Apple's SE line of smartwatches has the same great design as the mainline Apple Watches Series but is offered at a lower price. The affordable wearable from the Cupertino-based tech giant is aimed at those who want the best smartwatch experience but don't care all that much about the latest sensors and chips.
The original Apple Watch SE was launched alongside the Series 6 in 2020 and has been surpassed by the Apple Watch SE 2 in 2022. The best Apple Watch for the price-conscious customer, the Watch SE comes with exercise, sleep and activity tracking, plus notifications, calls, Siri and smart home controls.
Best Apple Watch SE deals
Should you buy the Apple Watch SE?
The Apple Watch SE is available in two cases, 40mm and 44mm, has interchangeable straps, and can be bought with Wi-Fi, or option Wi-Fi and a 4G cellular connection for taking phone calls on the move.
This wearable also runs the same watchOS software as all other models of Apple Watch, has a wide range of customisable watch faces to pick from and personalise, is water resistant to 50 metres, so it can be worn while swimming, and will alert you to signs of high or low heart rate, and an irregular heart rhythm.
The Watch SE has 32GB of storage for music, which can be played through Bluetooth headphones. There is also Wi-Fi and optional 4G for streaming music, and the watch can also use these connections to send and receive messages, make and receive calls, and receive smartphone notifications like emails, social media messages, and more.
The SE has GPS built-in, plus an altimeter and a compass. There is also the Fall Detection feature, which notices when you take a fall and don’t get up; after that, it will check you are okay. If you don’t respond or tell it you need help, the Watch will call and message your emergency contacts.
There is also integrated Apple Pay, meaning you can take your watch to make contactless payments or pass-through transport systems like the London Underground.
Once you have picked your case size and colour, it’s time to choose a strap – and Apple makes a lot. There are six different styles of the strap to choose from, ranging from the minimalist Solo Loop (10 colour options) to the new Braided Solo Loop (five colours), the Sport Band (15 colours), the Sport Loop (seven colours), the Leather (eight options), and the Stainless Steel (five options).
Every Apple Watch SE has a strap and a wireless charger in the box. Additional straps can be bought from Apple and various third-party companies.
Battery life for the SE is up to a claimed 18 hours, but this will vary depending on how you use the watch and particularly on how much exercise tracking you do each day.