The Apple Watch SE 2022 may gain an always-on display, ECG, faster processor, and higher price

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The cheaper Apple Watch SE 2022 may gain an always-on display and faster processor
Last year, Apple didn't upgrade the more affordable version of its smartwatch line, the Watch SE that it released back in the fall of 2020. Keeping up with the good tradition of its SE-branded line of products, it has apparently decided that the Apple Watch SE will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone SE series and will be upgraded once every two years instead of getting annual design or hardware improvements like the rest of the iPhone or Apple Watch families.

Now a tipster with a good track record when it comes to Apple scoops, LeaksApplePro, has come up with some inside information that advises all the changes that will be arriving with the new Apple Watch SE 2022 edition.

Apple Watch SE 2022 specs and design

  • New S7 processor
  • Same 40mm/44mm sizes and design
  • New heart rate sensor
  • New speaker

The Apple Watch SE 2022 is expected to arrive with a faster, S7 processor that Apple makes specifically for its Series 7 wearables, and which mops the floor with the 2020 Watch SE's S5 chipset. 

This doesn't come as much of a surprise, as that's what usually Apple does with the SE series of products, releasing them with the current best processor for the category, but keeping them on that same performance leash for longer than their peers.

The iPhone SE, for instance, spent two years on the 7nm Apple A13 Bionic processor before moving to Apple's latest 5nm A15 Bionic that its powering the iPhone 13 series, so the Apple Watch SE 2022 arriving with an S7 silicon is quite explicable and believable.

Furthermore, the report claims that the affordable Apple Watch SE 2022 will feature "better audio," as well as a new heart rate sensor that will let it improve on the ECG output feature it shares with the more expensive Apple Watch Series models.

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What won't be new, however, is the design, report the insiders, as any new Apple Watch SE 2022 hardware is said to fit in the absolutely the same form and shape that its predecessor currently has. It will hence arrive in the same 40 mm and 44 mm size options that the Watch SE 2020 currently has on offer.

Apple Watch SE (40mm)


Will the Apple Watch SE 2022 have always-on display?

  • Yes

Yes, Apple will reportedly upgrade the Watch SE 2022 screen to enable an always-on display functionality on a hardware level without any software shenanigans, a feature that will be directly borrowed from its larger and more expensive Apple Watch siblings.

The always on display on Apple's smartwatches which were one of the first devices to use LTPO OLED screens by LG, landed as one of Series 5's signature options and the fact that it's missing on the lowly Watch SE model could have been a deal-breaker for some potential buyers.

In the Apple Watch always-on display mode, the time is always visible, along with the most recent active app and watch face, for instance, unless you choose to turn the feature off and save on battery. 

Since the Apple Watch Series 5 and up, as well as the Watch SE all carry an LTPO panel which not only allows for using a variable refresh rate but also makes the always-on mode possible, the Watch SE is theoretically capable of having the functionality, and the word on the street was that Apple may one day turn it on via a software update.

Of course, that day never came, as Apple is not one to work in such mysterious ways. Instead, it may have simply postponed the always-on display functionality for the Apple Watch SE 2022 which is its usual salami tactics of adding only a little bit of all the new features possible with each subsequent upgrade in order to keep both customers interested and production costs in check.

Apple Watch SE 2022 price

  • $299

Speaking of production costs, the Apple Watch SE 2022 price is reportedly not going to remain the same as the launch tag of its predecessor. While the Apple Watch SE 2022 is said to start from $299, only a $20 difference from the $279 release price of the Apple Watch SE, it will allegedly be more expensive than before, while still keeping its coveted sub-$300 pricing street cred.

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