Apple Watch SE (2022) Review: The Budget Model That Doesn’t Lack (Most) Features. Apple Watch 2022
What is the newest Apple Watch?
2022 is the year of the Apple Watch Series 8, the latest in Apple’s celebrated line of smartwatches. While this year’s model continues with much the same design as 2021’s Apple Watch Series 7, it introduces new safety features, a temperature sensor, and the all-improved watchOS 9. Not only that, but the eighth entry in the Apple Watch series also brings a new premium model, the Apple Watch Ultra. It takes everything that makes the Apple Watch 8 great and amplifies it, featuring bigger dimensions, rugged (yet elegant) titanium casing, and an exclusive Wayfinder watch face (which is aimed at hikers).
The Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch Ultra are the two newest Apple smartwatches available today, yet September of this year also brought the Apple Watch SE 2, equipped with similarly great battery life, faultless software, and highly comprehensive fitness tracking. This article offers a roundup of these three new models while also providing an overview of earlier Apple Watches no longer sold directly by Apple.
What is the newest Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch Ultra — officially launched on September 23, 2022 — is the newest and most state-of-the-art Apple smartwatch available today, closely followed by the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE (2022), both of which were released on September 16, 2022. These models usurped the Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch SE (2020), respectively, with these two models discontinued by Apple.
Apple Watch models currently sold by Apple
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 might just be the perfect smartwatch. While superficially similar to the Series 7, it nonetheless provides refinements that help to advance it beyond its predecessor. This includes car crash detection, tracking for different stages of sleep, and a new temperature sensor, which is designed to track subtle changes resulting from changes to a user’s diet, fitness, and overall health, providing users with a more nuanced and finely grained global picture of their overall well-being.
Other than that, it carries over many of the software and hardware features that made the Apple Watch Series 7 such a supreme wearable. The Apple S8 is at least as powerful as its predecessor, its 1.9-inch Retina OLED display is sumptuous and detailed, and watchOS 9 provides the kind of intuitive UX that has helped make the Apple Watch the world’s most popular device of its ilk.
Being an Apple Watch, users also have the option of various colors (graphite, silver, gold), as well as an ever-expanding array of bands. Needless to say, link-up with your iPhone is fluid and seamless, while the fitness- and health-tracking features are really second to none, helping users to set goals for themselves and track their progress.
Apple Watch Ultra
If the Apple Watch Series 8 is the perfect smartwatch, then the Apple Watch Ultra is something else entirely. While it keeps all of the features that make the Series 8 such a standout smartwatch, it also adds a few premium extras of its own. Most noticeably, this includes its luxurious titanium casing, which houses its larger dimensions and display, providing some serious durability. On top of this, it incorporates a significantly larger battery, which has twice the staying power of the Series 9, capable of lasting around 36 hours as opposed to 18. There’s also a Depth app for divers and a dual-frequency GPS (helping hikers to monitor their positions more precisely), making it a touch more useful as a fitness-tracking device than its less expensive stablemate.
The Apple Watch Ultra doesn’t stop there with the special features, with its exclusive Wayfinder watch face providing walkers and hikers with such data as elevation, incline, latitude, and longitude. Then there’s the extra hardware button on the left-hand side of the device that can be programmed to work with certain apps in certain ways, making it more convenient to use. It’s also worth mentioning that its 1.92-inch Retina OLED display is brighter than the Series 8, maxing out at 2,000 nits compared to 1,000.
It’s almost tiring to run through the additional features the Apple Watch Ultra packs into its small volume, such is its prowess. Suffice it to say, you can’t really find a better smartwatch at the moment.
Apple Watch SE (2022)
The second generation of Apple’s Special Edition smartwatch, the Apple Watch SE (2022) is serious value for money. While it recycles the same exact design as the Apple Watch Series 6 (and its predecessors), it contains the S8 processor of the Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, making it highly capable as a device. It also has as long-lasting a battery as the Series 8, and without the always-on screen of the latter, it can usually survive a little longer without needing a recharge.
While the SE 2 doesn’t have as many sensors as the Series 8 (lacking the new temperature sensor and also the ECG monitor), it nonetheless enables users to track their health and fitness in a suitably comprehensive way. For example, it provides notifications for abnormally high or low heart rates, fall and noise detection, menstrual cycle tracking, crash detection, and sleep tracking. It can also track a wide range of workouts, with the watch displaying the user’s heart rate, active calorie burn, and other metrics as they exercise.
Yes, it may not have the wow factor of the Apple Watch Ultra, but in terms of its core functionality, the Apple Watch SE (2022) is arguably more or less as good. It’s also much cheaper, making it a real winner in our book.
Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 — while it brought some subtle visual updates — was still very similar to the earlier Apple Watch Series 6. That said, the Retina screen is 20% larger with a 1.7mm bezel that’s 40% thinner than previous models. A 2.5D screen curve flows over the edge of the body, and is covered in a thick, crack-resistant crystal surrounding the rounded corners of the case. The larger, always-on screen fits 50% more text and is large enough to display a full keyboard. The screen is 70% brighter than previous models when viewed indoors, while the new IP6X dust resistance certification teams up with the WR50 water resistance rating of the previous model.
