Apple Watch Series 2 | Review
The first generation Apple Watch, which debuted in the fall of 2014 and hit the market in the 2015, has received many positive and negative reviews. Apple took the feedback into an account as they are working to advance this important initiative in the wearable market with the other Apple Watch Series 2. If there is not much difference in overall appearance, we can see that Apple Watch 2 has considerable innovation and progress with respect to the interior components and functionality. Apple’s smart watch is now even stronger with innovations like a water-resistant body, a built-in GPS module, and a faster processor. We convey our impressions of this smart watch that we have experienced for a long time.
Apple has already found it unnecessary to go into a new quest for the design. The design of the Apple Watch, which already has an attractive design, is also protected in the second generation. The sturdy glass, which covers the front and is curved towards the edges, meets the expectations. The Digital Crown on the right hand side also adds a real clock air to this product. It should be noted that the curved corners of the frame also soften the look of this watch and make it more attractive. The second generation Watch is a little bit thicker than its predecessor. However, it is difficult to distinguish this thickness difference. Thickness and finesse are not really noticed always, which is also true for Apple Watch. The watch does not make any weight on the wrist at all. In some cases, you might even forget that it is on your wrist. On the back of the Watch 2 is a heart rate sensor with four LEDs. They send pulses under the skin to perform pulse measurements. It is necessary to say that the LEDs emit a very bright light, but it is not a matter of feeling the presence of this light after you put the watch on your wrist.
Apple will continue to choose aluminum for sport models and stainless steel for the regular models ( which are more expensive from the sport ones ), as material will come. We can say that aluminum is very strong and durable and has a better resistance to scratches than the stainless steel models. The stainless steel first-generation Apple Watch, which we used earlier, soon filled with scratches on its frame surrounding the screen. We can say that there is almost no scratch on the Apple Watch 2, which has aluminum casings. In our test, we dropped the watch ( and no, it was not a press device ). Despite a rather violent and loud decline, Watch did not suffer any harm to the Ion-X screen glass. In the middle of it, there was a slight loser just below the lower right corner. Among the first-generation Apple Watch options were watches made of gold, called as Apple Watch Edition, which costed up to $15000. Apple removes the gold material with the second generation, instead brings white ceramic to the edition family. Moreover, with a price of $1200, it should be noted that it can be bought more easily than its predecessors ( $1500 compared to $15000 ).
The Apple Watch Series 2 also features different strap options. Since its strap and cord connections have not been modified anyway, the accessories that were purchased at the time of the first generation can be used with the second generation of the Apple Watch. Our favorite are knitted nylon fabric cords; These are very comfortably in summer or winter, and it is possible to insert and remove them in the form of a classic watch strap. Also, the chances of the clock coming out of the wrist and falling are also very low. For sports enthusiasts, the most suitable options will be sports cords. Besides those options, Apple also provides more classical ones.
Apple has not made any changes to the screen dimensions. Again, 38mm and 42mm size options are available. The first option has 272 x 340 pixels and the second one has 312 x 390 pixels. Although the size and resolution remain the same as their predecessors, these screens are quite bright. As Apple stands at a high level during the promotion, the Watch 2 has a brightness of up to 1000 nits. It is more than twice as bright as the previous model. When you bring them side by side, you can see the brightness difference with the naked eye. The brighter screen lets you use Apple Watch 2 comfortably outdoors, in the daylight or in other similar conditions. t should also be noted that the brightness of the Apple Watch 2’s display is quite alive in terms of color. This allows the clock dials to be displayed at the classic clock realism.
Thanks to the use of OLED technology, the black parts on the screen are turned off when they are not used. This is one of the important factors that improve the battery life and make it possible to further increase the intensity of the white color component of the screen. Also remember that when you lift your wrist and turn the face to look at the clock, the screen automatically opens.
