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Apple Watch 2 review

evan kypreos




  • Recommended by TR

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Apple Watch 2 Review Video
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Our Score:



  • Bright, beautiful screen
  • Great fitness tracking
  • GPS makes it more versatile
  • Solid battery life
  • Snappy performance


  • Expensive
  • Looks the same as previous version

Key Features

  • 38mm or 42mm case
  • Built-in GPS
  • 50m water-resistance
  • Heart rate sensor
  • 1,000 nits OLED screen
  • Manufacturer: Apple
  • Review Price: £369.00

What is the Apple Watch 2?

The Apple Watch 2 (or Apple Watch Series 2 to give it its official title) is the second version of the most successful smartwatch around.

The original Apple Watch was Apple’s first draft at a wearable, and plenty bought into the promise of a phone on your wrist. At TrustedReviews we liked the look of it, but struggled to understand its purpose: It had health and fitness elements, but they were limited, and it didn't offer water-resistance. In addition, the watchOS software was tricky to use, glitchy, and just didn’t do much. Interesting third-party apps were lacking too.

There are clear parallels to be drawn between the Apple Watch and the very first iPhone that was released almost a decade ago, which evolved into a superb product.

While the iPhone 7 didn’t meet our high expectations of it, the Apple Watch 2 has. All our concerns about the original have been addressed: watchOS 3 is now intuitive and useful; there are plenty of compatible apps; and the Apple Watch 2 is now properly water-resistant.

At its most recent WWDC event, Apple also announced the forthcoming watchOS 4 operating system update for the Apple Watch 2. As usual, this brings with it a number of refinements and improvements, including a new Siri watch face, which uses Siri's artificial intelligence to proactively bring useful information to your attention. There are also new Toy Story-themed watch faces, joining Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Then there are improvements to the Activity app, including monthly goals and the ability to add additional exercises to the same workout, which is useful for triathletes and circuit trainers. There's also new support for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

Needless to say, the Apple Watch 2 is already a fantastic smartwatch, but the future also looks promising with watchOS 4's improvements.

Related: Best smartwatch

Apple Watch 2 – Design

The Apple Watch Series 2 looks almost identical to the original, and I don’t mind that at all. This remains my favourite smartwatch when it comes to looks, particularly since it isn't as chunky as rival watches. It helps that I prefer square watches; those who prefer round ones might not be as kind.

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The Watch 2 is a fraction thicker than the previous Watch, but not enough that you’d notice without seeing the two next to each other. The square screen with rounded glass edges make it simple to swipe up, down, left and right from the edge to provide additional shortcuts, and the rotating Digital Crown still works well as a method of zooming in and out, and general navigation.

The button just beneath the Digital Crown has been re-appropriated from a useless shortcut to contacts and on/off switch to a much more engaging way to scroll through the new apps dock (more details to follow).

You can opt for either the stainless steel or, slightly cheaper, aluminium chassis, and one of two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. The Series 2 is available in a range of colours: Gold, Rose Gold, Space Grey and Silver. This time there’s no expensive gold-plated model.

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Instead, Apple has created a beautiful white ceramic smartwatch. The ceramic cast is treated at length at high temperature before it's polished smooth. Not only does it look super-attractive, it’s four times tougher than the stainless steel model.

Standing out from the crowd does come at a price, though. The ceramic Apple Watch Edition costs more than three times as much as the standard versions – the 38mm one setting you back a cool £1,249.

Suffice to say, it isn't necessary to spend such an amount for an Apple Watch that’s "tough". I’ve dropped my aluminium Apple Watch on several occasions and regularly whack it against door frames; it doesn’t have a single scratch on the screen or body.

The headline feature for the Apple Watch 2 is water-resistance. Not only will it survive a brief dunk in the bath, it's now fit for the sea. Apple claims it can withstand up to 50m of water – although we wouldn't advise that you go scuba-diving with it just yet. It’s meant to survive the rigours of arms swinging through water, as opposed to being plunged into the depths.

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An Apple representative explained to TrustedReviews that the Apple Watch 2 is fit for swimming in a pool for as long as you want, but can also deal with seawater. It was tested on hundreds of swimmers before release, and it provides accurate exercise readings as well as surviving the wet stuff without any bother.

The screen locks when under water and so won't be usable, but it will continue to track activity. Once out of the water, the Apple Watch Series 2 performs a little party piece to rid the water from its speaker grilles: it plays sound at various volumes and frequencies to expel liquid like a clam.

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There's a plethora of straps available for the Series 2 – with an even bigger selection on offer than before – and they're the best way of making an Apple Watch "yours". As well as the relationship with luxury brand Hermès, Apple has also joined forces with Nike to launch the Apple Watch Nike+. This comes with a special strap, whose compression-moulded perforations make it more breathable – ideal for athletes – along with some exclusive Nike watch faces and apps pre-installed.

Related: Apple Watch tips and tricks

For those who intend to swim regularly with the Apple Watch 2 I'd recommend a Sports strap, rather than the metal or nylon straps. The Sports strap doesn’t retain any water, so you won't be left with a damp wrist all day after a brief plunge.