The aluminum model comes in five colors, Midnight, Starlight, green, blue, and Product Red, supporting new watch faces designed for the larger, curved screen. The Series 7 is also larger, with 41mm or 45mm case sizes, but maintains compatibility with all existing Apple Watch bands from the first version on.
The Series 7 is powered by Apple’s S7 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor, just like the S6. It has the same sensor array on the back, to measure heart rate and blood oxygen and can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) reading. There’s a new fall-detection feature for workouts and when cycling, and via watchOS 8, the Series 7 also measures sleep respiratory rate.
Battery life lasts around 18 hours before needing a recharge. Fast-charging technology moves the Apple Watch Series 7’s battery to an 88% charge in just 45 minutes.
Apple Watch SE (2020)
To put it reductively, the Apple Watch SE is basically the Apple Watch Series 6, except it doesn’t have an always-on display, an electrocardiogram sensor, a blood-oxygen monitor, or the latest S6 processor. Otherwise, it’s a highly powerful and usable smartwatch, albeit a cheaper one. Really, the Apple Watch SE looks virtually identical to the Apple Watch 6. It features a 1.78-inch Retina display with a 326 pixel-per-inch density, which is identical to the Series 6’s display. It also offers a wide range of bands and straps, although it doesn’t come with the option of having it in either stainless steel or titanium.
Aside from the missing ECG and SpO2 sensors, the Apple Watch SE is also a very comprehensive health-and-fitness tracker. As with the Apple Watch Series 6, you can use it to monitor your heart rate and track your sleep, while it also provides copious amounts of data for a variety of workouts.
As for the general user experience, the SE’s harnessing of the S5 processor makes it very quick. It works seamlessly with a wide range of apps, from social media applications such as to more productivity-focused software like Microsoft Teams. As with other Apple Watches, the Digital Crown dial remains intuitive and responsive, allowing you to navigate watchOS with a minimum amount of fuss.
The Apple Watch SE is available in 40mm and 44mm sizes, while you can also spend 50 extra to have a version with cellular connectivity (letting you make telephone calls). Regardless of which option you go for, you’ll have one of the best smartwatches around.
Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch Series 6 is the best discontinued smartwatch you can find (if you’re lucky) right now. Starting at 399, it covers every base you’d want a smartwatch to cover. Its health-and-fitness tracking is as comprehensive as anything else out there, its software is probably the smoothest on any watch out right now, and its powerful Apple S6 processor can handle any task you’d need from a smartwatch.
Its standard model comes in a lightweight aluminum frame, although you can also choose to spend more to have either stainless steel or titanium instead, which are more durable but a little heavier. The Apple Watch Series 6’s screen makes the always-on screen more visible and useful in the vast majority of conditions. Another feature is the watch’s blood oxygen (SpO2) sensor, which measures whether there’s enough oxygen in the blood to give you a rough idea of how quickly you recover after vigorous exercise, for example. It really is one of the best fitness trackers out there, while its software is seamless and its battery provides around a day-and-a-half of use under a moderate usage regime. Though it’s no longer sold on Apple’s website, it’s still available both new and refurbished from popular vendors like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.
Apple Watch Series 5
Launched in September 2019, the Apple Watch Series 5 brought the always-on display to the Apple Watch line for the very first time, and it also further cemented the Apple Watch’s reputation for slick software and rigorous fitness-tracking features.
While you won’t be able to buy it directly from Apple, a quick browse shows that it can be found refurbished on sites such as Amazon and Best Buy, and from deep discounters like Dailysale. Some new models are even still available on Amazon.
Apple Watch Series 4
Dating back to 2018, the Apple Watch Series 4 received a perfect 5-out-of-5 score from us when we reviewed it, calling it “Apple’s finest hour in years.” It’s still a great smartwatch three years later, and while it lacks the always-on display of the Series 5 and 6, it does more or less everything else you’d want a smartwatch to do. Its design is (unsurprisingly) beautiful, its 1.78-inch Retina OLED screen is bright and crisp, and its fitness monitoring is reliably accurate. Given it’s compatible with watchOS 7, you’ll also get all of the latest Apple Watch software innovations.
It is quite hard nowadays to find a new Apple Watch Series 4 online, although you can buy it renewed/refurbished on Amazon, Best Buy, and eBay and deeply discounted on Dailysale. Some new models are even still available on Amazon.
Apple Watch Series 3
Yes, it may seem odd to include the 2017 Apple Watch Series 3 in an article on the latest Apple Watches. However, Apple does indeed continue to sell the Apple Watch 3 on its website as a low-cost model, having discontinued the Series 4, 5, and 6. The Apple Watch Series 3 remains a very good smartwatch and was the first Apple Watch to offer a 4G LTE cellular connection.
The Apple Watch 3 now begins at 199, making it 80 and 200 cheaper than the standard models of the Apple Watch SE and Series 7, respectively. And for that price, you get a whole lot of features, including a 1.65-inch Retina OLED display packing 303 ppi, the dual-core S3 processor, long battery life, a faultless software experience (it’s compatible with watchOS 7), and the customary range of useful health-and-fitness tracking apps.
While the Apple Watch Series 3 lacks some of the newer sensors you get with the later watch generations, it still offers heart-rate tracking and the GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, and barometer you need to track many workouts. Because it supports watchOS 8, it offers basically the same software tricks as newer devices, such as sleep tracking and automatic hand-washing detection. Sure, it may not be quite as fast as the Series 7 (or SE), but it still outperforms many other smartwatches.
