The Apple Watch Series 2 is the company's second-generation smartwatch and iPhone companion. But more importantly, it's a second chance to show the world that it really can make its Watch as universally loved as the iPod, iPhone and iPad.
With the Series 2 Apple has shifted the focus to fitness, adding GPS to track runs and cycling session sans iPhone. It's now fully waterproof and offers swim tracking in the pool and in open water. Apple has even introduced a new Breathe app to help you relax. Apple's intentions are clear: it's making a big play for sports watch owners.
Apple Watch Series 2: Design
The Apple Watch continues to be the most divisive smartwatch around. For many it's an abhorrent square wrist-computer, devoid of any style. To others it's sleek, opulent and classy. For our money, it's a great-looking device and feels as premium as it costs– especially in stainless steel paired with a leather or metal strap. In short, it's now a sports watch that doesn't look like a sports watch. While there are some nuanced differences, you'd pretty much have to put the Series 1 and 2 side-by-side to notice the difference. It's very slightly thicker than the original, which is just about noticeable on the 42mm version, less so on the 38mm. (If we're being truly picky, we'd like to see it back to the original slim profile on v3.)
Everything else is business as usual. It's seriously light and comfortable - no mean feat - so you won't get arm ache as you might with a bulkier rival. In fact, it's one of the only real options for women who don't want an oversized watch on their wrist. The crown and button still reside in the same place (although the role of the button has changed for the better in watchOS3) and the fitting for Apple Watch straps hasn't changed, which will be music to the ears of those who forked out for third-party bands and like how fast it is to swap them in and out. It's still available in aluminium or stainless steel editions, plus of course the new ceramic version. There are new strap choices as well, including the woven nylon – in short, there's even more choice but it's the same, essential, iconic look.
Apple Watch Series 2: Features
At the heart of Series 2 are the very same features that we've become accustomed to with the first Watch. You can still use this as a watch first and foremost, changing watch faces (including new Activity-focused faces) from the Watch itself or in the companion iPhone app. You can customise with Complications (small widgets) making it easier to get to your favourite apps from the main watch screen. From that perspective, it's a fine watch replacement. It's not an always-on display, but a quick raise of the arm will show you everything you need in a flash.
That app bubble home screen remains, unlocked by a press on the digital crown, that still feels a little fiddly to select and launch apps compared to the improvements elsewhere. Notifications are still very much part of proceedings as well, flashing up native and third-party apps (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc) on the watch so you don't have to dip into your pocket to retrieve your phone. As a core smartwatch feature, it didn't work fantastically on the original but it's so much better on Series 2. Notifications appear with no issues letting you read, dismiss or deal with them as you see fit. It still struggles slightly when it has to deal with multiple notifications from the same app in a short space of time, but on the whole Apple has handled this side of things a whole lot better.
Apple Watch Series 2: Specs
|Capacitive Touch||Ambient Light Sensor||8 GB total|
|Force touch||Accelerometer||2 GB for music|
|Digital Crown||Gyroscope||75MB for photos|