on the Series 4 and upwards.
Because of the SE’s new processor, you should not be concerned about missing out on features like these in the future.
Apple Watch SE 2: Battery
Regarding battery life, there is good news, and there is terrible news. Let us start with the negative: The Apple Watch SE 2 and Apple Watch Series 8 share the same 18-hour battery life as their forerunners.
The good news is that the Apple Watch will soon include a low-power mode. Even better information for current Apple Watch owners is that it will work with Series 4 and subsequent models. Apple Watch sensors can only operate in low-power mode.
For watches that allow it, it disables features including automatic workout recognition, background heart-rate monitoring, and the always-on display. According to Apple, when an iPhone is nearby, the low-power mode can increase the battery life of the Apple Watch by up to 36 hours for the Series 8 model.
Although I have not been able to test this function for 36 hours straight, I have been alternating between standard and low-power modes on the new SE to observe the differences. My Apple Watch SE had greater battery life left after 12 hours of use, with the battery at 100% compared to the same amount of time without low-power mode. But there was not much of a difference.
On the Series 8 and other flagship watches, the low-power mode will probably make a bigger difference because those watches have more functionality that will be restricted in that mode, such as an always-on display and blood oxygen saturation measures, so the difference should be more obvious.
Apple Watch SE 2 Internal Storage
Like the Watch Series 8, the Watch SE has 32GB of internal storage and is available in GPS alone and GPS plus Cellular models, the latter of which enables you to use your Watch independently of the watch.
Updated Gyroscope and Accelerometer
The Watch SE lacks the body temperature sensor and the SpO2 sensor. However, the cellular models offer international roaming, just like the Series 8.
The Watch SE does come with an updated accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and ambient light sensor in addition to a second-generation optical heart-rate sensor and additional features like an always-on altimeter, compass, and built-in GPS.
The Watch SE now has the Crash Detection feature on the Series 8 and Watch Ultra, thanks to an improved accelerometer that can detect up to 256 g-forces instead of 32 g-forces.
The feature uses the microphone, GPS, barometer, accelerometer, and microphone to help determine whether you have been in a car accident. Hopefully, you will never need it, but you can learn all about what it does in our separate section.
The Watch SE includes alerts for smartphones, GymKit support, and Apple Pay, one of the nicest features on an Apple Watch, Emergency SOS, International emergency calling, Fall detection, and noise monitoring. Additional notifications include those for high and low heart rates as well as irregular heart rhythms.
Lots of Different Amazing Apps
The Apple Watch App Store contains a tonne of amazing apps, along with the mentioned Car Crash feature and International Roaming features, and there is also multi-sport monitoring, which includes running, swimming, and cycling among many other sports. The Watch SE has most of the functions you will require, despite not having all of them
The Apple Watch SE 2 improves upon its predecessor in a few respects, notably in processor speed. It also has a color-matched casing that is more environmentally friendly and some extra features, such as Car Crash Detection.
It is not as robust and feature-rich as the Watch Ultra and does not have the most up-to-date display technology like the Series 8 or the Always-On Display. However, as a starting point for Apple Watch, the Watch SE offers a lot. It also lacks the body temperature sensor, which can help women track their ovulation.