Apple may not have revealed the iPhone 12 during last night's 'Time Flies' event, but it was still a jam-packed hour of product announcements. The brand new iPad Air and cutting-edge Apple Watch Series 6 may have turned the most heads, but there was another unexpected announcement that could be the most exciting of them all: the Apple Watch SE.
While the Apple Watch has been the king of wearables for a good few years, the device isn't exactly known for its affordability – until now, that is. At just $279/£269, the SE is the cheapest new Apple Watch in years – and that doesn't mean it scrimps on features either. (If you're looking for a great deal direct from Apple, check out the Apple Back to School sale.)
Apple's 'SE' phones tend to borrow the design of older models, but rather than adopting the ageing design of the Apple Watch Series 3, the SE features exactly the same design as the brand new Series 6. The super-thin, edge-to-edge retina display is there, and it can be customised with countless of Apple Watch bands (check out our best Apple Watch bands if you're looking for inspiration).
And in terms of features, the Apple Watch SE almost has it all. From sleep tracking to fall detection, via innumerable fitness and workout features, most of what you'd expect from an Apple Watch is there. In fact, all that's missing is the Series 6's always-on display (SE users are stuck with the slightly cumbersome raise-to-wake), and its Blood Oxygen and ECG sensors. If you're looking for the most precise and comprehensive health metrics available, you'll want to go for Series 6 – but we have a feeling the SE offers more than enough for most.
But the best feature is undoubtably the price. If you've been tempted by an Apple Watch but put off by the cost (the Series 6 starts at $399/£379), the SE's sub-$300 price might just seal the deal. Apple is clearly trying to introduce a brand new audience to its smartwatch, and the super-low price is bound to help – especially considering the contemporary design and abundance of features.
Like the new iPad Air, the Apple Watch SE is a massive boost for Apple's mid-range offering – proving that you don't have always have to cough up big bucks for pro performance. The Apple Watch SE is available to order from Apple.com (opens in new tab) now.