Show of hands – how many of you out there really and truly need a smartwatch? That’s what I thought. As devices go, smartwatches tend fall on the inessential side of things. But, if you‘re big on sports or your heart’s set on one of these babies, you could do a whole lot worse than the Apple Watch Series 2. This model has gotten a lot closer to authentically combining the features of a smartwatch and a fitness tracker. It boasts a faster processor than its predecessor, as well as a brighter screen that should combat glare from the sun. Swimmers especially, will have a reason to invest in the waterproof design (which can withstand 5ATM of pressure – that’s roughly around 50m or 164 feet underwater). Plus, thanks to the built in GPS, runners should be able to leave their phones at home.
The phone has a similar modern look as the original Apple Watch, with its square design. The crown and button are in the same place, and the strap fittings are the same as well. It comes in the same sizes too – a 35mm model that measures 1.5 by 1.3 by 0.4 inches and starts at #369, and a 42mm model that measures 1.7 by 1.4 by 0.4 inches and starts at $399. It however, also comes with a ceramic case option that is purported to be four times tougher than the steel (although it may just break your bank, starting at $1249).
The screen might just be what wins converts. At 1000 nits, it’s exceptionally bright, and the resolution comes down to 300 pixels per inch for the 42mm model which makes for some crisp graphics. The device has Force Touch, so users can press the screen relatively hard in order to activate different functions.
Features wise, the Apple Watch Series 2 is as impressive as any, and manages to surpass quite a few benchmarks. The waterproof fitness trackers allow swimmers to track calories burned, pace, strokes and distance travelled. Interestingly, the watch is able to eject any water that manages to slip inside through a mechanism in the speaker. The battery life, however, does leave something to be desired, lasting around 18 hours, and only 5 hours when the GPS is activated.
The OS 3 includes features like a dock screen that grants quick access to your apps, SOS functionality and additional watch faces. Apps run in the background now, and the third party app selection is on point, with apps like Twitter, Slack, Uber, Google Maps and CNN. Plus, features like Siri, display caller information, social media notifications and calendar reminders are a mainstay as always.
Fitness tracking is where the series really comes into its own. The new dual-core S2 processor is twice as fast as the Series 1’s. The sensors include an accelerometer, gyroscope and heart rate monitor, and work in great tandem with the Apple Activity App. This app does a detailed breakdown of information like calories burned, steps, active minutes and distance travelled on the same screen. All in all, it culminates in the Apple Watch Series 2 being one of the top smartwatch-fitness tracker hybrids out there.