Apple Watch SE review: all the key smartwatch features for under $300

by birtanpublished on October 3, 2020

Smart watches have evolved since the first apple watch sort of they still look largely the same battery life is still an issue and often software is fairly limited yet they've also secured their place on many risks by offering more fitness and health tracking tools over time and apple quickly became the top seller in the space today most people know what to expect from a good wearable and yet while they have become more popular smart watches

Still aren't mainstream the apple watch se might just change that it's the company's first new smartwatch that costs under 300 and offers basically everything its more expensive stablemates do minus advanced features like ecg and blood oxygen sensing its processor is a year older than the series 6's and you won't get an always on display but at 279 the watch se might appeal to ios users who didn't feel like spending 400

On a smartwatch to buy one at last i've never liked smart watches with rectangular faces but out of all of them the apple watch has the nicest build the se looks nearly identical to the series 5 and 6 so if you're familiar with the company's latest devices you'll know what to expect it's small light and feels like a high-end machine neatly crammed into a dainty 40 millimeter or 44 millimeter case i may have to live with a squarish case

But at least this looks glassy fitbit's 329 dollar sense has a slightly squatter square case that's a little heavier and doesn't feel as dense or premium shape aside the watch has ease oled retina display is crisp bright and colorful app icons memojis and pictures my friends sent all looked tac sharp while i still prefer samsung's spinning bezel for scrolling through apps apple's digital crown has a lower profile and it keeps his watch

Small and light overall this year apple introduced a new band it's calling the solo loop it's one complete strap with no buckles clasps or any other methods of attachments you'd put it on the way you would a rubber band stretch it over your knuckles and then push it onto your wrist because it doesn't have different options for you to adjust the fit the solo loops sizing is crucial you have to choose from nine different sizes when you're buying the watch and apple's website does offer

Guides on using household tools to help you figure out what your measurements are i love this band it's incredibly easy to pull off or put back on you can even get it on with just one hand since you don't have to fuss around with a buckle the strap that apple chose for me fit comfortably too although people have reported having trouble with the fit especially since the silicone bands seem a bit tighter than the woven options so you'll want to be careful when taking

Your measurements there's a chance you might have to deal with returning your watch strap after buying it to eventually find the right fit if you've used an apple watch before most of the ses features will be familiar the knob is a handy way to scroll through notifications abs and volume controls and together with the button below it it offers several nifty shortcuts long pressing the digital crown triggers siri while long pressing the button below

Shows the power menu double tapping that pulls up your default card on apple pay navigating the interface is the same as before too and if you've already set up your favorite apps in the dock they'll carry over when you set up the new device as an android user who's mostly lived with other smart watches though i found it jarring that a swipe right doesn't take me back to the previous page i also still prefer samsung's tizen os for its simpler navigation where all my favorite

Widgets and apps are just to spin away on apple's watches i have to first pull up all apps or the dock and then find the one i want what's new with the watch se are mostly updates from watch os 7 like the new fitness app sleep tracking as well as automatic hand wash detection and countdown there are also new shareable watch faces with support from multiple complications from the same app having the daily uv index and the weather at the same time on my home screen

Made it easy to tell when i could skip the sunscreen tapping any of these complications pulls up the respective app and it was easy to summon my activity rings to see how far i was from closing them in watchos 7 you can set individual targets for each of the three circles as opposed to one overall goal i spend so much of my day stuck at my desk that a stand goal of getting up every hour for 10 hours is nearly impossible to achieve so i tuned that down and bumped up my exercise target instead

Apple also added 4 new workouts you can track with watchos 7. dance core training functional strength training and cooldown dance and cooldown are intriguing additions but i honestly couldn't tell the difference in tracking these activities versus a generic other exercise session apple said it uses the watches sensors to figure out how your arms and legs are moving as you dance to predict body movements but honestly at the end of the day you're just getting reports on how much

Time you spend in certain heart rate zones and the calories you burned i don't like wearing a watch to bed but of all the smart watches i've tested lately the apple watch se is the one i minded the least sadly it also delivers the least insightful data while fitbit and samsung both use the heart rate monitor to figure out whether you're in rem light deep or restorative sleep apple only takes into account accelerometer data

It does track your heart rate overnight but it doesn't use that to tell you what sleep zone you're in the watch se wasn't accurate at detecting when i fell asleep either assuming that i had gone to bed at the time i had set in my wind down sleep schedule when in fact i only got in about an hour later according to the watch se i was restless right after i fell asleep when really i was just awake and fidgeting and then when i woke up and snoozed my alarm a few times none of those movements registered and

Apple decided to take the time i finally stepped out of bed as when i woke up this is the sort of unreliable tracking that plagued early fitbits but they've grown much better over the years if accurate and insightful sleep tracking is important to you the apple watch won't be your best option apple also introduced a wind down and wake up feature that helps you prepare for bed and your day i set my bedtime to 1am and at midnight the watch se went on do

Not disturb and stopped bothering me which was nice but i continued to while away on my phone anyway despite do not disturb automatically being enabled there too when my morning alarm went off it was a gentle tune rather than a jarring cacophony which was nice but not that much different from just picking a different option for my alarm anyway and these sounds were also already available in ios what is better is that you can use the watch's haptic engine

For a vibration based alarm on your wrist to rouse you without bothering others also if you wake up and move in the 30 minutes before your set time the watch will ask you if you want to cancel the alarm which is a nice touch another new watch os 7 feature is hand wash detection which is particularly relevant during the pandemic the watch will automatically recognize based on the way your hands are moving if you've started to wash them then it'll turn on the microphone to

