Apple Watch SE 2 might not be the upgrade you’re hoping for – but that’s okay

Apple Watch SE
An Apple Watch SE (Image credit: Future)

If you’ve been holding out for an Apple Watch SE 2 then you might wonder why you bothered, because while there’s a good chance we’ll see the wearable at the iPhone 14 launch on September 7, it doesn’t sound like it'll be much of an upgrade.

That's according to Mark Gurman – a journalist and leaker with an excellent track record for Apple information. In his latest Power On newsletter for Bloomberg, Gurman claims that Apple will unveil the Apple Watch SE 2 on September 7, but that it will be almost identical to the original Apple Watch SE.

The design will apparently be the same, with the main upgrade said to be a new chipset; moving from Apple's own S5 to an S8 silicon. That might sound like quite a jump, but the S6 and S7 chipsets were basically identical to each other, so it’s more a shift of two generations, rather than three.

Still, it could lead to a significant power and efficiency boost, meaning it’s likely to be a worthwhile upgrade, although potentially not one that’s worth upgrading from the original Apple Watch SE for. Given that the new model will probably cost more too, there could even be an argument for buying the old model over this one.

Of course, that’s just speculation for now – there may yet be other improvements, or the chipset change might prove transformative. So it’s worth tuning in on September 7 and reading our assessments of the new wearable to find out.

This isn’t the only Apple Watch news Gurman has provided either, as he claims that, unsurprisingly, we’ll also see the Apple Watch 8 on that day. This will apparently also pack the S8 chipset – so the Apple Watch SE 2 won’t be behind on power.

But the Apple Watch 8 is reportedly set for other upgrades that aren’t expected on the SE 2. These include a body-temperature sensor and “women’s health features related to fertility.”

Finally, at the top of the range, there’s said to be an Apple Watch Pro, which will apparently have the same features as the Apple Watch 8, but with a larger display, a bigger battery, and a different design; including a rugged titanium casing.

While this is set to be the top model – with an expected cost of at least $900 (around £780 / AU$1,330) – it’s not just the price that might put people off. Gurman claims that its large size could also make it unappealing to some consumers, especially those with smaller wrists.

Apple Watch SE review: the smartwatch's Memoji watch face

An Apple Watch SE (Image credit: TechRadar)

Analysis: an Apple Watch for everyone

While the Apple Watch SE 2 sounds like a rather modest upgrade – and a potentially disappointing one for some prospective buyers – that's okay, because more than ever before Apple looks set to provide a new wearable for almost every need or want.

For those who do just want a cheap way to get an Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE 2 should do the trick, while the majority of buyers might look to the Apple Watch 8, which has more upgrades.

Then, for those who want something truly top-end, or just want a bigger screen or a more rugged design, there’s the Apple Watch Pro. So with all of these options, it’s likely our guide to the best Apple Watches is in for a major shake-up.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.