Apple Watch SE - Product Review

The Apple Watch SE is a budget version of Apple's smartwatch that provides much of what makes it successful while leaving out a few main features.

Close to Apple's iPhone SE, the Apple Watch SE concept incorporates the nice bits of recent company products towards a more affordable model.


  • Classic style of the design 
  • Big screen 
  • Quick and easy to use 
  • Comfortable, compact build. 
  • Clear, bright screen 
  • Nice health features and fitness monitoring


  • Not 'Always-On' display 
  • Missing ECG and monitoring of blood oxygen 
  • Average battery life 
  • Basic sleep monitoring 


The Watch SE will have the same 'new-style design' that all of the Watches because the Series 4 have featured, with an almost curve, rounded corner display that's a lot of a piece with the latest iPhone design.

The Apple Watch SE has the same screen and S5 processor as the Apple Watch 5, though there is no always-on display feature with the SE, like those on the Apple Watch 5 and 6.

Even the Apple Watch SE screen was very sensitive, reappearing with a quick flick on the wrist. n Apple provides SE in two sizes, felt it was too heavy for a women's smaller wrists.

Apple has also sent along a few of its new Solo Loops. These elastic bands have no clasp but are extended to fit around your hand. As someone who spends so much time typing, I find that the typical watch band's strap pushes against the wrist, making it uncomfortable to wear when working. The thinner, more uniform Solo Loop eliminated this problem.


The Apple Watch has always concentrated more on overall health than on mere fitness equipment such as Garmin or Fitbit. And that's going on with this new cheaper model. The Apple Watch SE has no monitoring of blood oxygen and lacks an ECG app that both come with Apple Watch 6 and 5. Both allow you to perform on-the-spot monitoring on your heart rate. However, SE will track your heart rhythm in the field and alert you if you detect an abnormal heartbeat.

You'll get a bigger display in the Apple Watch, emergency service calls, fall detector, noise control, and optional LTE. The Apple Watch SE is a really nice smartwatch, but it seems priced too high for the features it brings. But ultimately, we think that the Apple Watch SE nails its brief of taking the ease and subtle fitness features of the Apple Watch to even more people.

You can also move up to a 4G networking model built-in, which means you can leave your phone at home and still get helpful information on your watch. The Apple Watch SE is fitted with all the main features you like.

User Experience

Automatic activity monitoring is working pretty well. I was around 10 minutes into a light jog when the watch prompted me to record an activity, the Apple Watch GPS won't throw in until the last kilometer away, but the watch measured my total walk from my actual distance.

Also, the hand-washing guidance has worked for me, but it takes a few seconds for the watch to know what you've been doing. A gentle ticking lets you know that the watch has begun timing you, while a second vibration tells you that your hands are clean completely.

Sleep monitoring was reasonably accurate; some TV-watching before bed was recorded as actual rest by the Apple Watch SE. Just like other Apple Watches, I had to make sure that the SE power had been leveled before I went to sleep.

Does the reality that you'll have to pay $120 extra for these already-common features make the Apple Watch 6 very overpriced and the Apple Watch SE just overpriced? Although the Apple Watch SE is a really decent smartwatch, there's just something about its features and the price that doesn't work for me.

The Apple Watch SE is more or less a great hit, but so many corners let it down. If you can solve the one major downside, the Apple Watch SE is fantastic. Notice that while the Watch SE is cheaper for an Apple Watch, it's not affordable for a smartwatch, with most competitors costing the same or less.

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