Apple Watch Series 2 looks almost identical to the original but packs more than a few new hardware features packed into those 38mm and 42mm cases.
First is the new S2 system-in-a-package, which adds a second processing core, a more powerful graphics chip, and an all-new GPS radio. That means apps launch better, animations can be more complex, and you can go walking, running, cycling, or swimming without your iPhone and still track your route with a high degree of accuracy.
And yes, swimming! Apple Watch Series 2 is fully swim-proof, so you can take it into the pool, the lake, or the ocean and not have to worry about anything shorting out and failing. It'll even forcibly eject water from the speaker port when you're done a swimming workout.
The screen is also more than double the brightness, up from 450 to 1000 nits, so it's much easier to see in the sun.
Add in watchOS 3 and it everything from the performance to the usability feels leaps and bounds better than before.
Unboxed above are the new 38mm space gray aluminum and 42mm stainless steal versions — Apple has dropped the "Sport" branding from everything but the bands — but there are also new Hermes options, as well as all-new Nike+ variants with custom faces, integrations, and bands, and an all-new, all-white Edition made out of ultra-hard ceramics.
For anyone who wanted a brighter, more water resistant, or GPS-equipped Apple Watch, Series 2 if for you.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.