Apple Watch Series 2
Now we’re really going back in time. Launched in 2016, the Apple Watch Series 2 provided a noticeable leap forward compared to its predecessor. It added waterproofing (making it great for swimmers), a brighter OLED display, the dual-core S2 processor, and its own GPS sensor. Taken together, this truly promoted the smartwatch to the ranks of full-fledged health and fitness tracker, while the inclusion of watchOS 3 improved messaging and offered a number of relaxation features. That said, the Series 2 was let down slightly by relatively short battery life.
You’d be very hard-pressed to find a new Apple Watch Series 2 for sale these days. The likes of Amazon and Best Buy no longer stock it, while even eBay lists only secondhand models and Dailysale only has refurbished models.
Apple Watch Series 1
The Apple Watch Series 8 is the newest Apple Watch, along with the super-powered Apple Watch Ultra and the value-for-money Apple Watch SE 2. While the Ultra has the most features, the biggest battery, and is simply the most eye-catching in terms of design and size, the Series 8 retains most of what it offers, including the same sharp screen, the same processor, and pretty much all of the same fitness- and health-tracking tools. Much the same goes for the SE 2 in relation to the Series 8, with the cheaper device lacking an always-on display (as well as the ECG and blood-oxygen monitors) but nonetheless offering nearly everything else.
Of course, many of the smartwatches Apple has discontinued are also worth checking out if you can find them online, with the Series 7 barely indistinguishable from the newer Series 8. Likewise, if you already have the Series 7 or 6, you may prefer to wait another generation or two before upgrading, such is the similarity between the more recent entries in the Apple Watch series.
Simon Chandler is a journalist based in London, UK. He covers technology and finance, contributing to such titles as Digital…
A viral TikTok has made the internet rounds, showing a person who thought that they could transfer Apple gift card funds to Apple Pay. After buying a 300 Apple gift card, however, they quickly learned that that’s simply not possible. While their choice might seem misguided in hindsight, there are plenty of people who have been left confused about the differences between Apple gift cards and Apple Pay.
While having a 300 Apple gift card certainly has its uses — such as buying 10 years of Apple Music, as the original poster jokingly pointed out — it’s certainly not the same as having that same money to spend freely with Apple Pay. To avoid making the same mistake as this TikTok user, make sure that you understand the distinctions between the two Apple services, as it might just save you 300 (or more). You cannot add Apple gift cards to Apple Pay
No Apple collection is complete without an Apple Watch. If you already have an iPhone, Airpods and a MacBook, this is perfect final accessory to round out your suite of products. Apple has some of the best smartwatches on the market. They vary widely in features and price, from the slim SE to the heavy duty Ultra. Of course they’re never really cheap, but Apple Watch deals can help cut the price down significantly. We’ve picked out our favorite bargains below on all the available models. Let’s check them out. Apple Watch SE (1st Gen).- 199, was 279
The Apple Watch SE (1st Gen) remains a popular choice for anyone dipping their toe into the Apple Watch world without spending a fortune. Still a great choice for most people, the watch allows you to track all your daily activities from walks to runs, HIIT workouts, to tai chi or yoga. You can also monitor your calorie burn and steps taken with a built-in compass and real-time elevation readings that are ideal for hikers. As well as that, there are high and low heart rate notifications, a heads up if your heart rate suddenly becomes irregular, and extensive notifications to save you from grabbing your phone.
WatchOS 10 is set to be announced during WWDC 2023, Apple’s big summer showcase, and it looks like the Apple Watch update might be much bigger than expected.
For the past several years, watchOS updates have been relatively small in terms of new features and overhauls. However, a recent rumor suggests that Apple Watch owners should be in for something big when watchOS 10 goes live.
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Apple Watch SE (2022) Review: The Budget Model That Doesn’t Lack (Most) Features
Justin Duino Edited By Marcus Mears III
The 1st-generation Apple Watch SE was the mid-tier option between a cheap Series 3 and the latest and greatest Apple Watch. In 2022, the new 2nd-gen Apple Watch SE is still the budget model, but it does 90% of what the Series 8 can do. And honestly, it’s probably the best wearable for most.
Here’s What We Like
- 90% of the features found on the Series 8
- Least expensive Apple Watch
- Fantastic performance
And What We Don’t
- No always-on display
- You’ll need to charge it almost every day
- Cannot perform Blood Oxygen or ECG tests
How-To Geek’s expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more
Design: Not Much Has Changed
If you’ve ever looked at an Apple Watch, you know exactly what to expect here. Instead of a traditional timepiece’s circular design, the Apple Watch SE 2 is square in shape with rounded corners and edges. On the right, you’ll find a rotating digital crown and a side button. On the left, there are cutouts for the watch’s built-in microphone and speaker.
Apple also uses a proprietary watch Band design that slides into the top and bottom of the wearable. Third parties make accessories that allow you to adapt traditional bands, but it’s much easier to buy new ones for the Apple Watch (just make sure to purchase one for the correct screen size).
The first time you put the Apple Watch SE on your wrist, you’ll be surprised by how light it is. It’s a solid 6g lighter than my current Series 7, which doesn’t sound like much, but makes a world of difference when talking about something you wear every day.