One of Apple Watch 2’s most important innovations is its ability to withstand up to 50 meters of water. This means that you can swim easily in the pool or at the sea with the smart watch. Water resistance is instrumental in bringing about a usage scenario that we can call wet on the screen. When this mode is active, the screen is locked and the touch functions are disabled. If you are one of those people who use a water-resistant Samsung or Sony phone, you probably have witnessed the fact that random apps are opened or some tasks are made when the phone’s screen touches the water, which has the ability to transmit electricity. Apple closes the ability to touch the screen when the clock senses the water so that the same scenario will not happen with this watch. It is thus possible to use your watch with ease while you swim. When you swim in the pool or in the sea and when you open the follow-up function from the training application, the liquid lock is engaged and the above functions are activated. When the training is finished, you can turn the Digital Crown ring and drain the water that has entered the clock. The watch uses a sound that radiates on different frequencies while draining the water. The vibration created by the sound causes the water to be thrown out from the speakers.
Force Touch technology is still available. It is possible to access various menus and options by putting different pressures on the screen. Ion-X glass is used in the aluminum bodies while sapphire crystal glass material is preferred in stainless steel and ceramic models. We can say that both are pretty solid.
One of the most significant developments on the hardware side of the Apple Watch 2 is the dual-core S2 processor. Thanks to this processor, the performance of Apple’s smart clock is increased significantly. Switching between applications is pretty fast and you do not feel any lags in the user interface. Despite this, the opening of the application, although not as much as the old one, still makes it necessary to wait a while. Regardless, Apple Watch 2 is a stable and an useful device, thanks to the processor, graphics power and productivity-oriented optimizations.
The screen remains off when you are not using the Apple Watch Series 2. The screen wakes up when you move your arm and turn the Watch around. Apple has not added a permanent on-screen feature to the smart watch, and it avoids such a feature because it probably drains the battery life too much. Nevertheless, the ability to move the wrist to open the screen is quite useful.
Apple’s Taptic engine provides vibrant feedback. Vibrations allow more interaction over time. It is also understood that the Force Touch commands are being given, and it is even easier to feel this during breathing practice. Also, being aware of a call coming to your iPhone is more possible thanks to the vibration that comes from your bracelet.
Apart from that, the built-in GPS and GLONASS module in Apple Watch 2 allows you to track the distance
without wasting your iPhone’s battery while riding a bike or walking outside. Your route is tracked by the built-in GPS module on the Watch, and then the training is transferred to your iPhone. If you look at the training records in the Training application on your iPhone, you can see the route drawn by the GPS module of your Apple Watch. The Watch 2 GPS module is active when the iPhone is not nearby, otherwise your iPhone’s GPS system is used. This contributes to efficient use of the battery.
Apple does not give clear figures about Watch 2’s battery, but we can say from the very beginning that it’s possible to get slightly above average two days. The first-generation Apple Watch was able to work for two days with a single charge, but the end of the second day was barely brought. Now with the second generation, it is possible to take out two days with one charge easily and in some cases, it even lasts for the third day. Of course, doing workouts or just simple walking with Apple Watch on your wrist with GPS module will reduce the battery life. However, we can say that it is enough to charge the Apple Watch 2 in every two days, even for those who do intense sports.
Apple, for some reason, shortened the charge cycle with the second generation clock. The first-generation Apple Watch had a very long magnetic charge in its stainless steel models. The second generation, however, comes with a cable that is almost half the length of the cable that you are given with the aluminum models. This is the most practical way to put the cable in your desk or bedside and charge it there. The head restraint makes it possible to use the Apple Watch as a night clock while charging from the side, and while the screen is turned horizontally.
Battery protection mode is still available. The battery protection mode of Apple Watch 2 can be activated when the battery level drops below 10 percent. Thus, all functions of the clock are turned off, performing only a simple function of showing the clock.
At the same time as Apple Watch 2, watchOS 3 comes naturally loaded on this smart watch. WatchOS 3 can be described as a version that is developed in the direction of users’ feedback and requests, aimed at finding solutions to the problems and inefficiencies observed in the previous generation of the watchOS.
