Apple Watch SE hands-on: Enter the FrankenWatch

by birtanpublished on October 5, 2020

So i've been wearing the new apple watch se for the better part of a day and really so far i can't help but think of it as apple's frankenwatch which is a better thing than you might expect let's take a closer look so what do i mean by frankenwatch well one might generously call this a sort of parts bin special so the apple watch se uses the same system in package that was used in the apple watch series 5 which is definitively a pretty good thing but it does also share its dual core processor with the apple watch series 4. now this

Thing also uses the sort of expansive display that you'd see in the apple watch series 5 and series 6. apple has also confirmed that the apple watch sc uses the same compass and always on altimeter as the apple watch series 6 which is pretty cool if you're into that sort of thing but you do lose among other things the ecg which originally was rolled out in the apple watch series 4 and you don't get any of the blood oxygen features that are debuting in the apple watch series 6. oh and the

Always-on display feature that debuted in the apple watch a couple years ago just isn't a thing here which really isn't that big a deal but we'll get to that just a bit later here's what you have to keep in mind though the apple watch se at least in my first day of use kind of feels a lot like the new ipad air does it's closer in ambition to apple apple watch series 3. now you're definitely going to want to wait for our full apple watch se review where we will dig into performance in a bit more

Detail but just let me give you a bit of backstory i've been wearing the apple watch series 5 for basically a year now and i've gotten used to its level of performance which is honestly been surprisingly good even after all of these months if you used an apple watch more than a few years ago then you probably remember that the beginning was kind of rough you saw a lot of stops and starts and stutters and generally things just

Weren't as smooth as they really should have been for an apple product by the time the apple watch series 5 rolled around those had more or less been ironed out as apple got better at producing its tiny chipsets for these things so we walked away with pretty smooth enjoyable performance so far the apple watch se has felt just as fast as the apple watch series 5 which is pretty obvious because they do run the same chipset and bear in mind this is a 280 smart watch

That offers what was up until just recently the exact same performance as apple's flagship wearable that is not bad at all considering the price now like i said i haven't used this thing for more than a day realistically so i can't comment on battery life but when i cracked open the apple watch series 5 last year i got more than a full day of use out of it and i'm expecting more of the same here if not a little bit better because it doesn't have to worry

About keeping a display on all the time like i said that's not bad at all for 280 but the one thing you might want to keep in mind is that the apple watch series 5 has occasionally gone on sale for about 300 bucks and i think that's worth it for at least a few people i think it's worth it for me at least because i had a bit of a heart issue that i only ever really noticed and was able to sort of but not quite diagnose with the apple watch series 5. i was

Traveling for work i felt my heart do this crazy drum solo thing and looking at the series 5 confirmed that yeah there's something up with your heartbeat we can't tell you to go to the doctor but you probably should obviously i'm here and i'm fine so everything worked out but that is the kind of thing that you just will not get with the apple watch sc because it lacks that ecg feature of course if that doesn't really matter to you if you know you have a good heart then maybe the apple watch sc is going to be

Just fine it if nothing else packs the new version of watch os watch os 7 which is going to be the subject of its own review and its own deep dive at some point but let me just run through the high level stuff really quickly there are a bunch of cooling watch faces here i've really grown attached to this weird artsy one by the artist jeff the kittridge it's a face on your watch and it's sort of clean and

Cute and i just keep wondering if it's going to do anything but that hasn't turned me off so far there's also a new typograph watch face which i think apple has shown off maybe the most of all of them which is fair because it looks great but if you're like me and you have difficulty reading the time when you don't have markings around the dial then expect to have a little trouble with telling the time on this thing oh and you can make memoji in your watch face too which is cool and i hate mime emoji so i'm never going to

Do it there is of course more to this update than just watch faces there's automatic hand washing detection which will notice when you're washing your hands based off of the hands motion and the sound of running water and it does seem to work as well as advertise once you've enabled it in the settings though i should point out that once you wash your hands you can't immediately go back and have it recognize your washing your hands again i don't

Think too many people are washing their hands within the span of a minute back to back to back but look it's your life i'm not gonna judge there are also some new sleep tracking tools which again i have not had the chance to test because i've been awake the entire time i've had this apple watch uh speaking of things i also haven't had the chance to try out there is new support for workouts like core strengthening and dance and i'll be honest with you the only

Dance i ever do is playing dance dance revolution in my living room in the dark so if you want to see that let us know i guess i don't know that we're going to show you that but let's let's talk about it we'll have the conversation at least and since i have them we might as well talk about these new watch bands too apple sent me the solo loop and the sort of fabric-y woven version of the solo loop and they're both pretty nice the woven loop actually

Looks and feels my favorite by far which it should because it's 99 i'm a little concerned about how this material will hold up over time because i am an extremely sweaty man but we'll just have to see one thing that isn't also super obvious in some of the photos or videos you might have seen so far is that this thing is surprisingly stretchy there's a lot of give there which is nice because you do have to know your size before you buy one of these things

Apple sent me a size 6 and a size 7 version of this guy and the regular silicon solo lube and i think that's kind of interesting because you know the 7 works really well on me for the woven loop but the 7 is actually a little tight on me when it comes to the silicon version which as you might expect feels quite a bit like the sport loop but a little bit thinner i can't really justify or explain why there is a variance in the sizing between these two but if you're looking at that sort of plasticky

Solo loop you might want to consider sizing up just a bit from whatever apple's little paper tool tells you to get and that's about it really like i said i haven't had the apple watch sc for very long at all but it does leave a pretty strong impression it is kind of a mixed bag of features and parts but the end result is a perfectly nice apple watch it should be a great one for people who've never really had one or people itching to upgrade after a

Long time and i know that's what i said about the 8th generation ipad but same applies here apple's philosophy of making good if not exactly thrilling devices is definitely not going anywhere if you have any questions or if you have any feedback about the apple watch essie please let us know down in the comments or email me at v8ngadget.com we'll be working on the full review of this and the ipad so we'd love to know what you want to know about and until then thank you for watching

you

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