The Apple Watch first launched back in April of 2015. At the September 7th Apple Event, Apple introduced the second generation Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 2 looks like the original on the surface, but has some intriguing internal enhancements. The first change is Series 2 isn’t simply water resistant like the first generation, but actually waterproof. The Apple Watch Series 2 is rated at water resistant up to 50 meters (164 feet) for swimming, surfing, or just playing in the pool. The neatest aspect is that the speaker is the only opening left on the Apple Watch, and Apple designed the speaker to vibrate to push the water back out.
Since the Apple Watch Series 2 is waterproof, Apple has built in new activity tracking software. You can now track your exercise in the pool and open water to count laps, track average lap pace, and auto-detect stroke type to accurately measure active calorie burn. Speaking of activity tracking, the Apple Watch Series 2 features a built in GPS chip to record precise distance, pace, and speed for outdoor workouts. You don’t need to bring your iPhone along to track your walking, running or cycling with the Apple Watch Series 2.
The Apple Watch came with a System in Package (SiP), and the Series 2 has a second generation SiP. The Series 2 chip offers a dual core processor with up to 50% faster performance. The GPU has also been enhanced to deliver two time better graphics performance. The screen is now brighter at a rating of 1,000 nits, which is two times that of the first generation. Apple offered no word on battery life for the Apple Watch Series 2, so we have to assume battery life is the same as the first generation.
The Apple Watch Series 2 starts at $369 with multiple band options, as well as either 38mm or 42mm band size choices. The all new ceramic white version starts at $1249. The Apple Watch Series 1 will remain with an update to include the new System in Package of the Series 2, and retail for $269. The Special Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+ edition starts at $369 as well, but won’t ship until late October. Pre-orders began today, September 9th at 12:01am Pacific with most configurations delayed until at least October at the time of publishing. If you missed pre-ordering for shipping, the Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in stores on September 16th.