Apple unveiled the second generation of the Apple Watch – the Apple Watch Series 2 at the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus launch event in San Francisco on September 7, 2016. This is the first hardware update of their smartwatch line since it was launched in April 2015.
The device is very similar to its predecessor at first glance: a square sapphire-coated, customizable watch-face mostly for telling the time and displaying notifications; a single-day battery life; and a funky watch dial Apple calls “the digital crown” for scrolling and zooming. But upon looking closer, you’ll notice a difference. The Apple Watch Series 2 features Apple’s second generation display which is twice as bright as the original Apple watch at 1,000 nits. Meaning, you’ll have an easier time reading the watch outside.
The Series 2 smartwatch retains the same casing for the lower- and middle-tier versions. Along with the aluminum and stainless steel cases, the Series 2 smartwatch will be available in a new material: white ceramic. The aluminum case is the cheapest version, while the next tier up is the stainless steel one. The new white-colored ceramic model is definitely for collectors and luxury customers as it costs a whopping $1,249. The company asserts that this pearl-like shiny case is four times stronger than stainless steel.
Apple has also partnered with Hermès for a special edition. It is available in two different case sizes, 38mm and 42mm. The company also renewed its longstanding partnership with sports company, Nike for the Apple Watch Nike+. It resembles a fusion of an Apple product with Nike’s discontinued FuelBand fitness tracker, and it’s designed for runners and workout junkies.
There is no word yet on the future of Apple’s super-expensive “Edition” line of solid gold watches.
Jeff Williams, chief operating officer for Apple said, “Apple Watch Series 2 is swim proof, it’ll change how you use the watch.” Apple redesigned the speaker, which needs air to make sound, to help keep water from getting inside the device.
Apple Watch Series 2 also has a water lock capability within swimming section of its fitness app, so that errant touches and splashes don’t constantly swipe you away from the all-important screen.
“You can wear it whether you’re swimming, surfing or just doing the occasional cannonball”, Jeff added.
Yes, the new Apple Watch Series 3 is waterproof but up to a point. It meets the water resistance certification for 50 meters which is better than most other smartphones. In other words, you can surely swim with your Apple Watch Series 2 in shallow waters, but this is in no way a diver’s watch. So, no scuba diving wearing it.
One of the biggest complaints at the first Apple Watch was around its speed. The Apple Watch Series 2 boasts S2 chip with dual core processor which is 50% faster than the old version with a lower power usage. And, thanks to a new GPU, it has double the graphics performance. So, you can expect much smoother experience using the Series 2 smartwatch.
Built-in GPS Chip
During the September event, Apple showcased the built-in GPS chip on the Apple Watch Series 2. The addition of GPS allows the device to perform mapping on its own. Hence, saving you the trouble of having to carry your iPhone around in your gym, walks or runs.
The company also showed off the ability to record runs from the Apple Watch Series 2 and display a map on your iPhone for real-time viewing. It’s complete with slow and fast colors to indicate your speed.
No Cellular Capabilities
Despite rumors suggested that Apple was hoping to make its second-generation smartwatch fully cellular, it turns out that’s not the case. Apple decided not to include cellular connectivity, likely out of concern for the device’s already strained battery. So while the new Apple Watch can tell you where to go when you’re out for a run, it cannot receive app notifications, make calls, or send texts. You will need to connect to your iPhone with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi for your Series 2 to perform heavy duty operations.
No Camera, No FaceTime
Original rumors suggested that Apple Watch 2 will have a camera, but it did not happen. However, Apple has a good reason for that: Apple focused on adding the GPS chip and, eventually, untethering the watch from the phone.
So while the Apple Watch 2 doesn’t have a camera, we could see one appear in the Apple Watch 3.
The new watchOS promises and overhaul of new features including apps loading 7 times faster with a new Instant Performance feature, social fitness and health applications and revamped messaging service with improved handwriting recognition.
WatchOS 3 will make it easier to swipe through watch faces with a simple double tap on messages to send a fast reply. Animated stickers and effects such as falling confetti and a scribble function for writing with a touch screen will make their debut with the new watchOS.
They have also added a safety app which allows you to contact emergency services and send a location to an assigned contact.
WatchOS 3 will be able on September 13.
The world’s favorite game is being brought to the Apple Watch. Developer Niantic showed up to talk about a new Pokemon Go app for the Apple Watch, allowing you stay on top of local Pokemon and track your distance walked. This will take eyes off the iPhone screens and allow users to go their day and still play. The game will be available by the end of the year.
Apple Watch Series 2 Price
Naturally, the Series 2 price is a little more expensive than the first Apple Watch’s launch a year and a half ago.
It costs $369 in the US, £369 in the UK and AU$529 in Australia. That’s going to make the new Apple Watch a hard sell to anyone who isn’t a fitness die-hard, and obsessed with getting that GPS chip in their watch.
The Original Apple Watch Series
Apple is going to continue to sell the Apple Watch with the new faster processor of Series 2 smartwatches for a cheaper price. Dubbed Apple Watch as Apple Watch Series 1, it’ll cost $269 (£269, AU$399) for the entry-level Sport Edition.
Apple Watch Series 2 Release Date
You can buy the Apple Watch Series 2 has the same exact pre-order and releases dates as iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple just flipped the switch on its retail website as well as in the Apple Store app, so customers can now start placing pre-orders for both devices. As usual, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are also both accepting pre-orders, as well as newcomers Best Buy and Target this year. Units available in stores on Friday, September 16.
However, Apple Watch Nike+ will only be available from late October.
Generation Next Communications, the authorized distributor of Apple products in Nepal hope to launch the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in Nepal sometime in November. So, we can hope to see the Apple Watch Series 1 & 2 to make a debut in our country at or around the same time. We’ll update with more news soon. Subscribe to keep your with our latest articles.