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Regular Contributor
Posts: 498

Apple Watch Series 2 review

[ Edited ]

Hi everyone

 

I have now spent 1 week of my life living with a new Apple Watch Series 2 and these are my thoughts.

 

Build Quality:

 

20170302_134254-1_resized.jpg42mm Nike+ Apple Watch Series 242mm Nike+ Apple Watch Series 2I am very impressed with the build quality. As with all Apple products, they are sturdy and have a high quality feel. I chose the 42mm Nike+ Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black / Cool Grey Nike Sport Band. I am 6 foot but don't have huge wrists. When I tried the 38mm version it really looked small. That extra 4mm makes a huge difference and I really encourage you to opt for that version as a male. The 38mm will probably suit a woman perfectly. I really like the Nike strap. It fits nice and snug and when you are sweaty, a breeze can blow through the holes, it also lets sweat escape better. The screen uses Ion X Glass. I will update you later if this is as good and Gorilla Glass used in Android phones. For a premium, you can get the stainless steel that has Sapphire glass and I believe that is near indestructible.

 

Speed: 

So far so good. It is pretty responsive when clicking menus and starting apps. It picks up GPS quickly when starting a run or cycle.

 

Functionality:

I am in two minds as to how useful it will be. I am trawling the web to find good apps and reviews from other users. The basic Health apps are basic. I do like the Activity App that gives you 3 activity rings to complete each day (Move, Stand, Exercise). It gamifies the experience by pinging you every now and then to stand and gives progress throughout the day. It gets you more engaged.

 

As with all things, paid apps seem to be better. You install apps on our iPhone. In the App store they indicate if they have a complimenting Watch App. Once installed on your phone, you go to the Watch app on your phone and click the switch to "Display on Watch". It takes a while to install to the watch (I assume it is transferring via Bluetooth?)

 

I have completed 2 workouts with the standard Workout App. ( 1x 5km Parkrun and 1x Gym session of 15 minutes treadmill + 15 minutes bicycle.) You can choose 4 targets, Calories, Time, Distance or Open (No Goal). It works great and gives you your stats on wrist while running such as time, pace, Calories burnt and heart rate BPM. Again they have gamefied it by allowing you to earn badges. This was the first time I ran a Parkrun with a fitness device, and by monitoring my performance I was able to run a personal best (PB). It seems to work well to push yourself to your limits. Next time I will run using the built in Nike NRC app that is preinstalled on the Nike+ version. You also have options like Runtastic and Strava that use the GPS in the newer version to measure speed and map your route.

 

I found a sleep tracking app called Pillow that tracks your sleep based on hear rate and motion and plots your sleep through various phases. The downside is you need to wear the watch all night so you need to be fully charged as you go to sleep, and when you wake up you will need to charge for the day.

 

I am yet to switch my primary phone from Android to Apple (just need to do it now), but once done I can comment on the usefulness of notifications from other apps like Mail/Outlook, WhatsApp etc... You can also control quite a bit via your voice using Siri. You just wake the watch and say "Hey Siri". At first I battled to get it to work and thought the Mic was faulty. It turns out you need to have the language setting 100% the same on the phone as on the watch. The phone supports English(South African) but the Watch did not have that option. Once I set both to English (USA) it worked. You can start a workout simply by telling Siri. Great for when you are on the bike and don't have a free hand.

 

Heart Rate Monitor:

20170302_134348-1_resized.jpgLED's & Optical SensorsI honestly don't have anything to compare it to as I don't have a chest strap monitor or other device like a Fitbit. That said, I did a lot of reading and can say the wrist based monitors are not the most accurate. The Apple Watch does come out tops at a 91% accuracy. The trick is to have it snug on your wrist and the rubber Nike strap helps hear. The device works by shining green light onto your arm from LED's underneath the watch. The idea is that green is opposite to your red blood and thus reflect. Sensors then measure the frequncy of these reflecting light beams. Through some clever engineering and science they are able to count the pulses of your heart through your skin.

