Apple watch 2 Review

Apple watch 2 Review

Apple Watch Series 2

From $369
Apple Watch Series 2
8

Rating

8/10

    Pros

    • New GPS sensor
    • New processor that speeds things up by 50%
    • New graphics processing unit (GPU)
    • Water resistance down to 50 meters – Apple finally meets the smartwatch water resistance challenge head on
    • New zirconia ceramic case is a winning next generation material for the smartwatch industry (currently only available in white case model)

    Cons

    • Still no circular watch format
    • Still no cellular connectivity that enables standalone cell phone functions and standalone Internet access sans your smartphone

    VERDICT & RATING

    The Apple Watch Series 2 earns a rating in this review of 8 out of 10. Unless and until Apple makes the big switch in smartwatch format to a circular design, they will not earn a 9 out of 10 from this stream of reviews for the Apple Watch Series 2 or 3 or even the Series 4.

    It is nearly incomprehensibly beyond my understanding how the very iconic and innovative global tech company that made such a huge hit out of multiple successive product generations of the original iPod’s highly acclaimed circular bezel does not now appreciate how seamlessly efficient this makes the current smartwatch user experience.

    Apple watch 2 ReviewThe only thing I can chalk it up to is the DIY mindset of the existing corporate commitment to the rectangular design and a bit of misplaced design bravado.  Just because you can make an early 21st century wristwatch look like a square or rectangular Mac computer screen does not mean it is the optimal product design for the human wrist.

    In the opinion of this review, Apple is leaving billions of dollars in future annual revenue streams and tens of billions of dollars in future market capitalization on the table by refusing to change the format of the Apple Watch to the format that humans are more preternaturally inclined to adopt for their smart wrist timepieces cum smartwatches.

    Samsung switched midstream from the rectangular Gear smartwatch to the circular Gear S2. Now, if Samsung can do it, certainly Apple can too. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

    OVERVIEW

    In this review, we’ll summarize each of the 8 most relevant aspects you need to know about the new Apple Watch Series 2:

    1. Dual core S2 processor
    2. New GPU (graphics processing unit)
    3. 2nd generation display with 1,000 nits brightness
    4. Watch OS3
    5. Zirconia Ceramics case (white model only)
    6. Water resistance to 50 meters
    7. Built-in GPS sensor
    8. Nike+ sports model

    Other than these issues, the majority of the other metrics not broached herein, features, user experience issues, and benefits of the Apple Watch remain the same.

    In general, in the opinion of this review, this Series 2 rendition of the venerable Apple Watch is an incremental, though substantive refinement, not a wholescale upgrade with loads of whizbang features and benefits.

    That said, Apple Watch Series 2 has new and compelling chops to compel loads of people to upgrade from the competition or the original Apple Watch.  This Smartwatch has the ability to influence a lot more bystanders to try it anew, especially runners, swimmers, workout warriors, and amateur and professional athletes galore.

    DUAL CORE S2 PROCESSOR

    According to Apple, its new dual core S2 chip embedded inside the Apple Watch Series 2 improves performance by 50 percent over the predecessor processor integrated into the Apple Watch. This will give you better response times when swiping through app icons and app launch response and app activities.Apple watch 2 Review

    A good test of this increased CPU performance is to download and use the Night Sky app, which is a lot spiffier with the S2 chip in the Apple Watch Series 2, indeed! In fact, you’ll now get 60 frames a second of seamless galactic graphic star wonderlust on this useful astronomy and sky chart application, which was a tad sluggish on the Apple Watch.

    The difference the S2 chip makes, vis a vis the original Apple Watch, is quite palpable and beneficial and it will most certainly make your Apple Watch experience a much more friction-free user experience through the day, every day of the year.

     

    NEW GPU

    Apple’s performance testing indicates that the new GPU on the Series 2 will double the performance for apps and games, up to 60 frames per second, depending on which game you’re playing.

     

    2nd GENERATION OLED RETINA DISPLAY, WITH 1,000 NITS BRIGHTNESS

    The Series 2 offers the same OLED Retina display as the original Apple Watch. However, the real winner here is that Apple’s development team focused some bright lights on the “nits” issue, as they’ve upgraded the original Apple Watch by 200%, from 450 nits to 1,000 nits on the Apple Watch Series 2.

    This nits metric for brightness far surpasses even the nits measure for Apple’s own iPhone 6 Plus smartphone, which came in at 499.76 nits, . . . and the Apple Watch Series 2 nits metric now equals Samsung’s 1,000 nits on its newest flagship smartphone, the popular Note 7 that’s burning up the market share charts.

    For a smartwatch to equal the brightness of one of the world’s most advanced (except for the battery issue, of course) smartphones is a tremendous accomplishment. Note that “A typical active-matrix LCD panel has an output between 200 and 300 nit, for example.” [Source: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/nit]

    So what does this do for you? It will make viewing and reading all sorts of items on your Apple Watch Series 2 much easier in broad daylight.

