When the Apple Watch SE first came out, we were happy to finally see a great smartwatch from Apple at a budget price, at least relative to its usual pricing. While the second generation of the Watch SE has been released, the original is still a great option for those who want to save some money. There’s even a great deal from Walmart for the 4th of July that lowers the 1st gen Watch SE to $149 rather than $279, which is a substantial discount.
There’s a lot to like about the Apple Watch SE, starting with the minimalist look and rounded edges that you’d expect from a highly engineered and designed Apple product. It has a gorgeous 1.78-inch Retina screen with a 326 pixel-per-inch density and comes in two different sizes, 40mm, and 44mm, and both are on sale for this 4th of July, which is great. In terms of sensors, both the Watch SE and Watch SE 2 comes with roughly the same suite, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, always-on altimeter, and compass. The only difference is that the Watch SE 2 also comes with a heart rate monitor and updated accelerometer and gyroscope for the crash-detection feature only available on the Watch SE 2.
For Software, it’s pretty much a tie, as both generations run the same WatchOS 9, so you aren’t missing out on any software-based features such as medication tracking. On the other hand, the Watch SE 2 does get a new chip, the S8 SiP, although it doesn’t have as big an impact as it would if this was a smartphone, so the upgrade is minimal. As for battery life, both the Watch SE and Watch SE 2 are neck and neck, managing over a day and a half of use each, although it’s important to note that neither has fast charging, so you’ll need about two hours to charge, which isn’t a big deal.
All in all, the 1st-gen Watch SE is still an excellent watch, and if you’re on the fence, be sure to look at our breakdown between the Apple Watch SE 2 vs. Apple Watch SE for more information. If you do spring up springing for the 1st-gen Watch SE, don’t forget to grab this deal from Walmart that brings it from $279 to $149 and check out some of these other great Apple watch deals.