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Apple Watch SE: Release date, battery life and price revealed for ‘cheap’ new model

APPLE unveiled the Apple Watch SE on Tuesday, a wearable gizmo loaded with top end features at an affordable price.

The SE is the California firm’s cheapest smartwatch in years and is out this week – here’s everything you need to know about the gadget.

Apple
The Apple Watch SE is one of two new bits of wearable kit announced by Apple this week[/caption]

Apple Watch SE – what is it?

The Watch SE is a new smartwatch announced by Apple on September 15 during a virtual event recorded at its headquarters in California.

It’s cheaper than most Apple Watches have been at launch, in part because it’s missing some of the pricier gadgets’ bleeding edge features.

The SE was unveiled alongside the Series 6, Apple’s latest top of the range watch with all the bells and whistles.

“The new model combines elements of Series 6 design with the most essential features of Apple Watch,” Apple’s Jeff Williams said of the SE.

Apple
Unveiled Tuesday during a virtual event, the SE is Apple’s cheapest smartwatch yet[/caption]

“All at a more affordable price.”

In case you need a refresh, the Apple Watch is a smart device that offers fitness apps, weather alerts, sleep tracking and more.

Launched in 2013, the gadget largely works as an extension of your iPhone, delivering notifications, making calls and sending texts.

However, later models have come with LTE connectivity (that means they link up to mobile network towers), allowing them to send and receive data as standalone devices without connecting to your mobile.

Apple Watch SE – features and battery life

Apple
The armwear houses many of the tools and apps we’ve come to expect from Apple Watches, such as fitness tracking[/caption]

The SE is a followup to the three-year-old Series 3, and shares many of the same tools and apps.

That means sleep and fitness tracking, a waterproof chassis and fall detection – a feature that calls the emergency services if you take a tumble.

The SE has up to two times better performance than the Series 3, Apple said, thanks to its upgraded S5 chip.

Like previous Apple Watches, battery life is roughly 18 hours, or a single day of use between charges.

Apple Watch release history

Here's every smartwatch Apple has released to date...

  • Original: April 24, 2015
  • Series 1 and Series 2: September 16, 2016
  • Series 3: September 22, 2017
  • Series 4: September 21, 2018
  • Series 5: September 20, 2019
  • Series 6 and Watch SESeptember 18, 2020

While it represents great value, the gadget is missing some of the Apple Watch’s recent headline features, such as more detailed health tracking.

It can’t take an ECG reading, first introduced in the Series 4, and can’t track your blood oxygen levels, a feature loaded into the Series 6, which Apple also announced on Tuesday.

The watch will come with Apple’s latest watch software, watchOS7, which adds brand new features – including sleep-tracking.

According to Apple, the system “provides valuable tools to help users get the desired amount of sleep, get to bed on time, and create a pre-bedtime routine to meet their sleep goals.”

The watch can automatically detect when you’re napping by tracking tiny movements that signal breathing during sleep.

Apple
Apple has introduced a bunch of funky new watch faces to play around with[/caption]

It builds a chart with this data to let users know the quality and timing of their shut-eye.

The new OS also has a feature that warns users if they’ve not washed their hands properly.

Using its motion sensors and microphone, the watch detects how long you’ve been washing your hands and alerts you if it’s under 20 seconds.

“Washing hands properly for at least 20 seconds can help prevent the spread of illness,” Apple said.

Apple Watch can also remind wearers to wash their hands when they get home from a trip out.

Apple Watch SE – price and release date

Getty Images - Getty
Apple now sells three watches: The SE (left), the Series 6 (middle) and Series 3 (right)[/caption]

The SE starts from $279 in the US and £269 in the UK for the non-cellular version. Despite lacking mobile data, it still comes with GPS tracking.

Until the SE, the cheapest Apple Watch at launch was the Series 1, which hit shelves at the same price back in 2016.

If you want the cellular version – meaning your watch can take calls and send texts without tethering to your phone – prices start at £319 / $329.

The Watch SE is available from September 18 from Apple’s website and physical stores. Pre-orders opened Tuesday.

As well as Apple’s various channels, the device will be available at major retailers such as Amazon and John Lewis.

In other news, Android users are being warned not to download a specific phone background as it could crash their device.

Apple’s next AirPods could track your heart rate – using light sensors in your ears.

And, 3D designers have mocked up what the iPhone 12 could look like.


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