Apple Watch Series 2 Review
Apple Watch Series 2 Review
In the year 2017, rocking an Apple watch is more tempting than it was in the past years, especially because of the fresh features, new deals, the watchOS 3 and the impressive high app count. For those who are in need of an iPhone-tied gadget, this smartwatch blows their minds. Sure the Apple Smartwatch may not be as revolutionary as some expected when smartwatches were being launched a decade ago, but they truly have excelled as an additional accessory.
It has been quite a while since Apple released their first Apple Watch but the initial watch is still a gem to many. More than 71 flavors of the smartwatch have been produced all varying in size, color and featuring interchangeable bands, but this Apple watch has managed to hold its own through the changing times courtesy of its constant and affordable price tag. Many of these 71 flavors will have you coughing up cash equivalent of getting a new iPhone on a contract.
The Apple watch series 2, needless to say, has been designed to be a handy watch with the ability to display mail, messages and provide you with other notifications in a convenient way. Better yet, you get the advantage of finding your iPhone lost in between your bed sheets or check into a flight courtesy of one of the thousands of apps that make available the required QR code. Also, as you might have already guessed, the Apple watch doubles up as a fitness tracker. It might not be the most comprehensive of fitness trackers since it is designed to keep track on the basics; steps walked, heart rate and calories lost, but the convenience it packs more than makes up for this.
And now you probably are thinking that the convenience of not having to take your phone from your pocket or handbag or use it to locate your iPhone is more of a luxury than a need. So why should you even think of matching the high Apple Watch price?back to menu ↑
Apple Watches Comparison
In this comparison, we shall not compare the Apple watch to any android device since they are designed to be software specific. The fact that you are reading through an Apple watch review is proof that you own an iPhone and an Android smartwatch is not an option.
The Apple Watch 0 vs Apple Watch 1 and Apple Watch 2
We shall have this quick and simple. The original Apple watch, the Apple Watch 0, is the best deal you will find today. It is, however, slightly slower than its upgraded apple Watch 1 and 2 which feature a faster SIP (System in Package), a small chip designed to run the technology. The Apple Watch 1, however, lacks in many of the powerful and impressive features that the Apple Watch 2 comes with including a brighter screen, water resistance, and GPS.back to menu ↑
- Operating system: watchOS3
- Compatibility: Only used with Phone
- Display: AMOLED 1.655-inch screen display
- CPU: Apple S2
- Band sizes: 42mm and 38mm
- Battery Life: up to 22 hours
- Charger: Magnetic induction
- Water Resistant: Up to 50 meters
- GPS: Yes
- HR Sensor: Yes
- Connectivity: can connect via Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi or NFC
Design and Hardware
The Apple Watch series 2 hasn’t changed design wise with its predecessors. As it is the case with many of the Apple products, the Apple Watch has been constructed with much attention to the details. It is a basic model but it does feel and look like it has been put together by professionals who took a great deal of care in the manufacturing.
The watch only has two physical controls. One of these controls is a plain button that is designed to bring up a list of favorite contacts. This allows you to send messages and place calls with great ease. The other button has been made to be slightly more interesting, no scratch that, a whole lot interesting. As a matter of fact, it is the heart of the Apple Watch control. This digital crown looks and feels just like a normal crown you would find on a mechanical watch used to adjust the time. On the Apple Watch, however, the digital crown is rotated to scroll up and down lists on the screen and pressed down to go back to the home screen and dock as we’ll see in the WatchOS 3 new features. Pressing and holding down the crown will engage Siri. Using the digital crown is preferred to scroll directly on the screen since it does not block your view of the screen.
The fitting system and dimensions for the Apple Watch Series 2 straps haven’t changed compared to the previous models which will be great for those owning older versions with third party accessories.
One of its greatest features is that the Apple Watch series 2 is now waterproof to about 50 meters with is a great feature for those using the watch as a sports watch and want to record all metrics while swimming and diving.
The screen is a High-quality AMOLED display that is readable even under direct sunlight. The 38mm model comes with a 272 x 340 screen resolution while the 42mm Apple Watch version features a 312 x 390 display resolution. in this new version, Apple has managed to increase its brightness by about 65%, this is going to help us read our watch under the daylight.
