Oh, in all of the excitement with today’s announcements, I almost forgot to tell you about one really important thing — the announcements of the Apple Watch SE. This model almost matches the new Apple Watch Series 6 in capabilities, but starts at just $279 for the GPS only version and $329 for the GPS+Cellular version. Available on Friday (and for pre-order tomorrow), the Apple Watch SE comes with watchOS 7 installed.
Here’s Apple’s Press Release:
Cupertino, California — Apple today announced Apple Watch SE, packing the essential features of Apple Watch into a modern design customers love — all at a more affordable price. The largest and most advanced Retina display allows customers to easily see more details and the information that matters most, right on their wrist. Apple Watch SE features the same accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter as Apple Watch Series 6, and with the latest motion sensors and microphone, it offers robust health and safety capabilities including fall detection, Emergency SOS, international emergency calling, and the Noise app.
With watchOS 7, users can take advantage of powerful new features including Family Setup, which allows kids or older family members without an iPhone to enjoy Apple Watch, plus sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workouts. Apple Watch SE is available in three beautiful case finishes made of 100 percent recycled aluminum, and compatible with all Apple Watch bands including the new Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop.
“Apple Watch SE combines elements of the Series 6 design with the most essential features of Apple Watch, all at a more affordable price,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We’re excited to offer another great option to help customers stay connected, be more active, and keep an eye on their health.”
Design and Performance
Apple Watch SE features a stunning Retina display, with thin borders and curved corners, that is 30 percent larger than Series 3. The interface allows for large and easy-to-read app icons and fonts, while complications are precise and informative. A variety of new watch faces are optimized for the display, so customers can easily view notifications, text messages, workout metrics, and more.
With the S5 System in Package (SiP) and dual-core processor, Apple Watch SE delivers incredibly fast performance, up to two times faster than Apple Watch Series 3. The Digital Crown with haptic feedback generates incremental clicks with an extraordinary mechanical feel as it is rotated. Apple Watch SE features the latest speaker and microphone, which are optimized for better sound quality for phone calls, Siri, and Walkie-Talkie, along with Bluetooth 5.0.
Advanced Fitness Features
The next-generation always-on altimeter provides real-time elevation all day long by using a new, more power-efficient barometric altimeter, along with GPS and nearby Wi-Fi networks. This feature allows for the detection of small elevation changes above ground level, up and down to the measurement of 1 foot, and can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.
The built-in compass provides users with better directions and compass headings, in addition to incline, elevation, and latitude and longitude. Users can add one of three new Compass complications to their watch face, and developers can take advantage of compass information in their apps to create rich experiences.
Health and Safety
With Emergency SOS on Apple Watch, customers can quickly and easily call for help and alert emergency services with just a push of a button. For added personal safety while traveling, users with cellular models of Apple Watch SE can complete international calls to emergency services,2 regardless of where the device was originally purchased or if the cellular plan has been activated.
Fall detection uses a custom algorithm and the latest accelerometer and gyroscope in Apple Watch SE to detect when a user falls. By analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a hard fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services. If the watch senses immobility for approximately 60 seconds after the fall, it will automatically call emergency services and play an audio message that provides the user’s location as latitude and longitude coordinates, in addition to sending a message to emergency contacts.
To provide enhanced insights into hearing health, Apple Watch SE utilizes the latest-generation microphone to measure ambient sound levels in a user’s environment. Apple Watch SE sends a notification if the decibel level of surrounding sound has risen to a point that it could cause damage, and users can check noise levels at any time through the Noise app or Noise watch face complication.
With watchOS 7, customers can take personalization to the next level with seven new watch face options, including Stripes, Chronograph Pro, GMT, and Artist, while curating, discovering, and sharing new watch face configurations with others. New health and fitness features, including low-range VO2 Max, sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types, can help users better understand overall well-being. Conveniently accessible on the wrist, Maps includes cycling directions and Siri offers language translation.
Family Setup and Optimized Features for the Entire Family
Family Setup3 in watchOS 7 extends Apple Watch to the entire family by allowing kids and older family members of the household who do not have an iPhone to benefit from the connectivity, safety, and fitness features of Apple Watch. Kids can take advantage of communication and personalization capabilities, access Emergency SOS at any time, enjoy an Activity rings experience that has been optimized just for them, and utilize a new mode called Schooltime, which can help them stay focused and attentive while learning at home or in the classroom.
watchOS 7 also offers optimized features for older adults, starting with a simplified onboarding and configuration process, along with a refreshed X-Large face that shows the time and a rich complication at a glance. Older adults can also benefit from a new Health Checklist in the Health app on iPhone, which offers the ability to track whether health features like fall detection have been enabled in one centralized view.