Should you buy the Apple Watch SE on Black Friday?

Thinking about buying the older Apple Watch SE on Black Friday? Let's take a look at if it's worth it

Apple Watch SE 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch SE ruled the roost for affordable Apple Watch options during previous Black Fridays. Now though, it's been surpassed by the Apple Watch SE 2. That means it may feel less appealing to anyone keen to get the latest tech, but you're likely to find it cheaply during Black Friday. Apple doesn't sell it directly anymore, but many retailers are keen to clear excess stock of this slowly aging smartwatch. Is it still worth you buying one on Black Friday? We take a look at what you need to know.

Launched in 2020, the Apple Watch SE isn't the newest of watches anymore. In the SE line, it's been overtaken by the Apple Watch SE 2 with the Apple Watch 7 and Apple Watch 8 an attractive option for anyone with more cash. For anyone keen to have the latest tech on their wrist, the Apple Watch SE might seem a little outdated. Still, it's actually very similar to its successors. 

That's because many of the best Apple Watches offer more minor changes and improvements than expected. Keeping the same style and appearance, you won't be lumbered with an outdated-looking watch, whatever you pick. Under the hood, the differences between the Apple Watch SE and newer models are more subtle and incremental too. For some users, the savings enjoyed by going for the two-year-old model could make it worth it.

Apple Watch SE 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

How much is the Apple Watch SE on Black Friday?

The Apple Watch SE is only available from third-party retailers these days. The MSRP for the Apple Watch SE remains at around $279/£239 compared to the Apple Watch SE selling for $249/£259. 

Since the watch was downgraded to the older model, prices have steadily dropped. At the moment, it's possible to buy the Apple Watch SE for around $209/£229 and there's always hope it may get even lower on Black Friday. 

Prices vary depending on the model you choose. Both 40mm and 44mm options are available as well as the choice to have cellular connectivity and GPS. As with the Apple Watch 7 discounts, the GPS + Cellular model often provides the best prices. 

We may see the Apple Watch SE dip below the $200/£220 mark with retailers keen to push stock to replace it with the newer model. 

To help you out, we've got all the best Apple Watch SE deals below. They're adjusted for your location so you know immediately where to find the best prices.

Which features does the Apple Watch SE have?

The Apple Watch SE may not be one of the best smartwatches any more, but it's still useful. The differences between the Apple Watch SE and SE 2 are more subtle than you'd think.

For instance, both look the same. They both offer a choice of 40mm or 40mm OLED screen and the same button layouts. The Apple Watch SE 2 has more color options, but when seeking discounted Apple Watches, that may change the price.

Where things differ is power. The Apple Watch SE has the same processor and chipset as the Apple Watch 6, while the Apple Watch SE 2 has the latest S8 processor that the Apple Watch 8 includes. Apple reckons it's 20% faster, but in daily use, it may not be as noticeable as if you were upgrading your smartphone to a newer model.

The Apple Watch SE 2 also includes car crash detection - a feature you'll hope you never need. 

Both watches also have a new low-power battery mode courtesy of WatchOS 9, but the newer model will likely use it more efficiently and provide longer-lasting battery life. 

However, both watches continue to offer fitness and workout tracking, along with notification support, Apple's Activity Rings system, and heart rate notifications. 

If you're looking for a device that can track your workouts, movements, and if your heart rate is unusually high or low, either watch will do the job well.

Buying the older Apple Watch SE means you're missing out on extra speed when opening apps and crash detection. The latter will hopefully never be needed (and if you buy one of the best smartphones from the iPhone 14 range, you gain the feature), but speed could be a factor if you open a lot of apps on your watch. If you mainly keep hands-off with your Apple Watch, this will be less of an issue.  

Apple Watch SE 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

So, should you buy an Apple Watch SE on Black Friday?

The Apple Watch SE 2 has a cheaper MSRP than the Apple Watch SE, meaning once discounted, it's a keener price than before. However, if saving money is vital, the Apple Watch SE is still a tempting proposition. 

A little slower than the latest model, it still works well as an exercise-tracking smartwatch and is an excellent introduction to the Apple Watch ecosystem. Smartwatches' speed differences are less noticeable than smartphones as users spend a shorter time navigating their menus. 

You may miss out on crash detection, but that's hardly a must-have feature for anyone but the most safety-conscious (and potentially accident-prone) of us. 

Black Friday deals are only worth it if you buy according to your budget. In an ideal world, you might always buy the latest model, but cutting back and going for the older Apple Watch SE will make less of a difference than you would think. 

Jennifer Allen has been writing about tech for nearly a decade. Her specialisms include fitness wearables, Bluetooth speakers, and all things Apple.