 

Battery Life:

Since I have not switched over to my iPhone yet, I haven't had it synced all the time and operate it in Airplane mode. This way the battery lasts for ages. 100% when I start my morning and by the evening it was still on 81%. On the days I had my iPhone on me and connected via Bluetooth, I was on 51% by the late evening. That said, I hadn't used it for a workout that uses GPS all the time. You can easily make 2 days of normal "Watch" use. When using the sports tracker functions you will need to charge every day. Luckily we are very used to charging our phones every day anyway. Apparently VErsion 3 will have a better battery life but I don't think battery life is as bad as some have made it out to be.

 

Wish list:

  1. Total standalone device with its own cellular connection (LTE) using it's own SIM. This will set you free from your phone and really let you realize the full value of having a computer on your wrist. Right now it is just complimentary. There are times you need the net but don't have your phone on you, like a long run.
  2. More powerful Health Apps that show more details like Heart Beat graphs on your watch. I am sure you can download 3rd party apps, but at R7299 why should you still have to do that. I am really impressed with the Garmin Fenix.
  3. Ability to create To Do lists/Reminders from the Watch. Again a 3rd party app can probably do that.

 

I will update as I learn more. Personally I would not pay R7299 for it, and have taken it through the Discovery Vitality Healthy Rewards scheme. I now need to earn my watch or pay in when I miss my weakly targets. So far so good, I did 30 minutes high intensity workout at >80% of my age related Hear beat and earned 300 Rewards Points. Do that 3 times a weak added to the steps its counting for you, and you are there.

 

 

 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 498

Re: Apple Watch Series 2 review

Hi Everyone

 

So I have lived for 3 months so far with my Apple Watch 2 and am still going strong. That might be due to the fact that I would need to pay in if I miss my Discovery Active Rewards goals. I also enjoy the Smoothies every week.

 

That said, I have grown to appreciate the fact that I am still really motivated to get out there and do some exercise. I count my steps daily and get to do vigorous activity at least 4 times a week. Despite all the talk that wearables are not accurate, I find the Apple Watch very capable.

 

I tend to prefer the build in Workouts App for training, and am really looking forward to WatchOS 4 where there are rumours that they will introduce more functionality such as doing HIIT (High Impact Interval Training) and the ability to do a mixed workout in one session. What that means is that you can start a workout in the Gym and first do Cycling and finish off doing running on the treadmill all in the same workout session.

 

One of the major benefits to my life that has won me back many hours of my life is the notifications on my wrist. I no longer have this psychological need to check my phone for messages or Facebook. If my watch did not buzz, I don't check my phone!

 

I also like using Siri. I don't find Siri to intelligent yet, but I heard with iOS 11 and WatchOS 4 that this will improve. Where is does help me is when I am driving. I can easily say "Hey Siri, send joe a WhatsApp message... How about a round of Golf!.... send". No accidents or swerving across the road. I also set reminders and alarms to notify me of things that pop up in my heap before I forget about them.

 

It is still a luxury and not for anyone, but if you are a gadget lover and sitting on the fence, I say take the plunge.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 498

Re: Apple Watch Series 2 review

So, 39 consecutive weeks of meeting my 900 Active Reward targets for Discovery!!! I have not missed a single target since getting my watch. I can honestly say that it really helps keeping me motivated. Not sure if it is the watch or the money I would pay in if I missed a target. I have even bee for a 5km run at 23:20 on a friday night to get my target... Whooohaaaa!

 

Some points to note:

  • I still prefer the built in Apple Activity app over others like Nike or Strava etc....
  • I occasionaly use Pillow to track my sleep (no need to do it every night)
  • Siri to set reminders while driving is a game changer.
  • Answering a call on my wrist while driving is also a game changer.

 

What I would really like is the ability to leave my iPhone at home while exercising, and being able to make a call or send a WHatsApp. This would only be available on the Watch 3 with LTE and that doesn't look like it is coming to SA due to the networks not supporting an E-SIM yet.

Member
Posts: 6

Re: Apple Watch Series 2 review

[ Edited ]

Apple hasn't changed much with the screen dimensions – actually, nothing at all. The same 1.65-inch display is on offer, with the 390 x 312 OLED display rolling attractively into the side of the Watch's frame. The key thing is the brightness though: the Watch Series 2 can now pump things up to 1000 nits.

wirh regards

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