Apple Watch Series 2 Review

in #technology7 years ago (edited)


I’ve been interested in the Apple Watch since the Series 1 first made its debut in April of 2015. However, at the time, the wearables segment of the tech market was still relatively new. I decided to would be wise start saving my spare change, be patient, and see how it evolved.

For the past two years I’ve read every watch review and article I could find. Each time I did my Google app began adding more Apple Watch-related articles in my news feed. When the Series 2 watch was released last September, improvements such as better battery life and built in GPS really piqued my interest.

Still, I was torn. I collect vintage watches and love the feeling of a mechanical masterpiece ticking away on my wrist. Before the Series 2 my everyday watch was a beefy Seiko SKX007.

For me, the Seiko was the perfect watch in every way -- tough, accurate, waterproof, could be worn with a suit or a t-shirt and jeans. The SKX007 was also relatively inexpensive at approximately $199. My only gripes about the Seiko were its hefty weight and the height of the bezel. The thought of wearing a tiny computer on my arm made me feel like an absolute traitor not to mention a nerd (which I truly am.)


From the moment I first heard about the Apple Watch my main question was always…Would the watch lessen my dependence on the iPhone or make me even more of a tech-zombie?


Three weeks ago, I decided to find out for myself. I purchased the 42mm Series 2 in space gray with a black fluoroelastomer band (the larger one pictured above.) My wife and I were all set to go on a week long tropical vacation and I thought this would be the perfect chance to give the Series 2 a very thorough test drive.

Esthetics

Like all Apple products, great care and creativity were put into the packaging. The watch itself is an object d’art, down to the most minute of details. It’s very light and comfortable on your wrist. Changing the band is as quick as pressing a button and sliding the band off of the case sideways. I’ve heard a few reviewers complain about the square watch face of the Apple Watch but this didn’t bother me. I actually don’t see the logic behind a round display that you have to read text on or interact with. There's a good reason books, televisions, and movie screens are square.

I discovered there is a learning curve to securing the sport band on your wrist. It's a skill almost as difficult to master as properly pronouncing, “fluoroelastomer.” The band tucks underneath itself and you have to learn to blindly push a small metal tab into the proper hole on the band to fit your wrist. By the third day this was mastered but for the first two days it felt like I was trying to button a shirt with two left hands (I’m right-handed) whenever I tried to put the watch on. Once secured and adjusted properly the band is very comfortable and secure.

Watch Features

The pairing of the watch with the phone was about as simple as it could be. Not ten minutes after I first strapped it to my wrist I felt the hepatic touch for the first time and nearly drove off the road. The watch alerted me of an incoming text message from none other than @fairytalelife. The hepatic touch feature feels eerily similar to a person gently tapping you on the wrist. Thankfully, I’ve gotten more used to it.

There are a wide variety of native watch faces to choose from and most are customizable. Below are just a few of them.

My favorite face so far is the chronograph. It has all of the traditional chronograph features plus I’ve chosen to add links to weather, activity readings, and time for another time zone (Amsterdam, of course.)

Since we were flying to St. Thomas in a week, I researched some of the top travel apps and downloaded TripAdvisor and Microsoft Translator. TripAdvisor was especially helpful while we were in St. Thomas. The app sent helpful restaurant and activity suggestions directly to my watch based on location. The Translator app will translate most foreign languages, in nearly real time. This will prove useful during my travels to places where English isn’t widely spoken.I plan on testing this out on a trip to Montreal this fall. Oui, Oui.

Today, I swapped out the fluoroelastomer band for a more traditional nylon military band for $20 from Southern Straps (link here). This band makes the Series 2 seem a little more traditional and gives it a custom look. Switching the band took only a few seconds and required no tools.

The deeper I dig into the watch’s capabilities, the more impressed I become. The native fitness app game-ifies exercise so working to achieve your daily goals is fun.

In advertising campaigns, Apple has focused mainly on the health features of the watch but this is so much more than a glorified fitness tracker. The watch is a true extension of the phone in all the right ways.

Also, a regular meditator, I like the Breathe feature (a native app on the watch.) A few times per day the app automatically launches, and if you choose to accept it, the Breathe app walks you through a minute of deep breathing exercises. I discovered the app won’t let you finish the exercise if you’re walking so it forces you to sit down, relax, and learn to breathe properly.

Conclusion

Is it worth $400? After living with the watch for a few weeks I’ve formed my opinion...definitely.

What I like the most is this device really does free you from needing to have the phone near enough to hear it ring or feel vibrate. You can literally tuck your phone in a coat pocket or bag and forget about it without the nagging worry of missing anything. The watch allows you to pay more attention to the world again.

The watch isn't without room for improvement. This morning, while taking screenshots of the watch faces for this post I discovered one inherent flaw. It’s a little too easy to accidentally trigger the SOS feature of the watch, which calls Emergency Services (911) automatically giving your contact information and exact GPS location. Yep, I actually did this, and was practically convulsing in the kitchen as I tried to shut off the watch before the call went through.

The watch started to emit a loud screeching sound, somewhat like a smoke alarm, and I nearly dishonored my chinos in the process. The ambulance or police never showed up so I was apparently successful in stopping the call before the authorities were dispatched. I also had so much adrenaline coursing through my system there was no need for caffeine the entire morning. I had to immediately use the Breathe app to calm down.

How can adding one more technological gadget make you feel more free from technology? I know, it sounds crazy but Apple has managed to accomplish this and it feels pretty damned amazing. I’m getting about two and a half days of use on a full charge which is very acceptable. I’m mystified that they haven’t yet incorporated solar charging on these wearables.

It’s unavoidable, unless civilized society completely collapses, humanity is only going to become increasingly more reliant upon technology in the coming years. Wearables such as the Apple watch will allow us to stay connected to one another in smarter, less intrusive ways. Just maybe the art of face-to-face conversation will survive after all?

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Frees you from the phone.
  • Highly accurate fitness tracking.
  • Smart connectivity for incoming calls, messages, and app alerts.
  • Breathe app.

Cons

  • High price.
  • Yet one more device to keep charged.
  • Makes you more dependent on the increasingly expensive Apple ecosystem.
  • S.O.S. (calling 911) feature can accidentally be launched while taking a screenshot.

Thanks for reading!


*I am an American novelist, poet, traveler, and crypto-enthusiast. If you’ve enjoyed my work please sign up for my author newsletter at my website. Newsletter subscribers will receive exclusive updates and special offers and your information will never be sold or shared.

Eric Vance Walton - Media

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Nice review. Does any one else think these devices are somewhat redundant if you own a phone? They're pretty for sure but the price seems excessive when compared to even a mid range smart phone. I definitely agree about the further dependence on Apple's ecosystem.

Thanks! I had originally thought a wearable would be overkill but that hasn't turned out to be the case in my situation.

Very cool review, one of the most thorough and precise one I have came across in this domain. Thanks for sharing your passion with us all! Hey, does it have the altimeter as well as barometric datas???

Namaste :)

Thank you for your kind words, @eric-boucher! There are Altimeter apps but it can't yet measure barometric pressure. Namaste!

Thanks this is very good to know! Namaste :)

Is it possible to turn off the emergency call feature? I think I would find that a bit too stressful to have on there.

https://twitter.com/Soul_Eater_43/status/844332981821026306

Soul_Eater_43 The Cryptofiend tweeted @ 21 Mar 2017 - 23:40 UTC

#Apple Watch Series 2 #Review@Steemit

steemit.com/technology/@er… / https://t.co/rZT27x6hFI

Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.

Yes, I discovered you can disable the feature. I'm going to be a LOT more careful if I ever take screenshots again.

Lol yes!

+++ Very well explained ! Thanks for sharing ! +++

Well written. I couldn't stand another device myself.

Thank you, @funkit. We'll see how long my fascination with it lasts.

Great post, Eric!
Now I only hope my wife will not see it XD

Thanks @richman! Is she on Steemit?

your description about the 911 episode had me laughing out loud! excellent review....I truly have just sort of ignored the whole iwatch thing, see I don't even know the real name and just had to look at the title of your post to remember oh yes APPLE watch. Anyway, your post has made me reconsider.

I'm just glad no one was there to see the ordeal! 😳 I highly recommend the watch, I'm still learning all it can do. You should be getting something in the mail soon!

advances in technology because there are still teachers who are still alive to provide knowledge to the full to ikhlasan without asking for recompense of his students.
we need to remember back when the bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan back forward because they know that in order to promote a state not by money but rather the science, so they are then they seek not the treasure that is still living and also their money. but they are looking for is how many teachers are still alive ..
thanks for posting a good share of the development of the technology created by Apple.
I was very interested when I read.
@ericvancewalton

You're welcome

Good review, but honestly, I don't get all the hype behind smartwatches. Call me old fashioned, but I'd take a traditional watch over a smartwatch any day. ;)

Thanks, @liv3wir3, I'm with you...believe me. I'm totally a mechanical watch guy but this thing has won me over. We'll see how long the fascination lasts.

Thank you @mindhunter. That is huge praise, man! I really appreciate it and am humbled. I hope to live up to it with my next novel, Truth Is Stranger.

99.9% of Steemit writing is crap! I can count the other 0.01% on one hand with 2-3 fingers. You are one finger. Steem on, and drop me a line when your novel in ready and I'll depart the minnows for 5 minutes :) I hope you hit the 75 reputation soon. It's well deserved and about time ;)

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