Apple Watch SE evaluation (2022): Greatest smartwatch $250 can purchase

I Did not count on Apple, of all firms, to supply essentially the most competitively priced smartwatch you should buy in 2022. However with Apple saving $30 off the fee, the brand 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 provides 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 appears to be like indistinguishable in addition.

design and {hardware}

For those who’ve seen one Apple Watch, you have just about seen all of them. Not like most smartwatches for Android customers, iPhone homeowners are caught with the rounded sq. face, which the corporate has retained yr after yr. At this level, it looks as if most individuals have gotten used to the dimensions and both adopted it, adjusted to it, or stopped complaining.


  • New Complete Options for a Low Value
  • Nicely-rounded health and health-tracking
  • good efficiency
  • snug design


  • Quick battery life in comparison with different Apple watches
  • Not rated for mud resistance

I’m a kind of individuals who have determined to not waste their breath for a spherical face. No less than the Watch SE appears to be like unflattering and is light-weight, snug, and effectively made. The 40mm mannequin I am testing matches snugly on my wrist and more often than not I barely even discover that it is there. A 44mm model can also be obtainable.

It is value noting that latest wearables are equally unobtrusive, although at 26.4 g (0.93 oz), the 40mm Apple Watch SE is the lightest. In the meantime, the Fitbit Sense and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 each weigh 37.6 grams and 28.7 grams respectively.

Apple Watch SE (2022) with a Starlight case and Starlight band, on a person's wrist.

Cherlyn Low / Engadget

Though the underside of the SE is fabricated from a nylon composite and sapphire crystal as an alternative of the ceramic on its predecessor and the Sequence 8, I did not notice that till I checked the spec sheet.

Not like the Sequence 8 and Watch Extremely, the brand new SE is not rated IPX6 for mud resistance, but it surely Is Water-resistant 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 Hello-G accelerometer that makes crash detection attainable. Is.

Like its predecessor, the SE’s display screen is roofed by an Ion-X glass, versus the sapphire crystal on the Sequence 8. I have never had any mishaps with the brand new SE, though my first evaluation unit of the earlier technology system was obtained. The spiderweb cracks masking the show have been severely broken after it fell from my lavatory sink. For those who’re clumsy or anticipate being careless along with your smartwatch, it may be value paying extra to get a extra rugged mannequin.


The Watch SE’s Retina show is shiny, crisp, and straightforward to learn, even in direct daylight. That latter function has rather a lot to do with the truth that Apple constantly makes use of coloured textual content on a black background, which is nice for readability. Though watches just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 typically have increased decision and extra brightness, additionally they typically use smaller fonts with much less distinction and may be arduous to learn.

Apple Watch SE (2022) on a person's wrist, showing the Apps gallery.

Cherlyn Low / Engadget

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

Except for the dearth of a pores and skin temperature sensor, the principle distinction between this yr’s Watch SE and its extra premium siblings is that it does not have All the time On Show (AOD). This merely means you need to increase your wrist (typically deliberately) to see issues like time, how lengthy you have been working or any info that simply arrived. It took a second for the Watch SE to get up and present me what I am on the lookout for, but it surely by no means felt too gradual. For those who’re the impatient kind and have the additional cash, it is a function that might make the Sequence 8 value the additional $150.

efficiency and use

For the worth, it is spectacular that the Watch SE makes use of the identical S8 SIP because the Sequence 8 and Watch Extremely. Normally, this meant the $250 watch was simply as quick as its pricier counterparts for establishing new watch faces, measuring my coronary heart price, beginning exercises, and extra. I wore the SE and a Sequence 8 throughout my testing and it was typically fast to search out that I used to be working for 10 minutes or extra, whereas different instances the higher-end mannequin could be first. Irrespective of which system alerted me first, although, they each noticed roughly the identical length for my outside walks.

The Apple Watch SE (2022) is held in front of a colorful row of kettlebells on a person's wrist.

Cherlyn Low / Engadget

Utilizing the SE to trace my day by 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 screen on so I may extra simply hold observe of stats like elapsed time and energy burned. Burned.

A very powerful function that the SE lacks is the brand new pores and skin temperature sensor that Apple launched on the Sequence 8. It measures the wearer’s physique temperature all through the night time and based mostly on any deviations from the baseline studying, estimates retrospectively whether or not they have ovulated. As a result of the SE does not have {hardware}, it does not supply this ovulation-tracking function. However it does every part else associated to biking and sleep-tracking. You possibly can log your durations or put on it to mattress to see how a lot time you have spent in areas like REM, Deep, and Core Sleep.

Regardless of packing an older coronary heart price monitor than the Sequence 8 and Watch Extremely, it did not take lengthy for the SE to ship readings. Frankly, for essentially the most half, I could not inform if there was any distinction between the SE and the Sequence 7 that I wore for a yr. Lacking options like ECG and blood oxygen apps weren’t issues I used to have anyway.

Apple Watch SE (2022) on a person's wrist, showing the Activity app and Ring.

Cherlyn Low / Engadget

battery life

One space the place the SE beats the pricier Apple Watches is battery life. Whereas the Sequence 8 is often chugging alongside all day with juice the following morning, the SE tends to run dangerously low at night time if I had been notably energetic earlier. I normally observe a exercise every morning and depend on the clocks to mechanically detect my two to 5 outside walks every day, attempting to hit my stands and pursue objectives. If I run for 10 minutes greater than twice, the Watch SE will wrestle to final till midnight.

One other notable distinction between the SE and the Sequence 7 and later is that it does not supply quick charging, but it surely did not take greater than an hour to get again to 100%.


Apple surprisingly sacrificed some options on the second-generation Watch SE. As a starter smartwatch, it provides loads of health- and fitness-tracking features, whereas offering peace of thoughts by emergency options like crash detection and compass trackback. Until you are extraordinarily clumsy or impatient, you will not miss issues like a inflexible display screen, mud resistance, or an always-on show. At $250, the brand new Watch SE is one of the best smartwatch for the cash.

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