First impressions: Apple Watch Series 2 comes with built-in GPS

The Apple Watch Series 2 on display at an Apple media event in San Francisco on Sept 7, 2016.
The Apple Watch Series 2 on display at an Apple media event in San Francisco on Sept 7, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS
Available in 38mm and 42mm size, the Apple Watch Series 2 comes in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel cases with pricing starting at $548.
Available in 38mm and 42mm size, the Apple Watch Series 2 comes in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel cases with pricing starting at $548.ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN
Along with the Apple Watch Series 2, there is also a new Apple Watch Nike+ (priced from $548 onwards) with a focus in running and comes with perforated watch band.
Along with the Apple Watch Series 2, there is also a new Apple Watch Nike+ (priced from $548 onwards) with a focus in running and comes with perforated watch band.ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

SAN FRANCISCO - The successor to the Apple Watch is simply called the Apple Watch Series 2.

It might look exactly like the original Apple Watch, but has upgrades that make it the only watch you will ever need.

At the demo area, I tried the gold aluminium version as well as the new ceramic Edition model.

Other than the different build finishes, they are all essentially the same smartwatch.

The Series 2 has two features that stood out for me.

First, it is water resistant down to 50m. In other words, you not only do not need to worry about the smartwatch getting wet, you can even swim with it. In fact, Apple has included two new workout options - pool and open water. It is now able to track your swims, counting your laps, average lap pace and even stroke type.

Second, it now comes with built-in GPS. So, you no longer need the Apple Watch to be paired with an iPhone to get GPS distance tracking. You can just tap on Outdoor Run and you are ready to go. Runners usually prefer to carry as few items with them as possible when running.

Obviously, I could not test both features at the demo area. But it is promising enough that I might not need my GPS running watch anymore, as the new Apple Watch Series 2 is able to do those tasks.

 
 
 

On the other hand, I could feel the smooth and beautiful build of the new Apple Watch Series 2 Edition ceramic model. This replaces the 18-karat gold and rose gold versions of the original Apple Watch Edition, which are no longer available.

The ceramic case feels more premium and classy than the 18-karat gold version, while being much cheaper. The ceramic Edition starts from $1,818 rather than the five-figure price tag of the original Edition models.

While $1,818 might sound expensive, premium timepieces with ceramic cases often cost more than that.

I am not too sure if you will be willing to run or swim with the ceramic Edition.

According to a representative at the demo area, ceramic is more than four times harder than stainless and more scratch resistant. It is hard to imagine that the smooth white surface is not supposed to scratch or tarnish easily. But I am sold if this is true in practice.

Available in 38mm and 42mm size, the Apple Watch Series 2 comes in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel cases with prices starting at $548.

There is also a new Apple Watch Nike+ (priced from $548 onwards) - with a focus on running - that comes with a perforated watch band, while the Apple Watch Hermes is back in Series 2 with a price tag starting from $1,788.

The new Apple Watch models can be pre-ordered from Friday (Sept 9). They will be made available for sale on Sept 16.