Apple’s latest “Far Out” event is finally over and it brought with it all manner of new wearables alongside the firm’s hotly anticipated iPhone 14 smartphones, including a subtle update to is affordable smartwatch, the Apple Watch SE.
But with even the tech experts at Trusted Reviews struggling to tell the difference between the Apple Watch SE 2 and 2020 Apple Watch SE during the keynote, you’d be forgiven for not knowing what’s actually new.
Here to help we’ve created this early versus guide where we detail the biggest, and pretty much only, differences between the first and second generation Apple Watch SE.
New colours and a more eco-friendly manufacturing process
At first glance the SE 2 and SE are all but identical. They both have the same pebble shaped chassis, digital crown control and OLED screens. But the SE 2 comes in different colours. Specifically you can get the SE 2 in midnight (like the new MacBook Air), Silver and Starlight. The first gen SE was available in Silver, Black and Gold.
On top of this, the SE 2 features a new back case made of nylon composite materials and is made using a different manufacturing process. Apple claims this has led to an 80 reduction in the new SE 2’s carbon footprint.
The Apple Watch SE 2 is more powerful
Despite looking all but identical the Apple Watch SE 2 has had a few important under the hood upgrades. The biggest is a move to use the same S8 chip as the Apple Watch Series 8 model.
We haven’t used the chip in either device but Apple claims it’ll offer a 20 percent speed increase over the first-generation Apple Watch SE. We’ll look forward to checking this when we get the new SE 2 in for testing, but considering we never had any serious performance issues with the first generation Watch SE, it hardly seems like a big feature to get excited about.
The SE 2 has a few more wellness and accident tracking features
As well as the new silicon, the Watch SE 2 also features a few features you won’t find on the first gen SE wearable. These include water resistance of 50 metres, emergency SOS, a new heart rate sensor and fall detection. You won’t get any of these on the first generation Apple Watch SE.
The Apple Watch SE 2 is cheaper at launch
The second generation Apple Watch SE pricing starts at $249 for the GPS model and $299 for the cellular. That’s $30 cheaper than the first generation Apple Watch SE, which retailed for $279/$329 when it first launched.