Apple Watch SE Preview: Basically a $400 smartwatch for $250

The Apple Watch is almost starting to look the same. The new Series 8 and the Watch SE look so much like last year’s Series 7 that I struggled to tell them apart. But in fact, the new phone models Apple announced last week bring some less obvious changes. Most notable of these is a new temperature sensor currently being used for ovulation tracking, as well as an onboard high-g-acceleration sensor that enables collision detection.

The company also revealed Ultra watch, specially designed for outdoor adventurers. The Ultra might be the coolest smartwatch of the three, but what the new Watch SE offers for the money makes it the more interesting device in my book. Plus, Apple dropped the price by $30, so the SE now costs $250 although it’s basically the same as the Series 8. Honestly, this is a smartwatch that most iOS users should consider.

During the week I got the Watch SE, I wore it by my side My Series 7 or Series 8, which I’m also testing. Size aside, I didn’t notice much of a difference between the three models. Series 8 is available with 41mm or 45mm cases; I am using the latter. It’s a bit too big for my wrist, but I really like how much easier it is to see everything on the wider screen. Meanwhile, the new SE comes in 40mm or 44mm options; I have the smaller version, which I especially like because it’s more comfortable to wear to bed.

Key features you’ll miss out on if you choose the SE over the Series 8 are the Always On Display (AOD), an ECG reader, a blood oxygen app, and a new skin temperature sensor. Like the older SE, this year’s model also charges at a slower rate than the Series 7 and 8 and does not U1 chip for ultra-wide bandwidth. It also lacks the IP6X dust resistance rating of its higher-end counterparts, so if you’re likely to carry this Tough Mudding or go to the beach, it might be worth considering a more expensive model. Those who hate thick bezels will also find the SE’s thicker bezels, but without a side-by-side comparison, I don’t notice a big difference.

On the other hand, this year’s Watch SE actually packs the same system processor in a package (SiP) as the $400 Series 8, as well as a high g-acceleration sensor that helps with collision detection. In my time with it, unsurprisingly, the SE was as responsive as the Series 8, starting a workout and completing a heart rate scan in the same amount of time. It tends to be slower at detecting outdoor walks, but when I agree to record a workout, it usually shows the same continuous duration as higher-end watches. It’s also generally faster at recognizing when I’m stopping than my Series 7.

Apple Watch SE (2022) on the wrist of a person held up in front of a red building and a tree.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

As for the other missing features, to be honest, I didn’t really use the electrocardiogram and blood oxygen results on the Series 7 that I wore for a year. I’ve done maybe three scans of each in that time, and I definitely rely on heart rate rather than blood oxygen to gauge my fitness.

I only noticed the missing AOD in the SE when I was wearing both the SE and the Series 7, and they both sounded alarm bells. I had to wait a split second for the SE’s screen to wake up, while the message was ready for immediate viewing on the Series 7. Other than that, however, the AOD didn’t have much of an impact on my experience with the SE.

It doesn’t even affect battery life, for better or for worse. You would think that not having an always-on display would make the SE last longer, but most of my SE and Series 7 days last about the same amount of time, despite the latter having AOD. The two of them hang around all day, tracking my morning workouts and regular outdoor walks while giving various reminders and warnings. I can usually come the next morning with some battery left.

Apple Watch SE (2022) on a person's wrist raised in front of a row of colorful kettlebells.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

I have yet to test the new low-power mode on the Watch SE, but I did on the Series 8 when I only drank about 20% juice one morning before an 8 a.m. workout class. I activated the low power mode and was able to watch an entire 45-minute work session and come home to less than 10 percent.

I was also surprised to find that the Watch SE still had 92% battery left after tracking my sleep overnight. I woke up to a report showing all the zones I’ve been through during my five hours of sleep, detailing the amount of time I’ve spent in core, deep, and REM. This is a watchOS 9 feature, so if you have an older model, you’ll get it when you update your software.

Apple Watch SE (2022) on a person's wrist, showing the Activity and ringing apps.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Compared to the previous Watch SE, this year’s model has a larger screen, SiP, and the new sensor I mentioned earlier. If you are considering upgrading from that model, New SE Will definitely feel fresh. However, if you’re choosing between the new SE and the Series 8, you won’t have to question what you can live without and moreover how much cash you have to spare. Those who don’t mind spending an extra $150 can buy a Series 8 that guarantees every feature Apple has to offer. Otherwise, most people will be happy with what the new Watch SE offers for the money.

All products recommended by Engadget are handpicked by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at time of publication.

Source link


News7F: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button