Part of the reason why this model is so much lighter is that the Apple Watch SE has a new nylon composite material backing that’s color-matched to the aluminum frame. It’s a nice touch, but you won’t notice the change outside of the weight difference.
The 2022 Apple Watch SE’s display is the same as found on the Series 4-6, which comes with some drawbacks. For one, the bezels are noticeably wider than that found on premium models. Secondly, there’s no always-on display.
For me, that isn’t a huge loss. I always keep that feature off on my Series 7 because it dramatically drains the battery. But if you want to always see the time on your watch without raising your wrist, this can be a make-or-break component.
The Best Apple Watch Bands of 2023
Nike Sport Band
Nike Sport Loop
Apple Sport Band
Carterjett Tire Tread Band
Apple Braided Solo Loop
Hermès Attelage Double Tour Band
Nomad Modern Band
Apple Sport Loop
Apple Milanese Loop
Features: Crash Detection, Improved Sleep Tracking, and
As you might expect, the Apple Watch SE (2022) comes with the latest operating system update, watchOS 9, out of the box. All of the OS’ new features, including better sleep tracking, improved workout views, and more, run flawlessly and without lag on the watch, thanks to Apple’s S8 CPU (which also powers the Series 8 and Ultra).
But beyond those, at its September 2022 “Far Out” event, Apple talked at length about the second-generation SE’s high-g accelerometer and improved gyroscope. What makes these special is that they allow for crash detection. I obviously wasn’t able to test this feature, but I was happy it wasn’t limited to the more premium watches.
I also had fun playing with the redesigned Compass app. Beyond looking nicer, you can now set waypoints and enable backtrack. If you ever go hiking and get lost, both of these will help you retrace your steps and get back to where you started.
Battery Life: Enough to Get You Through the Day
Historically, the Apple Watch’s greatest weakness has been battery life. While it has gotten better since the first Apple Watch was released in 2015, you still can’t comfortably use the SE 2 for multiple days.
In my testing, I found that I could push 2 days out of the 2022 Apple Watch SE, but that was with zero exercise tracking. commonly, I would put the wearable on at 9 am, wear it throughout the day, and have ~60% battery left. If I left it on overnight for sleep tracking, it normally drained another 5-10% by the time I woke up.
Using the included Apple Watch charging puck and a third-party power adaptor like the UGREEN Nexode 100W (because Apple no longer includes one), I could charge the SE from 0% to 100% in a little over 2 hours.
Unfortunately, the 2022 Apple Watch SE does not feature fast charging, which was first introduced with the Series 7 and has since been added to the Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra. Slow charging isn’t the worst, but I often found that sticking the watch on the charger while I showered and got ready for the day wasn’t enough to fully juice up the SE.
Apple Watch SE (2022) vs. Apple Watch Series 8
Apple announced 3 new smartwatches in 2022, the 2nd-gen SE, Series 8, and Ultra. But if you’re considering buying the budget-friendly SE, you’re not going to be interested in how it compares to the Ultra. Instead, let’s see how the Apple Watch SE stacks up against the Series 8.
Besides a small size difference, the overall design of the two watches is the same. Metal frame, glass screen, digital crown, and a side button. Turn on that display, though, and the first thing you’ll notice is that the bezels on the SE are much wider. Thankfully, they blend into the background if you use a black/dark watch face.
The screen itself is just as bright on both models (both max out at 1,000 nits), but you do lose the always-on display with the SE (as discussed above). I prefer saving battery life over my wearable’s screen always being on, but this difference might be a dealbreaker for you.
Almost every other difference between the Apple Watch SE and Series 8 is sensor related. Both feature a heart rate sensor, but the 2022 SE cannot take blood oxygen readings or perform an ECG. The SE is also missing the new temperature sensors that allow for better cycle tracking with retrospective ovulation estimates.
Besides that, both watches are powered by the same Apple-made S8 SiP advanced dual-core CPU, run watchOS 9, and can track almost all of the same basic workouts. The Apple Watch SE (2nd-gen) is missing some niceties, but it’s also 150 cheaper than the Series 8.
Apple Watch SE review: Ready for the fun!
The new Apple Watch SE feels great on the wrist, offers the core functions of the mainstream models, and seamless integration with the iPhone—offering all these at an affordable price. If you are looking for a smartwatch that can automatically record your physical activities, I will show you why the new generation Watch SE could be a great option in this review.
The Apple Watch SE in a nutshell
To put it bluntly, the first thing you need to know about the Watch SE 2022 is, unlike the primary models in the series, the most affordable version does not offer features such as Always-on Display (AoD), dust-resistance certification, a blood oxygen meter, ECG, or temperature sensor. It also lacks the ability to provide the estimated time for ovulation even though it contains the cycle tracking option.
So, if any of these features are essential for you, then I highly recommend you read our Apple Watch Series 8 review. Now, if you can live without these options, Apple offers up to four variants of this model, all of them arriving in aluminum. Check them out:
Apple Watch Bands
The wristbands for the Apple Watch SE 2022 are available starting at 49.
A great design on the wrist
The Watch SE is the smallest model in Apple’s current series of smartwatches: with case sizes measuring 40mm or 44mm. For its construction, we see the use of 100% recycled aluminum with the new generation having been redesigned to offer the same color as the watch case on the back, which is composed of nylon and sapphire crystals.
