The Apple Watch SE is Apple’s most affordable smartwatch model. The second-generation SE looks just like its predecessor, including a faster processor, a new motion sensor for Crash Detection, and significantly more battery life. It does not, however, have some of the Series 8’s features, such as an always-on display and sensors for blood oxygen (SpO2), electrocardiogram (ECG), and body temperature readings. The Series 8 is our top pick for most Apple Watch buyers, with a larger screen that stays on all day and more advanced health-tracking tools, but the second-generation SE is a worthy alternative for staying active, connected, and safe on a budget.
The new variant features the company’s signature squarish lozenge design language. It has a smooth curved glass cover that blends in beautifully with the metal casing. In that regard, Apple has used 100 percent full recycled aluminium. The back casing beneath… Anyone who has seen an Apple Watch before will recognise the shape of the Watch SE 2. The term “electronic commerce” refers to the sale of electronic goods.
It’s available in three aluminium finishes this year: Midnight, Starlight, and Silver. We tested the Midnight version, and it’s quite nice. Looking at the aluminium alone, you can easily think it’s just black – but when you compare it to the genuinely black screen, the subtle hint of blue becomes apparent.
The Watch SE employs the familiar combination of the Digital Crown and the power/app button on the right-hand side, and the power button, like the previous version, is flush with the side of the case. There’s toughened glass with curved edges on the front, and it has the crystal-covered heart rate sensor on the rear – the rest of the rear, though has been tweaked.
The screen appears to be the same as before: an OLED display with a brightness of up to 1,000 nits. That’s the same as the Series 8 screen, and it makes the display visible in most situations, including outside. Reflections can cause problems. What you don’t get here is the Series 8’s always-on display. When you lower or turn your wrist so that the Watch SE 2 is not directly facing your head, the screen goes completely black. Even if it is still facing up, it returns to black after a short time.
The Apple Watch Series 8 has an always-on screen, which means that instead of returning to black, the screen dims to show the time while using less power. For the vast majority of people, the Apple Watch SE 2’s approach is ideal. It responds reliably, and extremely quickly, when you move your wrist, which is the kind of movement it’s designed to respond to.
However, subtlety is not the watch’s strong suit here. The display is activated by a noticeable turn or movement of the arm. You can also tap the screen to turn it on without turning your wrist – though if you’re trying to be stealthy, this will most likely be noticed.