Apple are known for their popular but premium smartphones and technology, with the price of their smartphones and tablets steadily rising further and further – until now.
With the launch of the new iPhone SE earlier in 2020 and rumours that the iPhone 12 price could be cheaper than first thought, it seems that Apple is finally making their iconic tech more affordable, with the Apple Watch next in line.
For the first time ever Apple has launched two smartwatches at the same time with both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the SE – so as we venture into uncharted territory, here’s what to expect from the first budget Apple Watch.
How to order the Apple Watch SE
Pre-orders went live during the ‘Time Flies’ Apple Event and the devices can be purchased now from a variety of retailers, although stock is selling out:
When is the Apple Watch SE release date?
The Apple Watch Series SE was revealed at the ‘Time Flies’ Apple Event on 15th September 2020, which started at 6 pm UK time. We also saw the iPad 8 and iPad Air 4 launch, but there was no sign of the rumoured Apple AirTags.
How much is the Apple Watch SE?
The Apple Watch SE retails from £269, as announced at the launch event, which is less than the Apple Watch 6.
What are the Apple Watch SE specs?
As is usual with the more affordable, SE versions of Apple products, the Apple Watch SE features most of the main features of the Apple Watch 6 (read our full guide to the Apple Watch 6 including specs and how to pre-order).
The four main areas highlighted with this new design are:
- Fitness – the ability to track all your daily activities with boosted health and wellness tracking and capabilities.
- Connectivity – you can receive calls and text directly to your watch screen as well as stream music while you relax or workout and even use Siri without needing your iPhone.
- Health and Safety – one of the biggest areas focused on in the Apple Event was the health capabilities of the Apple watches (they even had a whole presentation from people who claimed it had saved their lives or health in some way). The SE device includes the heart health notifications, Emergency SOS and Fall Detection features of the standard 6.
- Family Setup – previously, to use an Apple watch you would have needed to already have an iPhone to pair it with. Now, the family function allows multiple watches to be controlled from a family iPhone which has safety and tracking controls for children.
What are the Apple Watch SE Design and Colours?
There is a whole range of new colours and strap designs from the Apple Watch devices. Like the standard 6, a new strap featuring no buckle called the ‘Solo Loop’ has been revealed. The solo loop is available in a variety of bright colours for the SE, plus a multi-toned, fabric style ‘Sport Loop’ and more traditional fastening ‘Sport Band’.
There are also rumours surrounding the colours for the much-anticipated (and sadly delayed) iPhone 12, which include dark blue.
What software will the Apple Watch SE use?
Despite being a budget option, the Apple Watch SE will still support the latest software which includes features such as exercise, sleep and handwashing tracking. However, the standard 6 blood oxygen and ECG features aren’t available on the lower-priced model.
Apple Watch SE summary
Bargain price – possibly around £269.
Series 4/5 design – which includes a swim-proof digital crown, haptic feedback and GPS.
watchOS 7 support – including features such as sleep and hand wash tracking.
Some but not all Series 6 features – this cheaper model obviously doesn’t have all the fancy new Series 6 characteristics, but there are parental controls and all the other main functions of the 6.
Should I buy the Apple Watch Series 5 or wait for the SE?
If you would like to buy an Apple Watch Series 5 now you can:
- Buy Apple Watch 40mm at Amazon for £399.00
- Buy Apple Watch 40mm cellular at Currys for £499
- Buy Apple Watch 44mm at Very for £429.00
- Buy Apple Watch 44mm cellular at Argos for £529.00
However, with the SE release here – the SE will likely have most of the features of the Series 5 if not more but will be available for a cheaper price. Alternatively, the Series 5 will also see a price drop once the Series 6 releases.
You can also see our best Apple Watch deals for bargains all the way back to Series 3.