    WATCH OS 3

    Apple’s upgrade to its smartwatch operating system, the upcoming Watch OS 3, incorporates improved fitness tracking software, more custom watch faces for the Series 2, an optional capability to use your fingers to write on the display, and a native SOS applet that alerts your emergency contacts when you most need to do so.

    Watch OS3 also sports an instant launch feature that makes launching your apps faster and more seamless. A new breathing app is included to help with exercising your life giving lungs. A few other native fitness apps are bundled in with Watch OS3, including a dedicated hiking app that does not need a tethered wireless connection to your smartphone.

    ZIRCONIA CERAMIC

    The Apple Watch Series 2 models are offered in your choice of aluminum, stainless steel, and a new option, an advanced super-material called zirconia ceramic. The zirconia ceramic version of the Apple Watch Series 2 presents an absolutely gorgeous pearlescent white finish that exhibits a highly polished, lustrous, jewelry type sheen that certainly stands out in a crowd.

    The truly top shelf attraction of this zirconia ceramic Apple Watch Series 2 model is that it appears to be equally as feminine as it is masculine, equally as trè chic and sophisticated as it is easily conformable.  This smartwatch has the potential to be a pop and lock spontaneous smart accessory for the jeans and T-shirt workaday apparel genre or weekend bikers and hikers.

    Apple watch 2 Review

    This is the reinvention of the time traveling terminator material of the future. No, no liquid metal, as Apple and some movie studios and stars have invested in before, but a perfect synthesis of high fashion elegant beauty and superior industrial strength that can draw wide appeal to all consumers regardless of their fashion preferences.

    Apple’s introduction of this nex-gen super-material to the wearables industry is a game changer. Its importance to the future of the industry needs to be fundamentally understood when contemplating the impact of the white colored zirconia ceramics version of the Apple Watch Series 2 and if and when you want to take the expensive plunge to buy this adorable puppy.

    First, zirconia ceramics have exceptional strength. Apple asserts that their zirconia ceramic case for the Apple Watch Series 2 is four times harder than stainless steel. In fact, zirconia ceramics (ZrO2) have a compression resistance of 2,000 MPa, which translates approximately to about 290,000 psi.

    For those of us who are psi challenged, that’s the equivalent to nineteen (19) mature adult African elephants standing on top of the zirconia case of the Apple Watch Series 2. Try to imagine stacking 19 of the largest land animals on earth vertically on top of a one-inch square piece of stainless steel or aluminum watch casing.  Quite a feat of engineering!

    Additionally, contrary to the commonplace assumption that ceramics can be brittle, zirconia ceramics are quite tough and have good fracture resistance.

    Second, and quite pertinent to the wearables technology industry that is nearly 100% dependent on radio frequency communications, zirconia ceramics are transparent to the Bluetooth LE, WiFi, GPS, NFC and other radio frequencies used in smartphones, smartwatches, and other forms of wearables tech.

    As self-described alchemist and metaphysician, Brian Roemmele so adroitly stated in a Quora.com answer to a query about possible materials for use in the future iPhone 8 device:

    “The ideal material to manufacture an iPhone should be radio transparent allowing the many radio frequencies to emanate from the device unimpeded. . . . . Aluminum successfully blocks just about all short band radio frequencies and as devices become smaller, the impact on radio range becomes challenging.” [Source: https://www.quora.com/What-will-the-iPhone-8-be-made-of]

    Third, these types of ceramics can incorporate pigmented powders so that the entire breadth and depth of the structure is imbued with hundreds of different color options for wearable tech consumers of the future. This gives Apple a huge color palette to service the fashion requirements of future Apple Watch consumers.Apple watch 2 Review

    Fourth, zirconia ceramic has no bio-incompatibility issues, as zirconia cores are often used without incident in fixed partial dentures and teeth implants nowadays. Moreover, it has excellent wear and resistance to chemicals and long-term corrosion and it is highly resistant to scratching.

    Aside from the temporary drawback of its present high cost, Apple’s mass manufacturing might will most assuredly drive down the per unit costs of zirconia ceramic smartwatch cases prior to the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 so they can offer this wonderful new material on middle tier and lower priced models across the entire Apple Watch product family.

    Indeed, it would be absolutely shocking if a lot more consumer electronics and wearables technology companies do not imitate this bold R&D and advanced product engineering move into zirconia ceramic cases and housings for all manner of new and evolved products over the next half decade.

    Actually, it will be shocking if this new super-material is not incorporated in all the future Apple Watch and iPhone models. It’s handful of discrete advantages are just collectively superior to the features and benefits of stainless steel and aluminum for the specific consumer electronics applications of world class smartwatches and smartphones, in the opinion of this smartwatch review.

