We're seeing record-breaking Apple Watch deals ahead of this year's Memorial Day sales this week with both the latest Apple Watch SE 2022 ($219 at Amazon) and the older Apple Watch SE 2020 ($149 at Walmart) on sale with extremely compelling prices.
If you're thinking about picking one up, both are excellent choices right now depending on your budget so we've laid out the pros and cons of each device just below. We've tested both these devices thoroughly here at TechRadar so we'll clue you in with what you need to know before buying one of these awesome budget wearables from Apple.
Today's Apple Watch SE deals in full
Apple Watch SE 2nd generation
Now: $219 at Amazon
Key features: Crash detection, Apple S8 chipset, fitness and sleep tracking, heart rate monitor
Product launched: September 2022
Price history: We've only seen this model cheaper on on occasion, and that was when Amazon was running a limited-time-only coupon saving that knocked another $20 off at checkout. Without that coupon, however, this is the cheapest upfront price ever on the Apple Watch SE, albeit one we've seen on several occasions over the past few months.
Price comparison: Amazon: $219 | Walmart: $249 | Best Buy: $219 | Target: $249
Reviews consensus: The latest Apple Watch SE is a big hit in our opinion. Not only does it have the same chip as the latest Apple Watch 8 flagship device, but it's got all the essential features anybody could need with a smartwatch. Sure, it doesn't have that always-on display or high-end sensor tech that the 8 has, but it's still great for mid-tier fitness tracking and lifestyle apps.
TechRadar: ★★★★ | Toms Guide: ★★★★ | Creative Bloq: ★★★★
Featured in TechRadar buyer's guides: Best smartwatch, Best Apple Watch, Best smartwatch for iPhone
Apple Watch SE 1st generation
Now: $149 at Walmart
Key features: Apple S5 chipset, fitness and sleep tracking, heart rate monitor
Product launched: September 2020
Price history: This is the lowest ever price for the first Apple Watch SE and one that was originally featured back over Black Friday last year. Not only is this one of the cheapest Apple Watch deals available right now but it's actually one of the cheapest Apple Watch deals ever - only beaten by a $129 deal on the much-older Apple Watch 3. The usual discount price for this model was around $179 before this deal so this is a great deal - and one that's likely to vanish as this model becomes discontinued.
Price comparison: Amazon: $179 (renewed) | Walmart: $149 | Best Buy: $231 | Target: $190
Reviews consensus: The first generation Apple Watch is the oldest Apple wearable you can buy new right now but its absolute bargain price makes up for its relatively advanced age. Again, it lacks an always-on display like the latest SE but has all the usual fitness and lifestyle apps that most people will use on the day-to-day.
TechRadar: ★★★★ | Toms Guide: ★★★ | Creative Bloq: ★★★★★
Featured in TechRadar buyer's guides: Best smartwatch (2021 edition), Best Apple Watch, Best smartwatch for iPhone (2021)
Which Apple Watch SE model should you buy?
- The new model has a much speedier chip
- New Crash detection
- New low power modes
Both the original Apple Watch SE and the later model are aimed at offering a more 'stripped' down Apple wearable experience. They both pack in all the essential daily use features like health and fitness tracking but miss-out on the slightly more advanced stuff packed into the latest Apple Watch 8 (like an ECG, for example). Out of the two, however, the latest Apple Watch SE 2022 does have some upgrades that are likely worth the extra cost in our opinion.
The biggest selling point for the 2022 model is that it comes packed with the latest S8 chipset, which is the same processor that's powering the top-of-the-line Apple Watch 8. As you'd imagine, this will give it an edge in every-day performance versus the older model and we found the 2022 SE to be extremely snappy during our own product testing. While the old SE still has enough power for the basics, the latest SE provides a much zippier experience overall.
Two other new features that are worth mentioning are the crash detection, which is obviously niche but potentially incredibly important to have, and a new low-power mode. The latter is definitely a handy addition for the 2022 model since the SE has never been known for its battery life.
Shop more offers with our roundup of the best Apple Watch deals and sales, and you can see the best Apple Watch 8 deals happening right now.