What I liked:
- Comfortable and feels great on the wrist.
- Uses the same visual language as the primary models.
- Bright, high-contrast screen.
- Screen responds quickly to touch.
What I disliked:
- No dust-resistant rating.
- No Always-on Display (AoD).
The Midnight color model is very elegant, with the Fluoroelastomer strap featuring the same color as the case in a great combination. However, it is also possible to find the Watch SE in Starlight and Silver colors. I confess that I found the size to be rather strange at first as I was wearing the 40mm variant before. However, the 44mm model is super light (33g) and the amount of information visible on the screen made me rethink my previous preference.
The crown and action buttons on the side are easy to access and the touchscreen response is very fast. Also, the fact that we have the same design as the primary models despite having a lower screen utilization (20% less), is a positive point in my eyes, as it shows that despite being the most affordable Apple Watch available, Apple continues to maintain the quality of the 8 Series in the SE variant.
However, even with a water resistance rating of 50 meters, the Watch SE does not offer any dust resistance. This remains the exclusive domain of the more expensive models.
Finally, the Watch SE screen uses Retina LTPO OLED display technology, with a resolution of 368 x 448 pixels (44mm) and 324 x 394 pixels (40mm) and a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits. Unfortunately, we don’t have the AoD option on the low-cost variant of Apple’s smartphones.
Overall, the Apple Watch SE feels very secure on the wrist. this is especially important when performing different types of physical activities, because it directly influences the accuracy of the sensors such as for the creation of data reports including heart rate monitoring.
Core Apple Watch functions arefully present
Like the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra models, the Watch SE runs on the latest version of Apple’s software for smartwatches: watchOS 9. This means that, given the exceptions, the core functions of the line are present in the low-cost model.
What I liked:
- Seamless integration with the iPhone.
- Offers core Apple Watch features.
- A wide range of fitness features.
- 3 months Fitness are included.
What I disliked:
The seamless integration with the iPhone makes the Watch SE an extremely attractive device for those who want an uncomplicated smartwatch experience. Beyond a shortcut to notifications and mobile remote control, the Apple Watch SE is highly customizable and offers a detailed view of Health app reports right on the watch’s screen.
Regarding customization of the Watch SE, we have a number of Watch faces available, with a wide range of customization options to choose from. Editing the Watch face is very similar to what we have in the new Lock Screen in iOS 16, and for the most part, they offer shortcuts to relevant actions available in watchOS 9, such as quick access to the Timer app or Apple Music/YouTube Music.
Among the features offered by Watch SE, functions such as Power Saving mode and Crash Detection will be detailed in the battery and performance sections, respectively. However, I will highlight five features here that I consider really to be attractive for those who are interested in investing in this device.
Smartwatches in general are excellent tools for quantified self-awareness, that is, tools that allow us to better understand our own health (activity/routine) through the data we generate daily. And that’s what attracted me to such devices.
That said, menstrual cycle monitoring is an excellent example of a feature applied to the health of those who ovulate, and Apple excels at offering fairly comprehensive options. I’m referring to the retrospective ovulation estimates via the temperature sensing feature found on the Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra. What we have in the Watch SE, however, is just an extension of what the Health app offers on the iPhone. So if you are looking for something more complete in this regard, perhaps the more advanced models in the series are a better option.
Now, what really optimized my menstrual cycle reports using the Watch SE is how the watch functions as a quick data entry point for my menstrual cycle, making the reports much more accurate since the data entry is performed manually.
than that, Apple partners with highly credible health associations to offer support materials on women’s health and menstrual cycles that help understand what happens to the body during this time, as well as information on possible changes by suggesting a visit to the gynecologist. By the way, both iOS 16 and watchOS 9 send notifications about deviations in the menstrual cycle based on the data log. Again, the Watch SE can be of great help when it comes to collecting such data.
Regarding the security of this data, Apple ensures that it encrypts the information right on the device, and remains accessible only via passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. than that, the data from the Health app goes up with end-to-end encryption to iCloud, Apple’s data Cloud. This means that Apple does not have access to the encryption key and therefore cannot read any information, even if asked to do so. Only you have access to this data and you are the only one who can share it.
Still on the topic of quantified self-awareness, with watchOS 9 Apple has greatly optimized sleep stage reporting. In this regard, the Watch SE is a protagonist. The fact that the battery life allows up to 24 hours of watch use is extremely relevant for this feature-even though Apple offers a rather conservative prediction of 18 hours.
Personally, I prefer to use devices like Google Nest Display for sleep monitoring, as I’m not used to sleeping while wearing a watch. However, the accuracy of the information makes that little discomfort worth it.
What strikes me most is the fact that it is able to provide an approximate time for when you go to bed and the amount of time it takes for you to go to sleep. This gives you a very rough overview of the quality of your sleep. Using only your iPhone to perform this kind of analysis based on the time you go to bed or wake up will never offer such a degree of accuracy.
Another relevant point is the variation in heart rate during sleep, as well as changes in one’s breathing. It is impressive to realize that in stages such as REM—extremely relevant for memory and learning—changes in the heart rate and breathing are frequent.
