Apple watch

Apple Watch SE (2022) review: Pocketable and user-friendly

The idea behind an Apple Watch SE is pretty much the same as the iPhone SE. It is – meant to be – pocket-sized and user-friendly. The 2022 version is coming after a while (the first generation model launched in 2020) but the idea remains the same. The Apple Watch SE 2022 is just as wearable and user-friendly as the original, giving beginners a great entry-level option to get started with the Apple Watch.

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Pricing for the Watch SE in India starts at Rs 29,900 for the 40mm variant with GPS. You can also get the same variant with cellular connectivity for Rs 33,900. The Watch SE 44mm with GPS is priced at Rs 32,900 while its cellular model will set you back Rs 36,900. The Watch Series 8, for context, starts at Rs 45,900 and can go up to Rs 79,900 depending on case size and material, i.e. there is a considerable price difference with the SE. That’s the Watch SE’s trump card, the main selling point if you will.

Big glasses don’t add up. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Despite the lower prices, the Watch SE packs some of the same hardware as the Series 8. It has the same core silicon, for example. This is the S8 dual-core system in a package (SiP). (The Apple Watch Ultra is also based on the same hardware.) It gets the same high-g-force accelerometer and high-dynamic-range gyroscope (and a bunch of other sensors) to enable “collision detection” – this year’s most expensive Apple feature also found on the Series 8 and Watch Ultra. (Warning, we couldn’t test it and hope you never need it.) There are also other similarities, such as the redesigned compass app with Waypoints and Backtrack. Apple’s new Low Power Mode is also available on its most affordable smartwatch.

The only hardware missing is the new temperature, electrocardiogram and blood oxygen (SpO2) sensors. There is also no always-on display.

Apple Watch SE (2022) review
Watch SE contains some of the same hardware as Series 8. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The underlying design is the same as before, although there are a few changes. The SE has a nylon composite back. This matches the color of the case – this one is aluminum. You won’t always see it, obviously, but the material has a few other benefits. Apple says this helps keep the SE lightweight and you can take their word for it. The Watch SE is very, very light. Especially the 40mm model. Not only is it much lighter than the Watch Ultra, but it’s also around 5-15g lighter than the Series 8 (41mm) depending on the case material you choose. It goes without saying that you can wear the SE for hours without being bothered by its size or weight.

The display is the same as the first SE. It is also sharp and rich in contrasts. It also becomes very bright, with excellent outdoor readability. But big glasses don’t add up. This makes the actual viewing area smaller (Apple itself claims the Series 8 screen is up to 20% more real estate), so reading and interacting with text is not not always the most ideal. Depending on the use case – and your view – this may be fine, or it may also be a deciding factor.

Apple Watch SE (2022) review
There is no permanent display. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Where the SE remains unchallenged, hands down, is in the feature set and ease of use. It’s a typical Apple product to put it bluntly and a no-brainer for budget-conscious iPhone users. Beginners are certainly an important target demographic, but Apple is also looking to appeal to young and old with these watches. Experienced users, not so much. For the target group, the Watch SE exceeds its weight class.

There’s built-in GPS which, except for a few minor issues here and there in an urban setup, is reliable for the most part. Step tracking is pretty accurate and you can also do it while climbing as there’s an altimeter inside, something lacking on an equivalent Garmin Venu Sq 2. The optical heart sensor is very reliable with heart rate monitoring while sending you alerts as it happens. detects abnormal activity. The SE can track sleep and give you granular insight into your sleep stages and it can also do cycle tracking for women.

Apple Watch SE (2022) review
The SE has a nylon composite back. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The Watch SE doesn’t compromise on smartwatch essentials either. You will be able to receive notifications about it and send replies to some extent depending on the app. You can also receive phone calls directly from the watch itself thanks to the built-in mic and speaker. Offline music playback is also supported (you get 32GB of storage by default).

Read also | Garmin Venu Sq 2 review: Watch out, Apple and Samsung

Apple quotes the same “up to 18 hours” battery life on the SE as the Series 8 and it may answer that claim more convincingly than its more expensive sibling given that its screen isn’t as power hungry. or the fact that it doesn’t have that many sensors either. That’s a respectable figure not too far off from a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, but you get longer battery life from a Garmin or one of the gazillion smartwatches/smartbands, say for example from Amazfit .

Apple Watch SE (2022) | Should I buy it?

Truth be told, there’s never been a better time to buy an Apple Watch. Not only has the underlying technology matured enough, there is now a whole new option for literally everyone in the market. Beginners have the Apple Watch SE 2022, or they can watch the Series 8 if they want a bit more bells and whistles, though the Apple Watch Ultra is for someone who enjoys extreme sports and sports. endurance training, representing the pinnacle of Apple. power and magic, at the time of writing.

Apple Watch SE (2022) review
The underlying design is the same as before. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

But there is also a flip side to this. Back when Apple launched the first SE, it was an obvious choice for anyone looking to get started with the Apple Watch, as there weren’t many options that could offer the same level of simplicity and affordability. Coupe to 2022 and the SE finds itself smack dab in the middle of competition from last year’s models, the Series 6 and 7, which are more premium watches in every way and often sell at discounted prices. This makes choosing the SE a little more complicated, especially when either of these watches is available at around the same price. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But as good as the Watch SE is, it no longer feels like the game-changer Apple decided to make with the first model.

Advantages The inconvenients
Premium, lightweight design No always-on display and thick frames
Clean display No SpO2 tracking
Accurate heart rate and step tracking
Loudspeaker and microphone, excellent haptics
Good battery life overall
Fast performance, long-term software support