Just like the trackpad on the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros, the Apple Watch screen sports Force Touch Technology. This technology allows you to tap any part of the screen for a particular response and top-tap and hold for more app options. This gesture will have you feeling as though you are pressing right through the screen and for the first few times, it will be weird.
At the back of the Apple Watch are the HR sensors that have been designed to keep track of your heart-rate. This, in theory, should be a continuous practice. However, practically, and for power reasons, the sensors on the watch only track the heart rate every few minutes not unless you are exercising which we have to admit takes a little while to lock on to sports mode.
We are not huge fans of optical HR sensors, normally prefer chest strap, they are more reliable but the new series 2 Sensor is pretty good and we haven’t found many differences in measures after comparing them in a couple workouts.
Faces and Complications
It is challenging to create an impeccable UI on a small screen especially when you are trying to replicate that of a significantly larger screen. Most often than not the end result will be a poor performing piece. The design team at Apple, however, really did a commendable job on the face. The unit features modern looking faces, classic ones and others that are slightly more abstract which many persons seem to love. If you are into cartoons and renditions, you will be pleased to take note of one specific Mickey Mouse rendition complete with Mickey foot tapping every passing second.
In addition to this, many of the watch faces are customizable with what Apple refers to as complications. A complication, simply put is anything that will, well, complicate the watch face. These include elements like dates, times, and others. These have been designed to be customizable and to be placed on any of the available slots on the face.back to menu ↑
The Apple Watch Series 2, as the previous models, comes with a set of pre-installed apps: Mail, Messages, Stopwatch, Photos, Weather, Workout, Activity, Music, Stocks, Clock, Remote (for controlling iTunes), Maps and Calendar, but
All of the applications can be accessed via the home screen. The digital crown makes their accessing easy for all by just pressing down on it.
Many of the apps on the Apple Watch like the Weather app are basically providing the same look and feel like on the iPhones only being better suited for a smaller screen. Other applications on the watch come with more features than others. For instance, the messaging app has the ability to use Siri to dictate and reply to messages while the email app is read only.
To enhance the capabilities of the Apple Watch there are lots of third party apps available to download and install in our watch. back when the first apple watch was launched, some of this apps could take ages to load due to its small one core processor, but now with the new dual core and the WatchOS 3 launching apps is much faster, also, with the new firmware, the watch keeps your six most used apps preloaded in the dock so that they’re ready to use when you need them.back to menu ↑
One of the biggest complaints of the first Apple Watch back, when it was launched, was the lack of GPS, which forced us to carry our phone around every time we were going for a run, apart from forcing us to carry our phone around it also had some delays which decreased the accuracy of the metrics. Well, now, with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 2, this has been solved, the watch now has a built in GPS sensor which plays a major role when talking about Activity tracking, also, taking advantage of the new GPS sensor, more developers have improved their activity apps and are now much more accurate than before, as for example, the well known between sport fanatics, Strava.
The New Apple activity app pre-installed in the watch is much better now, more user-friendly and more accurate. We’ve compared the step count with a Garmin Fenix 3 and we were surprised by how similar they were.
What we think it is still missing in the Watch is a sleep tracker app. This isn’t still available due to its short battery duration as we’ll see in the next part of the review, it has to be charged almost every day.
Data collected by your watch is pushed to the iPhone and onto the Health app or any third party application installed on the watch.back to menu ↑
The battery has been slightly improving in this new version of the watch and now we can get up to 2 days of juice, always depending on how we use the watch. If you’re a heavy user you’ll probably have to charge the watch overnight.
Even though the battery life has been improved we still find it pretty poor comparing it to other devices as the Garmin Fenix 5 where you can get up to two weeks of battery. It is a terrible feeling when you’re ending your day at the office and your phone runs out battery and before getting home your watch runs out of battery too.
- Beautiful and solid construction
- Doubles up as a decent fitness tracker
- Features hundreds of apps
- Excels in messaging and notifications
- Battery life still poor
- Some flavors are overpriced
- Tied to an iPhone
- The interface can be quite confusing