Listen for sounds of water and soap studs to confirm and then launch a 20 second timer to make sure you're scrubbing for the recommended duration this is helpful when i'm getting my first wash in after returning from home but kind of annoying subsequently because i don't always need to wash my hands for 20 whole seconds sometimes i'm just trying to get some grease off of my palm and 10 seconds is enough thankfully all you get if you stop watching before the time's up

Is a gentle admonishment that you can skip so it's only a minor annoyance the watch se was almost always able to detect when i'd started watching my hands missing only one very quick session but it also thought i was cleaning my hands when i was actually washing some grapes again it was easy enough to just ignore the timer and go on with my day while most of the new watchos 7 features are underwhelming i'm pretty happy with everything else the watch se provides

Siri responds in an instant and voice dictation is quick and accurate even with a conversation playing on tv in the background since these voice based tasks are now processed on the watch they're understandably faster than before apple also does some things better than samsung or fitbit when you get a message on your watch you can reply with more options like your voice a handwriting keyboard emoji suggested responses emoji stickers or a digital touch pictures that come in your notifications

Will also appear and take up the whole screen and the watch's camera app acts as a remote viewfinder for your phone taizen offers a version of these features either in limited form like pictures are only supported in text message alerts or via third party apps but apple's system feels snappier and more thoughtful the watch see is also more intuitive when it comes to guided breathing sessions instead of simply vibrating once to prompt you to start breathing the way

Fitbit does the watch se vibrates in a pattern that mimics a balloon stretching as it feels with air quicker at first and then slower as it approaches capacity this is easier to follow with my eyes closed which makes for a more relaxing experience overall i was also pleased at how quickly the watch se connected to gps on my outdoor walks and apple maps effectively guided me to a nearby bakery its new cycling directions thoughtfully include guidance on bike paths and the

Steepness of slopes along the route too i do wish it was a bit more accurate and knowing when i've reached the street corner and need to know where to turn but in general maps on the watch worked fine i also appreciate how the watch se is always on altimeter includes changes in elevation on my workout reports when i finished a walk bike ride or hike apple estimates you get about 18 hours of juice on the watch se and that seems pretty accurate since there isn't an always on display

It's not surprising that i got about a day and a half before needing to plug the device in that battery life is similar to the galaxy watch 3 better than the watch active 2 and slightly shorter than the fitbit sense so the fitbit had and always on display apple expects similar runtime from the series 6 though and that's also with and always on screen for 279 the watch se packs more features you'd expect from a modern smart watch than the competition while the fitbit

Sense does offer a ton of health tracking tools for 329 it's not as good at being a smart watch as the watch se though apple's sleep tracking does lag the likes of fitbit and samsung it beats them by simply being better at integrating with the iphone anyone on ios will have a hard time finding a better watch than the watch se apart from the series 5 or series 6 and those who don't need advanced health monitoring features like ecg or blood monitoring won't miss much

People contemplating their first smartwatch will find the watch se a polished and well-rounded introduction to the category for more reviews on fitbits galaxy watches apple watches and all the gadgets out of consumer technology make sure you subscribe to engadget and as always thank you for watching you

Related Videos

well it's finally here we can finally talk about risin third-gen thread repairs performance and honestly guys of all the launches this year this is by far ...
So here we are with another CP review from Intel this time and it is d cascade Lake X the core I 9 10 and 80 X II but at this time you probably know how dominat...
Well hello there well today my good people we have an interesting competition that is about to happen in front of me are two identical expect machines from Leno...
From a seat on an airplane to the seat in your living room LG Display wants to put it so LED technology right in front of you hey there I'm Caleb Denison fo...
Year after year and especially the last few years videos TVs have gotten better and better so I'm coming to CES 2020 expecting some really big things and it...
This is Lisa from mobile tech review and this is Samsung's latest watch that actually looks like a watch served like a piece of jewelry how refreshing right...
This is Lisa from mobile tech review and this big honker is the Alienware area 51 M this is like totally exciting ok I've reviewed so many Alienware laptops...
This is Lisa from mobile tech review and good things do come in small packages those of you who buy laptops and sometimes upgrade the SSDs afterwards you're...
This is Lisa from mobile tech review and finally that happy in between for a nice chrome book that isn't cheeseball and plastic with a bliss display but it&...
well it's over Apple has accepted defeat and iPhones are officially banned in Germany yeah sorta get dealing tech lows in a way that doesn't suck hit t...
that's it Samsung is dying Samsung is dude 2019 will be the end of Samsung Samsung died when Steve Jobs duh oh wait get daily tech close in a way that does...
welp get daily tech news in a way that doesn't suck hit that subscribe button and turn on notifications so you don't miss the next episode yo what&#39...
Tim Cook you pulled a fast one on us okay I didn't get much of a heads-up for this this is the one morning I decided to sleep in and now I miss the lodge bu...
We have literally been asking this thing ever since the original iPhone se launched in 2016 we were like when is Apple gonna follow this up is it gonna be an an...
So we finally now know when World Wide Developers Conference 2020 is happening this year and it didn't end up being about three weeks later than we thought ...
Hey, what's up guys, Keaton here. So most of us know pretty much everything there is to know about Iphones. But I found three secret features that I didn&#...
This suite is legit homeboy hey what's up guys Keaton here so I got this really weird looking keyboard it's made out of wood it goes for 27 bucks and t...
Wow Wow yeah this clips app is so awesome hey what's up guys Keaton here so you guys have probably used iMovie GarageBand and a bunch of other Apple apps be...
This is how I feel about some of the stuff you guys said this is how much it means to me hey what's up guys Keaton here so I got this weird product that&#39...
If there's two things I hate it's screaming children and ranch pair with up guys Keaton here so this isn't it happened Hidden Valley Ranch the compa...