Apple has announced a new Apple Watch SE. An upgrade to the original SE, the new smartwatch is the second generation of the company’s entry-level, cellular-capable model. The new SE will cost $249 for the GPS model and $299 for the cellular model, a $30 price drop from the original SE. The Apple Watch SE is available starting September 16th and can be pre-ordered today.
The Apple Watch SE will support the crash detection feature announced on the Apple Watch Series 8 and will be up to 20 percent faster than the first-gen SE, thanks to the new S8 chip, the same as in the Series 8. The new SE watch comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes in silver, midnight, and starlight, with new color-matched back cases. The 44mm models cost $279 for GPS and $329 for cellular.
The company says the crash detection feature is only enabled when the user travels in a vehicle. The two new motion sensors — an improved gyroscope and a new accelerometer — can detect the moment of impact and can automatically notify emergency services and the user’s emergency contacts.
The new Apple Watch SE also supports international roaming by pairing with an iPhone’s roaming plan. It retains all the standard features of the original SE — a Retina OLED display, optical heart rate sensor, fall detection, emergency SOS, sleep tracking, and water resistance up to 50 meters.
The cellular version of the SE is popular with parents looking for a way to communicate with school-aged children without committing to an iPhone, and Apple announced that the new SE will work with Apple’s Family Setup feature, which debuted with the SE.
This lets you set up an Apple Watch SE using a parent or caregiver’s iPhone. But then, the device can act independently. That feature wasn’t available on the less expensive Apple Watch Series 3. The new SE also has a 30 percent larger screen than the Series 3 (the same size as the first-gen SE). The Series 3 has officially been discontinued, making the SE the entry-level Apple Watch model.
Since its launch two years ago, the Apple Watch SE line has been a good option for those looking for a more budget-friendly wearable to pair with their iPhone. You sacrifice some higher-end features found on the premium models, such as the always-on display and the new temperature sensor. But you save some cash.