As expected, Apple unveiled the next generation smartwatch – Apple Watch Series 2 alongside the iPhone 7 at its Special Event earlier today. The leading smartwatch line is now swim-proof, integrates a GPS, features a new chip and GPU, a brighter display; and new cases and bands. To ensure consistency within its smartwatch range, the original Apple Watch is now known as the Apple Watch Series 1.
Off the bat, the new Apple Watch doesn’t look visibly different with its predecessor in terms of overall design. While it does come with a brand new ceramic case, Apple hasn’t reinvented the wheel here. The big differences though, run deeper. Series 2 is now swim-proof – so you can take it swimming without worry. While there isn’t an IP-rating attached to its aquatic abilities, it can be immersed in water up to 50m.
It took some cutting-edge engineering to give the Apple Watch water-resistance capabilities. Apple engineers redesigned seals and adhesions; and even redesigned the speaker to ‘force eject’ water.
Internally, the watch gains a 2nd generation dual-core processor (SiP) that delivers 50% better performance compared to its predecessor. The new GPU is also 2x faster than previous. Apple says this enables the Apple Watch to blaze through graphics and compute intensive apps like Night Sky 4.
A glaring new hardware feature comes in form of the 2nd gen display, which is rated at an unprecedented 1,000nits.
Together with watchOS 3, which previewed in June, the Apple Watch Series 2 now supports instant app launch and comes with new watch faces. Messages get a whole lot more expressive, too – with animated stickers, full screen effects and custom replies with scribble. The great thing is, scribble also works with traditional and simplified Chinese.
Beside the fun stuff, Apple Watch all about keeping you fit and healthy. The advanced activity tracker is automatic, so whether you go for a run or a swim, Apple Watch knows exactly what you’re in to and tracks accordingly.
Now with a built-in GPS, you can leave your iPhone at home when you’re out for a run. Apple Watch will record precise speed, distance and pace, and when you’re done with your work out, it will show you a map of your route.
There’s also an app called Breathe which helps you manage stress by participating in deep breathing exercise at intervals.
Additionally, watchOS 3 also comes with an SOS function. You invoke this SOS function by pressing the side button. SOS then calls 911, and/or sends a message to an emergency contact.
Pricing and availability
The Apple Watch Series 2 range comes in 38mm and 42mm cases with prices starting at US$369/MYR1,493. Pre-orders start on 9 September, with general availability set for 16 September. For the full range of Apple Watch cases and bands, visit http://www.apple.com/watch/interactive-gallery/
Apple continues to sell the Apple Watch Series 1, retailing at US$269/MYR1,088. Just so you know, Apple has taken the liberty to upgrade the Series 1 to the new dual-core SiP and GPU, as well.
If you’re the super chic sort, go for Apple Watch Hermes, a stunning result of a collaboration between Apple and renowned fashion brand Hermes. Check them out here: http://www.apple.com/apple-watch-hermes/
Apple also unveiled a running-focused Apple Watch Nike+ variant that cost US$369. Pre-order from 9 September. Available in late October. Learn more here: http://www.apple.com/apple-watch-nike/
For full specifications and more information, visit http://www.apple.com/watch