And what if you go for Apple’s cheapest connected watch?

On September 7th, Apple completely overhauled its range of connected watches. Unusually enough to emphasize, the American giant has done it from the top… saying goodbye to the Series 3 and being replaced at the entry level by the second generation Watch SE. Available from €299. At the same time, the unsurprising successor to the Series 7, the Series 8, occupies a somewhat obscure position. Starting at €499, this watch is already a top-of-the-range watch for the masses, which has been downgraded with the introduction of the Watch Ultra. Sure, the €999 connected watch is aimed at athletes and the most active users, but it’s also the watch with the most novel features. And the relatively low autonomy, a weak point from the watch’s origins, seems to need to be addressed most seriously as soon as it gets a little too much.

In short, the Watch Ultra, though for its niche, makes the Series 8 a bit dated and strips it of some of its novelty aura. Effectively, it begs the question: What if the Watch SE was good enough in the end?

We’ve owned two watches for a few days now, and it’s still not enough to give you the context of our thoughts on each, but enough to give you an idea of ​​what each brings further. , each time there is an essential argument to argue in favor of. Price of the Watch SE: Its price. At €200 less than the Watch Series 8, the second edition of the SE often excuses its shortcomings…

Series 8 or SE, which one to choose? – Pierre Turan – Thomas Remirele

Appearances don’t always deceive

The two watches share the same ergonomics consisting of touch, side buttons and digital crown, but there are some differences. The most noticeable is obviously the exterior. With the Series 8 directly inheriting the design of the Series 7 and the edge-to-edge screen still being a bit domed, the display can be stretched to the limits of the case, but the 2nd generation Watch SE will be the next generation in 2019. The first named Watch SE introduced in 2013.

The bezels around the screen are much wider. Even if the right-hand dial and bright background can visually compensate for this reality, it’s only a point that reinforces the impression of the relative smallness of the display surface, which is also accentuated by the smaller case. is only available in 40 and 44 mm, while the Series 8 displays 1 mm more – 41 and 45 mm, a difference in size.

A smaller entry-level watch would be much lighter. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing when trying to forget you’re wearing a watch on your wrist.

Clearly, more compactness and lighter weight are real arguments for people with smaller wrists and prepubescents. My advice is to try them on before choosing your size.

Only one difference, but important

As for the screen, beyond the surface offered, the big difference is obviously the mode always on (can be disabled). It seems so natural to have a watch that keeps track of time and displays information at all times, so once you get the taste for it, you can’t do without it. So Series 8 has an advantage in this regard.
However, activation by carefully tapping the screen or raising my wrist works perfectly and I don’t want to be distracted by the watch like I am on my phone…

Second, when the screen is on, the two watches offer roughly the same peak and steady brightness. So, according to 01Lab’s measurements, the Series 8 displays a brightness of 637 cd/m2 on the screen. always on, if the Watch SE displays 634 cd/m2 when the screen brightness is slightly reduced before switching off. At its peak, the Series 8 delivered 905 cd/m2 compared to 897 cd/m2 on the Watch SE. The difference is subtle and not visible to the naked eye.

At first glance, apart from screen size, screen on, there is not much difference. – Pierre Turan – Thomas Remirele

Same engine…

All the watches announced this year are powered by the same SiP S8 with the same processor. This seems to be the same one found on the Watch Series 7 and 6. So there is no difference in power. The case is not lifted, and the interface between the two watches is also fluid. When I run the app for the first time, it takes less than a second or two to get up and running. Then it will be available immediately when called back. At least for those who use it regularly.

Both watches also have a built-in W3 chip to manage wireless connectivity, specifically to manage connectivity with AirPods, so you can, for example, make calls without getting stuck on your iPhone or while running. Very practical for listening to music.

