Apple updated its Watch range in 2020 to include the first SE model, bringing the hugely popular wearable into the 'affordable' bracket for more people.
The device has been a success and you can read our verdict in our Apple Watch SE review. Now, we look ahead to what comes next. Will Apple release the Apple Watch SE 2 in 2021 and if so, what can you expect? Here’s the latest news and rumours.
When will the new Apple Watch SE 2 (2021) be released?
Apple hasn't confirmed any details about the potential successor to the Apple Watch SE, so there’s no known release date at the moment.
While Apple updates its main iPhone range each year like clockwork, most other devices have a more sporadic pattern. With this in mind, it’s entirely possible that there won’t even be an Apple Watch SE 2 in 2021, with the company leaving longer between models, as it did so with the iPhone SE and iPhone SE (2020).
But if it does decide to release an update, we expect it to be around September time, as this was when the Apple Watch SE made its debut in 2020 alongside the Apple Watch Series 6 and redesigned iPad Air (2020).
For a full report on the launch, take a look at what Apple announced at the 15 September event.
How much will the new Apple Watch SE 2 (2021) cost?
As there has only been one SE version of the Apple Watch so far, we can only use that as a guide. Currently, the first-generation device will cost you the following:
- Apple Watch SE (GPS) – £269/US$279/AU$429
- Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) – £319/US$329/AU$499
With those prices being so new, we think that if Apple does update the Watch SE in 2021 then we should see a like for like replacement rather than a price hike. At least, we hope so.
One other route Apple make take is to keep the original Apple Watch SE and retire the Apple Watch Series 3 that is currently the cheapest in the range. This could mean that the SE gets a price cut rather than introducing the SE 2.
What features will be in the new Apple Watch SE 2 (2021)?
Apple doesn't announce or tease new features, and there are currently no leaks or rumours to go on either. Traditionally, at least with the main Apple Watch range, there are faster processors and new features added, but SE models are cheaper for a reason: they don't have the latest features or fastest processors.
That doesn’t mean we can’t make an educated guess of what the SE 2 might be like, as Apple has a long history of using reusing components and features that have been introduced to previous flagships, which make their way down to the more inexpensive models. Here’s what we hope we’ll see in the Apple Watch SE 2 (2021).
With the Apple Watch SE already featuring many of the specs of the Apple Watch Series 5, it makes sense that any update would bring one of the standout features from the older device that hasn’t yet been used on the cheaper models – ECG.
The Electrocardiogram app allows you to take recordings of your heartbeat and then check it for atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular rhythm. This is a very useful tool for monitoring the health of your heart, with the added benefit that you can show the recordings to your doctor if you have any concerns.
With the ECG app first appearing in the Watch Series 4, it does seem time for the feature to make its way to any new version of the Watch SE.
Another obvious upgrade would be the Always-On display introduced with the Apple Watch Series 5. This helpful feature means you don’t have to raise your wrist to see the time or other important information on the screen. Instead, the Watch shows all the relevant data at all times, hence the Always-On name.
Blood Oxygen Monitoring
While we wouldn’t expect this headline feature from the Watch Series 6 to appear on a Watch SE released in 2021, if Apple does decide to leave a longer gap between versions then it could be that when the SE 2 finally arrives it would essentially be a replacement for the Series 6.
If so, then the ability to monitor your blood oxygen levels would be standard. As Apple continually positions the Watch as a health and wellbeing device, the addition of this capability and the aforementioned ECG would make the SE 2 a real powerhouse for fitness enthusiasts as well as those who just want to spot any potential health issues before they develop into more serious concerns.