Our complete guide to the Apple Watch 2 tells you everything you need to know about Apple’s latest wearable, known officially as the ‘Apple Watch Series 2’. Here’s how the Apple Watch 2 compares to the first Apple Watch, the best new features, pricing details and everything else you need to know.
We still love the slick design of the Apple Watch, one of the most attractive smartwatches ever to hit the UK, but there was plenty about Apple’s first wearable to gripe about too. Limited functionality was our main issue, although Apple has at least continually improved WatchOS, the software which runs on the Apple Watch, to make it a better all-round experience.
As a result, the latest version – WatchOS 3 – makes the first Apple Watch a much more enjoyable experience. Finally we have a Command Center, quick access to our favourite apps and support for Apple Pay. Hell, the Apple Watch can even save your life.
But the Watch hardware itself is still sadly limited, which is why were super excited to see Apple launch the Apple Watch 2 at the same time as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Here’s all you need to know about the Watch 2, including specs and how it’s improved on the first Apple wearable.
What are the Apple Watch 2 specs?
The Apple Watch 2 packs a dual-core processor, offering twice the graphics performance of the first Watch. Apps such as Night Sky can run at 60 frames-per-second, not bad at all for a smartwatch.
The Apple Watch 2 also boasts a second-gen screen, at 1000 nits.
You now get GPS support, as well as the standard heart rate monitor. And that chunky frame is water resistant to 50m.
You can pick it up in a steel, aluminum and ceramic design, with a variety of bands. Nylon is the standard band, with options for a steel bracelet, leather bands and more.
What are the best new Apple Watch 2 features?
The Apple Watch 2 improves on the first Apple Watch in several key areas. These are:
The first Apple Watch is limited when it comes to fitness tracking, as there is no built-in GPS. That means it can’t independently track your location and movements.
Thankfully GPS is a key feature that is built into the Apple Watch 2. This will allow you to track your running, cycling and other distance-based exercise sessions, without the need to carry your phone at the same time. When your exercise session is over, you’ll get a map showing your route taken and speed at each section, clearly colour-coded.
The Apple Watch 2 boasts a much improved screen compared with the so-so effort of the first Watch. Apple’s second-gen display is twice as bright as before, at 1000 nits. That should really help visibility when you’re out and about, especially on sunny days.
As well as coming in steel and aluminium finishes, Apple is offering the Watch 2 in a new ceramic design. This ceramic model is actually four times tougher than stainless steel, so the gorgeous glossy white surface should stay pristene even if you’re constantly banging the thing off sharp edges.
The convenience of being able to shower without whipping off your watch, or tracking your swimming session, is another new feature of the Apple Watch 2. It’s fully water resistant to 50m, so perfectly fine for swimming, snorkelling and the rest.
You can get essential information during swim sessions such as how many laps you’ve completed and how many calories you’ve burned, with Apple insisting that it’s as accurate as possible after extensive testing. Cleverly, the Watch 2’s built-in speaker actually ejects water from the wearable after a swim session, to make sure the internals stay perfectly dry.
Decent battery life
The original Watch lasted just over 24 hours on average from a single charge. Not exactly a stellar effort, but then to be fair most wearable have crap battery life.
Apple reckons you’ll get a full day of life out of the Watch 2, even with GPS activated. And with GPS inactive, you can expect more than that. Again, far from impressive, but at least those new features and super-bright new screen haven’t resulted in a battery that dies after just a few hours.
Pokemon Go is actually going to be available for the first Apple Watch too, bringing this hideously addictive mobile game to our wrists no matter which model you pick up. Great news as the Pokemon Go Plus doesn’t seem to be coming out in the UK any time soon.
Apple Watch 2 unboxing and setup
We’ve unboxed and played around with the Apple Watch 2, so check out our unboxing video below for a look inside the box. We’ve also taken you step-by-step through the Apple Watch 2 setup process, and shown off WatchOS 3 on the latest Apple wearable.
What is the Apple Watch 2 UK price and release date?
Apple Watch 2 starts at £369 here in the UK for the 38mm version, and can be bought right now through Apple’s UK website. Apple refers to the device as the ‘Apple Watch Series 2’, to make things clear. Prices vary depending on which case finish you want (aluminium is cheapest, followed by stainless steel and then ceramic (which starts at a rather terrifying £1249).
If you want the Nike version, that’ll cost you from £369.
You can also pick up the new ‘Series 1’ Watch, which is basically the original Watch but with Apple’s new dual-core processor stuffed inside, for £269.