    Besides, the oriental ceramic attractiveness of this new watch case material is quite likely to be a huge hit with consumers in China, the ancient ancestral home of ceramics. Let’s face it, Apple needs a fashionably hip new technology to desperately hold onto the smart device market share they are steadily losing at a current rate of at least 3% per year in China to competitive devices from Huawei and Xiaomi. [Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2016/07/06/apples-market-share-erodes-further-in-china/#49eb46784e1a]

    WATER RESISTANCE TO 50 METERS

    Best Apple watch 2 ReviewThe new Apple Watch Series 2 is water resistant down to 50 meters (approx. 165 feet). Apple’s website states that the Series 2 is suitable for “shallow water activities such as swimming in a pool or ocean.”

    However, Apple adds, it is not intended for “scuba diving, water skiing, or other activities involving high velocity water or submersion below shallow depth.” [Source: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205000]

    Contrast this with the mere “splash proof” characteristics of the original Apple Watch, and this is a serious upgrade for all aquatic oriented human life forms.

     

    GPS SENSOR

    One of the great new features of the Series 2 is a built-in GPS sensor. Apple claims it can instantly triangulate on satellite signals to secure your GPS coordinates, which is a big advance over most fitness tracking bands and other GPS integrated wearables tech devices that take, it seems, at least 30 to 120 seconds or so to get a GPS signal lock.

    One interesting benefit of this GPS sensor is that the Apple Watch Series 2 can now support Pokémon Go, which needs GPS signals to help you locate Pokémon and Pokéstops.

     

    NIKE+ MODEL

    Apple watch series 2 reviewsApple and Nike have teamed up to offer an Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+ model that integrates some natively integrated, customized watch faces and Nike software applets that target the running and workout crowd. These custom watch faces present runners, exercise buffs, and athletes with a large, easy to read suite of icons, letters, and numbers that let a workout warrior momentarily glance at their Apple Watch to instantaneously track their distance traveled, duration, heart rate, pace, and time of day.

    The Series 2 Nike+ model also offers a connection to the Nike+ Run Club, an ecosystem that Nike describes as a system that can “Track your runs, get coaching that adapts to you,
and bring your friends along for the ride.”

    The Series 2 Nike+ also smartly presents users with weather alerts to inform you about the best time window for you to go for an outdoor run or walk or workout.

    About the only thing the Series 2 Nike+ does not offer is the type of interval training that workout buffs and amateur and professional athletes need.

    This Nike+ version of the Series 2 sports a high neon color contrast “durable, lightweight fluoroelastomer” watch band with three parallel rows of “compression‑molded perforations” (a.k.a. holes) that help athletes and exercise buffs enable their skin to breathe and keep sweat from building up under their watch band.

    The Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+ model also can help you count indoor and outdoor swims. This represents a fascinating technology breakthrough by Apple in which they developed a technique for the smartwatch speaker mechanism to squirt out any water that migrates into the void of the speaker mechanism.

    Compared to any of the other fitness trackers on the market, there is a very good argument that says this new smartwatch platform offers the most easily readable, versatile, and any fitness tracking smart devices for the wrist.

     

    PRICING AND GENERAL AVAILABILITY

    The Nike+ model has just been released and the Apple Watch Series 2 was released on Friday, September 16, 2016.

    MSRP pricing for the Apple Watch Series 2 starts at USD369 and USD399 for the aluminum 38mm and 42mm models, respectively. The stainless-steel Apple Watch Series 2 models start at USD549, with several models offered at USD649, USD699, USD749, USD949, and USD1,049 price points.

    The stunning white ceramic Apple Watch Series 2 model starts at $1,249, which includes a “cloud” color flouroelastomer watch band that is very durable and highly resistance to heat, sweat, oils, solvents, fuels, and ozone.

    The Nike+ model starts at USD369. The Hermes signature fashion model with stainless steel watch case starts at USD1,149, with the highly touted Hermes Double Buckle Cuff version selling for USD1,499.

     

    CONCLUSION

    Save for the fact that it still is not offered in a circular format, the incremental refinement of the Apple Watch in the form and function of the Series 2 model is more like the Apple Watch we all expected the first time around at its original product introduction a year and a half ago.

    That said, this review can confidently state that the Apple Watch Series 2 is either in a neck and neck tie with or slightly in the lead against the Samsung Gear S2 for the title of the best overall smartwatch on the planet.

    The dual core S2 processor, the new GPU, the 1,000 nits brightness Retina display, the software upgrade to WatchOS 3, the water resistance to 50 meters (finally!), the built-in GPS sensor (finally!), and the Nike+ sports model give you plenty of options to jump into the shallow or deep end of the smartwatch pool with the confidence that your life will be richly enhanced by loads of productivity, communications, health and wellness, and entertaining and informative improvements to your daily schedule and time off.

    And if you can afford the painful outlay of over a grand of Benjamins, you can even dip into the deep end of the future of wearables tech super-materials by procuring the absolutely stunning Apple Watch Series 2 white zirconia ceramic wonderlust model.

    It’s a bold step into the future of wearables material technology for Apple and the entire wearables industry. The earlier you get on the bandwagon, the better off you’ll be. . . . Just think of the mula outlay as an investment in your future!


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