The first Apple Watch Series 2 reviews are out and, like the iPhone 7, they’re largely positive — while also noting that this isn’t an entirely essential device. If you held out on buying an Apple Watch last year, though, or you’re a certified fitness nut, this could be the wearable for you.
Check out our review roundup below.
In a four-star review, CNET praises the Apple Watch Series 2 as faster, waterproof, with a vastly superior OS and brighter display, as well as its onboard GPS. However, it also criticizes its battery life, thicker and heavier design, and continued iPhone reliance.
“The Apple Watch returns in a made-for-sports upgrade that adds swim functions and GPS, but anyone who’s not a runner or swimmer should consider the Apple Watch Series 1 instead,” reviewer Scott Stein writes.
The Verge agrees with the assessment that the Apple Watch 2 is one for the fitness fans. It praises the built-in GPS, water-resistant abilities (and the neat touch that lets you expel water from the device after a swim), faster performance, and — counter to CNET’s review — superior battery life.
On the negative side, it echoes the complaint that the Apple Watch is basically an iPhone accessory, criticizes some decidedly un-Apple software glitches, and says that the display is not visible in direct sunlight.
Another four-star review for the Apple Watch Series 2 comes from TechRadar. Calling it one of the best smartwatches yet, the review notes that:
“Apple has upgraded the Watch in a number of ways, and all of them useful. The extended battery life, the GPS abilities and the water-resistance now make this a compelling smartwatch – but it doesn’t quite do enough to make you need such a watch in your life… yet.”
The two-day battery life gets a nod, as does the GPS and water-resistant design of the watch. In terms of negatives, TechRadar notes that the Apple Watch Series 2 is expensive, currently lacks useful apps, and suggests fitness could be more comprehensive.
TechCrunch calls the Apple Watch Series 2 the “first real Apple Watch,” although the review as a whole reads like one of those strange reviews only Apple can get: slightly nonchalant about the whole thing, before reminding readers that this could, in fact, be the best product its category has ever seen.
“The new stuff seems to work just fine — providing a far superior experience to the first generation,” writes the reviewer. In all, TC describes the sequel wearable as one that, “delivers on the promise of a mostly passive device that can accomplish simple tasks in 1-3 seconds.”
Finally, Pocket-Lint repeats the well-worn theme that this is a wearable for the fitness-oriented. “The Apple Watch Series 2 is so much more than just a pretty smartwatch,” the review notes. “It’s now a smartwatch with a purpose.”
It praises the new, improved Apple Watch Series 2 processor and notes that, “Load times are nowhere near as long as they were on the first Apple Watch, and the days of the screen going blank before the app had even loaded are now a thing of the past.”
In all, it’s a sizable step forward, the review states, but perhaps not the perfect fitness watch just yet:
“That’s a massive gain over the first-generation device and one that is likely to appeal to those wanting more than a Fitbit, but who are scared by an all-powerful, athlete-focused watch from Garmin or Polar. However, for those who take their sport very seriously, we still can’t see the Watch 2 replacing a dedicated sportswatch just yet. It’s really for those looking for a do-it-all device that could easily go with a suit or some Lycra.”