The Keynote for the Apple Watch Series 2 had concluded, and I knew I was going to upgrade to the iPhone 7 Plus from the iPhone 6s. I Upgrade every year as I am an Apple Geek and always enjoy taking advantage of Apple's latest tech.
They got to the Apple Watch upgrades, and for the first time, I pondered if the upgrade of the Apple Watch 2 from the original had enough upgrades to be worth it. I was up at Preorder time, and I pulled the trigger for my iPhone 7 Plus, and I took a wait and see approach to the watch. I had the Space Black version, downloaded the Watch OS 3 and enjoyed the changes to the interface, and the faster performance. Where it zipped in some areas, it lagged in others such as Haptic feedback delayed responses, sluggish navigation through the interface, and apps still took a bit to load.
I saw an Apple Watch 2 Demo in Best Buy and played around with it a bit comparing the original on my wrist and that demo.....I was impressed. I felt Apple Watch 2 was definitely snappier. The processor bump was enough to keep me intrigued on whether I should make the move.
Then I had a Blood Pressure check and reality hit of what I've known for awhile....I need to lose weight. My gym has an indoor pool that I periodically do laps in. I figured let me start picking up the frequency of my workouts, if I could start making it more of a habit, I've got a good incentive to upgrade. The last 3 weeks I have been going 3-4 times a week and swimming for 45 minutes at a pop.
I started looking for inventory through the website, and delivery availability was a long way out, and no stores kept them in stock. I checked once per day at Apple Store, Best Buy, Target, now Dick's has them, but nobody stocked them, and wait times kept increasing daily. I went to a site I used a few years ago for an iPad 2, and they have come a long way! iPhones and Apple watches were included in the search. It is iStockNow Live iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Stock Map which confirmed my suspicions, inventory is short on these everywhere, and when they come up, they go quickly. Friday morning, I saw a couple sprout up in NJ, one of them 17 miles from my office. I quickly ordered my Space Black 42mm on Sport band, and picked it up on my lunch hour.
The packaging was the same as the original, the setup was easy and fairly quick. I was already familiar with Watch OS3 so there wasn't a steep learning curve. Once set up, I swapped the SS bracelet from my old watch to the new one, and it fit the same of course. Looks where identical.....ever so slightly heavy, but not very noticeable. One wouldn't know I upgraded from the old unless you looked at the text on the back of the new one showing Series 2, or unless I told you. The main difference you would notice is in control center showing a water drop for the water ejection feature.....these are the only physical distinguishing features that tell them apart.
The biggest noticeable difference for me which is the big payoff is the performance. With the old Apple Watch, when using Force Touch, I would push the screen, and the taptic engine would register it softly 2 seconds after. It felt like it was constantly under load. Where scrolling would lag before, it handles everything so much smoother on series 2. Apps opening for the first time load twice as fast. Everything registers quickly. I charged it over night on Friday, wore it all day and night Saturday, and all day Sunday through the night, and it is at 43%. I plan to run it until it dies and then charging to full to cycle the battery, but I am already getting twice as much battery time. Mind you, this is with regular use as I have used my original all along, I haven't used the exercise or GPS yet, but this increased battery size and more efficient processor is definitely improving battery life. The screen is a little more vibrant as well. Not blow my mind better like when retina got introduced with a night and day difference, just more vivid.
So far my impression is that the Series 2 is what the original should had been upon its release. If you use the Apple Watch minimally, it may not be worth the upgrade. If it is worn regularly and used often, I would encourage you to go to a Best Buy or Apple store to demo one, and compare them side by side. I am feeling no buyers remorse. I kept the cost minimal by selling my original to fund towards the Series 2. I am looking forward tomorrow to swimming with it and reporting that experience. I will also be adding observations in this thread as I get more experience with it. At this point I couldn't be happier.