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Apple Watch SE 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen

The tech world has been buzzing with the launch of the second-generation Apple Watch SE. It has sparked the curiosity among consumers whether to invest in the new version or stick to the first-generation Apple Watch SE. In this article, we’ll delve into the specifications, features, and pricing of both generations to provide an in-depth understanding of the Apple Watch SE 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen.

Apple Watch SE 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen
Apple Watch SE 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen 2

Overview of Apple Watch SE (First Generation)

The first-generation Apple Watch SE, released in 2020, became an instant crowd-pleaser due to its affordable price and powerful features. It introduced a full Apple Watch experience at a lower price point, making it accessible to a wider audience.

Design and Display

The 1st generation Apple Watch SE sported a sleek design with rounded corners and slim bezels. It offered two display options—40mm and 44mm. The design was polished off with a ceramic back case, and was available in Space Gray, Gold, and Silver.

Processor and Specifications

The first edition of the Apple Watch SE was powered by the S5 chip, offering robust performance and efficient power consumption. Alongside this, it had Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity.

Fitness Sensors and Features

The Apple Watch SE (1st gen) was well-equipped with fitness sensors, including a second-generation heart-rate sensor. However, it lacked advanced sensors like ECG and blood-oxygen that were present in the flagship Apple Watch models.


When it was launched, the price of the first-generation Apple Watch SE started at $279.

Unveiling the Apple Watch SE (Second Generation)

The second-generation Apple Watch SE, announced in 2022, brought a few significant upgrades while retaining the affordable price tag of its predecessor.

Design and Display

The design of the second-generation Apple Watch SE remains unchanged compared to the first generation. However, it comes with new color options – Midnight, Starlight, and Silver. The back case is made of a lightweight, color-matched nylon composite, replacing the ceramic back of the first-generation model.

Processor and Specifications

The 2nd gen Apple Watch SE got a performance boost with the introduction of the S8 chip, which is 20% faster than the S5 chip. Additionally, it features Bluetooth 5.3 for enhanced connectivity.

Fitness Sensors and Features

While the second-generation Apple Watch SE retains the fitness sensors of its predecessor, it also introduces some new features. These include Crash Detection, which can be a lifesaver for cyclists and drivers.


Despite the upgrades, the price of the second-generation Apple Watch SE has been reduced. It starts at $249 for the GPS model and $299 for the LTE version.

Apple Watch SE 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen: The Face-off

In this section, we will compare both generations of the Apple Watch SE based on various parameters to help you make an informed decision.

Design and Display

Both generations sport similar designs with sleek rounded corners and slim bezels. However, the 2nd gen model offers new color options and a lightweight back case.


The second-generation model outperforms its predecessor in terms of performance, thanks to the S8 chip. However, the actual difference might not be noticeable in everyday use as the S5 chip in the first-generation model was already quite powerful.

Fitness Sensors and Features

The addition of Crash Detection in the 2nd gen model stands out as a significant improvement. However, both models lack advanced fitness sensors like ECG and blood-oxygen.


The second-generation Apple Watch SE wins in terms of pricing. Despite the upgrades, it is priced lower than the first-generation model, making it a more attractive option.

FeaturesApple Watch SE 1st GenApple Watch SE 2nd Gen
Display Sizes40mm, 44mm40mm, 44mm
SensorsFirst-generation heart-rate sensor, AltimeterSecond-generation heart-rate sensor, Always-on Altimeter
Newer SensorsECG, Blood-oxygenNot available
Back MaterialCeramic BackNylon composite and sapphire crystal back
DesignSlim bezels, Rounded cornersSimilar design with slim bezels, Rounded corners
Speaker and MicFirst-generationSecond-generation
PriceMore expensive More budget-friendly (Buy now)

When comparing the Apple Watch SE 1st Gen vs. 2nd Gen, it’s clear that the 2nd Gen version, while missing some of the newer sensors such as ECG and blood-oxygen found in the 1st Gen, has made significant enhancements in various aspects. The second-generation heart-rate sensor and the introduction of an always-on altimeter represent notable improvements over their 1st Gen counterparts. Furthermore, the change in back material from ceramic to a more durable nylon composite and sapphire crystal in the 2nd Gen is a noteworthy upgrade when compared to the 1st Gen. In summary, the Apple Watch SE 2nd Gen offers a compelling set of improvements, despite some sensor differences, when placed side by side with the 1st Gen counterpart.


When it comes to the Apple Watch SE 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen comparison, the differences are quite clear. The 2nd Gen model brings a range of upgrades and a more wallet-friendly price tag, but don’t count out the 1st Gen just yet. It still packs a punch with its impressive performance and feature-rich design. Ultimately, your decision between these two generations should align with your unique needs and budget.

For those new to the Apple Watch universe or looking to trade in an older model, like the Series 3, the 2nd Gen Apple Watch SE emerges as a solid pick. However, if you’re already an owner of the 1st Gen Apple Watch SE, upgrading to the newer iteration for its modest improvements may not be an urgent priority.

When making your choice, be sure to factor in your individual requirements, financial considerations, and personal preferences. Regardless of which path you select, rest assured that both the 1st and 2nd Gen Apple Watch SE models offer an impressive fusion of features and exceptional value for your money.

To summarize, the Apple Watch SE 1st Gen vs 2nd Gen face-off highlights the options available to consumers. While the 2nd Gen model presents enhancements and affordability, the 1st Gen remains steadfast with its robust performance and extensive capabilities. Making the right decision boils down to assessing your needs and financial situation.

Whether you are stepping into the Apple Watch world for the first time or contemplating an upgrade, it’s vital to weigh your requirements, budget constraints, and personal inclinations. Regardless of your choice, both the 1st and 2nd Gen Apple Watch SE versions promise a compelling amalgamation of features, delivering excellent value.

Aditya Singh
Aditya Singhhttps://optimizegoal.com
I'm a tech writer with over seven years of experience. I love to help people understand tech through my articles. I write about technology, mobiles, PCs, how-tos, and gadget reviews. I always stay updated with the latest in tech to give you the best info.

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