With watchOS 3, there are significant changes in the functionality. Those changes, though, are subject ones whether they are positive or negative. For example, the power button on the right-hand side would open the circle to facilitate communications with friends who frequently communicate with each other. We can say that we find this feature quite handy and often use it. But with watchOS 3, it took the look of the Dock instead. Now when you press the button next to the clock, you can access and switch between the most recently opened applications. Moreover, you can place your favorite applications in the Dock and access them faster. The new functionality for this button is not bad, but a feature that rare users like us have found useful, such as quick access to friends, is lost.
Apart from that, the clock dials are getting a bit more foreground. It is possible to add different clock dials and switch between them by dragging your finger to the left or right. You can add different clock dials like activity rings, modular, analog, arrange their colors and complications according to your wishes, and switch to the desired dial by dragging your finger at certain times of the day. For example, in the morning you can choose the Mickey or Minnie Mouse quadrant while you spend time with your children, and in the office, you can get more formal looking ones.
All setup progress and customizations of the Apple Watch 2 is done through the Watch application on the iPhone. Although the interface of the Watch application seems a little complicated, you will see that you can easily make many arrangements about your smart watch from here. You can create clocks, set application layouts, upload new applications, and more on. There’s also a narrow-ranging Settings app that lets you perform various controls within Apple Watch.
When you drag your finger from the bottom of the screen to the middle when the watch is open, an interface similar to the Control Center on the iPhone is welcoming you. From there it’s easy to get to the airplane mode, do not disturb mode, draining the water feature, pinging the iPhone and quick settings like the battery component. You can also change the Apple Watch’s AirPlay audio output here. If you slide your finger across the top of the screen, the Notification Center appears to be out of sync. Notifications that come directly from installed applications at the clock or reflected from the iPhone are shown here.
One of the most important features of Apple Watch 2 that we use the most is the dictation. Thanks to the smart watch which is very good at understanding English ( maybe, that is because it is made by an American company ), it is possible to write your messages or other texts from dots to the commas in a complete and correct way. In the applications such as iMessage, Messenger or WhatsApp, it is more practical to use your voice rather than trying to use the small keyboard of the watch. If you wish, you can also use handwriting. Apart from that, almost all of the communication tools introduced with the first generation Apple Watch are also on the new generation watch, but they are all pushed to the background. Apple has launched the first generation Watch as a communications device. But with the second generation, the message that the smart watch is a product focused on fitness and wellness is given more loudly.
Siri is available in the Apple Watch 2, even if it has limited functions. You can open the Siri interface by holding down the Digital Crown, where you can access to the functions such as learning the weather, setting up alarms or adding reminders. Along with the watchOS 3.2 update, SiriKit support will be provided to the developers just like on the iPhone. Thus, applications like Uber, WhatsApp will benefit from Siri on the Apple Watch.
One more feature that comes with watchOS 3 is worth mentioning. If you press and hold the power button, you will get an alert. You can call the emergency number via the Emergency SOS option. In addition, medical credentials can be accessed from this screen.
In fact, the first generation version of the Apple Watch had a number of features to help with workouts and healthy lifestyles. Sensors which were available in the first generation smart watch such as accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate sensor are also here, but now, there is additional sensors including GPS. With built-in GPS support and water resistance at the same time, Apple Watch turns into an accessory you will never want to remove from your wrist while doing sports.
With the presence of the built-in GPS support, those who run or walk outside will be quite pleased. Those who do not want to carry their iPhones can keep track of their trips with the built-in GPS module on the watch. Informations such as the speed and the distance traveled will also be recorded in the training application.
Let’s say that you have left the iPhone at home by relying on the GPS module. Where will you listen to the music to accompany you? Like the previous generation, Apple Watch 2 has built-in memory and you can transfer up to 250 songs here.
