Skip Series 8. The SE is the best value

Apple Watch Series 8 and SE (second era).

Sofia Pitt

I’ve been testing the new Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE second era forward of their launch Friday.

If you have already got an Apple Watch, the $399 Series 8 does not have sufficient new options to justify an improve. Most of the worthwhile improvements can be found on the Watch OS 9 software program, which you’ll obtain so long as you’ve gotten an Apple Watch Series 4 paired with iPhone 8 or later.

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CNBC Investing ClubWe see robust orders for Apple’s new iPhone 14 Pros reducing each methods

The Apple Watch SE, on the different hand, has gotten a reasonably large makeover. The new SE has a beginning value that is $30 lower than the first era SE at simply $249. It’s Apple’s most reasonably priced watch and it has new upgrades together with a brand new Apple S8 processor — which makes for quicker and smoother efficiency — low-power mode, sleep monitoring, crash detection, and also you’re in a position to arrange the SE for a member of the family with out an iPhone.

The Series 8 and the SE are fairly related, aside from the $150 value distinction. The advantages you may get from paying the premium for the Series 8 are just a few extra well being monitoring options and a much bigger display.

The $799 Apple Watch Ultra, constructed for people who find themselves into excessive sports activities, will not be out there till Sept. 23, and we’ll cowl that after we get our palms on it.

Apple does not escape its watch income the manner it does for the iPad, iPhone and Mac. However, the firm’s Wearables, Home and Accessories enterprise — which incorporates Apple Watch, HomePod, AirPods and Apple TV — noticed gross sales fall in Apple’s newest quarter to $8.08 billion from $8.78 billion a yr earlier. The two watches that go on sale Friday most likely will not have a lot impact on this enterprise section, however the expensive Ultra — if profitable — may assist enhance wearables gross sales for the firm’s subsequent fiscal yr, which begins in October.

So may the new AirPods Pro 2, which I’ll be reviewing afterward.

Here’s why I’d maintain off on splurging for the Series 8, and why the SE is an important value.

Series 8 has a bigger display & always-on show

The Series 8 is available in two sizes: 41mm and 45mm. Like the new iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, the Series 8 comes with an always-on show, that means you possibly can see the time even when your watch is inactive. You can select a case that is both aluminum or chrome steel. The aluminum is available in black, tan, silver and purple. The chrome steel is available in black, silver and gold.

The second-generation Apple Watch SE comes solely in aluminum in both 44mm or 40mm, and it does not have the always-on show. It’s out there in black, tan and silver.

While the aluminum is barely cheaper trying, you possibly can really feel a bit higher figuring out the manufacturing course of Apple is now utilizing for the 2022 SE reduces carbon emissions by over 80%.

Apple Watch SE.

Sofia Pitt

I recognize the dimension of the SE. The Apple Watch 8 felt a bit clunky whereas I used to be utilizing it, which is a grievance I’ve heard from my different feminine mates. I additionally discovered that as a result of the SE is lighter in weight, it was extra comfy to make use of for sleep monitoring.

Both the SE and Series 8 have the identical S8 processor

Despite being the cheaper mannequin, the SE has the newest S8 processor, which is the identical one which’s inside the new Series 8. Apple says the improve makes the SE 20% quicker than the first era SE, which debuted in 2020.

The Series 8 does have the U1 chip as nicely, which the SE doesn’t. This chip lets you use location monitoring in the Find My app.

Both watches felt like they labored at the identical pace to me. It was simply as simple to navigate on both watch between the exercise app, mindfulness and the climate app with no glitches.

Apple Watch Series 8.

Sofia Pitt

SE has fewer well being options however vital ones

The SE has coronary heart charge and fall detection, whereas the Series 8 can measure blood oxygen ranges and has an ECG app to observe coronary heart rhythms.

The Series 8 does have a brand new temperature sensor that allows menstrual cycle monitoring with retrospective ovulation estimates.

While I recognize Apple incorporating ladies’s well being into the new watch, I’ve a tough time understanding how retrospective ovulation will present the information mandatory for girls who’re attempting to conceive. Instead of providing you with information about once you ovulated final month, different wearables equivalent to Ava Fertility inform you once you’re actively ovulating so you possibly can reap the benefits of your fertility window in case you are attempting to conceive.

Heart charge notifications on the new SE can alert customers of unusually excessive or low coronary heart charges or irregular rhythms which Apple says has helped save lives.

Apple Watch SE.

Sofia Pitt

There is one development in the Series 8 that would present customers with vital info. It now has AFib monitoring, which can assist diagnose folks with atrial fibrillation, the most typical kind of irregular heartbeat.

When it involves sleep, each watches present complete sleep monitoring, although as I discussed, the smaller and lighter SE is a bit extra comfy to put on to mattress.

The new crash detection characteristic is out there on each the SE and Series 8.

The Series 8 has higher battery life

The Series 8 costs in a short time. Apple says it may recharge from 0 to 80% in 45 minutes and to 100% in about 75 minutes. I undoubtedly seen a distinction when charging my Series 8.

When the Series 8 is in low-power mode, it lasts as much as 36 hours. Both watches have “all-day” battery lifetime of as much as 18 hours.

If Apple wished to get me to purchase the Series 8, they might have given it as a lot battery life as the new Ultra, which boasts 36 hours in common mode and 60 hours in low-power mode.

Low Power Mode on Apple Watch SE.

Sofia Pitt

Having a wearable that lasts solely 18 hours or much less is disappointing. A number of months in the past, I began utilizing the Oura Ring, which supplies me lots of the identical metrics as the Apple Watch, besides I neglect I’m sporting it and it solely must be charged each three and a half to 4 days.

Which one do you have to purchase?

If you’ve got by no means owned a smartwatch and also you simply need the primary capabilities, equivalent to notifications and exercise monitoring, the SE is an important value. If you’re involved about your well being, and need to get early warnings if issues could also be going incorrect, the Series 8 might give you some added peace of thoughts.

The SE is additionally good to purchase for a kid who is too younger for a smartphone. Maybe you do not need them to go on social media or textual content, however setting them up with an SE can let you monitor their location and call them in case of an emergency.

If you’ve got already received a recent-model Apple Watch, I’d not counsel upgrading. I hardly seen a distinction when utilizing the Series 8 in contrast with my Series 7, and even the Series 5. The new well being monitoring options equivalent to the temperature sensor do not feel worthwhile sufficient to justify the value, particularly since ovulation monitoring is backward-looking.

Correction: This article has been up to date to replicate that the abbreviation AFib stands for atrial fibrillation. A earlier model used an incorrect time period. It has additionally been up to date to take away references to the Apple Watch getting used a well being machine by individuals who have already been identified with AFib. Apple says in a footnote on its web site that the Watch is not meant for such use.


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