Apple Watch SE (2022) Review: The Best Smartwatch $250 Can Buy

Apple Watch SE (2022) Review: The Best Smartwatch $250 Can Buy

I didn't expect Apple, of all companies, to offer the most competitively priced smartwatch you can buy in 2022. But with Apple dropping the price by $30, the new Watch SE is arguably the most attractive wearable on the market. At less than $150 for the new Series 8, this year's Watch SE offers a full suite of health and wellness tools, emergency features, and few compromises. It even uses the same new chip as the Series 8 and looks different when loaded.

Design and equipment

If you've seen an Apple Watch, you've seen them all. Unlike most smartwatches for Android users, iPhone owners are left with the round and square faces that the company has maintained over the years. At this point, it seems most people have gotten used to the pattern and have either accepted it, adapted to it, or stopped complaining.

I am one of those who decided not to waste my breath anymore looking for a round face. Anyway, the Watch SE looks unassuming, light, comfortable and well made. The 40mm model I tried sat very well on my wrist, and sometimes I didn't even realize it was there. A 44mm version is also available.

It's worth noting that the latest wearables aren't flashy either, though at 26.4 grams (0.93 ounces), the 40mm Apple Watch SE is among the lightest. Meanwhile, Fitbit Sense and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 weigh 37.6 grams and 28.7 grams, respectively.

Although the bottom of the SE is made of nylon and sapphire crystal composite instead of ceramic like its predecessor and the 8, I didn't notice any difference until I looked at the spec sheet.

Unlike the Series 8 and Watch Ultra, the new SE doesn't have IPX6 dust protection , but it is waterproof up to 50 meters. It has an older pulse monitor than the other two, but it has the same S8 System Processor in Package (SiP) as well as a built-in high-speed accelerometer that enables collision detection.

Like its predecessor, the SE's display is covered with Ion-X glass, as opposed to the sapphire crystal of the 8 Series. I didn't have any issues with the new SE, although my first review of the next-gen device was severely flawed. After falling through the cracks in the curtain covering the cobwebbed floor, my bathroom caved in. If you're clumsy or expect rough handling from your smartwatch, pay more for a more durable model.

display

See SE's Retina display is bright, clear and easy to read even in direct sunlight. This last feature has a lot to do with the fact that Apple has always used colored text on a black background, which is very easy to read. While Samsung watches like the Galaxy Watch 5 often have a higher resolution and higher brightness, they sometimes use small, low-contrast fonts that are hard to read.

The new SE has the same display as its predecessor, meaning it's also an LTPO OLED panel with 394 x 324 and 448 x 368 resolutions for the 40mm and 44mm variants. It will also have the same 1,000 nits peak brightness as the older SE and Series 8.

Aside from the lack of a skin temperature sensor, the main difference between this year's Watch SE and its more premium siblings is that it lacks the always-on display (AOD) feature. This means lifting your wrist (sometimes on purpose) to see things like the time, how long you've been exercising, or a notification you just received. The Watch SE took a second to wake up and show me what I was looking for, but they never felt too slow. However, if you're impatient and strapped for cash, this is the feature that could make the Series 8 worth the extra $150.

Performance and Use

What's impressive for the price is that the Watch SE uses the same S8 SiP as the Series 8 and Watch Ultra. Overall, that means the $250 watch is just as fast as its more expensive counterpart at installing new watch faces, measuring heart rate, starting workouts, and more. I've used the SE and Series 8 in testing, and sometimes it detects faster if I've been running for 10 minutes or more, other times the higher-end model comes out on top. Whichever device notifies me first, both show the same length of the road to my house.

Using the SE to track my daily HIIT and weight training is like using the Series 8. The only difference is that the latter keeps the workout screen, making it easy for me to keep track of stats like elapsed time and calories. is burnt

The biggest feature missing from the SE is the new skin temperature sensor that Apple introduced in the Series 8. It measures the user's body temperature throughout the night and, based on deviations from the initial reading, retrospectively assesses whether you have ovulated. Since the SE does not have hardware, it does not offer this ovulation tracking feature. But it does everything cycling and sleep tracking. You can log your periods or take them before bed to see how much time you spend in zones like REM, deep and core sleep.

Despite being equipped with an older heart rate monitor than the Series 8 and Watch Ultra, the SE didn't take long to get a reading. To be honest, for the most part I don't know if there is any difference between the SE and the Series 7 that I've had for a year. Missing features like ECG and blood oxygen app which I don't use.

Battery life

One area where the SE falls short of the more expensive Apple Watch is battery life. While the Series 8 usually lasts all day with juice the next morning, the SE is dangerously low at night if I'm active too early. I usually track a workout every morning and rely on my watch to automatically detect my two to five trips outside each day as I try to meet my goals and keep going. If I walk more than 10 minutes more than twice, the SE watch won't last until midnight.

Another big difference between the SE and the 7-series and later is that they don't offer fast charging, but it doesn't take more than an hour to get back to 100 percent.

wrapped up

Unsurprisingly, Apple omitted some features from the second-generation Watch SE. As an entry-level smartwatch, it offers plenty of health and fitness tracking features and peace of mind with emergency features like collision detection and compass tracking. As long as you're not too clumsy or impatient, you won't miss things like a more durable, dust-resistant, or always-on display. At $250, the new Watch SE is the best smartwatch for the money.

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