You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Apple Watch Series 2 First Look: Brighter and Faster

The latest version of Apple's wearable device is here
That iThingy You're Wearing
September 16, 2016

The iPhone 7 has some company. Series 2 of the Apple Watch has also officially hit the market earlier today. I was lucky enough to grab mine at 8 a.m. this morning and wanted to offer some first impressions of the upgraded device.

The future is bright

The future is bright
The Series 2 watch on the left is noticeably brighter and clearer than the original, even outside.

The Series 2 watch on the left is noticeably brighter and clearer than the original, even outside.

From the first time I turned on my Space Black model, the screen brightness is readily apparent. At 1,000 nits, it’s more than twice as bright as the original model and really looks great.

One of my biggest complaints with the original watch is that I had a hard time seeing the screen while outside and wearing sunglasses, but I doubt I’ll run into that issue with the Series 2.

Dual-core bliss

Dual-core bliss

The new model is also powered by a faster, dual-core S2 chip. Combined with the various speed improvements watchOS 3, which arrived earlier this week, this truly feels like a huge step forward.

Every part of the interface is faster and smoother. The difference is very noticeable on everything you can do with the watch, including interacting with Siri, scrolling through watch faces, opening apps, and more.

A bit bigger, but it's not noticeable

A bit bigger, but it's not noticeable

Thanks to the larger battery and built-in GPS, Series 2 watches are 0.9mm thicker and up to 4.2 grams heavier than the original model. Despite some previous speculation, I’m happy to report that there’s no noticeable difference on my wrist.

More soon

More soon
The Series 2 watch starts at $369 and tops out at $1,299 for the Edition version made with white ceramic

The Series 2 watch starts at $369 and tops out at $1,299 for the Edition version made with white ceramic

I haven’t had time to test out two of the biggest new features of Series 2 – built-in GPS and waterproofing up to 50 meters. But I’m planning on taking a swim and run this weekend to give those a try.

And we’ll be offering a full review of the watch next week. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions I can answer about Series 2.

Series 2 devices start at $369 and go all the way up to $1,299 for the Edition version made with white ceramic. A 38mm and 42mm version are both available. You can purchase a watch directly from Apple’s site now or a number of other third-party retailers.

A special edition Nike+ model of the Series 2 Watch will be available in late October for $369 or $399. Luxury Hermes versions, which lands in one week on Friday, Sept. 23, runs from $1,149 to $1,499.

Apple has also upgraded the original watch, which is still available to purchase. Now known as Series 1, it features the same dual-core S2 processor. That version is $269 for a 38mm edition. The 42mm version is $30 more. It’s available with just an aluminum case.