Review roundup: Apple Watch Series 2 is evolutionary, not revolutionary, and that's fine

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 2016
As with the iPhone 7, several publications have received the Apple Watch Series 2 hardware in advance of release, with just about everybody claiming that the new version is the watch that should have been released in 2015.




TechCrunch



Reviewer Matthew Panzarino is finding that the increased speed of the Series 2 watch is shifting his gaze away from the iPhone more and more for regular tasks.

Panzarino spent most of his review examining the new swimmer-friendly features of the watch, and was very pleased about distance measuring specifically noting the new Apple Watch GPS signal acquisition's rapidity in an open water swim, gathering data on the up-stroke.

"The iPhone is the brain, the AirPods are the mouth and the Apple Watch is the hand," Panzarino writes about Apple's device ecosystem. "And that hand is starting to get more independent and more useful."

The Verge



Defining the Apple Watch as a fitness tracker first and foremost, reviewer Lauren Goode focused the better part of her review on the overall improvements the Apple Watch Series 2 has in that aspect, rather than a general communications device.

Goode cites the Apple Watch's accuracy on walking, running, and cycling routes without an iPhone and was very pleased with the results, but was less excited about a five-hour battery life with constant GPS access, and wasn't impressed with outdoor visibility of the screen.

"Apple is rich and influential enough that it can miss once and still get a do-over, something not every tech company gets," writes Goode. "Apple can afford to iterate. And it has."

The Wall Street Journal



Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal is pleased all around with the health implications and general use of the Series 2 Apple Watch. Stern finds that the device works well for both exercise, but is less concerned about the GPS drain than other reviewers, finding it to be fine for her exercise regimen, and excellent for a day's use overall.

Apple's software is mildly criticized in the review, for not using collated information to push an exerciser forward, with varying workouts or intensities.

"It's a rule: Apple's version twos are always significantly better," observes Stern. "It's also true of the Apple Watch."

USA Today



Edward Baig has spent a week with the new Apple Watch Series 2, and his major concerns about the first generation Apple Watch have been alleviated, with his issues about the device mostly about pricing.

Baig believes that the watchOS 3 software is the "real star of the show," giving both original Apple Watch users, and Series 1 and 2 owners, a great experience.

"The new Apple Watch ticks closer to being the techie timepiece it was always clocked up to be," says Baig, but adds that "I'm not suggesting Series 2 is perfect, or for everybody."

Cnet



Reviewer Scott Stein has reviewed several smart watches in his tenure at cnet, and has found the Apple Watch Series 2 to be his current favorite from any manufacturer.

Stein also heralds the watchOS 3 software as a great upgrade, but thinks that the new upgraded hardware in the Apple Watch Series 2 makes it the "smooth wrist companion it was always meant to be."

"If you've been thinking of getting one and don't have one, go for it," writes Stein. "Or, update the software on your old Apple Watch and buy a new band instead."

The Loop



Jim Dalrymple doesn't see the Series 2 Apple Watch as revolutionary, but as an incremental, and welcome, upgrade to the first generation of the hardware. Citing Apple's attention to detail on the device, Dalrymple is less concerned about specs, and more about how the device integrates into his life.

GPS is the killer feature in the new hardware, according to Dalrymple, with it allowing him to leave his iPhone at home, and "enjoy the music and a peaceful bit of exercise" rather than multi-tasking.

"Apple Watch is about improving our lives and making us more efficient," writes Dalrymple. "It has done that for me many times over and Apple Watch Series 2 will continue that journey."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    glynhglynh Posts: 133member
    Quote;

    "GPS is the killer feature in the new hardware, according to Dalrymple, with it allowing him to leave his watch at home, and "enjoy the music and a peaceful bit of exercise" rather than multi-tasking."

    Surely you mean "...allowing him to leave his phone at home,"
  • Reply 2 of 19
    I hope my new Series 2 shows up fast...alas I'm told October...;-( and I ordered it the first day it went on sale...
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Oh boy, here comes another evolutionary vs revolutionary debate.  At this point, I don't think there's going to be anything revolutionary coming out of smartphones or smartwatches short of a big breakthrough in battery, display, or sensor technology which is probably many years away.
    nolamacguywilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 19
    Panzarino writes... "And that hand is starting to get more independent and more useful." I like keep full control of my hand... don't want it straying to unfamilar places! ;-!
    cyberzombie
  • Reply 5 of 19
    As a trail runner, I would highly recommend the AppleWatch. It's really great, checking the temp before going out for a run and then basically 2 taps and I'm running. And then on my run I can check pace, distance, time. Easy to start, stop and save runs. I did turn off the HR and other apps to max out the battery. I'm running 6-15 miles and have and no issues.

    I will definitely be upgrading to the new GPS (and swimming in the summer).  
    albegarc
  • Reply 6 of 19
    excuse me, but who said it was supposed to be revolutionary? why are you making this comparison to begin with? 

    crappy headline. 
    ai46williamlondonjony0
  • Reply 7 of 19
    I will definitely be upgrading to the new GPS (and swimming in the summer).  
    I've been swimming and water skiing with my Apple Watch last summer and this summer.  I also use it at the gym 4 days a week and wear it into the shower after my workouts.  The only issue I've ever noticed is that Siri doesn't seem to hear as well immediately after being in the water, a few minutes later and everything is back to normal.