The Watch Series 8 also has the advantage of including the U1 chip. In particular, this allows you to use your watch to unlock your hotel room or even your home if you’re using a connected lock. Widely used for

But not the same sensor…

The two watches are also differentiated from each other by the sensors they carry, with the Series 8 clearly having more sensors. So it benefits from an oximeter and his ECG (electrocardiogram), which is absent on the Watch SE. If they are so important for accurately monitoring your health, it’s fair to say that the majority of users (even Sunday sportsmen) have no serious need. Skip the effect of We don’t restart EKGs very often, and maybe we’re more interested in blood oxygen levels after the slightly more virulent COVID-19…

For athletes, the Series 8 benefits from new GPS. This Watch is compatible with other Global Positioning Systems (GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, Beidou), although it is not as efficient as the Watch Ultra as it only uses the GPS frequency band. The Watch SE should be slightly less accurate when plotting running routes. The second-generation heart rate sensor, carried over from the first Watch SE, is a little less responsive to detect changes in heart rate during exercise, especially if you offer yourself small split sessions.

Additionally, even though it offers the ability to monitor your menstrual cycle, the Watch SE does not have an integrated temperature sensor. So if you’re not interested in this feature, you can completely do without this sensor and the Series 8.

A heart rate sensor is mandatory for two connected watches. – Pierre Turan – Thomas Remirele

equal for your safety

On the other hand, the two watches are comparable when it comes to providing fall detection and new accident detection capabilities. Remember, this feature alerts emergency services in the event of a car accident. It uses both GPS to detect sudden changes in speed and sudden decelerations. A barometer is also used to detect changes in atmospheric pressure that occur when airbags are deployed. Meanwhile, the microphones step in and measure loud noises like tire screeches and shattered glass. Finally, this feature is based on a new gyroscope and a new accelerometer that can withstand 256G. Because a car accident at high speed is subject to 200 G of acceleration, and the accelerometer must be held to act as an alert. This should give a pause to those who may be hesitant to fasten their seatbelts.

watchOS 9: Fairness and Essential Features

Both Apple watches can take advantage of watchOS 9 and its new features. Both have the same core technology platform and should provide the same software follow-up for several years.
The new OS has improved the ability to track your workouts. They are present on both models. There is still no significant difference between the measurements of the two watches.

I regret missing one. Watch SE has no keyboard input. Last year, French was not yet supported, so it wouldn’t have been so cumbersome. But this year, with a little patience, you can now use the tiny keyboard to type text messages on your connected watch. Not a panacea, but better than nothing. Better than Siri in many cases…

Are autonomy and charging go hand in hand?

One area where we expect significant improvements in watches is autonomy. For several years now Apple has been announcing his 18 hours of autonomy. This is a guideline that varies greatly depending on the application. By saving them and not playing sports for more than 30 minutes a day, reducing the number of notifications you receive, and using less GPS or phone features that mobilize 4G chips (on compatible models), we It managed to last up to a little over 36 hours on the previous generation.

The situation is the same for these two new generations. However, I haven’t had time to use them more intensively yet. A detailed test will see what they have to say on this point.

But at first glance, both Watches should behave the same. Here’s one advantage of the Series 8. It supports fast charging, which gives you 80% battery in 45 minutes of charging. It’s not the best, but it’s still a very good idea if you want to use your watch to track your sleep. I can do it. SE does not have this feature. however, tracking Fast charging isn’t very strategic if none of your nights interest you.

The main advantage of the Watch Series 8 is the always-on screen. – Pierre Turan – Thomas Remirele

Ultimately, the Watch SE offers the essential and most useful features with much of the same ergonomics. The only criticism we can give is that the screen is small and not always active. If you’re not looking for one, it seems to have everything you need to become your child’s connected watch or your own.

The Series 8 remains the more successful model, but aside from the screen and size, it’s basically the same. The essential point is fact. I especially wanted to see her become more persistent. But to get beyond this course, Apple planned another way. It’s the Watch Ultra. If you can’t afford the ultimate, why not settle for the basic? In these times of crisis, the €200 you save can be spent on different sports equipment to keep you in shape and on your electricity bill. amount that can be invested.

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