Apple Watch SE review: A smarter watch of the lot?
In recent years, Apple has found a goldmine with the iPhone SE. The strategy is simple. Stuff modern innards into a previous-gen model. The public too has lapped up these SE devices. And understandably so, even last-gen iPhone models significantly outperform current-gen Android phones. Add to that the considerably lower price points mean that for a lot of buyers, the SE models are difficult to pass up on.
Apple is now using the same strategy in the new Watch SE as well. Essentially, the Watch SE is the Watch Series 4 with two major differences. The Watch SE doesn’t measure ECG and it has an always-on altimeter. That aside, everything else remains more or less the same. In other words, more than enough for most people.
The Watch SE doesn’t get the always-on display as on the Series 5 and 6 models. But that is not something that I would be concerned about. While it is definitely good to have, it is something a lot of people turn off after the first few days to stretch battery life. The Series 6’ blood oxygen monitor is also absent, but not really missed.
I was reviewing the 44mm variant with cellular – essentially the highest-spec Watch SE you can buy. The Watch SE has an aluminium body and uses Apple’s Ion-X glass on the face. The sapphire glass is reserved only for the Series 6’ stainless steel and titanium models. While the Ion-X glass is resistant to scratches, it is important to note that if you are someone who drops their watch often, you should spring for the Watch Series 6’ Stainless Steel and Titanium variants.
The Watch SE I was testing came with the Sport Loop and I have to admit it is a lot more comfortable than the standard bands. The adjustability it offers allows you to find the perfect fit – something that was difficult to do earlier.
Performance is breezy as you’d expect. I never had to wait for something to happen on the Watch SE, which frankly should be the standard other smartwatches should aspire to. Navigating the interface, launching apps and using Siri voice commands is effortless with the Watch SE.
Battery life is also pretty good and you consistently get more than a day and a half between charges. However, it takes around two hours for a full charge. If you are someone who uses their Apple Watch for sleep tracking, then you might have to juice it up in short spells through the day.
When it comes to all the core functionalities, the Watch SE does an incredible job as you’d expect. Fitness tracking continues to be stellar and the WatchOS 7 is simple and intuitive to use. This particular cellular-equipped model makes it easy for you to ditch your phone at home for that morning run.
The Apple Watch SE is easily the perfect Apple Watch for most people today. It comes in at a price point that’s a lot more accessible and gives up on very little over the flagship Series 6. Hard to not recommend if you’re looking to get a new Apple Watch.
Yoy can buy the Apple Watch SE here.