    Goode cites the Apple Watch's accuracy on walking, running, and cycling routes without an iPhone and was very pleased with the results, but was less excited about a five-hour battery life with constant GPS access, and wasn't impressed with outdoor visibility of the screen.
    5 hours of constant GPS is enough to let most people run a marathon and track it the entire time, what is her issue?  Prepare to see complaints starting before delivery of any Series 2: "Apple Watch sucks because it doesn't go 5 days without charging using constant GPS and heart rate monitoring.  Apple should just stop selling it.  Sheeple!"
    ai46
  • Reply 8 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member
    excuse me, but who said it was supposed to be revolutionary? why are you making this comparison to begin with? 

    crappy headline. 
    The overuse of that phrase, especially with a year-over-year update to an existing product, is utterly evolting.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    glynh said:
    Quote;

    "GPS is the killer feature in the new hardware, according to Dalrymple, with it allowing him to leave his watch at home, and "enjoy the music and a peaceful bit of exercise" rather than multi-tasking."

    Surely you mean "...allowing him to leave his phone at home,"
    But listening to music that's on the watch via Bluetooth headphones is full of drop outs vs from the iPhone with no drop outs. I hope the new Series 2 WATCH will have better Bluetooth communications.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    There's one thing many reviewers for papers and websites seem to miss. Like some others I have seen comments from since the Watch was released, my life, work and personal, is all about phone calls, emails, texts and FB messages. The Watch frees me. I look and decide if I need to pause what I am doing, if I even need to pull out my phone. That alone was worth the price of admission. Throw in the maps program tapping me for upcoming turns and I feel I am ahead on the spend. And there's more and it evolves. But, like others here, the new watch is too tempting and I plan to buy one as soon as I can. And, PS, Insider was merely paraphrasing the reviews in the headline, as they always do, not stating their view. But the reviews, as with the first edition, miss the point. Tech reviewers are not average users, which may be part of why things that disappoint them don't seem to limit Apple's sales.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    But listening to music that's on the watch via Bluetooth headphones is full of drop outs vs from the iPhone with no drop outs. I hope the new Series 2 WATCH will have better Bluetooth communications.
    By "drop outs", which do you mean?
      1. headphones lose Bluetooth connection to Watch
    or:
      2. headphone have gaps in the stream of sound/music

    With my Series 1 Watch -- which I love -- I've had the problem of the Watch dropping its Bluetooth connection to earbuds (#1 above), so I've fallen back to using my iPhone for music.  I wonder if Watch Series 2 will maintain its Bluetooth connections better?
  • Reply 12 of 19
    I'm curious what % of Series-2 buyers will be (a) upgraders vs. (b) 1st-time-buyers.

    The features of Series-2 are great, but I'm so happy with Series-1 that I may not need to upgrade to Series-2.  This is not a criticism of Series-2, it's praise of Series-1!
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 19
    I kind of like the Nike version of the series 2 watch, maybe its just the strap, even though I don't really run much anymore, but with swimming looks like it would get rid of water easily. I updated my apple watch to os3 last night and I'm surprised it's down to 30% right now, which is odd, usually I can get a full day without having to put it in reserve.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    I'm curious what % of Series-2 buyers will be (a) upgraders vs. (b) 1st-time-buyers.

    The features of Series-2 are great, but I'm so happy with Series-1 that I may not need to upgrade to Series-2.  This is not a criticism of Series-2, it's praise of Series-1!
    For no particular reason I haven't bought an Apple Watch yet, but have been watching and planning "at some point" to get one. I need a new watch, I want one from Apple.

    Since I'm not a runner, don't care at all about GPS, don't care about waterproofing and though the new screen would be nice, I could do without it. I'm jumping on the Series 1 which seems a real deal now that the Series 1 is getting the faster chip plus the £100 discount off the Series 2, it just seems a no-brainer. Am I missing something? The Series 1 looks great to me, better than it did before and it looked great then (I just procrastinated the purchase).
  • Reply 15 of 19
    roakeroake Posts: 775member
    As a trail runner, I would highly recommend the AppleWatch. It's really great, checking the temp before going out for a run and then basically 2 taps and I'm running. And then on my run I can check pace, distance, time. Easy to start, stop and save runs. I did turn off the HR and other apps to max out the battery. I'm running 6-15 miles and have and no issues.

    I will definitely be upgrading to the new GPS (and swimming in the summer).  
    Which app do you use?
  • Reply 16 of 19
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,054member
    The main reason I don't get the Apple watch is I don't want to have to drag another Charger around when I go on a business trip.   If the phone battery could last 40 hours, I would get it.   Hopefully they will improve the battery time in Series 3, other than that it sounds like a pretty good product now.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    I kind of like the Nike version of the series 2 watch, maybe its just the strap, even though I don't really run much anymore, but with swimming looks like it would get rid of water easily. I updated my apple watch to os3 last night and I'm surprised it's down to 30% right now, which is odd, usually I can get a full day without having to put it in reserve.
    OS3 is tuned to be a bit more liberal in giving CPU/GPU/Comm power to increase responsiveness, so maybe that's it. You probably have a week to go back to Watch OS2 before they stop signing it if you feel your losing too much.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    "The iPhone is the brain, the AirPods are the mouth and the Apple Watch is the hand," Panzarino writes about Apple's device ecosystem. "And that hand is starting to get more independent and more useful."

    This actually makes me think of Apple technology roadmap in which somewhere in a lab, a human manikin is wearing a full gear Apple prototypes. Hands, legs, waist, arms, chest, head, mouth, eyes, ears, nose, etc. wearable devices are tested with an iPhone as a brain.
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