We’re entering an era where technology hardware might eventually disappear into the background, as touch and voice and gesture become our more frequent interactions, but the irony is that all of this requires piling on a bunch of hardware to get there first.
The Series 2 Watch is another step in that direction. It’s another piece of hardware on your wrist, one that looks the same as the one before it. But it’s not about a new form factor; Apple has made that clear with its newest products. It’s about what the thing can actually do.
Yesterday, I noted that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, along with the AirPods, formed the other two legs of this triangle. A central processor that is accessed or utilized increasingly by satellite devices. Think of Apple’s new ecosystem like a body. The iPhone is the brain, the AirPods are the mouth and the Apple Watch is the hand. And that hand is starting to get more independent and more useful.
So should you buy one? For such a personal device, a simple answer is tough. The faster speed would be tempting for people who own the original—but upgrading a watch isn’t something you should do every year or two. If you held off, you’ll be happy you waited. For general workouts, the $269 Series 1 is faster and more affordable than before. If you’re a runner or a swimmer, the Series 2 is where it’s at.
What about a Fitbit instead? If you just want a basic fitness tracker—thin design, days of battery life—the new $150 Fitbit Charge 2 is my top pick. But I still prefer the Apple Watch to the Fitbit Blaze smartwatch. Apple’s design is sleeker and its selection of third-party apps is stronger. And at this rate, it could be years before a sleek, long-lasting, cellular Series 3 appears.
Apple may have reined in some of the original Apple Watch whimsy, but it’s enhanced it in a number of smart and essential ways. While Apple didn’t deliver a fresh design (maybe next year), new components make it faster, while new software makes it smarter and more useful. Plus, for those who care more about the style than the technology, there are now even more material, finish and band choices.
Where Apple disappointed me is in failing to introduce a material that could bring the price of the entry-level Apple Watch Series 2 under $200. Instead, we got another high-end material, ceramic, that starts at $1,249. At least the last generation Apple Watch Series 1 starts at $269 (for the 38mm model). Ultimately, though, the Apple Watch’s new balance between fashion and utility seems just about right. It’s still my favorite smart watch.
Those days aren't fully here yet, but they're a bit closer. The Apple Watch is still mostly a fitness tracker, a reminder, a phone remote, a little iPod, a fun toy. Possibly a useful everyday tool. Stay tuned, because this review isn't over. I'll be wearing the watch for another week or so and comparing it to the original Apple Watch with WatchOS 3, and Apple Watch Series 1.
The Apple Watch might not stay on your wrist, but -- reinvigorated by Series 2 and WatchOS 3 -- it's stayed on mine.
I’ve been wearing the latest model, Apple Watch Series 2, for a week, and like it a lot, though the vastly improved watchOS 3 software also comes to the original Apple Watch.
I’m not suggesting Series 2 is perfect, or for everybody. For one thing, there’s the not-so-slim starting price of $369 for a 38mm case or $399 for 42mm.
Apple’s new watch is faster, more water-resistant, and more fitness-friendly than ever. The Series 2 is definitely an improvement over the original Apple Watch — but, in my opinion, it’s only worth the $369 if you’re an athlete (especially if you’re a swimmer) who’s really going to take advantage of the new features.
With built-in GPS, a better battery (although it's still very much one day per charge), water-resistance and a much greater focus on fitness, the Apple Watch finally works at workouts.
That's a massive gain over the first-generation device and one that is likely to appeal to those wanting more than a Fitbit, but who are scared by an all-powerful, athlete-focused watch from Garmin or Polar. However, for those who take their sport very seriously, we still can't see the Watch 2 replacing a dedicated sportswatch just yet. It's really for those looking for a do-it-all device that could easily go with a suit or some Lyrca.
Here’s what I propose as the triumvirate of tentpole functions for Apple Watch: a stylish timepiece, a notification display and quick response extension of your iPhone, and a comprehensive health and fitness companion. That’s where Apple Watch should have been focused from the start, and that’s where it is, correctly, focused now.
For me, Apple Watch is about improving our lives and making us more efficient. It has done that for me many times over and Apple Watch Series 2 will continue that journey.