The reports offered by Apple from the Health app are still quite basic, however, it is possible to make an analysis not only of the amount of hours slept, but also the sleep quality based on the time one remains in each stage. These reports are broken down by Day, Week, Month, and Year, so in the long term it is possible to understand the impact of sleep quality on other areas of health such as appetite increase or decrease as well as stress levels.
If you are interested in understanding a little more about the accuracy of the Sleep Stages feature on Apple’s smartwatches, The Quantified Scientis YouTube channel has published a video analyzing the feature and offers a comparison with other smartwatches also tested by our team, such as the Whoop 4, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, and Huawei GT 3 Pro. The result of the Apple Watch is superb.
Apple offers a pretty full range of Workouts to choose from, even offering the custom addition of physical activities right in the app. When starting an activity, the Watch SE recognizes the action and offers to record the exercise data retroactively. This function has proven to be very efficient.
What changes in the Workout app with watchOS 9 is the more accurate recognition of movements when doing physical activity by combining software and the watch’s sensors. Chief among these are perhaps running metrics, with analysis of stride length and ground contact time, as well as heart rate zones. At the end of the day, this data gives us not only more information about the sport, but more accurate data.
Given the limitation of using wrist sensors for physical activity monitoring —more about this in this article—the Watch SE offers a fairly close overview of what more advanced gadgets offer. As my sports regiment is not so intense, I refer to the Desfit channel on YouTube that compared the Watch SE metrics usage with other devices to show the accuracy offered per model.
When it comes to my weekly runs, however, the Apple Watch SE proved to be an excellent companion. The fact that we have indicated Split pace, for example, in real–time on the screen makes it possible for us to calculate the time of each kilometer run and, of course, optimize each one.
Last but not least, the Apple Watch SE offers a three-month trial of the Apple’s Fitness service. We don’t have a review of this service here at NextPit yet, but what you need to know is that it caters to both indoor and outdoor running and other physical activities. This means if you are looking for motivation while hiking in the woods, running in the park, or paddling in the lake, you can rely on the audio and even multimedia directly on the watch itself.
After the trial period, you can choose to keep the service for 9.99 per month or settle for an annual subscription of 79.99. Using Apple Fitness, you can share the service with up to five family members.
If you’re also the kind of person who likes to be immersed in nature and go hiking in the woods during the weekends, watchOS 9 introduced a great revamp of the Compass app.
In addition to location and orientation, Apple’s compass service allows you to do location tagging, as well as record the number of steps you take to backtrack using GPS data to prevent you from getting lost. The latter has proven much more efficient on longer routes.
Finally, Apple’s security and privacy policies stand out when compared to other manufacturers. Apple guarantees that it does not share user data with third parties for commercial or marketing purposes. Everything is processed at the device level, including requests to the Siri voice assistant that have not been sent to the company’s servers since 2021.
According to the Mozilla Foundation’s security and privacy report regarding the Apple Watch—and updated in August of this year—”overall, Apple does a pretty good job of protecting their users’ privacy and security.”
The Watch SE uses the same processor that powers the Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra models. The S8 SiP chip with 64-bit dual-core processor offers up to 20% more speed compared to the previous generation. The device offers 32 GB of internal storage and two variants: GPS Cellular or GPS only.
What I liked:
- Premium smartwatch performance.
- Integrated GPS (you can leave the iPhone at home).
- Fall Detection and Crash Detection are present.
What I disliked:
- No U1 chip (Ultra Wideband).
Here are more similarities: the Watch SE offers the same motion sensors as the 8 series, ensuring that the Crash Detection feature is also available on this model. Of course, we have not been able to test this feature out and I sincerely hope this never happens, so we will have to make do with the results of the manufacturer’s tests that guarantee the effectiveness of this function.
In addition, the Watch SE also features the second-generation optical heart sensor, making this low-cost variant a good long-term option. Remember that the Series 8 uses a third-generation optical heart sensor.
In relation to performance, what I consider really positive is the fact that we have integrated GPS, so you can leave home without having to carry your iPhone around. Another positive feature that I would consider is the low latency of the wireless connection of the headphones. By the way, the Watch SE uses the Apple wireless chip W3, but does not offer UWB. So, if unlocking your car with your Apple Watch is something relevant to you in the long run, I recommend buying the Series 8 or Ultra that comes with the integrated U1 chip.
Below, you can see a comparison table showing the main functions and sensors built into the Watch SE, Watch Series 8, and Watch Ultra:
Finally, the Watch SE offers support for the Family Setup function (GPS Cellular models) that allows you to set up the smartwatch for family members who don’t have an iPhone.
Better than expected battery life. for an Apple Watch
On paper, the Watch SE offers up to 18 hours of battery life. However, this will depend a lot on how you use the device’s features. Without any physical activity, I was able to use the smartwatch for 48 hours, which is really impressive for an Apple Watch. From Wednesday to Friday (first screenshot below), the device was still active after a three-hour bowling session, a concert, and two nights of sleep analysis. among other things.
What I liked:
- Battery life is surprisingly long (for an Apple Watch).
- Low Power mode is an excellent addition to WatchOS 9.
- GPS and heart rate work accurately even with Low Power mode active.
What I disliked:
- 90 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%.
- Power adapter is not included in the box.
