Alongside the Watch Series 6 that we all knew was coming, Apple also unveiled a more affordable alternative at its “Time Flies” event today. The Apple Watch SE is a $279 smartwatch for those who can’t or don’t want to splurge on the flagship wearable. While it doesn’t come with the new flagship’s faster S6 processor or blood oxygen sensor, it still offers most essential features.
The Watch SE also has the same altimeter, compass, accelerometer and gyroscope as the new Series 6, as well as fall detection and emergency SOS. There will also be cellular models so you can leave your phone at home and still remain connected to your loved ones.
Though it doesn’t have the new S6 processor, its S5 chipset is still fairly new and should provide similar performance levels to the Apple Watch Series 5. Though the company didn’t explicitly say this, the SE appears to lack the ECG feature that debuted on the Series 5, which wouldn’t be a surprise for the price.
The Watch SE’s Retina display will be the same size as the Series 6’s, too, and is 30 percent larger than the Series 3. It will run the same watchOS 7 software, so you’ll also get features like sleep and VO2Max tracking, automatic handwashing detection and support for new workout types.
For $279 (£269), the Watch SE packs many of the same features as the $399 Series 6, making it a more appealing deal for the budget-conscious. Those who want to save even more money can consider the $199 Watch Series 3, though that model is fairly old and uses a slower processor.
The Watch SE will be available from September 18th in three case finishes made from recycled aluminum, and it’s compatible with all Apple Watch bands including the new Solo Loop options. The cellular + GPS model starts at $329 and you can order both versions starting today.