Apple Watch SE 3: Everything We Know So Far

The third-generation Apple Watch SE is expected to launch next year, but with few rumors about the new low-cost Apple smartwatch, what can we expect to see?

Apple Watch SE 3 Mock Feature
Earlier this year, technology research firm Omdia reported that the third-generation ‌Apple Watch SE‌ will feature the same display sizes as the Apple Watch Series 8. The Apple Watch Series 8 and Series 9 have the same display size as the Apple Watch Series 7, which introduced a slightly more rounded and larger casing design to accommodate bigger displays that have slimmer bezels.

As such, it seems highly likely that the third-generation ‌Apple Watch SE‌ will adopt the design of the Apple Watch Series 7, as well as its larger displays and casing sizes. This means it would be available in 41mm and 45mm case sizes, compared to 40mm and 44mm for the current ‌Apple Watch SE‌, providing almost 20% more display area.

The second-generation ‌Apple Watch SE‌ features the S8 chip, which is based on the A13 Bionic and effectively analogous to the previous S6 and S7 chips. With a third-generation version of the ‌Apple Watch SE‌, it is highly likely that the device will get an upgrade to the S9 chip, which is based on A15 Bionic chip, at minimum. It could even get the "S10" chip from next year's other Apple Watch models.

The S9 contains 60% more transistors to deliver 30% faster performance compared to the ‌Apple Watch SE‌'s S8 chip. It also has a four-core Neural Engine that is up to twice as fast. These improvements allow Siri requests to be processed on-device, resulting in quicker and more reliable responses, as well as access to health and fitness data. Dictation is also 25% more accurate as a result of the processor bump.

The second-generation ‌Apple Watch SE‌ features Apple's second-generation optical heart sensor. Apple introduced the third-generation optical heart sensor on the Series 6 back in 2020, so in 2024, it could finally be time to bring the updated sensor to the low-cost Apple Watch.

Fast charging was introduced on the Apple Watch Series 7 to reach up to 80% charge in about 45 minutes. The functionality was withheld from the second-generation ‌Apple Watch SE‌, but it seems like a feature that Apple could decide to finally bring over with the third-generation of the device.

What Will Stay the Same?

The second-generation ‌Apple Watch SE‌ introduced a color-matched nylon composite back case to reduce costs. The third-generation model is likely to carry over this feature, reserving the more premium ceramic back case for the main Apple Watch line.

The blood oxygen sensor and Blood Oxygen app, electrical heart sensor and ECG app, and body temperature sensing functionality are likely to be exluded from the third-generation ‌Apple Watch SE‌. Both the first- and second-generation ‌Apple Watch SE‌ models have offered a more basic selection of health monitoring features, with Apple upselling customers to the main Apple Watch series to obtain capabilities like ECG capture. If it does gain any new health features from the main Apple Watch line, ECG is the most likely since it was introduced on 2018's Series 4.

Likewise, the ‌Apple Watch SE‌ has never possessed an Ultra Wideband chip, so the chance of Apple giving the new model the second-generation Ultra Wideband chip also seems slim.

Release Date

The previous generations of the ‌Apple Watch SE‌ launched in September 2020 and September 2022, as outlined in the MacRumors Buyer's Guide. The ‌Apple Watch SE‌ is expected to stick to a two-year upgrade cycle going forward, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, suggesting that the third-generation model will arrive in September 2024.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch SE
Related Forum: Apple Watch

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Top Rated Comments

erikkfi Avatar
8 months ago
My guess is that the SE never gets the always-on display, even though development and production costs for it are fully amortized at this point and it would be trivial to include. Apple is good at figuring out these differentiating features and keeping them out of the less expensive products even when there's no other good reason to do so.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mrkevinfinnerty Avatar
8 months ago

If it gets the S10 chip, that would be pretty sweet!
m2 Max. Need some power in my activity rings.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xDKP Avatar
8 months ago

Always on display is not critical to have and better battery life with it turned off anyways.
I actually have it the other way round with my Ultra - looks great with AOD and plenty bright for most situations, so have turned off raise to wake and just use the AOD most of the time
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
frou Avatar
8 months ago
It makes it easier for app developers when screen sizes/formats are consolidated because then there's less variation that needs to be designed for and tested on.

Similarly, there will come a day when developers can stop caring about the old-school iPhone format with a rectangular screen and home button. But they are still being sold brand new today, so it'll be a while.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spidder Avatar
8 months ago

If it gets the S10 chip, that would be pretty sweet!
Pretty sweet indeed!

…but given the fact that Apple is fragmenting their SoCs in iPhones, it’s more likely that the SE, S10 and U3 will all have different SiPs like the next iPhone SE, 16 und 16 Pro will all have different SoCs.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)