Apple Watch SE brings some of the latest health and fitness features – at a reduced price

Apple revealed two new Apple Watch models during its latest product showcase last night, the Apple Watch Series 6 (a successor to the Apple Watch Series 5 with the ability to track blood oxygen levels for the first time) and the Apple Watch SE, which is an entirely-new smartwatch model designed to bring some of the best features from the top-tier model, which starts from £379, to a more affordable package. Starting from £269 in the UK, the Apple Watch SE has (almost) everything you’d want from its costlier cousin.

Apple Watch SE is powered by the same S5 processor which fuelled the Apple Watch Series 5 last year. Given that the S5 was designed to be efficient enough to power the always-on display on the Apple Watch Series 5 – something that you won’t find on the Apple Watch SE – there should be some serious battery life gains to be found here. Obviously, we’ll need to spend some time with the Watch SE to be sure, but this new affordable option is sure to be no slouch.

Elsewhere, the Watch SE has the same design introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 and found on the Series 5 and Series 6. That means you’ll get the slightly larger screen sizes compared with the Apple Watch Series 3 and earlier. This is achieved by curving the display into the corners of the design – the physical footprint of the smartwatch remains the same.

Compared with the more expensive Apple Watch Series 6, which was also announced during the same Apple Event last night, the only features you’ll be missing by picking the Apple Watch SE are the always-on display, continuous altimeter measurements, and blood oxygen monitor. With the Apple Watch SE, you’ll still benefit from automatic fall detection – which can call the emergency service if you don’t respond after a tumble, compass and always-on altimeter, built-in GPS to track hikes and runs without the need to keep your iPhone in your pocket, a waterproof chassis to track swims in the pool or the sea, sleep tracking, and other signature features.

Similarly to its namesake iPhone SE, the Apple Watch SE is designed to fend off aggressively priced competition from the likes of Fitbit, Samsung and Withings. Starting at £269, it’s not the most affordable option on the market right now. However, given that this is essentially an Apple Watch Series 5 (which started from £399 when it launched last year) with the always-on display stripped out, it’s a pretty phenomenal deal.

Apple Watch SE: UK price and release date

Apple Watch SE with built-in GPS starts from £269, while those hoping to make and receive calls on their Apple Watch SE away from their smartphone will need to cough-up a little extra for the Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular, which starts from £319. Both of these models are available to pre-order today, with the first smartwatches starting to drop through letterboxes and arrive on store shelves in the UK, United States, and 27 other countries and regions from Friday September 18, 2020.

If you want an Apple Watch for even less cash, Apple is still keeping around its Apple Watch Series 3 in the line-up. This older model (with a smaller screen size) was the only affordable option available on Apple Store shelves until now. Apple Watch Series 3 keeps the same £199 starting price.

Like the Apple Watch Series 4 before it, it looks like Watch Series 5 won’t be hanging around following the launch of the Watch Series 6.

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