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Apple Watch SE 2 unveiled as minor, but cheaper smartwatch update

Apple has announced a very minor update to the Apple Watch SE line, which brings some of the features offered in the new Apple Watch Series 8.

The more affordable option starts at $249 for the GPS model in the United States, while the cellular model starts at $299. It will go on sale on September 16, which is when we’re envisioning the iPhone 14 will go on sale

That’s $30 cheaper than the $279/$329 first-gen Apple Watch SE and is in-line with reports Apple planned to reveal the cheapest ever new Apple Watch during the event.

(UPDATE: The UK prices are now official and starts at £259 for the GPS model and £319 for the cellular. That’s only down a tenner on the first-gen model)

The update includes the same S8 chip as the Series 8 model, which promises a 20 per cent speed increase over the first-generation Apple Watch SE. It also includes the same Crash Detection hardware and software algorithms included in the Series 8, building on the existing Fall Detection feature. It will also benefit from the new Low Power Mode with watchOS 9.

Apple is now offering colour-matched rear cases for the range which is available in aluminium midnight (like the new MacBook Air), silver and starlight. From an environmental point of view, the production process reduces the carbon footprint of the device by 80 percent.

As usual, the SE is a bit of a step down from the Apple Watch Series 8 (and quite a bit down from the new Apple Watch Ultra). You won’t get the new temperature sensor, for example, while the ECG technology remains absent. However, there’s still water resistance of 50 metres, emergency SOS, and the heart rate sensor.

Apple seems to be pitching this for younger users by confirming it’ll be compatible with the Family Setup feature first shown off with the Apple Watch SE. For those who may be upgrading from the Apple Watch Series 3, which is now being retired, there’s a 30% larger Retina OLED display to enjoy too.

You can follow our Apple ‘Far Out’ reporting as it happens. You can also see a more detailed guide about how it compares to its predecessor in our Apple Watch SE 2 vs Apple Watch SE guide.

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