Apple Watch SE 2 (2022) rumors: Everything you need to know
The current Apple Watch SE has been around since 2020 which means it’s now long overdue for a little bit of love. The current rumors have Apple choosing 2022 as the year to refresh the budget wearable, but those hoping for big improvements are set to be largely disappointed. Assuming those rumors turn out to be on the money, that is.
The new Apple Watch SE won’t be the only Apple Watch to be announced this year. Rumors also have Apple refreshing its main model, giving us a new Apple Watch Series 8 to replace the outgoing Apple Watch Series 7. Rumors of a new rugged version of the Apple Watch continue to swirl as well, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggesting it will be larger and tougher than any Apple Watch that came before it.
The Apple Watch Series 8 and rugged models are expected to sit at the top of Apple’s wearable lineup, though. Anyone looking to save a few dollars is better served by Apple Watch SE — here’s what we expect to happen with it this year.
Apple Watch SE 2: Possible release date
Hard release dates are difficult to come by until Apple confirms anything, but the expectation is that Apple will announce a new Apple Watch SE in September, alongside Apple’s next big iPhone refresh. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has previously pointed to a vague fall release window, something that would match previous years.
Apple’s September is expected to be a busy one — it’s already set to announce an entire iPhone 14 lineup while the flagship Apple Watch Series 8 is also likely to share the stage with this new Apple Watch SE. Rumors of that new rugged Apple Watch won’t go away, either. Expect all three to be announced at the same time, giving Apple Watch buyers plenty of options when it comes to strapping something onto their wrists.
Apple Watch SE 2: Design
With Apple already anticipated to announce a third model this year, one that’s designed for rugged outdoor use, little is expected to change externally in terms of the standard SE model. Rumors of a redesign have been sparse, with Gurman having already said a screen size bump isn’t going to happen. That doesn’t mean that we won’t see new colors, of course, with Apple also likely to offer some fancy new watch bands for people to pair with the new wearable.
As for the materials used, expect aluminum to be the order of the day thanks to its relatively low cost and Apple’s familiarity with using it. While many would argue that the best Apple Watch material is stainless steel, that’s simply out of scope for a budget Apple Watch like this.
Apple Watch SE 2: Models and sizes
The current Apple Watch comes in both GPS and cellular models, something we expect to be followed up by a similar setup this time around. Cellular Apple Watches are great for people who want to be able to leave their homes without a bulky iPhone, particularly when exercising. Carriers even allow people to use their iPhone’s phone number from their wrist for added flexibility.
In terms of the actual size of the Apple Watch SE, it seems likely that we should expect 40mm and 44mm versions as was the case in 2020. While the newer Apple Watch Series 7 and the updated 2022 model sport 41mm and 45mm variations, they benefit from a different case design from the current Apple Watch SE — and it’s expected that won’t change this year.
We can, of course, also expect special Nike versions to be announced, too.
Apple Watch SE 2: Processor
The current Apple Watch SE sports the S5 processor, something that is set to change this year. It’s reported that Apple could give the Apple Watch SE 2 the same chip as Apple Watch Series 8 — a new S8 that is actually based on the S7 from last year’s Apple Watch Series 7. That chip itself was based on the S6, but users can still expect a speed boost over the current model.
Few would argue that the current Apple Watch SE is slow during most tasks, but with the updated version set to be supported by watchOS updates for years to come, a certain amount of future-proofing is required to make sure they work as expected.
Apple Watch SE 2: Features
The current Apple Watch SE doesn’t have an always-on display and while it would be nice for such an addition this year, it isn’t something that’s been rumored and it seems unlikely given the cost constraints associated with a budget model. The current model also lacks fast charging, a blood oxygen sensor, and a U1 Ultra Wideband chip. That last one is the only one we see as a potential addition this year, although again, rumors haven’t necessarily pointed in that direction so far.
Apple Watch SE 2: Possible price
Those buying an Apple Watch SE today will see a price that starts at $279. It’s unknown at this time exactly what Apple will charge for its refreshed model, but it’s unlikely to get cheaper. The current rate of inflation, coupled with component shortages and other economic issues could see Apple increase prices slightly. Although those worried about large price bumps are unlikely to be proven correct.