The verdict is in on the Apple Watch Series 2 — and critics seem to like it.
On Wednesday, a series of reviews dropped on Apple’s latest smartwatch. The consensus is that Apple has identified where the Apple Watch excels — namely as a fitness device — and doubled down on that, with positive results.
The speed boost provided by watchOS 3, the new operating system, is also commended for making the device more functional (though the original Apple Watch also benefits from a jump in speed as a result).
Likewise, the water-proofing — allowing users to swim with the Apple Watch — is also praised.
All in all, reviewers view the Apple Watch Series 2 as a positive step forward. But the big question is whether ordinary consumers will be similarly convinced.
We’ve rounded up some of the key points from reviews below. You can click through on each to read the full review.
Jim Dalrymple, writing for Apple blog The Loop, was already bullish on the first Apple Watch and considers the new edition an improvement:
“For me, Apple Watch is about improving our lives and making us more efficient. It has done that for me many times over and Apple Watch Series 2 will continue that journey.”
TechCrunch calls it the “first real Apple Watch”:
“It delivers on the promise of a mostly passive device that can accomplish simple tasks in 1-3 seconds. There is now built-in GPS which allows for exercising without having to lug along a comparatively heavy iPhone just to get accurate tracking. And it’s completely waterproof, as any decent sport watch should be.”
The Independent hails the under-the-hood updates, despite the lack of visual change:
“Eighteen months on from the original Apple Watch launch, this is a significant upgrade. Some may have desired a more strikingly different design — though, hey, last year’s straps still fit! — but it remains the best-looking smart watch around … Now, with better software, a much nippier processor, useful GPS and excellent waterproofing, it’s likely to attract its widest audience yet.”
Tech blogger John Gruber commends Apple on its decision to focus in on fitness tracking functionality:
“I think WatchOS 3 and Apple Watch Series 2 are a very simple story. Apple Watch had clear strengths but equally clear weaknesses. Apple identified what was flawed and went back to the drawing board. They identified what people liked best — health and fitness tracking — and made them even better … Here’s what I propose as the triumvirate of tentpole functions for Apple Watch: a stylish timepiece, a notification display and quick response extension of your iPhone, and a comprehensive health and fitness companion. That’s where Apple Watch should have been focused from the start, and that’s what it is, correctly, focused now.”
The Verge agrees the Apple Watch Series 2 is unambiguously a fitness tracker, but argues it’s still not perfect:
“But for all of the improvements, some of the hassles from the original Watch remain. Apple still has a lot of work to do … Beyond health and fitness, the question of whether to get an Apple Watch comes down, more than ever, to the question of which ecosystem you want to live in. Unlike many other wearables, even ones that run Google’s platform, when you buy an Apple Watch you’re buying into Apple products in general. Together, the iPhone plus Apple Watch plus AirPods work well. Only one of them works well alone, and it’s not the Watch.”
Mashable frames the upgrade as incremental, but certainly welcome:
“Life is pretty good with the new Apple Watch Series 2. It looks exactly like my old Apple Watch, the wearable Apple unveiled two years ago (and launched about 18 months ago), but has new components and brand-new software. Both have changed the experience with Apple’s smartwatch in largely positive ways.”
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