Please note: there are other versions of the Apple Watch available! The Apple Watch (Series 1) and the Apple Watch (Series 3).

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Apple Watch 2 (38mm)


£203.47

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£259.00

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£269.00

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£280.00

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Apple Watch Nike+ (38mm)


£269.00

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£350.00

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£409.21

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Apple Watch 2 Woven Strap (38mm)


£339.00

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£449.00

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£549.00

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Apple Watch 2 (42mm)


£11.99

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£289.00

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£299.00

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£309.00

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£499.00

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Apple Watch Nike+ (42mm)


£277.77

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£318.97

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£319.00

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£329.99

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Apple Watch 2 Woven Strap (42mm)


£413.69

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£599.00

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It’s got more power that the than the original Apple Watch, greater sporting functionality, a better screen and is (finally) waterproof, yet you still pay roughly the same price as you do for the Apple Watch (Series 1).

Apple Watch Series 2 is now a serious contender in the smartwatch market (for both gadget lovers and sports fans alike), but is it enough of a change to warrant an upgrade?

 

It’s All In the Upgrade

Apple Watch Series 2 comes with a faster S2 dual-core processor (50% faster than the first Apple Watch) that makes switching between apps quicker and cleaner. It also makes the raise to wake function far more sensitive. That processor is so good, that Apple has even re-launched the Series 1 with the latest chip, but instead calling it the S1P. It’s the same chip, just without built-in GPS (I guess that means there are technically three series of the Apple Watch? Series 0, 1 and 2).

Improved graphics are a definite bonus. But it’s the extra brightness of the OLED 2nd Gen retina display that really stands out. According to Apple it’s the ‘brightest display Apple have ever shipped’ more than doubling the series 1’s 450 nits. Even in bright sunshine, everything on the screen is as clear as it is in the shade – great when running outside.

The text is easier to read, the images are sharper and the new Apple Watch 3 OS means functionality is far more superior. Though it has to be said, Apple Watch 3 is now also available on series one. That faster processor comes back into play of course.

There’s a new breathe function (hmmm… where have I seen that before) to help focus your relaxation. It even gives your heart rate at the end of the exercise to make sure you are using it to full effect.

That said, the heart rate monitor has not been changed from the Series 1 (or is it 0), so you will need to plug in a chest strap for an accurate reading.

And sadly, Apple has decided not to include full cellular functionality (contrary to much rumour and finger crossing), so you still need your iPhone nearby to send and receive texts, see calls etc (sigh). But Apply Pay, Media Centre and Passbook are ready and waiting.

 

Swimming Pool Here We Come!

The best part of the Series 2 upgrade has to be that the Apple Watch 2 is now officially waterproof (well swim proof at least).

50m water resistance means it’s perfect for swimmers (the new swimmer mode is also fantastic). But it’s also good for triathletes, rowers, canoeists, or anyone that likes to take a shower without worrying about their watch – hallelujah!

There’s even a nifty little feature that lets you eject the water out of the speakers when you’ve finished. Only at Apple! I haven’t tested this feature yet (I’m more of a runner), but it’s nice to know it’s there… you know, just in case I fall into a puddle.

 

Know Your Way Around

They have also made the very (in my opinion) wise decision to install GPS directly into the series 2 (jeez – it’s about time), for an incredibly reliable sports tracker. It seems Apple are serious about making the Apple Watch the go to sports watch and will be giving the Moto G Sport and Sony Smartwatch 3 a run for its money.

Speed, distance and pace are all calculated with the use of GPS (and Russian satellites) to provide impeccable coverage without having to carry an obtrusive phone out on your run (finally).

This is a real revolution for this watch, and is going to put it up there with some of the best running watches available today. No wonder so many fitness tracker companies are trying to desperately bridge the gap between activity tracker and smartwatch lately.

 

Special Editions

For the committed exercise enthusiast, the special edition Apple Watch Nike + plays homage to the Nike FuelBand, offering extra running features such as Nike Sunday to make it even more runner friendly. It also comes with a stronger aluminium casing and a funky silicon strap to ensure everything sits nice and still.

For those more concerned about appearance, the Apple Watch 2 also offers a special edition ceramic version (classy). The casing is four times stronger than the standard material. And as it only comes in white at the moment, it’s definitely eye catching.

There’s the inevitable Hermes band for those with cash to spare (I’ll get my hands on one, one day). But sadly even with these special editions, the overall rectangular shape and slightly cumbersome feel of the watch still hasn’t changed. In fact the entire unit is 1mm thicker.

I’m not going to lie. I really would’ve liked to have seen Apple go round. Not many smartwatch manufacturers have managed to nail the round watch face yet, and it would have been nice to see Apple smash this one out of the park – finally putting an end to the dreaded smartwatch flat tyre. Humpf…Maybe next year.

 

Bigger Battery Balances Greater Functionality

All the new functionality means a bigger, better battery was definitely necessary, even if it does contribute to the extra thickness. But the change has worked.

If you don’t mess about with the watch too much, I’ve got more than three days operation before a charge is necessary. But even with full blown running functionality, the Apple Watch Series 2 can support you for about 7 hours, which is far superior to a lot of its competitors.

When the watch is running out of juice, it won’t just die. Instead it reverts to power save mode. So even though it can’t support the more complex functions anymore, it can still tell the time.

 

Should You Splash Your Cash?

When the first Apple Watch came out, the big question was whether this new wrist trickery would ever catch on. But just look around you and almost everyone has or wants a smartwatch.

Yes, the price tag is high. But with it comes a brand and kudos you don’t get anywhere else. You also get a heap of new ‘Smart’ products that work in sync with the Apple Watch (thanks to Apple Home), making Apple Watch much more than an electronic time piece – it’s the modern day Swiss army knife (without the nasty blade of course).

In terms of the Apple Watch Series 2, if you’re after functionality in sports facilities and apps, high quality GPS, waterproofness and the strong battery, and you’ve got the cash, I say go for it! Assuming you have an iPhone too – obviously. If you already own an Apple Watch however and can do without built-in GPS and waterproofing, I’d say stick with your series 1 or wait for the series 3.

What’s in the Box

  • Apple Watch (Series 2)
  • Strap
  • USB Power Adapter
  • 2 Metre Magnetic Charging Cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Apple Watch (Series 2)
Apple Watch (S2) is a serious contender in the smartwatch market (for both gadget lovers and sports fans alike), but is it enough to warrant an upgrade?
Design90%
Usability74%
Battery Life85%
Features88%
Display95%
86%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (6 Votes)
45%