Apple has confirmed the Apple Watch Series 2, the second generation of its iconic wearable. Here's what you need to know.
After what seemed like an eternity of leaks and rumours, Apple unveiled its first Apple Watch back in early 2015. The device split opinion, yet has still managed to be the smartwatch of choice across Australia.
And now, alongside its announcement of its flagship iPhone 7 smartphone family, Apple has also announced the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 2, a significant hardware improvement on the original device, with additional design and custom partnership versions.
Set to launch on 16 September (with preorders from 9 September), the Apple Watch Series 2 looks to combine with the launch of watchOS 3.0 to try and rectify many of the issues customers had with the first generation device.
Interestingly, Apple hasn't replaced the original model with the arrival of the Series 2. Instead, it has rebranded it as Apple Watch Series 1, and upgraded the processor inside to the same chip as the Apple Watch Series 2. This decision also sees the entry level price for the Apple Watch drop to $399 in Australia.
Apple Watch Series 2: Australian Price
|Apple Watch Model||Price (starting from)|
|Apple Watch Series 1||$399|
|Apple Watch Series 2||$529|
|Apple Watch Nike+||$529|
|Apple Watch Hermès||$1,779|
|Apple Watch Series 2 Ceramic||$1,799|
The new Apple Watch Series 2 starts at $529, with the device available in both 38mm and 42mm like the original Apple Watch. You will be able to get the new version in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, and silver or space grey stainless steel for that price.
There is also a new ceramic Apple Watch device which starts at $1,799, a slight premium over the $1,779 Apple Watch Hermès.
For the truly active among us, Apple has teamed with Nike for the run-friendly Apple Watch Nike+, which also starts at $529.
Apple Watch Series 2: Specs
|Model||Apple Watch||Apple Watch Series 2|
|Band options||Rubber, leather, metal||Rubber, leather, metal|
|Heart rate sensor||Yes||Yes|
|Calling ability||Yes, when paired with iPhone||Yes, when paired with iPhone|
As expected, the new Apple Watch Series 2 makes some significant internal specs changes to the original device, though without any major aesthetic changes.
The key development this year is the fact that the device isn't just water resistant, but waterproof to 50 metres. This means that users will be able to wear the Apple Watch while swimming. To help encourage that use, Apple's Workout apps now tracks both laps in a pool and your effort in open water swims. in order to make the device waterproof, Apple had to reengineer the watch's speaker, so that its vibrations can expel water to help with the waterproofing.
The other major update is the inclusion of integrated GPS, so you don't need to keep your iPhone with you while exercising if you want to accurately keep track of your workout. Apple claims that the Watch connects with the GPS satellites immediately so you can start your walk or run straight away, unlike other smartwatches where you need to wait for a GPS connection.
Apple has boosted the screen on the Apple Watch Series 2, making it the brightest screen the company has ever produced, capable of 1,000 nits. This extra brightness allows for easy outdoors viewing, and is more than double that of the original Apple Watch.
Powering the new Apple Watch family is the new S2 dual-core processor, which the company promises will address the responsive shortcomings of the original. There's also been a boost to the battery, though Apple still only claims 18 hours of battery life for the new model.
Apple also took the time to bring Niantic up on stage during its event to celebrate the impending arrival of Pokémon GO for Apple Watch. The wrist-based version of the app will allow trainers to track nearby Pokémon, coolest Pokéstop goodies and more accurately track egg hatchings by integrating closely with the Apple Workouts app.
Apple Watch Series 2: Release Date
Apple has confirmed that the new Apple Watch Series 2 will go on sale in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US from 16 September, with pre-orders starting on 9 September.
The Apple Watch Nike, meanwhile, will arrive in late October, while Apple Watch Hermès will arrive from 23 September.
The first generation Apple Watch is still available in the Standard, Sport, Hermes and Edition variations through the Apple Store.