Apple Watch 2: First Impressions Of The Premium Smartwatch

With high price comes high functionality.

14/10/2016 9:01 AM IST | Updated 14/10/2016 12:13 PM IST

During his keynote address in September, Apple CEO Tim Cook made the claim that Apple had become the world's second biggest watch-seller in terms of revenue. It is true that even though the Apple Watch is a costly affair, you can spot plenty of people sporting one. Many more than all the Android wear-watches and Pebbles combined.

In the past, I have tried a few Android wear watches and the Pebble smartwatch, and not only do I feel that smartwatches are cool, I am convinced that these devices have the potential to last.

I began using the Apple Watch Series 2 a couple of days ago, and the model I am wearing has a 38 mm screen, an aluminium case and a nylon band. I have paired my Apple Watch with an iPhone 7 Plus.

As is the case with most Apple devices, the watch comes in enough combinations to suit individual needs and tastes. For smaller fingers and wrists, the 38 mm screen suffices.


One of the first things that strikes you about the Apple Watch is the impressive display, that has been amped up to a 1000 nits (brightness of 1000 candles). Compared to, say, the Moto 360 and the Huawei watches, the Apple Watch display is more striking despite the lack of an ambient light sensor. (Recall the famous flat tire in Moto 360?)

The watchOS 3 operating system has packed in many changes and it will take a few days for any user to get used to them. First off, you can swipe the watch face with ease without any special commands. There are some nifty commands included in the watchface, with shortcuts to activity, music, breathe, and more.

The side button that was used in earlier Apple Watches for opening the contacts menu now opens a typical Mac dock -- A series of app pinned for you according to the usage. You can now permanently dock some apps on this bar using the iPhone's watch app. A long press of the side button takes you to the emergency menu.

The digital crown on the side has more easily graspable functions. If you press it once, you are taken to the app constellation, which is like an app launcher where you can browse through the apps, zoom in and zoom out on the icons and select an app. Since there is a clutter of apps here, I found it preferable to use the dock. The double press of the crown activates Siri.

Now, the wearer's health is in the front and centre of the Apple Watch. You see activity rings everywhere. Three rings of activity -- coloured red, green and blue -- represent move, exercise and stand. Each ring fills up when you complete your daily goal, which can be fed when setting up the watch.

If you sit for more than an hour, your watch reminds you to stand up. And a couple of times in a day, it reminds you to sit back and breathe without any interruption. An app for breathing, who would have thought?


The activity rings do provide that extra bit of motivation to complete a challenge. I have tried walking and jogging without switching on the GPS enabled dedicated activity tracker, and just the rings were good enough. And, while walking and jogging, I also tried playing music from the watch through Bluetooth headsets with satisfactory result.

I mostly used the nylon watch strap although the soft sports strap has a nice feel to it too. You can wear the Apple Watch in the shower as well. In order to do that, you have to first pull out the watch's control centre from the bottom and press the droplet button. This makes watch water proof. To use the watch again, you have to turn the digital crown so it throws out the water employing a special mechanism.

I am talking about notifications lastly because it has been a challenge for smartwatches to deliver them without any time lag. Apple Watch's quick reply to messages is nice and the voice detection is impressive as well. To clear all the notifications, you have to force press the notification screen.

It's hard to deny the watch's charm but there is scope for improvement, especially when it comes to the price. It will take a while for any Apple Watch wearer to get a hang of all the shortcuts and functions that are un-Apple like.

Send us any questions you might have about the watch and tell us what you think about it.

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