A week after the release of the Apple Watch Series 2 and the world has gotten to grips with Apple’s new smartwatch, but how’s it performed in reviews from the tech world? Let’s take a look.
“Still not a ‘need’, finally a ‘want'”
The Wall Street Journal is reserved in its thoughts on the Watch S2, noting that it’s moved on significantly, but that it’s only now where the first edition of the watch should have been.
“[It’s] a more advanced Fitbit with the good looks and features to justify wearing it all day, every day. It’s speedy, helpful and able to go where you can’t—or won’t—take your smartphone.”
Conclusions: The Watch is speedier, and less tied to the iPhone thanks to the addition of GPS, but it’s not a necessity like the iPhone, only a very decent luxury item. To really take it to the next level, Apple needs to add cellular capability to the Watch to allow users to truly leave their device at home if they wish.
“Fitness has taken over the Apple Watch”
Techradar has similar thoughts on the Apple Watch, and notes the device as become fully fitness-focused thanks to its GPS capabilities and new features for running routes, and its water resistance and swim features.
“That’s going to make the new Apple Watch a hard sell to anyone who isn’t a fitness diehard and obsessed with getting that GPS chip in their watch.”
Conclusions: It’s not mind-blowing but its additions and upgrades make it a far better prospect for those wanting an Apple smartwatch than the original Apple Watch.
“Let’s call it what it is: a fitness tracker”
The Verge carry on the trend of holding Apple to account on its fitness-focus, saying this is what Apple has resisted calling its wearable for the past year and a half. However, The Verge’s assessment isn’t quite as tough as it sounds. The Watch can obviously still do far more non-fitness related tasks that fitness trackers can’t – for example, messaging, calls and interactions with apps. However, based on the entirely fitness-focused upgrades, The Verge says “the Watch now has focus, and that’s a good thing.”
“The Apple Watch is now both more and less of the things it was trying to be. The addition of GPS and better water resistance make it more of a fitness tracker. The new, distilled software means it doesn’t have ambitions of acting like a “smartphone replacement,” and instead it feels more like a useful accessory. Is it as essential as the smartphone? No, it may never be. But it now makes a little more sense as part of the Apple ecosystem.”
Conclusions: Despite a series of improvements, a number of issues remain – battery life is still charge-every-day, and there are frequent issues with pairing and syncing with the like of iCloud. However, it’s another step forwards in the modern tech world.
“Still optional but pleasantly refined”
ArsTechnica makes similar dispersions about the Watch – maintaining it still falls short of being an essential device. But even if that was the initial intention, it’s clear now that Apple has found its own purpose for the device – and that’s the fitness angle, with some decent smartwatch features thrown in.
“The Apple Watch Series 2 gives the Apple Watch a sense of purpose it didn’t have last year—it’s a fitness device that also happens to do some other smartwatch-y things. The hardware improvements combined with the refined nature of watchOS 3 make the watch a solid contender for the activity tracker that lives on your wrist. But it’s not the absolute winner, because the Series 2 has very few fitness features that are unique to Apple. Onboard GPS is widely available on other, cheaper devices, as is swim tracking, general activity and workout monitoring, guided breathing exercises, and even the integration of third-party apps.”
Conclusions: As a high-end fitness device the Watch Series 2 provides a great experience with few drawbacks, however, it’s still an expensive purchase and remains non-essential.
The Apple Watch is available from Apple now either in-store or online. The 38mm version is priced from $369, while the 42mm edition starts at $399. The Watch Series 2 is available in aluminum, stainless steel and ceramic. The Apple Watch Series 1 is also available, starting at $269, based on the original Apple Watch, the device has been upgraded with the new chip from the Watch Series 2.