“We think it is the ultimate device for the healthy life.” -Jeff Williams, COO Apple
Technically, it’s the Apple Watch Series 2, but nobody will call it that. It’s the Apple Watch 2.
It’s not round, but that is so far from relevant it’s laughable that anyone would bring it up as a fault. Apple made all the right moves with the new Watch, placing it as the category killer for a smartwatch that does it all… unless you are an Android user.
The Watch 2 rides the best of the series 1 design, but upgrades some key internal elements then comes over the top with more style options than a fashion show.
Despite appearances, under the hood of the Watch 2 lives a watchful of upgrades the series 1 does not offer. It’s faster, offers GPS, is waterproof, and much brighter than the last Watch.
First of all, it’s faster. Apple is notorious for increasing the speed of their products. This time, they’ve added a dual core processor, because two is better than one, obvi. Rest assured, it’s faster; 50% according to Williams.
Apple is so happy with this processor, they plan to outfit newly produced series 1 Watches with it.
Heavily criticized for not including GPS in the series 1 watch, Apple obliges their fans with this hardware in the series 2. The demonstrated features are impressive, like using it for hiking.
The hiking features offer offline information in some areas, like national parks. This feature alone puts the Watch 2 into a different sphere of us. It’s now a stand-alone don’t-get-lost device.
The GPS connect is faster than what most devices offer. To connect to GPS, users click start on their Watch 2, then go. It’s that fast.
What’s more, the Watch 2 can take a dip. Fitbit’s CEO disparages Apple for trying to do too much with the Apple Watch, but here’s one trick Fitbit just recently mastered themselves.
Apple adds not just splash proofing, but swim proofing, just like the Flex 2. The Flex 2 is a more affordable, less intimidating device, but it can’t hold a candle to everything the Watch 2 can do.
The screen is brighter by twice the series 1. This makes the Watch easier to read in bright outdoorsy situations.
While it may seem Apple would eventually pick up the e-ink display popularized by Amazon’s Kindle, they found another route. Just make the display as bright as the sun.
In fact, Apple has never shipped a brighter display than the Watch 2.
While the general form-factor of the Watch is about the same as the original, Apple introduces some new style elements with the Watch 2.
As expected, they’ve got bands and more bands to make your Watch fancier than ever, but there’s nothing shocking there. They’ve also introduced a few different watch designs.
The interesting Watch 2 housing is the white ceramic version, which extends to the crown of the Watch. According to Williams, it’s 4X stronger than stainless steel, but whatever.
To say the least, it’s pretty.
They call it your perfect running partner. Leveraging the relationship Apple’s enjoyed with Nike for ten years, they introduced a Nike optimized version.
It comes in four color options, rocks a perforated band paired with a lightweight aluminum case, perfect for running.
The Nike Plus version has an optimized display showing only basic information. It can offer a more robust display by adjusting the settings, but the default is simplicity.
As is the case with Apple, there are questions unanswered. Specifically, we don’t know about the new battery. They were careful to avoid talking about it, which is more concerning considering the complaints about battery life.
Hopefully, there is a solution before the official launch.
Fingers crossed that this new Watch delivers on everything above without consolations. Our money is on the third or fourth versions of the Watch being revolutionary.
That said, the Watch 2 addresses many of the gripes from the series 1 and then some. It’s more tempting. That’s exactly what Apple wants.
Here’s the video from the Keynote: