Apple (AAPL) on Wednesday finally announced its anticipated Apple Watch Series 2. Available Sept. 16 for $369, the Series 2 is designed to make the watch more appealing to fitness junkies.
The Apple Watch Series 2 is “faster, brighter” and “the ultimate device for a healthy life,” declared Apple COO Jeff Williams onstage during the event. Indeed, Apple didn’t tinker much with the overall industrial design, however the company did make several improvements under the hood.
Here are the top 4 features of the Apple Watch Series 2:
For all intents and purposes, the Apple Watch Series 2 is waterproof down to 50 meters — a welcome improvement for swimmers or lazy people who don’t want to take their watch off during quick showers (read: me). The first Apple Watch — or what Apple is now calling the Apple Watch Series 1 — was basically sweat-resistant and fine in the rain, but taking it swimming was a no-go.
One of largest omissions in the previous Apple Watch was the lack of a GPS chip, but no longer. While the Series 2 still needs to be tethered to your iPhone via Bluetooth to perform certain tasks, keeping track of your location while running or hiking is no longer one of them.
Many critics and users took issue with the previous Apple Watch’s sluggish performance during seemingly mundane tasks like swiping between apps. Software updates to the wearable’s Watch OS operating system somewhat addressed the issue, but couldn’t entirely compensate for the timepiece’s pokey, first-generation hardware.
With the Apple Watch Series 2, though, you can expect a much smoother all-around experience, thanks to a CPU that’s 50% faster and a graphics chip that’s twice as fast. That’s not just marketing gobbledygook, either. That watch’s improved performance was noticeable from the minute I picked up the device.
A few more customization options
A watch is a personal fashion statement, to be sure. Thankfully, Apple is slowly but surely introducing more and more ways to make the Apple Watch more of an individualized device. On top of the growing number of available casing styles and watch faces, as well as watchbands, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Nike+, a Nike-themed version of the Series 2 with a unique watch face and band colors that’s every bit as sporty-looking as you’d expect. Apple also introduced a white ceramic version of the Series 2 that’s gorgeous, although consumers who want it will find themselves throwing down $1,249, virtually the same stratospheric sticker price as the Hermés-themed Apple Watches.
JP Mangalindan is a senior correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.
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