The Apple Watch Series 2 will have these new features

Alex Kidman 8 September 2016

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The successor to the Apple Watch has been announced by Apple.

QUICK GUIDE: Quick facts - Australian pricing - Features - Specifications - Should I buy the Apple Watch 2?

Quick facts about the Apple Watch 2

Just want the basics? Here are the short and sweet details for Apple’s latest wearable:

      • Swim proof: Apple says the Apple Watch Series 2 is that it'll handle immersion of up to 50 metres.
      • Choice of finishes: The series 2 Apple Watch will come in Aluminium, Stainless Steel and a new white ceramic model, as well as select Hermes desgisns.
      • Improved processor: Apple says the dual core GPU in the series 2 Apple Watch is up to 50 times faster than the CPU in the first series, as well as doubling graphics performance. This should significantly drop the lag that was an unfortunate feature of the first generation watch.
      • Inbuilt GPS: The first generation Apple Watch relied on the GPS in a paired iPhone for tracking purposes, but now that radio array is built into the watch itself. That’s great news for runners, who can now work out with just the watch along for the ride.
      • Brighter display: Apple has also upgraded the display in the Apple Watch series 2, with a 1000 nit display.
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How much will the Apple Watch 2 cost?

Just as it did with the original Apple Watch, Apple will offer the Apple Watch Series 2 in a variety of configurations and price points. Pricing for the Apple watch Series 2 will start at $529 for the standard version and Apple Watch Nike+ edition, with the new ceramic version pushing to $1,799.

Apple has also partnered with the Hermès again for a special edition of the Apple Watch Series 2, with the Apple Watch Hermès starting at $1,779.

Apple has also updated the original Apple Watch to include the same second-gen processor, and the updated Apple Watch Series 1 will start at $399.

Pre-orders will start on 9 September with availability on 16 September.

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What’s new in the Apple Watch 2?

Apple is highlighting two specific features for the new Apple Watch, primarily focused around fitness applications thanks to its new waterproofing features and inbuilt GPS. If you liked the Apple Watch but you weren't keen on sweating on it, the new features should definitely appeal. Apple will also release a Nike-specific Apple Watch model with a perforated band.

The new CPU and GPU should also enhance performance. This was a key problem for the first generation, as you could get a notification on your watch, tap on it and wait and wait while it actually did something, by which time you could well have grabbed your phone from your pocket. A more responsive Apple Watch should make it more of a part of your daily routine.

Apple Watch Series 2 Specifications

ModelApple WatchApple Watch Series 2
Screen size38mm/42mm38mm/42mm
Band optionsRubber, leather, metalRubber, leather, metal
Battery18 hoursTBC
GPSvia iPhoneYes
Heart rate sensorYesYes
Apps?YesYes
Calling abilityYes, when paired with iPhoneYes, when paired with iPhone
Price$499-$24,000TBC

Should I buy an Apple Watch Series 2?

Wearables are still a growth category, but there’s little doubting that smartwatches remain a nice technology item rather than a critical part of your life, and Apple clearly understands this.

The Apple Watch 2 is an evolution of the original fashion-forward Apple Watch design, and if you’re an iOS user with an eye towards style, it’s easily your most capable option, albeit at a price. Most other smartwatches with app support, excluding the Pebble, don’t run with iOS, so you’re not spoiled for choice.

That being said, the gradual improvement of the Apple Watch 2 over the original Apple Watch means that it’s a less compelling option for those who already own an original generation Apple Watch.

The new features are nice, but they’re not perhaps the killer app that they need to be to make that kind of upgrade particularly fiscally sensible, and the existing model Apple Watch will still be WatchOS 3 compatible when that launches.

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