A new Apple Watch SE actually sounds more exciting than the Series 8

The Apple Watch SE’s lower price and wide range of features make it a solid choice for most people.

Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

That Apple Watch Series 8 could be the tech giant’s most sophisticated wellness device yet, reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal indicate the inclusion of a temperature sensor and Apple’s further ambitions to expand its footprint in consumer health.

A temperature sensor has the potential to promote a healthier lifestyle, in addition to existing features like the ability to measure blood oxygen levels. There are also many stories that point to this The Apple Watch helped save lives. But the Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7 already provide more information than I can personally begin with. A Series 8 with even more health metrics might be too complex for some customers.

So I’m more excited to see what’s next for Apple’s simpler and cheaper watch: the Apple Watch SE. Bloomberg reported last June that a new Apple Watch SE could debut in 2022, meaning we might see a successor to the 2020 model this fall. If you’re anything like me, your smartwatch is most useful for logging your workouts, checking your heart rate during workouts, getting iPhone notifications on your wrist, and occasionally shopping with it ApplePay. The current Apple Watch SE can do all that and more, and I’m excited to see where it goes next.

The Apple Watch SE has most of the Series 7’s best features

The $399 Apple watch series 7compared to the $279 SE, is packed with additional health features and other refinements, such as

These qualities make the Series 7 a more comprehensive health tracker, a better communication tool, and a more useful sleep tracker. The Series 7’s larger screen means a full QWERTY keyboard fits for answering text messages, and faster charging makes it easier to top up your watch after a night of sleep tracking.

According to Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, the Series 8 is expected to follow a similar path and could include a skin temperature sensor for fertility planning and potentially other applications.

These perks might not be necessary for everyone, hence the SE’s more targeted appeal. Those who just want to close their activity rings and make sure they don’t miss text messages when they’re not on their phone can probably do without it blood oxygen levels, a bigger screen and faster charging. The Apple Watch Series 7 and its predecessor feel aimed at those who want to keep a closer eye on their well-being, especially when it comes to heart health.

The Apple Watch SE has many of Apple’s core health and safety features, although it’s not as advanced as its more expensive siblings. While you can’t take an EKG from your wrist with the SE, Apple’s cheaper watch can still provide high and low heart rate notifications, detect irregular heart rhythms, detect serious falls and provide access to emergency services. If you’re buying a watch for an elderly family member who may be prone to falls, that might be enough.

Newer metrics like blood oxygen levels don’t always feel helpful. Although Apple says measurements from the Apple Watch blood oxygen app can give you “insights into your overall well-being,” I’m not sure what to do with these metrics. Since the Apple Watch isn’t intended for medical use, it’s unclear if I should be concerned if my readings are too low.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t potential. When the Series 6 was unveiled in 2020, Apple announced plans to work with researchers on three separate health studies to examine how blood oxygen levels and other metrics can help manage asthma and heart rate failure, in addition to detecting respiratory conditions like COVID-19. 19 But right now, the blood oxygen reader on the 6 and 7 Series doesn’t feel necessary. Similarly, other wearables like those from Garmin, Fitbit and Samsung all offer blood oxygen readings that rely on the wearer to interpret them.

While I appreciate the SE’s simpler approach to health tools, I’d like to see Apple add at least one feature currently reserved only for pricier models: an always-on display. New Apple Watches from Series 5 and up (excluding the SE) can keep their screens on even when the watch is idle. This makes the Apple Watch better at its most basic job: showing the time.

It might not seem like a big deal, but I appreciate being able to quickly check the time and my activity progress on a Series 7 without having to move my wrist or touch the watch like on the SE. It’s not as exciting or meaningful as health-related updates like the advent of ECG monitoring when it comes to where wearable devices are headed long-term. But the always-on display comes in handy in everyday use, and I hope to see it on the next Apple Watch SE.

The Apple Watch has matured just like the iPhone

The Apple Watch has evolved to the point that annual upgrades aren’t always a huge step forward, much like the iPhone. The Apple Watch Series 7, for example, felt like a more refined version of the series 6. Blood oxygen readings aside, the Series 6 didn’t feel all that different from the Series 5 either. That makes the case for more affordable models like the Apple Watch SE all the more compelling, especially as WatchOS updates bring new features to older models. That The Apple Watch SE holds its own in terms of performance and feels just as responsive as the latest model when running the same software. You don’t need the most expensive or the latest version to get a full experience, which is why Apple has kept the Series 3 in its lineup for so long.

But the Updating the Apple Watch Series 3 has become difficult since it does not have much internal memory, and Analyst Ming Chi Kuo forecast that Apple could Discontinue the Series 3 this year. This raises the question of how long Apple plans to continue supporting the Series 3. It also makes the Apple Watch SE much more important as it will likely replace the Series 3 as the cheapest Apple Watch option.

Overall, the current SE strikes the right balance between the Series 3 and Series 7. As Apple’s high-end watches have become increasingly sophisticated health-tracking devices, the SE has increasingly proven to be the better option for everyday users on tighter budgets. Now that the Apple Watch SE is almost 2 years old, it’s time for an update.

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