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(Pocket-lint) - Apple is expected to announce a Watch Series 8 before the year is out, but there have been a number of rumours indicating the smartwatch will be joined by a second-generation of the Apple Watch SE and a more rugged Apple Watch, currently being dubbed Apple Watch Pro. 

We've covered the rumours surrounding the Apple Watch Pro in a separate feature, as well as the Apple Watch Series 8 in another feature, but here we are looking at what we might be able to expect from the next-generation of the entry-level Apple Watch SE. 

What might the next Apple Watch SE be called?

  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch SE 2
  • New Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)

Apple will likely call the new Apple Watch SE just new Apple Watch SE when it launches rather than anything else. The iPhone SE is now in its third generation but the company simply refers to the device as iPhone SE, or new iPhone SE

It's possible it could be called the Apple Watch SE 2, or the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), while others might refer to it as Apple Watch SE (2022), but we suspect it will simply be marketed as Apple Watch SE. For now, nothing is confirmed though.

Release date and price

  • September 2022
  • From around £249/$279?

It's been reported that Apple could be planning an event on 13 September, which ties in with the company's traditional release pattern. The iPhone 14 series is expected at the event, though typically the next Apple Watch models are revealed at the same time. 

The original Apple Watch SE launched alongside the Series 6 in September 2020 and many reports are claiming the next-generation will launch alongside the Series 8, expected in September 2022. 

In terms of price, the Apple Watch SE starts at £249 in the UK and $279 in the US. With the Watch Series 3 losing support for watchOS 9, it could be that Apple drops the original SE model down to the £199/$199 mark and slots the second-generation SE in at the same price as the original. 

Whatever happens, the Watch SE will no doubt be cheaper than the Series 8 models.

Design and display

  • Same as current SE?
  • 40/44mm case sizes?
  • Always On display?

The original Apple Watch SE offered the same design as the Watch Series 6 that it launched alongside of, but it dropped a couple of features like the Always On display and the electrical heart rate sensor in the Digital Crown, allowing for users to take an ECG

Not much has been said about the design of the next generation Apple Watch SE, though it wouldn't be surprising to see the same design as the previous model - the iPhone SE 3rd generation didn't change up the design after all.

If the design stays the same, we can expect a Digital Crown on the right, along with the side button and a rectangular shape overall with rounded corners. Current Watch SE sizes are 40mm and 44mm rather than 41mm and 45mm, which the Series 7 offers.

It's possible that the new Watch SE could add the Always On display that launched on the Series 5 as an update but stick to the same case sizes as the current SE, rather than expanding the display size within the footprint. For now, it's not known though.

Hardware 

  • Same chip as Series 8
  • GPS / GPS & Cellular

It's been reported that the next Watch SE could get the same chip as the Watch Series 8, which would be a good jump from the current SE model. The 2020 Watch SE offered the same chip as the Watch Series 5, with the Series 6 offering a jump, but the Watch Series 7 has the same chip as the Series 6 and the Series 8 is expected to offer the same too.

Even if that is the case though, there will still be improvements over the current Watch SE and the same chip as the Series 8 model would see the new Watch SE follow the same strategy as the iPhone SE does, offering the same chip as the iPhone 13.

We'd expect the optical heart rate sensor, along with many of the other sensors and it's certainly possible the new Watch SE will offer the electrical heart rate sensor too, allowing users to take an ECG by opening the ECG app and placing their finger on the Digital Crown for the reading.

The Watch Series 8 is rumoured to be coming with a body temperature sensor too, but we don't expect to see this on the Watch SE. There has to be some differentiation between the models after all.

As with the current Watch SE model, there is likely to be GPS only models, as well as GPS & Cellular models.

Features

  • watchOS 9

Even if the new Watch SE does lack some of the features you'll find on the Watch Series 8, we're still expecting it to offer many of the main features the Series 8 will offer.

The new Watch SE will also offer watchOS 9 - which is expected to be released in September. You can read all about what features will come with the new software build in our separate feature, but there's more advanced sleep tracking, along with improvements to the Workout app.

We're still expecting the new Watch SE to be a great smartwatch, with features like Fall Detection, great workout tracking and excellent smartphone notifications, even if it doesn't have all the latest and greatest features of the Series 8 or Apple Watch Pro models.

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11 July 2022: Apple iPhone 14 launch tipped for 13 September

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11 July 2022: Will Apple's extreme sports smartwatch be called Apple Watch Pro?

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg claimed the new Watch SE will have the same chip as the Watch Series 8 but it wouldn't offer a body temperature sensor.

28 June 2022: Apple Watch Series 8 to be joined by new rugged and SE models

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg said the Apple Watch Series 8 will be joined be a rugged model and a new Apple Watch SE.

6 June 2022: Apple debuts WatchOS 9 with health features like sleep stage and medications

Apple announced watchOS 9 during WWDC in June, showing off a number of new features coming to Apple Watch models later this year.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.