Better than ever.
The Apple Watch Series 2 comes more than a year after the company introduced its first smartwatch to the masses. It managed to get decent reviews and undoubtedly sold a lot of units, though some are still unconvinced about the importance of smartwatches overall. Will the Apple Watch Series 2 help change their minds? Read on.
If you’re looking for a redesign of the Apple Watch then you would be disappointed. Series 2 features the exact same design (in 38 mm and 42 mm variants) as the first generation Apple Watch, with a few new additions.
Series 2 now comes with a dual-core processor, a brighter screen, GPS support and is now waterproof. It still comes in your choice of aluminum, stainless steel and a new ceramic material. For this review, we are testing the 42 mm Series 2 Space Grey aluminum version with Woven Nylon strap.
The same Retina Touch display is present, but the brighter screen is now even better and can be viewed conveniently under direct sunlight. Text is easily readable no matter how small, though I find small fonts more convenient but in case you would want to be bigger than a simple check of the settings should fix it.
It still uses the same optical heart rate sensor that manages to automatically track my heart beats in timed intervals. The addition of GPS should be welcomed by fitness users, since it means that you no longer have to carry your smartphone when you go out for a run because the Apple Watch can give accurate distance readings and a map of where you ran when you sync it back with your iPhone.
At the heart of the Apple Watch Series 2 is its operating system, watchOS 3. While it didn’t a major design, Apple has completely revamped how the whole watch works. Apps now launch faster, and you can now put your favorite apps on a dock for easy access. The apps can now also run in the background, so it doesn’t have to keep loading every time you open them.
A bunch of new watch faces also join the current ones available, though it would have been great if more customization options are provided. I do like the new Minnie Mouse watch face.
Like the iPhone, the strength of the Apple Watch comes down to the apps available for it, and at the moment it’s already a growing list. Granted that most of them are merely extension of the main app on your iPhone, developers have now started updating their apps to support the Apple Watch – yes, that even includes Pokémon Go.
In my time with the Series 2 Apple Watch, battery life seems to be at par with the original Apple Watch – in which it could properly last an entire day before needing to be charged, which is what I usually do anyways at night by putting the watch in Bedside mode while charging.
Ultimately, the Apple Watch Series 2 is more like the ‘S’ version of the Apple Watch. It packs some much needed upgrades that should have been present from the first iteration of the device.
If you already own the first generation Apple Watch, there isn’t much reasons that should force you to upgrade. But overall, the Apple Watch Series 2 is still one of the best smartwatches/fitness trackers available at the moment.