Originally, I was not going to get the Apple Watch Series 2, but after fellow writer Timothy iMessaged me at 01:00am, I immediately felt I had too. A little back story on me: I love smart watches. I used a calculator watch back when I was six and since then, my watch had to have some sort of computer inside. When the original Apple Watch came out a few years ago, I immediately had to preorder it. My original Apple Watch was the 42mm stainless steel model. This year I decided to go with the 42mm black aluminium model. I am a big swimmer, so I was really curious about the new swimming mode.
Design: The design of the Series 2 Apple Watch isn’t much different. It is, however, 1mm thicker in order to house some of the new components. The other “major” change is the location of the speaker and microphone ports. I am glad that the band ports were not redesigned, making all of the original Apple Watch bands compatible with the new Series 2. Apple did kill the solid gold models of Apple Watch and replaced them with a more “affordable” ceramic option. Other than that, all the metal options from Series 1 are still available. Even though Apple Watch Series 2 is only 1mm thicker, it is noticeable on your arm, so that’s one thing to consider when deciding between Series 1 and Series 2. If waterproofing and GPS are not features you will actively use, then Series 1 may be your best option, as it is quite a bit more affordable and comes with a dual core processor that is similar to the Series 2.
Water Proof: I was very skeptical when it came to the Apple Watch’s waterproofing, as I was raised with the “Computers should never go near water!” mentality. Initially, I tested the waterproofing by running it under the faucet. Everything checked out, so I wore the watch in the shower and it worked out great! I even was texting some friends of mine in the shower. While it was creepy, it was still really cool. Then, I took it to the next level and made a phone call from my watch while in the shower. While still extremely creepy, it was very cool! Everything was working great so far, so I took it to the local pool and did some laps. Apple Watch tracked my exercise and it was really cool to see how many calories I burned in a swim session. Apple says that Apple Watch will work down to 50 meters (126 feet) and this local pool was 15 feet. I didn’t realize how deep 15 feet was until I swam to the bottom to test Apple Watch! One reason I got the Product Red Sports Band this time was so, if Apple Watch fell off during my swim, I could see a bright red object at the bottom of the pool.
GPS: I am not a huge runner, but I hear from people who are that the new built-in GPS inside of Apple Watch is a big deal. I tested this out by taking a walk without my phone and the GPS seemed to initiate instantly and tracked my walk very accurately. Everything synced back up to my iPhone when I arrived back home. I cannot wait for the AirPods to be released so I can listen to music from my watch while I’m walking. It is worth mentioning that the battery depletes quickly when using GPS. The 18 hour battery turns into a 5 hour battery life.
Dual-Core Processor: Holy Moly, Batman! That is one fast chip! I only have nice things to say about this processor. It not only makes app launch instant, it improves the Siri experience. Even if you have more apps in the Dock, the S2 processor is able to run them all truly in the background. Apple Watch Series 2 even has 1GB of RAM, which is double what the original had. Apple Watch Series 2 also has a graphics processor which is two times faster, which allowed the application Night Sky 4 to become one of my new favorite watchOS applications. It can render live star information at 60 frames-per-second. The S2 essentially makes every part of the watchOS experience better, and it’s great that Apple brought similar technology to the original Apple Watch.
Wrap Up: Apple Watch Series 2 packs in some amazing technology that improves every single aspect of the watchOS experience and better future-proofs the Apple Watch. Historically, Apple’s first generation devices always seem a little under-powered and fall to the same fate of losing support quicker than version 2. I see that happening with the original Apple Watch as it was already under-powered when it was new. I don’t foresee the original Apple Watch keeping its support status for too many more years but I see the Series 2 and even the revamped Series 1 staying supported for the very distant future. To put it in perspective, the original iPad’s last operating system was iOS 5, where the iPad 2 was still supported all the way to iOS 9, allowing them to retain their value for many more years. I have really enjoyed staying up-to-date with information while I am in the shower, and I loved swimming with the Apple Watch. Taking my evening walk has been a lot of fun too, and I am looking forward to getting the AirPods to accompany Apple Watch. I am excited to take Apple Watch out on a hike as I hear there is a cool new hiking application. I don’t think there is a need to run out and buy Series 2 right now if you already have the original Apple Watch, but I think over time, the Series 2 is going to prove itself to be a better investment. I would like to see a FaceTime camera come to Apple Watch at some point in the future as I have always dreamed about taking a video call from my wrist. Then again, I am such a huge nerd that, even as a child, I have always dreamed about wrist computing… What are your thoughts on the Apple Watch Series 2 in the comments below.