This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The biggest news about the Apple Watch in 2020 is actually the announcement of the Apple Watch SE, which is not only a low-priced product but also a great value for money in terms of features.
Of course, the Apple Watch Series 6, which has been upgraded with higher features and performance in its annual update, is the legitimate successor to the haunted product with over 50% share of the global market (2019 smartwatch market), and will further accelerate the momentum of the Apple Watch, which sold 30 million units last year.
But if you're looking for a smartwatch to use for fitness and sports, the Apple Watch SE is the right product for you. While there is another manufacturer, Garmin, which is another king when it comes to functionality for various sports, if you want to be a casual, everyday partner, the SE is the way to go.
First, let's get the differences between the Series 6 and SE straightened out
So why is the SE good and how does it differ from the Series 6?
First of all, they have different case materials and a limited number of colors to choose from. The SE will only be available in silver, space gray, and gold with an aluminum case. The stainless steel and titanium models of the Series 6 have a sapphire cover glass, while the SE is only available in an aluminum case, which means it has a toughened glass with a treatment called ION-X.
The Blood Oxygen sensor, a key feature of the Series 6, is also absent from the SE. The built-in SiP-enclosed CPU is also said to be 20% faster on the Series 6. The Blood Oxygen sensor may be useful for daily management of health and wellness, or for detecting changes in physical condition. While the sensor is not intended for medical purposes, it's clear that the company is looking to enhance its role in looking after users' health with Series 6.
Another way to "watch over your health" is the sleep tracking feature that was added in watchOS 7. This requires you to keep your Apple Watch on while you sleep, but if you do, "What about charging it?" This is a problem. The Series 6 also addresses this issue by offering a quick charge from zero to 100% in 1.5 hours, and up to 80% in 1 hour, which can be done in a short break, such as while bathing.
On the other hand, the electronics on the SE are the same as on the Series 5; the Apple Watch is made up of a component called the SiP, which combines all the necessary functions into one package, and they are identical. The only difference, however, is the display, which does not have an always-on mode available on the SE.
But in other words, the difference is just that. It's not without its stresses, such as the lack of timely display when you take a quick look at it to understand the situation while running, but considering that you're not running a highly interactive app like a smartphone game, the SE will be sufficient for the majority of applications.
Like the iPhone SE, the Apple Watch SE is a product that sets the standard for the basic performance and features that the Apple Watch offers collectively.
Reasons why SE is the right choice for fitness applications
When the first generation of the Apple Watch was released, I thought, "No way, it's a watch and it's not going to get a model change every year," but in reality, it's been updated every year.
So does the old product get older and stale with age? Not so much. The dual-core Series 3 and up will continue to update the basic features, while the new display size and shape of the Series 4 and up should be enough to keep you happy no matter which one you use.
In fact, the S4 package on the Series 4 has the same performance as the S5, albeit with differences in flash memory capacity and other features. If you have a Series 4, you should be able to use the latest version of watchOS 7 with no complaints, unless you have a low battery and need to have it repaired.
With each annual update of watchOS, the workout features are enhanced, this time with the addition of dancing, or more information to display and the ability to analyze your results in a post-workout review, as well as an improved analysis system.
VO2 max (maximum oxygen uptake) is one way to measure cardiorespiratory capacity, and the number frequently changes with weight and muscle mass. While it can be measured in exacting conditions, the Apple Watch shows you an index based on your daily aerobic exercise history (even walking) and organizes it on your iPhone to show you the changes.
It's a common feature in smartwatches for sports, but the Apple Watch is more like an everyday product, so it's easy to feel the changes. In my case, when I was training specifically for a run, my numbers were around 60, but as I built up my muscle strength and gained weight, they dropped to around 50, and then as I increased my muscle mass, they dropped below 50.
Even if I don't think that "OK, I'm going to measure it," it's nice to be able to visualize such a vital state index in my daily routine.
In any case, these features are implemented by the OS. In other words, the value of the Apple Watch is whether or not it runs the latest watchOS. In terms of "CPU power alone", the Series 4, Series 5, and SE have exactly the same capabilities, and they are likely to be at the forefront for a long time to come.
On the other hand, if you're more health-conscious and would rather use it to manage your health on a daily basis than to be active, then the Series 6 with its new sensors would be a better choice. The case comes in a variety of colors and materials.
By the way, the newly introduced Solo Loop is the best and most convenient way to use it. Whether you're running, sleeping, or using the computer, the band never gets in the way and should be your first choice when buying a SE or Series 6.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.