Apple has a rich history of introducing products with an “SE” branding, emphasizing a balance between performance, affordability, and essential features. While the iPhone SE initially set the standard, subsequent updates seemed lackluster.
However, there’s a surprising standout in the lineup that’s not an iPhone – the Apple Watch SE. Six months since its release, it has become the new benchmark for budget-friendly Apple products.
In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the reasons why the Apple Watch SE deserves attention, exploring its benefits, shortcomings, and real-world usage. Check out the latest price here: Apple Watch SE>>.
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Apple Watch Lineup Overview:
The Apple Watch lineup in 2023 offers a diverse range, including the Series 8, premium casing options, cellular capabilities, and the new Apple Watch Ultra. While these options provide versatility, the SE emerges as a sleeper build, offering comparable power to the Series 8 and Ultra, thanks to the shared S8 chip. As a reviewer accustomed to switching between devices, the SE’s consistent speed and capabilities make it a noteworthy contender.
Design and Display:
The SE’s design, with a slightly smaller 44mm or 40mm display, might seem overshadowed by the Series 8’s larger screens. However, in practical use, the differences are imperceptible.
The absence of a native keyboard and an always-on display might be drawbacks for some, but the OLED display remains vibrant and customizable. Despite the lack of certain features, the SE’s display holds up well, offering a variety of watch faces, including the practical modular face.
Utilizing the Apple Watch SE:
The primary reason for wearing an Apple Watch daily, regardless of the model, lies in its role as an activity tracker. The SE, like its pricier counterparts, excels in this regard. The heart rate monitor, a pivotal health sensor, not only alerts users to complications but also aids in accurate calorie-burning estimations. This is particularly crucial for individuals focused on fitness and diet, allowing for precise tracking of active calories and basic metabolic rate.
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Workout and Health Features:
The Apple Watch SE boasts a comprehensive list of available workouts, providing accurate representations of calories burned. Common exercises like walking, running, weight lifting, and stair climbing are well-supported.
While lacking certain sensors like the electrocardiogram, blood oxygen, and body temperature sensor found in the Series 8 and Ultra, the SE caters to the needs of the majority. The author emphasizes that most users do not require these additional sensors for daily health monitoring.
Battery Life and WatchOS Updates:
The SE manages to balance power and battery life effectively. Despite not matching the unkillable battery life of the Apple Watch Ultra, the SE’s battery life is satisfactory, easily lasting a day with room to spare.
With watchOS updates introducing low power and workout battery reduction modes, managing power consumption becomes even more convenient. The SE’s ability to last two to three days on a single charge, with careful battery management, positions it as a compelling choice. Check out the latest price here: Apple Watch SE>>.
Pros of the Apple Watch SE:
- Affordability: Priced at $250, the Apple Watch SE offers a budget-friendly entry into the Apple Watch ecosystem, making it accessible to a broader audience.
- Powerful Performance: Despite its lower price point, the SE shares the same S8 chip as the more expensive Series 8 and Ultra, ensuring a fast and snappy user experience.
- 32GB Storage: The inclusion of 32GB storage is a standout feature, allowing users to download a multitude of apps, store music, podcasts, and audiobooks locally for playback with Bluetooth headphones.
- Comprehensive Health Tracking: The SE excels in essential health tracking, featuring a reliable heart rate monitor that aids in calorie burning estimations and alerts for high and low heart rate complications.
- Diverse Workout Options: With a wide range of workout options, including walking, running, weight lifting, and stair climbing, the SE caters to various fitness routines.
- Impressive Display: The OLED display, while slightly smaller than the Series 8, remains vibrant and customizable, providing an excellent visual experience.
- WatchOS Updates: The SE receives the same number of WatchOS updates as higher-end models, ensuring ongoing support and access to new features.
- Balanced Battery Life: The SE strikes a good balance between power and battery life, easily lasting a day and, with careful management, extending to two to three days on a single charge. Get it here: Apple Watch SE>>.
Cons of the Apple Watch SE:
- Design Similarities: The design of the SE, while not a significant drawback, lacks the novelty of the Series 9 and Ultra, which may be a consideration for those seeking a more premium aesthetic.
- No Native Keyboard: The absence of a native keyboard can be inconvenient for users who rely on quick and efficient text input.
- No Always-On Display: The lack of an always-on display might be a drawback for users who appreciate the convenience of glancing at the time without raising their wrists.
- Missing Premium Health Sensors: The SE lacks advanced health sensors like the electrocardiogram, blood oxygen sensor, and body temperature sensor found in higher-end models.
Reasons to Buy the Apple Watch SE:
- Cost-Effective Entry: If you’re looking to enter the Apple Watch ecosystem without breaking the bank, the SE provides an affordable yet powerful option.
- Balanced Features: The SE offers a balance between performance and essential features, making it a suitable choice for users who don’t need the advanced capabilities of higher-end models.
- Fitness Enthusiasts: For individuals focused on fitness tracking and basic health monitoring, the SE’s heart rate monitor and diverse workout options make it a compelling choice.
- Budget-Conscious Consumers: If you’re on a budget but still want a reliable and feature-packed smartwatch, the Apple Watch SE delivers excellent value for the price.
Reasons Not to Buy the Apple Watch SE:
- Premium Design Preferences: If you prioritize a more premium design and are willing to invest more, the Series 9 or Ultra may be more suitable choices.
- Need for Advanced Health Features: Users requiring advanced health sensors such as ECG, blood oxygen monitoring, or body temperature tracking might find the SE lacking in these aspects.
- Preference for Larger Display: If you prefer a larger display for enhanced visibility and interaction, the Series 9 or Ultra with their larger screens might be more appealing.
- Always-On Display Necessity: For users who value the convenience of an always-on display, the SE’s lack of this feature might be a drawback. Get it here: Apple Watch SE>>.
Six months after its release, the Apple Watch SE continues to shine as a budget-friendly smartwatch that doesn’t compromise on essential features. Priced at $250, it delivers an excellent user experience, leveraging the power of the S8 chip and offering 32GB of storage, comparable to its more expensive counterparts. While missing some premium features, the SE meets the needs of most users, making it an ideal choice for both first-time Apple Watch buyers and those looking to upgrade from older models.
From a personal experience using the SE alongside the Apple Watch Ultra, an $800 smartwatch, the SE has some impressive performance and user satisfaction. Despite the price difference, the SE doesn’t leave the user feeling like they’re missing out on much. Its ability to seamlessly switch between devices while providing a satisfying user experience underscores its value.
In conclusion, the Apple Watch SE sets the standard for what an “SE” product should be – fast, affordable, and feature-packed. It’s an excellent recommendation for those looking to replace older models, and its enduring popularity six months later is a testament to its success in the Apple Watch lineup. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a tech enthusiast, or a budget-conscious consumer, the Apple Watch SE proves to be a worthy investment. Get it here: Apple Watch SE>>.