Hands-On with Apple Watch Series 2: Faster, Better, Prettier

3 minute read
| Editorial

I checked out Apple Watch Series 2 (AWS2) at Apple’s hands-on demo after Wednesday’s media event, and I was impressed. There’s a lot to like in this second generation device, and I’ve gathered my hands-on impressions below.

2016 Apple Watch product line

2016 Apple Watch product line

Apple Watch Series 2

The first thing one should note about AWS2 is that it’s essentially the same size as the original Apple Watch, which is now known as Series 1 (AWS1). It’s slightly thicker, even, but the difference is most likely imperceptible to most.

Despite being similar in size, AWS2 is aesthetically more pleasing. I really need to spend more time with it to be sure, but my gut reaction is that it’s more refined, with better fit and finish. It’s more attractive.

Apple Watch Series 2

Apple Watch Series 2

I couldn’t get specifics on battery life for AWS2, but was told it has the same “all day” battery life of AWS1. I also wasn’t able to get specifics on whether battery capacity was changed. My educated guess is that it has a similar capacity. I further suspect that new power draws from the GPS and other new components are offset by incremental power consumption improvements elsewhere in the device.

AWS2 is a lot faster than AWS1, and it’s considerably brighter. I mean considerably. It’s going to be a lot easier to see outside or any well-lit environment. I held my AWS1 up next to the Apple Watch Nike+, and it was a literal night and day difference.

GPS features are fast and responsive. Apple staff demonstrated a star chart app (I think it was Star Walk, but forgot to ask), where the stars move with your arm. It was very responsive. Whatever Apple’s doing with the S2 processor and GPU powering AWS2, it’s working.

Next: Hands on with Apple Watch Series 2 Ceramic and Apple Watch Nike+

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Lee Dronick
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Lee Dronick

That strap has holes to decrease weight and increase breathability.

For me it isn’t so much the band that needs breathability, but the watch back. I don’t know how that could be done, but I collect a lot of sweat there.

furbies
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furbies

I guess we’ll have to wait for iFixit to dive into the AW2 to see what the battery specs are….