First look: Apple Watch 2 gains GPS, swimproofing to 50 metres

By David Flynn, September 8 2016
First look: Apple Watch 2 gains GPS, swimproofing to 50 metres

TECHNOLOGY | At first blush Apple’s second-gen smartwatch seems less Watch 2 than Watch 1.5, but the Cupertino tech titan is hoping the Watch 2 will prove to be more than the sum of its incremental upgrades.

Revealed overnight alongside the iPhone 7, Apple's 'Watch 2 Series' will land in Australia on September 15, starting at $529 for the 38mm anodised aluminium Sport model.

The Watch 2 also leans a little towards the “sports smartwatch” segment without giving up the style or geek cred at the heart of the Apple Watch.

As a result, the Watch 2 Sport skew is properly sporty rather than just being the cheapest way to join the Watch-wearing crowd.

An inbuilt GPS makes it into a stand-alone device for runners, rather than having to carry your iPhone and link it to your Watch via Bluetooth to map your runs, while the water-resistant shell makes the swimproof up to 50 metres.

But there's no significant boost to battery life, with a more powerful dual-processor and brighter display each clawing back any battery gains which might otherwise have been made.

Apple’s Watch 2 partners with the updated WatchOS 3, which brings a slightly improved interface and better fitness tracking capabilities.

Apple has tickled the pricing a little, with the 38mm Watch 2 starting at $529.

The original Watch remains available with a slight drop in price, starting at $399 instead of $429 for the 38mm model.

There's also a new upmarket Apple Watch Edition cast in hardened ceramic with a soft white, pearl-like finish starting at $1,799; and the sporty Apple Watch Nike+, from $529 in 38mm and $579 in 42mm.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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