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Apple Watch SE Review Rundown

ApplePublished on 21 Mar 2021Last Edited on 14 Nov 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*
Rundown of external reviews is now integrated to the product page in the External Reviews section.
We will no longer publish Rundowns separately.
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Neoscore* 0%
  • Excellent fitness-tracking features
  • Excellent battery life
  • Always-on heart rate sensor
  • Nothing in particular


Apple Watch SE sits somewhere between the Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 5 in terms of power and features. It packs all the essential features of an Apple Watch into a modern design at an entry-level price. It offers the same OLED display options (44 or 40 mm) as well as the same accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter of the Apple Watch Series 6.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.



Sentiment Score[*] 88%
Reviewers from gizmodo have found the following[***]:
If you're upgrading from a Series 2 or older and you want the latest and greatest, the Watch SE is the way to go. The Series 6 is an iterative upgrade. If you don't already love the ecosystem, you shouldn't throw your entire wallet at Apple just to find out if you do.
Find the original article here.
  • Faster than the Series 4 and Series 5
  • Always-on display is a great addition to the watchOS ecosystem
  • Great battery life
  • The always-on screen is slow to wake up
  • No Family Setup feature


Sentiment Score[*] 80%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The 44mm Apple Watch SE costs $309, while the 40mm model costs $279. The ECG and SpO2 features are more specialist, and those who feel they will use them regularly enough will be able to justify the $120 extra it costs to buy a Series 6. The only other alternative to seriously consider for your iPhone is the $299 Withings ScanWatch.
Find the original article here.
  • Accurate sleep tracking
  • Accurate ECG and SpO2
  • Excellent battery life
  • No always-on display


Sentiment Score[*] 75%
Reviewers from macworld have found the following[***]:
The Apple Watch SE uses the prior-generation S5 dual-core processor. It runs circles around the Apple Watch Series 3's S3 chip. The clock face appears very quickly when you raise your wrist, which nearly compensates for the lack of an always-on display.
Find the original article here.
  • Faster than the Apple Watch Series 3
  • Excellent battery life
  • Always-on altimeter
  • No wireless charging or fast charging
  • No always-on display


Sentiment Score[*] 83%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
Starting at $279, the Watch SE is a compelling alternative if you want the apps, connectivity, fitness, and safety features of the Series 6. It gives you most every feature of its pricier sibling, with the exception of an always-on display, an SpO2 app for blood oxygen saturation readings, and an ECG app for signs of atrial fibrillation on demand. The Series 6 delivers the best smartwatch experience you can get today, and accordingly earns our Editors' Choice.
Find the original article here.
  • High-quality third-party apps
  • Accurate GPS
  • Always-on display
  • Lacks fall detection
  • No ECG


Sentiment Score[*] 74%
Reviewers from techadvisor have found the following[***]:
The Apple Watch SE is the ideal entry-level model in the Apple Watch collection. It's more budget-friendly than the premium Apple Watch 6, and doesn't offer headline features like the always-on display, ECG or SpO2 monitors. It is expensive compared to the competition, but it does offer an unparalleled experience for iPhone users. You've got access to the updated Apple Watch design, with larger displays with thinner bezels.
Find the original article here.
  • Beautiful design
  • Always-on display
  • Siri virtual assistant
  • Somewhat basic sleep tracking


Sentiment Score[*] 78%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
Despite packing the older S5 chipset inside, the Watch SE still had excellent battery life compared to the other Apple Watch models. The SE also lacks the advanced heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring of the Watch 6, which can be heavy drains on the battery. The Watch 6 performs better during GPS-tracked workouts, as well as when listening to on-device music, thanks to the more efficient S6 chipset.
Find the original article here.
  • Sleek design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great display
  • No offline music support
  • No Apple Music support


Sentiment Score[*] 61%
Reviewers from tomsguide have found the following[***]:
The Apple Watch SE has an 18-hour battery life, which means you'll be recharging your watch every day. With watchOS 7, the SE also gets sleep tracking, a hand-washing app, and Apple's new Fitness app. Apple has by far the largest app library of any smartwatch, which makes the SE a true extension of your phone on your wrist.
Find the original article here.
  • Sleek design
  • Lots of smartwatch features
  • Accurate sleep tracking
  • No Always-on display
  • Battery life could be better


Sentiment Score[*] 82%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following[***]:
There are a number of new watch faces this year and developers can build multiple complications into a single face for the first time. Still, you won’t find downloadable third-party faces on the store which remains a shame for those wanting something a little more unique. The watch can tell when you’re washing your hands, through a combination of your hand movement and the sound of water, and give you a countdown timer. This is a cheaper version of the Apple Watch 6 and it loses a few features in the search of a more affordable RRP.
Find the original article here.
  • Beautiful OLED display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great performance
  • No wireless charging
  • No sleep tracking


1. ^ Just Get the Apple Watch SE. gizmodo. 2020-09-29 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
2. ^ Apple Watch SE review: The best Apple Watch for most people. digitaltrends. 2020-09-29 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
3. ^ Apple Watch SE review: Back to basics with a blank screen. macworld. 2020-09-30 Retrieved 2021-10-13.
4. ^ Apple Watch SE Review. pcmag. 2020-09-29 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
5. ^ Apple Watch SE review. techadvisor. 2020-10-21 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
6. ^ Apple Watch SE review. techradar. 2020-11-06 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
7. ^ Apple Watch SE review. tomsguide. 2020-09-23 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
8. ^ Apple Watch SE Review. trustedreviews. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
*. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher\'s own rating, if available, as a result.
**. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher\'s own bullets points, if available, as a result.
***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher\'s own, if available.
****. This page contains affiliate links to third-party merchants such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. When you make a purchase using the supplied links, we will receive a commission.

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