Today, during its special event, Apple announced a cheaper variant of the Apple Watch,the Apple Watch SE. The new watch features many of the features the Apple Watch is known for, but it starts at just $279.
The Apple Watch SE has a similar design to what was introduced with the Apple Watch series 4, with a larger display than the initial models. It also features a lot of the same sensors, like a compass, an always-on altimeter, sleep tracking, and fall detection. It also includes the new features announced today, including new watch faces, and the new Family Setup feature. This lets parents set up Apple Watch devices for their children, and this cheaper model makes sense for that purpose.
The watch is also still swimproof and it works with the new wrist straps introduced today, so the experience will be familiar if you have a previous generation of the Apple Watch. It will be especially familar if you have an Apple Watch series 5, since the SE is using the same chipset as last year's model, the S5. That's one of the biggest distinctions between the series 6 and the SE. Still, that processor is two times faster than the Apple Watch series 3, which Apple is still selling. That model start at $199, and it has an older design, making the SE a viable option.
As mentioned above, the Apple Watch SE starts at $279 for the GPS model, but you can also get it in a cellular variant. The cellular variant is required if you want to enable Family Setup, which allows the watch to be used by users without a personal iPhone, and that costs $329.