Lower-cost phones, watches and tablets are all the rage in this pandemic economy. Apple has certainly seen the writing on the wall, releasing the iPhone SE earlier in the year and now an Apple Watch SE and 8th Generation iPad, alongside the more expensive Apple Watch Series 6 and iPad Air.
The most surprising of the announcements was the Watch SE, which is Apple’s first low-cost watch. $429 versus $599 is a decent saving, and it’s actually not missing any truly vital functions for most people, compared to the Series 6.
The new Blood Oxygen app in the Series 6 is really good for asthmatics (and perhaps those extra concerned about COVID-19), but most users will miss it less than the $170 difference. The 6’s 2.5 times brighter always-on display is also nice to have, but I still find myself fully turning my wrist to check the time anyway, and if you’ve never had always-on, you’re unlikely to miss it that much in the SE.
Aside from that, the Series 6’s chip is twice as fast, and it comes in more colours and metals. The SE doesn’t have the ECG monitor, but since the Therapeutic Goods Administration has been dragging its feet on allowing that feature to be unlocked in Australia for the last two years, technically the Series 6 doesn’t have that, either.