October 27, 2016, 10:20 am

Now it just needs to be made self-winding.

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November 1, 2016, 5:13 am

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November 26, 2016, 4:16 pm

PROS: Solid battery life.

David Brandon

December 20, 2016, 12:32 pm

I can recommend buying your last minute Christmas gifts(Apple Watch) on Amazon, they have great deals and fast delivery!
Here is a link to their gift guide: amzn. to/2fTsMTe


December 30, 2016, 1:27 am

haha are you kidding me if solid battery life is only 18hrs! whereas SAMSUNG Gear S3 last 4 days without charge!


March 10, 2017, 6:40 pm

I have and iPhone 6s and opted for the Samsung Gear S2 watch over the Apple watch. I get 2.5 days of battery life. No way in hell does the Apple watch even make it a full 24 hours. Everyone I know and their mom has one..... You aren't getting good battery life...BS


March 10, 2017, 6:42 pm

The S3 does not get 4 days... I have the Gear S2 and max is around 2.5 days. If you turn off NFC, GPS and running apps in the back round, the most you will get with the S3 is 2 days. But yes, it's better than the Apple watch.

Ryan Zimbalist

April 15, 2017, 1:56 am

The Apple Watch Series 2 is definitely not what I expected.

I bought the Series 2 Black Sport with AppleCare for $500 earlier today, and I am returning it tomorrow. It's just not any improvement on one's life at all. Maybe I'll get another one when Apple adds a life changing feature, but for now, I don't feel it was worth the price I spent.

I understand that many people would like this watch, as I see some pros in it. The Apple Watch Series 2 starts at $349.99, which is overpriced compared to many Fitbit models, however, it is an Apple product. It fits comfortably on my wrist, the sport band is made of good quality rubber, and the band is secure. The design is beautiful, however, the watch did not meet my expectations.

To start off, the notifications are a nice bonus, but you are stuck with using Siri for basically everything related to phone calls and messages. Siri rarely gets the words you say right, especially if you are outside in public. Also, despite the wide selection of apps, the wide majority of them are laggy. It is hard to navigate through the home screen as well.

As for a fitness watch, it is mediocre. Although it does count calories, heart rate, steps, etc., the two main fitness apps controlling these are difficult and confusing to use. If that isn't enough, for about an hour, my watch stopped counting all of my steps! Not to mention that the battery barely lasts for a day, compared to the Fitbit batteries, which are much better activity trackers with batteries lasting several days.

That is basically all you can do on the watch. I feel that this is only a popularity item, and it is not practical. For $349, you get a device that is not useful in your everyday needs that fails to complete its main functions, but for $129, you can get a Fitbit Alta, which is an amazing activity tracker, as all of the Fitbits are.

Save your money and go with a Fitbit. The Fitbit Blaze resembles an Apple Watch while having the amazing features of a great fitness tracker. It is not worth the amount of money to pay just to have an Apple device with a cool conotation to it.

Peter Bright

May 3, 2017, 5:43 pm

Apple please don't make a parachute, I will probably buy it. It is fair to say I'm an Apple-a-holic. However, in using my Watch Series 2 to go swimming (my only real sport these days). I did all the right things. However, on the entry screen, there is a disclaimer about the Heart Rate Monitor accuracy or effectiveness(what the Heck). I should have stayed with my Suunto Ambit 3 and Heart Belt. I can't believe this!!! I read all the reviews etc etc etc etc, not one mention of this. I fear if a parachute is made by Apple, at the point of use, it may say, not to be used in an emergency.. I am really disappointed in this last minute disclosure.


June 15, 2017, 7:20 pm

Had mine for 6 months, so in effect still under warranty. Stopped working or switching on for no apparent reason. Sent it back to Apple to get it fixed, as it wasn't switching on or charging it was covered. Or so I thought! It had a small crack in the screen tiny and hardly noticeable, I libed with it and didn't really notice it!

When received Apple now want £299 to fix it, because of this tiny crack it is apparently a safety issue and they will not fix it until I pay the money. The problem is not a safety issue, the problem is that the only access to the inner workings of he Watch is by taking the screen off! Cracks are not covered under warranty so to change the battery or diagnose the issue they would need to remove the cracked screen and then put on a new one £299. Nope I've been ripped off!!! I've now invested in a real sports watch Garmin does exactly the same job and is much tougher than the delecate IWatch. It's a gimmick, don't wear it if you plan on doing sports, it's not a sports watch it just a expensive tiny iPhone that you wear on you wrist. If the access to the workings of the Watch was from the back or even the side then I would be happy just accepting a returned working Watch with the same tiny little cracked screen.

Save your money and get a Watch from a company that makes sports gadgets not one that makes computers.

Do not buy a Apple Watch!!!! Please save your cash


June 15, 2017, 7:27 pm

In fact it's not a tiny iPhone it's nothing like the phone, I enjoyed it while it lasted. But I do expect a Watch to last longer than 6 months and btw, the warranty is only 1 year. Laughable rubbish!

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