The first highlight goes to Low Power mode, introduced with the WatchOS 9 update. By enabling this feature, the device’s sensors are limited, as well as internet connectivity and functions such as heart monitoring in the background, heart rate notifications, and heart rate irregularities. However, during sports practice, the heart rate and GPS data are calculated precisely.
What really jumps out while in Low Power mode is that seconds are not shown during some activity. In addition, we have a marker next to the watch that identifies that Low Power mode is activated, as shown in the image below:
Despite the battery life being above the value stated by Apple, the standard charging time of the Apple Watch still remains a relevant issue, especially because of the battery life. A full charge on 15W power takes up to 100 minutes to reach 97%. However, the device can stay with you for an entire day with 50% of the battery charge. You would then do well to charge it overnight so that it can be ready to be worn right before you leave the house in the morning.
Finally, it should also be said that, as with the iPhone, Apple offers the battery charging optimization function. That is, to maintain the life cycle of this component, the battery charges more slowly upon reaching 80% of the total charge value.
Bottom line: the uncomplicated Apple Watch
According to Apple, for over 80% of people who bought the first generation SE series, this is their first Apple Watch. Which is quite understandable, given that offering the core functions of the Apple Watch series at an affordable price.
But if anything about this Apple Watch SE review stood out for me, it’s the fact that this smartwatch exceeds even the most positive expectations. The new generation retains the visual language of the main line and offers virtually the same power. Of course, we have the absence of key functions that are important for some people, such as blood oxygen meters, ECG, or temperature sensor. This is the beauty of simplicity for this line.
I believe that buying this model may be a good option for those who have older variants of the Apple Watch, such as Series 4 and Series 5, as they are already in the final years of operating system updates—assuming the ECG function is not relevant to them.
In relation to the Watch Series 8 models, the 150 difference for the GPS variant is significant. After all, we are talking about 37.5% of the value. In case the exclusive features of the main line are not of extreme importance to you, buying the Apple Watch SE is a strong recommendation if you want to save a few bucks and, above all, have an uncomplicated smartwatch on your wrist.
And if you’re just looking for a shortcut for notifications and for remote control of your iPhone, know that the Apple Watch SE is pure fun. and a lot of that comes from the seamless and secure integration with Apple’s devices.
Now, if you’re looking for a smartwatch outside the Apple ecosystem that’s affordable and has advanced workout options, our team recommends the Garmin Venu series models for sports, such as the Venu 2S which can already be found for 299 on Amazon. In this case, if you want to use mobile payment features, be sure to check first if Garmin Pay supports your bank.
Another recommended model for workout features is the Amazfit GTR4. However, the model does not have the ecosystem of support for third-party accessories like Garmin models (e.g. chest-straps). Also, keep in mind that the Amazfit GTR4 lags far behind when it comes to Smart features.
Apple Watch Series 8: Release Date, Specs, Price, and News
Tim Fisher has more than 30 years’ of professional technology experience. He’s been writing about tech for more than two decades and serves as the SVP and General Manager of Lifewire.
Ryan Perian is a certified IT specialist who holds numerous IT certifications and has 12 years’ experience working in the IT industry support and management positions.
The Apple Watch 8 was released on September 16, 2022. Below is everything you need to know about this Apple Watch iteration, including its body temperature sensor and other health features.
Apple Watch Series 8 Release Date
Apple has come out with a new smartwatch every year since the first edition in 2015. Yet again, the company announced the “best Apple Watch lineup yet,” Series 8, on September 7, 2022, during a pre-recorded event.
The same event announced the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch SE 2, the former of which became available on September 23, 2022, while the Series 8 and SE 2 arrived on September 16, 2022.
Apple Watch Series 8 Price
Apple Watch Series 8 start at 399 for Wi-Fi only and 499 for cellular. Three months of Fitness is included. For comparison, the base model starts at the same price as Series 4 through 7.
The lower-cost Apple Watch SE 2 is 249 instead of 279 like the first edition, or 299 for cellular.
Apple Watch Series 8 Features
Below are some notable Apple Watch 8 features. They go hand-in-hand with improvements like longer battery life, better screens, and an upgraded operating system (watchOS 9).
- Temperature reader: A new wrist temperature feature works overnight to determine your body temperature. The iPhone Health app shows temperature differences from the baseline (not your actual temperature).
- Cycle tracking: Cycle Tracking tells you if you have prolonged periods or abnormal cycles.
- Crash detection: The Apple Watch already has fall detection that can tell when you’ve had a bad fall. The Apple Watch Series 8 includes an upgrade that will do the same for car crashes; it will dial emergency services if necessary and contact your emergency contacts.
- Low Power Mode: Save battery life by having some features turn off when the battery is low, like the always-on display and automatic workout detection. Low Power Mode doubles the battery life from 18 hours to 36 hours and works on all Apple Watches running watchOS 9 (Series 4 and newer).
- International roaming: This feature is now available on cellular models, starting with the Series 5.
- watchOS 9: The new watchOS will bring four new watch faces, an updated Siri UI and banner notifications, additional metrics in the Workout app, Sleep Stages for the Sleep app, AFib History, health data sharing, the Medications app to track medications and learn about drug interactions, new keyboard languages, and more.
Apple Watch Series 8 Specs and Hardware
The Apple Watch Series 8 keeps the Series 7’s 41 and 45mm screen sizes, but 2022‘s other models offer more variety. The pared-down Apple Watch SE has 40 and 44mm options, while the Ultra bumps the screen up to 49mm.
