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Apple Watch SE hands-on: The ‘greatest hits’ wearable

It packs great features from other Apple Watches for one (sort of) low price.

I've been wearin

g the new, 44mm Apple Watch SE for about a day, and I can't stop thinking of it as Apple's FrankenWatch. It's hard not to, honestly.  For one, the SE uses the same S5 system-in-package (or SIP) that we got in last year's Series 5, which in turn contains the same dual-core processor as the Series 4. Meanwhile, Apple has confirmed that the SE has the same compass and always-on altimeter as the Series 6, along with a very similar screen. From what I can tell, it's the same bigger display we got in the Series 5, just without the always-on functionality enabled. And while the Series 4 was the first Apple Watch to come with heart-sensing ECG support, you simply don't get that here. Ditto for the Series 6's new blood oxygen measurement features. 

See what I mean? "FrankenWatch" feels like a pretty appropriate nickname -- the SE is a mixed bag of the best parts and features from the last few years of Apple Watch history. That means it, thematically at least, has quite a bit in common with this year's new iPad Air. Both new devices are surprisingly similar to Apple's highest-end models, and if you can afford it, the SE offers a lot more than the basic model — in this case, the $199 Apple Watch Series 3.

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