Apple’s Time Flies event hasn’t disappointed on the smartwatch front, with Apple not only announcing the new Apple Watch Series 6 complete with upgraded smarts, sp02 monitoring and a range of new colour options, but also the Apple Watch SE. As rumoured before launch, the Apple Watch SE offers the updated design of the Series 4 and later at a more affordable price tag, although it isn’t a direct replacement for the entry-level Series 3 like some believed.  

Here’s all you need to know about the Apple Watch SE. For more, take a look at our Apple Watch SE review.  

Apple Watch SE release date 

In a somewhat surprising announcement, both the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE are both available to pre-order right now, with release this Friday, 18 September 2020.  

Apple Watch SE pricing 

Prior to its announcement, many believed that the Apple Watch SE would effectively replace the Apple Watch Series 3, but Apple confirmed that’s not the case during the Time Flies event. The Apple Watch SE is a mid-range Apple Watch, sat between the Apple Watch Series 3 and flagship Apple Watch Series 6, priced at £269/$279 for the 40mm variant and £299/$309 for the 44mm variant, with the cellular model costing £50/$50 more. 

You can pre-order the Apple Watch SE directly from Apple right now, along with key retailers in the UK and US including John Lewis, with delivery beginning this Friday.  

Apple Watch SE features and spec 

So, what do you get with the mid-range Apple Watch SE? 

The first thing you’ll likely notice is the larger display compared to the now-ageing Apple Watch Series 3. It sports the same edge-to-edge as more recent Apple Watches, with 40mm and 44mm variants available, bringing with it updated watch faces that take advantage of the extra screen real estate and specially-designed complications that sit in the corners of the Watch. It also makes it easier to read metrics when exercising, glance at incoming notifications or quickly check the weather using Siri.  

Inside the Apple Watch SE, you’ll find the same S5 chipset as that used in the Apple Watch Series 5. It’s not quite as snappy as the new S6 chipset found in the Series 6, but it does offer a 2x performance boost compared to the chipset used in the entry-level Apple Watch Series 3. You’ll also get the same accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and altimeter as the Series 6, providing a comparable fitness tracking experience, although you won’t get access to premium features like built-in ECG or sp02 monitoring.  

You do, however, get the Fall Detection feature, which when coupled with the new Family Setup support and cellular connectivity, allows you to better take care of older members of the family that may not have an iPhone. That’s a big plus over the Series 3, aside from the fact that the Apple Watch SE will likely receive more software updates going forward than the entry-level model.  

Key features aside, you’ll get the core Apple Watch experience, complete with in-depth fitness tracking (and the ability to access Fitness+ when it launches later this year) along with easy access to a suite of information via a variety of watchOS apps and all the other benefits that come with watchOS 7, including sleep tracking and extended home automation support.  

You’ll also be able to choose between the new Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop and Leather Link bands announced by Apple during the Time Flies event, although the latter will come at a premium.