Apple Watch Series 2 FAQ: Everything you need to know!

The ceramic model of the Apple Watch Series 2 Edition.

Whether you're looking to update from the first generation Apple Watch or you're buying an Apple Watch for the first time, we've got answers to all your (wrist-) burning questions! Follow along for everything you need to know!

So there's a new Apple Watch? Tell me more.

Yep! It's called Apple Watch Series 2. It looks a whole lot like the first-generation Apple Watch, but it's got a load of internal improvements and a few external ones, too!

I heard it's waterproof; is that true?

Sort of. Apple updated a bunch of the internal components (including a new speaker design) to make Apple Watch Series 2 "swim-proof." That means it's water resistant up to 50 meters. In other words, you're A-OK to swim with it.

Apple Watch Series 2 Water Resistance

What about that new speaker design you mentioned?

As you may know, sound is vibration in the air. Speakers need to have a pocket of air in order to produce sound, but that's not great when you're trying to make a water-resistant device. Apple Watch Series 2 has a speaker that will push the water out of the speaker when you've completed your workout. Pretty nifty.

Is it any thinner?

Nope, the case looks nearly identical to the first-gen (first series?) Apple Watch.

Is it faster?

Way faster! It's got a second-generation System in a Package that makes it 50% faster. It's also got a new GPU for two-times faster graphics and a dual-core processor.

How's the battery life?

As far as we know, battery life will remain largely the same.

And I heard they've changed the display, is that true?

It sure is! The display is two times brighter. Apple says that makes Apple Watch Series 2's display the brightest display ever shipped on an Apple device.

What about GPS? Are the rumors true — are we finally getting GPS?

Yes! Runners, bikers, et al will finally be able to get in their GPS-tracked workouts without having to bring their phones along with them.

OK, that's cool and all, but what about new bands and cases?

Apple Watch Series 2 will come in a pearl-like white ceramic. Apple says the new ceramic case is four times harder than stainless steel.

Ceramic Apple Watch Series 2

As for bands, there are a couple new Hermés bands: a single tour band with a deployment buckle and a double-buckle cuff.

And what's this I hear about a Nike Apple Watch?

Well, it's called Apple Watch Nike+ and it's built especially for runners. It's got a neat new perforated band and the case is made of lightweight aluminum.

Alright, break it down for me. I need prices and launch dates.

Apple Watch Series 2

Your wish is my command.

Apple Watch Series 2: - You can pre-order on September 9 - Watch Series 2 goes on sale September 16 - Prices start at $369

Apple Watch Nike+ model: - Launches in late October - Prices start at $369

Apple Watch Series 1: - Prices start at $269 - By the way, the first-generation Apple Watch (now called Series 1) is getting the same dual-core processor as the Series 2 model.

Any other questions?

Did we miss anything? Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments and we'll be sure to get an answer for you!

Mikah Sargent

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.