While Apple Watch Series 1 was resistant to the water splashes, Series 2 can withstand up to 50 meters of water, as Apple says. It is not possible to test the stability in such a deep water, but with the Apple Watch 2, we can say that you can swim easily in the pool. You can keep records of your swimming workouts, such as distance covered and calories burned. During training, the Apple Watch 2’s display is disabled so that when the Watch comes in contact with the water, applications will not be opened and the undesired commands will be prevented from being displayed. By turning the Digital Crown when training is finished, you can also drain the water ( which entered to the loudspeaker ) as the watch plays a transmit at different frequencies.
The training is not automatically detected as it is in the Samsung Gear Fit2. You need to enter to the Training practice and start by choosing the proper training, entering the target calorie amount and distance when it comes to the location. Apart from that, the number of steps taken, the amount of calories consumed, the time that you spent by standing are constantly measured and it is possible to get a daily summary of them through the activity rings. When you reach the activity goals that you specify, Apple Watch notifies you.
Much more detail on Activity and Training recordings can be obtained through the Training application installed on the iPhone. Here you can see the day-to-day activity rings, as well as the data for all the workouts, along with route views on the map for running and walking outside. The Apple Watch seems to be quite useful for those who want to do smooth activity in this respect.
The heart rate sensor, located behind the frame, measures the pulse rate due to the LED light under the skin at certain intervals. Although the percentage of accuracy is not as high as that of blood pressure monitors, we can say that this feature of the smart clock is useful for obtaining a specific idea of your heart rate.
There is also a breathing practice. With this application that comes with Apple’s smart watches with watchOS 3, it is advisable to do breathing exercises at regular intervals. You will be reminded to do breathing exercises with a notice to your knowledge. Of course, if you wish, you can start by exhaling directly by applying the breath. You can exercise your lungs and diaphragm muscles and find a little resting opportunity by taking a deep breath in 1 minute, or for the duration of your appointment. While the Apple Watch 2 helps with proper breathing with vibrations, the heart rate is shown at the end of the exercise.
Again, warnings are made to get you up and move, but compared to the previous model, these warnings are made on much more reasonable conditions. So while driving a car, you are not adviced to get up and move.
First of all, Apple Watch 2 is a product that appeals to the iPhone owners like its predecessor. If your smartphone is not an iPhone and if you are using an Android phone, it does not make much sense to own an Apple Watch. It’s clear to discuss how Apple Watch is needed, but I can say that, as an Apple Watch user over a year and a half, it affects little things in your life.
With Apple’s second-generation smart watch, it brings fitness and wellness features to the fore. As we have already pointed out, the communication features are second to none. In fact, this is the right move, because many people use wearable products such as smart watches or wristbands for their fitness and wellness features. The Apple Watch 2 is capable and powerful in terms of these features. With the addition of new features such as the built-in GPS module, water resistance, the Watch offers the opportunity to accompany many more sports activities. Apart from this, it keeps a constant follow-up in everyday life, thus making a meaningful statement about your body condition. I would like to mention that activity apps both on the watch and on the iPhone are useful.
Although Apple has laid out communication features in the background, Apple Watch 2 is still a useful communication device. Among the applications we use the most in the Apple Watch 2 are applications like iMessage and WhatsApp. Using the dictation feature, sending the message via Apple Watch is only taking seconds. Apart from that, it is still very practical to answer calls from the watch.
The improvement in the battery life and the brighter screen are among the important factors that increase user satisfaction, which increases the efficiency of Apple’s smart watch. It also makes it possible to bring Apple Watch together with straps and cords in any environment and with every garment. After you own an Apple Watch, you will not want to use another watch.
Apple Watch 2’s prices are higher than most standard wrist watches though. But just like most of the Apple devices, it gives you a great design, material quality, performance and many features for your money. In the meantime, let’s end this Apple Watch 2 review by stating that the aluminum model is good for those who are unsure between stainless steel and aluminum case.