I bought the new Apple Watch SE in September after it was announced by Apple, and it was my favorite purchase of 2020.
Apple launched the midrange SE along with the most updated Apple Watch 6. I'd never owned an Apple Watch, or any smartwatch before, but at $280 the SE seemed like a reasonable option. The main feature it lacks form the more advanced model is the always-on display, but I've never found that to be a problem.
A minor tilt of my wrist has already become second nature to check the time, my fitness progress, or whatever else I need to see on the watch face. Since it arrived, I wear it nearly constantly, removing only to charge each day, usually while I'm in the shower.
Here's how the Apple Watch SE became my best purchase of the year.
I'd been wanting an Apple Watch for a while, and when Apple announced the SE it seemed like the right model for me.
Apple's creation studio has options to customize the size, case, and band. I chose the 40 mm gold aluminum case with the pink sand sports band.
At first, all the widgets and potential displays were overwhelming. It took about a week of use to figure out what would work best for me.
The WatchOS app has dozens of watch faces to choose from.
Then, most of the watch faces can be further customized.
You can change each little widget, called complications, to show activity level, alarms, heart rate, or dozens of other options.
After switching between different styles, my go-to is a black and white display that shows the date, time, activity levels, and my heart rate.
I also liked options for using photos from my phone as a background...
...but ultimately they were not as useful for me as seeing the complications.
There's definitely a learning curve to figuring out how to best use the watch, but like most Apple products it was fairly intuitive.
Though sometimes they can be annoying, reminders to stand up and breath have been overall helpful while I sit at my desk all day working from home.
The activity app has been huge in adjusting the way I think about my day, when I'm mostly stuck at home and sedentary. I especially appreciate being able to tailor the goals to what is realistic and doable for me.
It was a little disturbing to see how infrequently I stand up during a typical workday, but the reminders at least make me think about it (even if I sometimes swipe them away.)
Though it seems silly, the exercise rings are actually really motivating to me, and usually push me to extend walks further.
Using my Apple Watch during daily walks with my dog has been by far the most useful aspect of the device for me.
I like to listen to music or podcasts while we walk, and it's so much easier to pause or skip through ads right on my watch, especially while juggling a leash, treats, and gloves, so I don't need to get my phone out of my pocket.
Some apps, like my podcast player Overcast, have built Apple Watch apps that make them easy to control from the watch.
After, it's easy to check how far we walked and make sure I've exercised her enough for the day.
The battery life is good, too. I generally wear the watch all day and night, and charge it while I shower.