hen Tim Cook unveiled
the original Apple Watch
in April of 2015, I took one
look at my heavy, cam-
iPad and decided to wait,
knowing that the next
iteration of the smart-
watch would be far supe-
rior. Fast-forward to last
October, and I was walking into an Apple Store intent on buying
a 42 mm Apple Watch Series 2 as an early birthday present to
myself. When they didn’t have any in stock, I ordered online
and waited. I have now had my new watch for a month, and
am thoroughly enjoying my new companion. Over the last few
years I stopped wearing watches, but I wear my Apple Watch
all day, every day. Visually, the Apple Watch Series 2 looks the
same as the original, except it gained a bit of girth (0.9 mm)
and weight ( 3. 2 grams). The crown and button positions remain
The Series 2 now sports a dual-core S2 chip that runs up to
50 percent faster than the original Apple Watch, making the
Series 2 noticeably more responsive.
The addition of GPS is a big deal for those who seek an all-in-one activity tracker. For exercise, the Apple Watch Series 2
delivers. If you leave your phone at home or in the car, not to
worry; your watch’s GPS kicks in and tracks every twist and
turn. When you complete your workout, you can save it to the
watch. Once in range of the owner’s iPhone, the watch and
phone exchange information automatically. Unfortunately, the
GPS offers little utility outside of exercise, and heavy use of
GPS negatively affects battery life.
The Series 2 is waterproof up to depths of 164 feet. I don’t
swim, but I live in Seattle, and the Apple Watch Series 2
hasn’t missed a beat regardless of the intensity of the rain.
For review purposes, I showered with my watch once just to
see how the Water Lock feature worked. Water Lock, located
in Control Center, keeps the screen from mistaking water
drops for finger taps. After the shower, I turned the Digital
Crown to discharge water from my watch’s speaker—the tech
equivalent of a wet dog shaking off after a bath.
The Series 2 sports the brightest screen of any Apple device ever, at 1,000 nits, compared to 450 on the Series 1. The
OLED Retina display is easy to see even in the brightest of
I charge my Apple Watch every night and like the nightstand
mode that provides the time—a necessary charging feature
for frequent travelers.
While a slow interface caused owners of the original Apple
Watch endless frustration, watchOS 3 has helped reconcile
those issues and is another reason I’m glad I waited for the
Series 2 to be released before upgrading. The new Dock offers an improved experience over glances, bringing up shortcuts to a select set of apps when you press the Side button.
Holding the same button for six seconds also lets you invoke
the new SOS feature that will attempt to notify healthcare officials to your location. There’s also a new Breathe app, which
offers short, guided breathing exercises throughout the day.
An improved Activities app now supports data acquisition for
a wider range of exercises, including swimming. You can also
add both apps as complications to your watch faces, providing
a convenient shortcut.
What I Love About the Apple Watch
I’m a news junkie. I need to know what is going on in the
world. With a little tap on my wrist, my watch allows me
to see what’s going on locally, nationally, or internationally
through apps like CNN, BBC, NPR, The New York Times, and
our local Seattle King 5.
APPLE WATCH SERIES 2 REVIEW
BY DANIEL W. RASMUS