The Series 8 boasts an edge-to-edge, always-on Retina display to make the most of its case; Apple says it has 20% more screen area than the smaller SE.
The Series 8 includes various new hardware and features. It still monitors your heart rate, including on-demand ECG and blood oxygen readings using an updated, third-generation sensor. Temperature monitoring is the main health update, but it will also include accelerometer features like fall and crash detection. The GPS will also work with the updated Compass app to let you set waypoints and backtrack if you lose your way.
Apple Watch Series 8 keeps the 32GB storage capacity that has been the standard since the Series 5. It also uses the W3 wireless chip that originated with the Series 4. Its ultra-wideband U1 chip is the same as the one that’s been in the past few models, but Apple has upgraded the “system on a chip” to the S8, which also appears in the SE 2 and Ultra models.
The Apple Watch 8 is available with various aluminum and stainless steel cases, each with several color options. Aluminum cases come in Moonlight (black), Starlight (white), silver, and red; the stainless steel colors are graphite, silver, and gold.
Apple also introduced some new bands for the Ultra model, but some of them also work with certain sizes of the Series 8. The 45mm version can use the Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, and Ocean Loop bands (below). The smaller case only works with the older bands.
The Latest News About the Apple Watch Series 8
You can get more Smart and Connected Life news from Lifewire. Here are some stories about this Apple Watch, specifically:
Best Apple Watch 2023: The top choices we’ve tested and reviewed
The latest Apple Watch has an always-on display
If you’re after a wearable to pair with your iPhone then the Apple Watch remains the best way to go. Here you’ll find our ultimate ranking of the versions you can buy now.
While there are tons of iOS-compatible smartwatches out there from the likes of Withings, Fossil and Fitbit, none of them pair quite so seamlessly with Apple’s smartphones as the Apple Watch series itself. Due to the way Apple builds iOS, the slickest and most connected experiences come from an Apple Watch and we doubt that’ll change anytime soon.
No matter which one you opt for, the Apple Watch has been designed to make the most out of iOS with features such as messaging on your wrist, hands-free Siri activation, and even sleep tracking. All models mentioned below have been fully reviewed and tested by one of our wearable experts.
It’s important to note that Apple Watch models only work with iPhones (not even iPads), so if you have an Android phone then take a look at the best smartwatch, best running watch and best fitness tracker guides as these will suit your phone perfectly.
Our final piece of advice is to avoid the Apple Watch 3, as this is no longer supported by Apple and will not receive further updates and features. While you might spot this older model at tempting prices, we’d recommend paying a little more for an option that will be updated with new software in the future.
How we test
Every smartwatch we test is used by the reviewer for at least a week, or longer if the battery life lasts beyond that point or we need more time to trial its features.
During testing we will check it for key metrics including app support, usability and battery life. If the device offers fitness, location or health tracking features we will also test these for accuracy and reliability.
For distance tracking we record how accurately the device recorded runs on tracks we know the length of. We also record how much battery is lost using things like in-built or connected GPS per hour. To check heart rate accuracy we compare the results recorded on the wearable to a dedicated HRM strap.
After recording the data we then pair it with our general experience using the wearable day-to-day, letting you know if it’s comfortable to wear or if we encountered unexpected bugs during use over the review period.
- Excellent tracking features
- Plenty of sensors, including clever use of temperature sensor
- Charges quickly
- Additional low power modes
- Excellent value
- Huge range of tracking features
- The best smartwatch OS around
- Wide variety of straps available
- Improved battery on previous Apple Watches
- Surprisingly light design
- Good sports tracking performance
- Bigger, brighter Retina display
- It’s not cheap
- Design could be sleeker
- Some outdoor features are a work in progress
- New straps are a mixed bag
Apple Watch 8
The best option for most people
- Excellent tracking features
- Plenty of sensors, including clever use of temperature sensor
- Charges quickly
- Additional low power modes
The Apple Watch 8 is the best smartwatch that we have tested, pending our review of the Apple Watch Ultra, and it remains one of the most attractive options for iPhone users.
There are many excellent attributes to this watch, including its highly adjustable screen; not only can it boast high levels brightness that’s perfect for sunny days, but it can also reduce this right down for when you need to check your watch at night, while the always-on display means you can check the time and notifications just with a glance thanks to its LTPO refresh rate tech.
There aren’t all that many additions to the Watch 8 over its predecessor, but one change is that employment of a skin temperature sensor, which is particularly useful for women’s health tracking and family planning. The overalll fitness tracking is still very strong, comparing favourably to dedicated sports watches such as the Garmin Forerunner 955 in its lock-on speed and accuracy, while the adoption of heart rate zones is informative for keeping an eye on the intensity of your workout.
Overall, this watch does a great job of encouraging to to keep healthy, whether that be through its addictive sleep-tracking feature or its step counting goals.
Apple Watch SE. 60 Second Review
The new S8 chipset s more efficient than its predecessor, and we found that its battery life generally leaves us with 25-30% charge after a full 24 hours’ usage (including through the night), and this is further helped out by its improved low-power mode. The fast-charging introduced last year has remained in place, giving us 20% of the juice after 10 minutes plugged in.
Reviewer: Max ParkerFull review: Apple Watch 8