Apple’s Watch SE is the best budget choice if you’re in the market for an Apple wearable or new to smartwatches in general. Visually, it’s nearly identical to the Series 5 and 6, but is much more affordable. Normally, the 44mm variant is more expensive than the 40mm model, but right now you can find the larger model at the best price we’ve seen yet at $250 on Amazon.
While the Apple Watch SE is what we consider to be a good starter smartwatch, it’s just as attractive and nearly as responsive as higher-end Apple Watches. Sure, you won’t get the blood oxygen monitoring, ECG or always-on display tech from more advanced models like the Series 6. However, you do get a bright and attractive screen, comfortable fit, good performance and features like an always-on altimeter, fall detection and more.
It does have some drawbacks, including the need for an iPhone and basic built-in sleep tracking, though the latter issue can be solved with a third-party app. Battery life is also rather limited at just over a day, compared to much longer for some smartwatches and activity trackers.