A Quick Intro to the Apple Watch Series 2
10 September 2016

A Quick Intro to the Apple Watch Series 2

The Apple Watch Series 2 is an update that's closer to the smartwatch we always wanted.

The Apple Watch 2 fhas the most requested eature: a built-in GPS chip. This allows for more advanced tracking, whether you're hitting the ground running or gazing up at the stars in the sky– and crucially means you can leave your iPhone at home when you go for a run The new Apple Watch Series 2 won't stop working if it gets wet in shallow water– it's waterproof, up to a point. Swimming with your Apple Watch 2 is now a reality with this Apple Watch.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The second-generation Apple Watch
  • When is it out? September 16 release date, pre-orders start September 9
  • What will it cost? $369 (about $529 CAD)

You can buy the Apple Watch 2 at the same time as you pre-order and pick up your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, because they have the same pre-order release dates.

Series 2 pre-orders begin on Friday, September 9, just two days after Apple announced the Apple Watch sequel. You'll have to count your money and decide if you want to buy one rather quickly if you want to be among the first in the queue.

The official Apple Watch 2 release date is one week from that date: Friday, September 16. The question is which device do you open and play with first – your new smartphone or your new digital timepiece. Decisions, decisions.

Apple Watch Series 2 price

The Apple Watch Series 2 price is a little more expensive than the first Watch's launch price a year-and-a-half ago, and way more than the currently discounted Apple Watch price.

It costs $529 in Canada, £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 junky, and obsessed with getting that GPS chip in their watch.

The good news is that Apple is going to continue to sell the Apple Watch with the same faster processor for a cheaper price. Dubbed Apple Watch a Series 1, it will cost $399 in Canada (£269, AU$399) for the entry-level Sport Edition.

Built-in GPS chip

The Apple Watch Series 2 allows you to leave your iPhone behind – at least on runs – now that it includes a GPS chip inside the casing.

So there's no need to have the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus jiggling around in your gym shorts, or hold it in your sweaty hands. You can also throw away that annoying and equally sweaty rubberized arm band designed for runs.

The company 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.

You won't be able to get rid of your iPhone for everyday use. The Watch Series 2 doesn't have cellular capabilities, but this is definitely a start – and it points toward a completely tetherless Apple Watch in the future.

Waterproof

The Apple Watch Series 2 is waterproof up to 50 meters, meaning you can happily go swimming with it on – it's no coincidence that the Series 2 launches at the same time as a new swimming app, with all of your laps in the pool finally counting toward your fitness goal rings.

Apple warns, however, that you shouldn't go scuba diving with it on – it'll survive just fine in shallow water, but this is in no way a diver's watch.

What's really neat here is that the Apple Watch Series 2 uses sound vibrations to flush water out of its speaker grille – the only non-sealed element of the watch.

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.

Design and display

The Apple Watch Series 2 doesn't look any different to the current Apple Watch at first glance, but look at the display and you'll notice a difference.

That's because the Series 2 smartwatch features Apple's second-generation display, which is twice as bright as the original Apple watch at 1,000 nits. You'll have an easier time reading it in direct sunlight.

There'll be a new finish: ceramic. It'll join aluminum and stainless steel cases, with the ultra-expensive gold Apple Watch cases being retired in the upgrade to the Series 1 and Series 2.

And of course, you can't get away from new Apple Watch Series 2 bands from Hermes and Nike. The Apple Watch Nike Plus is more than just a new band – it's a special Apple Watch Series 2 designed for runners, with a silicone band and special watch faces that launch you right into a running app.

Of course, all Apple Watch Series 2 watches will launch with watchOS 3, Apple's big software upgrade for all versions of the Apple Watch, and you'll be able to play Pokemon Go.

What's being saved for Apple Watch 3?

There were rumors of very different Apple Watch cases outside of the new Ceramic build. This included speculation about titanium, platinum and perhaps even Liquidmetal

But big design shifts are expected for Apple Watch 3. Future models could also have a new breed of smart band, as a recent patent application has been filed for a strap that has light fibres woven in to it.

This means you'll be able to get notifications on your wrist – all the way around. Hopefully it won't flash or be too overt, but will simply function as a second screen to provide more information than is possible on the small screen.

And since cellular capabilities didn't make it to the Apple Watch 2, it is anticipated that it will be in the next major revision of the Apple Watch.

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Wearables | Mobile