Contrary to popular belief, the Apple Watch SE is not a significant trade-off.


The fact that I don’t operate a trillion-dollar international firm may surprise the casual reader. But like any good tech journalist, I’m delighted to share all of my thoughts on the subject in a public setting. As someone who has followed hardware manufacturers most closely throughout the years, I frequently find myself thinking about the following topic: choice

I’m generally of the opinion that more choice is better. This applies to many aspects in life (best to avoid the nuisances in the introduction to a piece about a smartwatch), including consumer goods. More companies, more competition, more customer choice. All that fun stuff. From Apple, in particular, the question of choice has been an interesting one.

Observing the company over the years, there’s been an ebb and flow. In some cases, it can be a question of quality control, not confusing the customer with “too much” choice and not spreading oneself too thin (though I’m not sure that a brand with a market cap of $2-3 trillion is at risk of the latter).

These are valid concerns, and within the confines of a single company, there’s a push and pull. The opposite end of the spectrum is intentionally limited choice in a manner asserting that you know what’s best for the consumer. It’s a criticism that, understandably, has been leveled at Apple over the years.

Among consumer electronics categories, wearables may have the most to gain from choice. On top of the standard customer preference, you have wide variations across the spectrum of human bodies. We’re all perfect, beautiful snowflakes here and — at the very least — deserve a watch that will fit on our wrist. This was the main complaint with the first generation of smartwatches: they were too big, with too little variation.

After eight generations of Apple Watches, we’re looking at more choice than ever before. You’ve got the big, flashy and expensive Ultra, the mid-tier Series 8 and the budget SE. Both of the latter are available in a bunch of different colors and two sizes (41 and 45mm for the 8 and 40 and 44mm for the SE). I’m curious to see whether the future will hold a more compact version of the Ultra, but for now, it’s a big watch for mostly big wrists.

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