Apple Watch SE 2: Everything we know and want to see (Updated: Sep 5)

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A user holds an Apple Watch SE display the activity rings watch face

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Update: September 5, 2022 (6:30 AM ET): We’ve updated our Apple Watch SE 2 rumor hub with more details relating to the device’s possible feature kit, and more.


Original article: May 20, 2022: Apple looks poised to offer another affordable wearable. Leaks suggest that the company will revisit its SE line, with a new Apple Watch SE 2 launching alongside the Apple Watch Series 8 this fall. Read on to find out everything we know so far, plus what we hope to see.

Will there be an Apple Watch SE 2?

An Apple Watch SE on a user's wrist displays their activity rings.

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

According to comments from industry insider Mark Gurman (via the Power On newsletter) and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a budget-friendly SE follow-up is in the works. While the details are still cloudy, users can likely expect marked updates to the previous generation, all at a similarly low price point.

See also: The complete Apple Watch buyer’s guide

When will the Apple Watch SE 2 release date be?

A user wears an Apple Watch Series 6 on his wrist displaying the Artist watch face.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple hasn’t yet revealed the Apple Watch SE 2 release date, nor have leaks pointed to anything certain. However, the original Apple Watch SE launched in September 2020 alongside the Apple Watch Series 6. The line was then omitted when Apple unveiled the Series 7 in 2021. We expect to see the new model launch this September alongside the anticipated Apple Watch Series 8.

Fortunately, we now have a good idea of when that might occur. The September iPhone 14 launch event has officially been confirmed and will take place on September 7, 2022, at 10:00 AM PT (1:00 PM ET). Although the invitation does not mention the company’s new smartwatch lineup, speculation is that the wearables will launch at the event as well.

What features and specs will the Apple Watch SE 2 have?

An Apple Watch SE with a red silicone band rests on a white table.

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Overall, we aren’t expecting any major changes to the Apple Watch SE formula for the second iteration. It seems the big changes might be reserved for the Apple Watch Pro. But there are some rumors that point to what to expect.

Design

The Apple Watch SE is identical in design to the Apple Watch Series 6, except for its colors and materials. Apple offered the Series 6 in silver, space gray, gold, blue, and red, but the SE was limited to silver, space gray, and gold. Similarly, where the Series 6 launched in aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium, the SE has only ever been available in aluminum.

The new device will likely retain the same sizes and case design as the previous model but may add an always-on display, a feature missing from the first generation. According to reports, other specs that may make their way to the SE 2 include the S7 chip from the Series 7 and a new sensor that will allow the device to take a user’s ECG. If this chip is used, blood oxygen monitoring isn’t completely out of the question, either, and would bring the Apple Watch SE 2 on par with its rivals. More recent rumors suggest the device could even receive the same S8 chip as the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8.

These are all features that set the SE apart from Apple’s more expensive models, and their inclusion would suggest that Apple is committed to offering not just a budget option, but a powerful one. If the SE 2 were to launch this Fall with these upgrades, we would be hard-pressed not to recommend it.

Additionally, we also expect the SE 2 to run the recently previewed watchOS 9. This means a ton of software upgrades and new features including AFib history, medication reminders, advanced training metrics, improved sleep tracking, and more. Of course, these upgrades will roll out to all devices Apple Watch 4 and newer so they won’t exactly set this device apart. They would, however, make it an even more impressive budget watch.

Don’t expect all and the kitchen sink on the SE 2, though. Per reliable source Mark Gurman, the watch will likely lack several new features that could debut on the Series 8, including a body temperature sensor.

What will the Apple Watch SE 2 price be?

Rumors haven’t been especially fruitful about the price of the Apple Watch SE 2, but we would expect to see something similar to what Apple set for the original SE. The first SE started at $279 for the standard model with an increase to $329 for LTE. It was also more if you opted for the larger case size. Given that the device launched two years ago, a slight increase wouldn’t be a surprise. One leak suggests a $20 increase may be imminent.

On the other hand, Apple has all but dropped the Apple Watch 3 from its official lineup. When Apple announced watchOS 9 at WWDC 2022, we found out that the old model won’t be eligible for the update. You can still currently buy the Apple Watch 3 from Apple, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it discontinued come the fall. This could squarely set a new SE 2 as the company’s budget option and, if that is the case, we may see a new pricing structure.

Apple Watch SE 2: What we want to see

An Apple Watch SE rests face down on a stone surface displaying the sensors on the back of the device.

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch is arguably the most popular wearable in the market, but that doesn’t mean it’s flawless. Below are some improvements we would love to see on the company’s next SE model.

Longer battery life

We would be remiss not to wish for better battery life on Apple’s upcoming wearables. Like most other recent models, the Apple Watch SE offers 18 hours of usage between charges. A single GPS workout, however, depletes the battery significantly. We hope to see longer battery life in the new SE and faster charging. The fast charging tech introduced on the Apple Watch 7 is likely more realistic than a significant upgrade to battery life.

ECG and other new health tracking features

An Apple Watch Series 6 on a user's wrist displays the ECG prompt screen.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The Watch SE offers users a deep well of features for monitoring health and fitness. But it doesn’t hurt to ask for more. The original skips out on two features: blood oxygen monitoring and an electrocardiogram. If these make their way to the Apple Watch SE 2, it would be a hard budget wearable to beat.

We already consider the Apple Watch SE the best option for most Apple users. Adding advanced health monitoring tools to the new model would allow more health-focused users to opt for the cheaper model.

More colors

An Apple Watch SE rests outside on rocks with a sprinkle of rain on the display.

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

As mentioned above, the SE is limited to silver, Space Gray, and gold. We hope to see Apple bring a fresh look to the budget lineup with additional colors. Of course, this isn’t a deal-breaker as users can always add flair with replacement bands and watch faces, but it wouldn’t hurt either.

We would also love to see a more durable display screen. The original SE’s Ion-X glass is prone to scratch more easily than other Apple Watch models with sapphire glass.

Better sleep tracking

An iPhone paired to an Apple Watch Series 6 displays a user's sleep tracking data.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Both the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE 2 could benefit the most from improved sleep tracking features. Apple’s sleep tracking is incredibly basic compared to competitors like Fitbit and Garmin. Luckily, Apple already previewed some exciting things to come in watchOS 9 in this category. We’re very happy to see Apple will begin tracking users’ sleep stages but hope to see accuracy as well. More overnight data and deeper analysis would be a huge benefit to users.

Which upgrades would you want to see most on the Apple Watch SE 2?

181 votes

That’s everything we want to see on the Apple Watch SE 2. Which features do you hope for most? Be sure to vote in our poll above.

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