The name Apple Watch is the ultimate smartwatch. And the Series 2 was the second incarnation from the iconic Apple brand. Taking the style of the original smartwatch to a whole new level, the second series of Apple Watch had more to offer than its older sibling, giving buyers better value for money.
Let’s take a closer look at what the Series 2 provided in terms of design, function and fitness tracking. Note, it’s no longer for sale as new, but if you head to our article on how to source secondhand Apple watches, you can still get hold of one if you like the sound of it.
The follow up to the original Apple Watch hit the market in 2016 and was a certainly a resounding hit thanks to the various upgrades which this device was given by its manufacturers.
While retaining the same sophisticated style, the Series 2 also delivered on several new grounds including added waterproofing, a faster processor and a swimming tracker. New optional finishes were also offered to ensure that this brand would remain firmly at the top in luxury wristwear stakes.
With its dual-core processor, the Apple Watch 2 felt snappier and speedier. While its responsiveness wasn’t instant, it was much faster than the original and its operating platform was definitely more stable. There is still no always-on display which can be a pain for anyone who doesn’t want to have to raise their arm every time they want to see the hour, however that does save on battery life.
Some of the best features of this watch include Siri which is inbuilt into its face, allowing you to see the most pertinent information when you need it.
You can still utilise the monthly health challenges built into the software as well as support for high intensity interval training. Another interesting feature is the flashlight support which makes the display white so you can find items in the dark.
One further interesting feature is ‘Breathe’ which prompts you on occasion to take a few breaths every now and then to combat stress. While it’s a simple idea, it’s surprisingly effective, especially when paired with the watch’s haptic buzz.
Force Touch is also present on this watch as it was on the original Apple Watch, and this offers more functionality when you touch the screen with pressure. There is also the emergency SOS number which can be called direct from its power-off screen.
As you’d expect from an Apple Watch, the Series 2 is seriously stylish and well-designed. The chassis is designed to be water-resistant so you can swim and track yourself at the same time.
Although it’s 1 mm thicker than the original Apple Watch that isn’t too noticeable unless your wrists are very slim. There are also ceramic, stainless steel and aluminium versions of the second Apple Watch available to suit a range of tastes.
The Series 2 still has a square face, so if you’re a fan of round watches you might want to look elsewhere. Apart from that, the digital crown, formed glass and curved edges all remain the same and have a high-quality premium feel. Although this isn’t a lightweight watch, it isn’t excessively heavy and won’t weigh you down on a run.
The screen is bright and can be read in any kind of light, with sharpness that suits all kinds of tasks. The 1000 nits display is super-bright and this makes this model stand out from its older sibling.
Just like with the original Apple Watch, it’s important to remember that this smartwatch isn’t primarily designed to be a fitness tracker and there are few upgrades in this respect between the original and the Series 2.
The GPS addition is the primary difference, and while this adds a lot of functionality, the heart rate monitor remains substandard, often offering inaccurate readings.
In terms of workout tracking, the Series 2 is primarily still for use as a running companion, but there is more detail in the post-run statistics when compared to the original.
While it’s possible to track other forms of exercise like cycling, the other fitness modes remain relatively rudimentary and focus more on tracking yourself than uploading to the wider fitness community.
- Works seamlessly with your iPhone
- Wet mode and waterproofing allows for wear while swimming
- More detail in post-run statistics
- Longer battery life than the first series
- Pre-installed fitness apps
- Ability to install third-party fitness apps
- Attractive choice of finishes and straps
- Rudimentary tracking for fitness apart from running
- Heart rate monitor is inaccurate
- Does not have the advanced fitness features of later models
If the Apple Watch Series 2 isn’t the right choice for you, you might be more impressed by the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
This smartwatch supports both Android and iOS devices, although the functionality is better with Android phones. Its oversized AMOLED screen is easy to read while its round face may be more attractive to those who prefer a standard appearance watch. The onboard fitness tracking is also better than that integrated into the Series 2, so if you have a Samsung smartphone, this might be a better option to suit your smartwatch needs.
How Do We Test Smartwatches?
Testing smartwatches to see whether they are up to scratch is the focus of what we do, and we make sure to take a thorough approach every time. We rigorously test various elements of each watch to see how well it lives up to expectations. Comfort and design are the first aspects that we consider, determining whether the watch is comfortable to wear and whether it meets our needs in terms of style and function. Next, we look at its fitness tracking capabilities, testing their effect on battery life through everyday use. We test processing power and memory as well as LTE functionality and after putting each watch to the test, therefore, we can bring you the vital statistics that help you choose the right purchase for you.
When you’re looking for an iconic smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 2 could be a good choice. It certainly meets expectations in terms of style, and it has a lot more functionality and speed when compared to the original Apple Watch. See a comparison of all the Apple Watch models here.
On the other hand, it still lacks something in terms of fitness tracking, so if you’re looking for a fitness tracker rather than an attractive wristpiece, you might want to consider a different brand.
Last Updated on April 13, 2021