Apple Watch SE (2022) assessment: The most effective smartwatch $250 should purchase


I wasn’t anticipating Apple, of all corporations, to ship essentially the most competitively priced smartwatch you should purchase in 2022. However with Apple shaving $30 off the fee, the new Watch SE is arguably essentially the most compelling wearable in the marketplace. For $150 lower than the brand new Sequence 8, this yr’s Watch SE delivers a complete suite of well being and health instruments, emergency options and surprisingly few tradeoffs. It even makes use of the identical new chip because the Sequence 8, and it seems indistinguishable in addition.

Design and {hardware}

When you’ve seen one Apple Watch, you’ve just about seen all of them. In contrast to the vast majority of smartwatches for Android customers, iPhone house owners are caught with the rounded sq. face the corporate has retained yr after yr. At this level, it seems like most individuals are used to the form and have both embraced it, adjusted to it or given up complaining.


  • Complete options for a brand new cheaper price
  • Nicely rounded health and health-tracking
  • Good efficiency
  • Comfy design


  • Shorter battery life than different Apple Watches
  • Not rated for mud resistance

I’m a kind of who’s determined to not waste my breath asking for a spherical face. At the least the Watch SE seems inoffensive and is mild, comfy and properly made. The 40mm mannequin I’ve been testing sits properly on my wrist and more often than not I barely even discover it’s there. A 44mm model can be accessible.

It’s value noting that almost all latest wearables are equally unobtrusive, although at 26.4 grams (0.93 ounces), the 40mm Apple Watch SE is among the lightest round. In the meantime, the Fitbit Sense and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 each outweigh it at 37.6 grams and 28.7 grams, respectively.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Although the SE’s underside is constructed from a nylon composite and sapphire crystal as a substitute of the ceramic on its predecessor and the Sequence 8, I didn’t even understand there was a distinction till I scrutinized the spec sheet.

In contrast to the Sequence 8 and Watch Extremely, the brand new SE isn’t rated IPX6 for mud resistance, nevertheless it is waterproof at as much as 50 meters. It additionally makes use of an older coronary heart price monitor than the opposite two, however comes with the identical S8 system-in-a-package (SiP) processor, in addition to an onboard high-g accelerometer that makes crash detection doable.

Like its predecessor, the SE’s display is roofed by an Ion-X glass versus the sapphire crystal on the Sequence 8. I’ve had no mishaps with the brand new SE, although my first assessment unit of the last-generation system did get significantly broken, with spiderweb cracks masking the show after it fell off my lavatory sink. When you’re clumsy or anticipate being careless together with your smartwatch, it may be value paying extra to get a hardier mannequin.


The Watch SE’s Retina show is vibrant, crisp and simple to learn, even in direct daylight. That latter trait has quite a bit to do with the truth that Apple persistently makes use of colourful textual content on a black background, which is nice for readability. Although Samsung watches just like the Galaxy Watch 5 usually have increased resolutions and better brightness, additionally they generally use tiny fonts with low distinction and will be onerous to learn.

The Apple Watch SE (2022) on a person

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

The brand new SE has the identical show as its predecessor, which is to say it’s additionally an LTPO OLED panel that runs at resolutions of 394 x 324 and 448 x 368 for the 40mm and 44mm variations, respectively. It’ll additionally max out at 1,000 nits of brightness just like the older SE and the Sequence 8.

Moreover the dearth of a pores and skin temperature sensor, the primary distinction between this yr’s Watch SE and its extra premium siblings, is that it doesn’t have an All the time On Show (AOD). This simply means you’ll must carry your wrist (pretty intentionally generally) to see issues just like the time, how lengthy you’ve been figuring out or a notification that simply got here via. It does take a second for the Watch SE to get up and present me what I’m searching for, nevertheless it by no means felt too laggy. When you’re the impatient sort and have cash to spare, although, that is one function that may make the Sequence 8 value the additional $150.

Efficiency and in use

For the worth, it’s spectacular that the Watch SE makes use of the identical S8 SiP because the Sequence 8 and Watch Extremely. On the whole, this meant the $250 watch was simply as snappy as its pricier counterparts at setting new watch faces, measuring my coronary heart price, beginning exercises and extra. I wore the SE and a Sequence 8 throughout my testing and generally it was faster to detect that I had been strolling for 10 minutes or longer, whereas different occasions higher-end mannequin could be first. No matter which system alerted me first, although, they each clocked roughly the identical length for my outside walks.

The Apple Watch SE (2022) on a person

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Utilizing the SE to trace my each day HIIT and resistance coaching classes felt precisely the identical as utilizing the Sequence 8. The one distinction was that the latter’s AOD stored the exercise display on so I may extra simply regulate stats like elapsed time and energy burned.

Essentially the most vital function that the SE lacks is the brand new pores and skin temperature sensor that Apple launched on the Sequence 8. This measures the wearer’s physique temperature in a single day and, primarily based on any deviations from a baseline studying, retrospectively estimates in the event that they’ve ovulated. As a result of the SE doesn’t have the {hardware}, it doesn’t supply this ovulation-tracking function. However it does all the pieces else associated to cycle and sleep-tracking. You possibly can log your durations or put on this to mattress to see how lengthy you’ve spent in zones like REM, Deep and Core sleep.

Regardless of packing an older coronary heart price monitor than the Sequence 8 and Watch Extremely, the SE didn’t take considerably longer to ship a studying. Frankly, for essentially the most half, I couldn’t inform that there was any distinction between the SE and the Sequence 7 I had been carrying for a yr. Lacking options just like the ECG and blood oxygen apps weren’t issues I used a lot anyway.

The Apple Watch SE (2022) on a person

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Battery life

One space the place the SE lagged pricier Apple Watches is battery life. Whereas the Sequence 8 often caught round all day with juice to spare the following morning, the SE tended to run dangerously low at night time if I’d been significantly lively earlier. I often monitor one exercise each morning and depend on the watches to robotically detect my two to 5 outside walks every day, all whereas attempting to hit my stand and transfer targets. If I stroll for longer than 10 minutes greater than twice, the Watch SE will wrestle to final until midnight.

One other notable distinction between the SE and the Sequence 7 and later is that it doesn’t supply quick charging, nevertheless it by no means took longer than an hour to get again to one hundred pc.


Apple sacrificed surprisingly few options on the second-gen Watch SE. As a starter smartwatch, it gives loads of well being and fitness-tracking features, whereas offering peace of thoughts through emergency options like crash detection and compass trackback. So long as you’re not extraordinarily clumsy or impatient, you gained’t miss issues just like the hardier display, mud resistance or always-on show. At $250, the brand new Watch SE is the most effective smartwatch for the cash.

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