59 Comments
  • Finally water resistant, so finally ready for life. My only holdback is price. Really expensive to start, likely to cost more for the model I want.
  • Yeah, the price is steep. I think I will finally take the apple watch plunge, but stick with the series 1. The new processor will hopefully alleviate most of my hesitations with the first generation watch.
  • Unfortunately, Apple's store says the watch cannot handle high velocity water, such as waterskiing. That's a deal killer for me. High velocity water is a strong potential at work. Maybe series 3 will be better. Sent from the iMore App
  • I wonder if I will be able to use this for scuba diving?
  • When can we download watch os3? Sent from the iMore App
  • September 12th, I believe.
  • No Tuesday Sept 13 Sent from the iMore App
  • Sorry, thanks for the correction.
  • John, just have to say I love your avatar. I grew up in CT in the days of the Whalers. I miss those old days gone by....
  • Battery life? With GPS I hope it isn't too bad. If it lasts more than a day, I am sold. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I assume the GPS will only be active under certain circumstances, like when you start a Running or Cycling Workout. Probably won't be active for directions since you still need to be connected to your iPhone for the Internet connection.
  • Battery life is 18 hours for both series 1 and 2 according to Apple's comparison page: https://www.imore.com/e?link=https2F2Fc2F4... I think that this is roughly the same as for the first watch. Both the new watches have dual core processors but the series 2 has a thinner screen, which allows room for a larger battery (assuming that the series 1 screen is probably the same thickness as on the original given that it has the same specs). So I'd guess that the larger battery in the series 2 is offset by the GPS and/or the brighter screen to give the same battery life.
  • GPS is 5 hours according to Apple https://www.imore.com/e?link=https2F2Fc2F4...
  • Best way to sell my first gen watch? Gazelle isn't taking them, and not much is listed on Craigslist, so I wouldn't even know how to price it. I have a 38 mm stainless steel Watch, and would want to sell it with my salmon colored sports band. I said last week that the ONLY feature that would make me want the new one would be if I could use to track swimming. Sigh...
  • Any ideas or thoughts if Apple will have a "recycling" program for 1st generation Apple Watchs? The have a buy back program for iPhones, etc. called Renew and Recycling. Is there perhaps a program like this for older Apple Watch models?
  • Nextworth is your place
    however, the time to sell/lock your quote is 15-20 days before phones and/or watches are announced (which by history would first 10 days of September) Just checked your model is fetching only $ 80.00
  • Try swappa, I sell all of my items there for the best return (must have a paypal account) Also please don't be greedy? We can get 1st gen apple watches fo $150-$200 on Ebay.
  • I sold my 38mm Rose Gold Sport Series 1 for $210 on Mercari...Just came out of pocket & paid the difference for Series 2.
  • I Assume there's no upgrade program to replace the CPU in exisiting Series 1 watches, right? There's some UMF for me with the new watch and the 7+, but I think I will be able to make do the way I use my devices with upgrading my 5s to 6s+ (at less money than a 7) and getting improvements with my Series 1 watch with Watch OS3.
  • Did the rumoured barometer make it in? Any indication of enhance wifi capability either?
  • Neither I'm afraid, according to Apple's comparison page: https://www.imore.com/e?link=https2F2Fc2F4...
  • Do you know if the bands for the Series 1 watch will also work with the Series 2 watch?
  • Disappointment for me. No barometer means that I have no interested in upgrading. I run on trails and like my watch to track my altitude gains. With no barometer in the new watch, I'll still have to carry my phone with me which means there is really no point in upgrading (I'll have GPS anyway from my phone, and a brighter screen, faster chip, and waterproofing aren't enough to get me to upgrade).
  • Wouldn't a 3D GPS fix provide similar? I know it's not exact, but a 3D fix should provide for a better idea on height than a 2D fix. Just a thought, depending upon the software and chipset used. Sent from the iMore App
  • It would be nice if the GPS could do the job, but I really doubt it. In general, 3D GPS is very inaccurate. It is okay for getting a general elevation (+/- 100m), but it won't be nearly accurate enough for figuring out the smallish hills that I run up and down. Especially since I run in the trees where my phone even has trouble figuring out my location.
  • Other than software, will there be a big difference between the series 2 watch and the series 2 watch with nike +? Some of us are impatient and will gladly get a series 2 watch early and add the software...
  • the perforated Nike band AFAIK Sent from the iMore App
  • If the band is all that is different then why wait for the series 2 watch with Nike +?
  • I thought they also mentioned a custom Nike+ app watch face available only on the Nike+ edition.
  • ****, is my watch the Series ZERO then?
  • Does the watch series 1 include the series 2 gpu or just processor?
  • Series 2 and 1 are same dimensions..... meaning bands will be compatible. Am I right?
  • So what should I do with my current Watch? Should I sell it? Will watchOS 3 perform well on it?
