Apple Watch SE (2022) test: should you fall for Apple’s cheapest watch?

Two years after the first Apple Watch SE, Apple is launching the second generation of its entry-level connected watch. At 299 euros, should you crack? Answer in our comprehensive test.

Yes, for its impeccable design

Apple has not frankly reviewed the design of its Apple Watch for years, the Apple Watch SE looks like two drops of water to the brand’s most premium models. The good news is that by playing the recycling card, Apple can reduce the cost and therefore the final price.

apple watch se 2022 review

The devil is in the details, you have to take a good look at the Apple Watch SE to distinguish some differences from the more expensive versions. First, the Watch SE (2022) is only available in aluminum (therefore no stainless steel version) and with two dial sizes (40 and 44 mm).

The screen is also less premium. If we enjoy an OLED LTPO panel, we must accept to see large black borders, Apple has opted here for a flat screen and not a curved one. Nothing serious in itself, but this aesthetic detail gives the Watch SE another aspect.

The bracelet delivered with the watch is the same as with the premium models. We are therefore entitled to a silicone “sport” bracelet. Convenient for sport, therefore, but a little cheap when you want to take care of your appearance a little. Fortunately, the Apple Watch SE can accommodate a slew of other bracelets sold separately, including the classic and timeless Milanese mesh bracelet.

Despite a few small sacrifices, the Apple Watch SE (2022) remains a connected watch with exemplary finishes. And despite its affordable price, it responds to the codes of a high-end watch.

Yes, for its features

Apple Watch SE 2022 features review

Apart from a few features finally quite a gadget, the Apple Watch SE (2022) does the same thing as the other watches of the brand (with the exception of the Ultra, of course).

Receive and reply to messages? No problem. Manage music? No worries either. Answering calls like Michael Knight in K2000? It is also possible. Like its sisters, the Apple Watch SE (2022) can do it all as long as you have the right app.

Apple’s shift towards health and physical activity is also very visible from the first hours of use. The famous three activity rings to complete are highlighted, but do not invade us. The watch never interrupts you to tell you to move. The rings are already there to alert you.

Admittedly, it lacks the sensor for ECG or the SpO2 sensor (oxygen), but they are precisely part of those gadget features that we do not really use on a daily basis. On the other hand, essential sensors, such as the heart rate sensor (here 2nd generation, the other watches have a 3rd generation sensor) are very accurate. GPS too.

So the proposal is very beautiful. Apple Watch SE (2022) will accompany you everywhere: in your daily life, for your sports activity, for the monitoring of your health, and until your sleep. A menstrual tracking app is even available, albeit with less accuracy compared to a Series 8 (equipped with a temperature sensor), but available anyway. What more could you ask for 300 euros?

Yes, for its autonomy

The Apple Watch SE version 2022 differs from the previous generation by the integration of a new S8 chip, the same as the brand’s most high-end watches. Not only does this chip improve the performance of the watch but above all consumes less energy.

The least we can say is that the Apple Watch SE (2022) is enduring. While we had been in the habit for years of charging our smartwatches every night, the Apple Watch SE (2022) can reach two days of use before going through the charging box.

By “usage” we mean activity tracking, GPS navigation during running sessions, sleep tracking, guidance during the bike or walking trips, receiving app notifications (including instant messaging), or sports sessions on Apple Fitness+. As you can see, we don’t give him much respite at our Watch SE.

We would have liked the charging to be as efficient. With the proprietary charger (the only one that can charge it), it takes just over 90 minutes to fully charge. It is rather long.

Yes, for its value for money

Apple Watch SE 2022 crown review

The Apple Watch SE (2022) is priced at 299 euros. At this price, it’s hard not to recommend it. Indeed, it brings together all the technologies necessary for a so-called “classic” use of a connected watch.

Apple has been able over the years to create a licked, intuitive, and very complete interface. Apple Watch SE also inherits the company’s design know-how. It may be made from old molds and components, but the essentials are still there. Like the iPhone SE.

But in the world of connected watches, the sacrifices made by the brand have no impact on daily use, provided you do not want the ultimate. In our opinion, the Apple Watch (with the exception of the Ultra model) has changed little in a few years. Also, the improvements made have not upset daily use but rather allowed Apple to justify the renewal of the range and therefore maintain a high price level.

For most consumers, the Apple Watch SE is therefore more than enough. It can also be adorned with more “fashionable” bracelets, accompany you in your sports sessions, provide you with accurate monitoring of your health data and assist you in your daily tasks. For the general public, it is the watch with the best value for money. And it’s rare enough at Apple to point it out.

No, if you don’t have an iPhone

Because the Apple Watch is an Apple product, it only works with other Apple products. It is therefore impossible to use it if you have a smartphone other than an iPhone, even if you opt for an LTE version.

Indeed, from the first start, you have to go through the Watch application of the iPhone to configure the Apple Watch SE. A limitation that we deplore as the Apple Watch SE represents an interesting entry point into the Apple universe.

Like the Apple TV, it is self-sufficient. Also, some consumers allergic to iOS could very well find their happiness with the Apple Watch SE. Especially since its affordable price makes it a good first product to discover the Apple universe without breaking the bank.

The American could very well have developed a Watch application for Android, just to attract these users to his world. For the latter, it will therefore be necessary to turn to the Google Watch or models of their manufacturer (Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, etc.).

Apple Watch SE (2022)

DESIGN AND SCREEN

9.0/10

SENSORS AND DATA

9.0/10

INTERFACE AND ERGONOMICS

9.5/10

AUTONOMY AND CHARGING

8.0/10

VALUE FOR MONEY

9.5/10

WE LOVE

  • Careful design and design
  • Smooth and intuitive interface
  • Data Accuracy
  • Very good autonomy
  • Affordable

WE LIKE LESS

  • Large screen borders
  • No Always-On
  • Only works with an iPhone

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