  • Note a couple things. The series 2 watches are about 3-4 grams heavier than series 1. Both steel and aluminum series 2 watches use a ceramic back (no more composite back). Both steel and aluminum series 2 use oled dislplay (no more saphire). This is all on the Apple website.
  • I believe I found the answer on the battery test page: Series 2 has the new GPU and series 1 doesn't.
  • Fix the answer to "is it thinner"...
  • I also found out that thebceramic watch is heavier than aluminum but lighter than steel. It has a sapphire crystal display but the steel no longer does.
  • The steel series 2 will still have a sapphire display: "Display
    OLED Retina display with Force Touch
    (450 nits) Second-generation OLED Retina display with Force Touch
    2× brighter (1000 nits) Ion-X glass (strengthened glass) Sapphire crystal (stainless steel and ceramic cases)
    Ion-X glass (aluminum cases)" - https://www.imore.com/e?link=https2F2Fc2F4... Scroll down to display on that page...
  • Yes, you're right. One of the apple pages missed that. I wonder if they improved the sapphire display over last year.
  • Hey Michah, you forgot the two new water workout routines that go along with the water resistance: Pool Swim and Open Water Swim. I guess you slept through Jeff Lengthy explanation of those. Drink more Red Bull girlfriend!
  • Any idea if the new version can be purchased without a band?
  • I checked Apple's website and it states this: "Sapphire crystal (stainless steel and ceramic cases). Ion-X glass (aluminum cases)". So despite using a Second-generation OLED Retina display, the Stainless and Ceramic variants still come with Sapphire crystal.
  • I passed on series 1 because of the dreadful battery life. I will, again, be passing. Just UP TO 18 hours battery life? What a joke!
  • Pretty pumped about the GPS for mtn biking. That's what kept me away from the original. Didn't always want to take my phone if there was a chance of rain or me pile driving into the ground. Sent from the iMore App
  • Will there be a option to just buy the body of the watch? Own the old watch and have all the apple bands. Would be a waste to buy the same bands again
  • I would guess that since they didn't mention any change to body shape or design, existing bands work?
  • Can you run the Nike + Run Club app on a non-Nike series 2 Apple watch and be able to leverage the GPS to run without an iPhone? I am somewhat confused about what exactly is unique about the Nike series edition other than a unique band and watch face. Any idea why the Nike edition release is delayed compared to the other series 2 watches? Is Nike still developing a new watch app?
  • Does anyone know if the Apple Watch Series 2 will have altimeter capability to track flights of stairs? The only two features that I really wanted in the new Apple Watch was the GPS and Altimeter to track my flights of stairs. Waterproof is a definite huge plus. But I routinely do flights of stairs throughout the day at work to keep me moving and not sitting all day, but I always have to take my iPhone with me to track the actual flights as my Apple Watch only tracks the steps, not the actual flight of stairs.
  • Which Series 2 watch band(s) are OK for swimming? I can't find this info anywhere.
  • I'm a scuba diver. Purely recreational, mind you, but it's become a passion of mine. I haven't broken down and bought a watch yet, largely because I didn't see the point. It didn't seem like anything that would be useful to me. Yet when they announced that the Watch 2 was (seemingly) waterproof up to 50m, I was ready to plonk down the $400 to get one. Imagine the possibilities of WatchOS for divers. Navigation device, dive computer, non-verbal communication device (hard to talk with a regulator in your mouth), emergency beacon, the possibilities are endless. Then I read the fine print, which very specifically suggests you shouldn't take it scuba diving. Suddenly all interest evaporated.
  • Is there any way to listen to Apple Music or iCloud Music Library over WiFi without your phone? I think the Apple watch would be great for the gym, but without the Music app improvements, I still have to have my iPhone on an armband.
  • Any news on the memory in the new watch. Plus can we finally download podcasts to the watch for listening without the iPhone?
  • That is a question I'm doing since they announce it, does anyone knows already ? probably 8gb like the series 1?
  • Does anyone know if the series 2 space black stainless still has the DLC coating?
    I don't see it listed as a spec
  • Is there anyway to determine if a local Apple Store has stock of the series 2 watch? I stopped at an Apple Store in town and they said they were sold out but to check back tomorrow after 8am EDT (that's my timezone) online to see what stock they received overnight. I haven't been able to figure out where this might be. Any help is appreciated.
  • Interested in watch. Does it have WiFi connection or facetime?
  • can someone please tell me how to view work out on the map i have the original watch , is it even possible
  • BillTex528 - no facetime camera but I believe that it does have wifi.
  • My first Apple Watch selection. I plan to get the Series 2. Can anyone tell me if the new Apple watch or series 2 allows a call that is answered using the watch to be transferred from the watch speaker to a Bluetooth headphone and continue the conversation?