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Apple Watch Series 2

Polymer, Steel, Ceramic : Apple Watch Series 2 Collection
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Waterproof to 50 meters + GPS , works with iPhone (no android), starting @ $369! Worth buying? read more to find out! 

iPhone required :(

I do not use an iPhone, so even if I wanted the Apple Watch 2, it would not work for me as I am android, and have been an android phone user since I started using my first smartphone in 2013. Back then a Galaxy Note 2, then Note 3, now a Kyocera Brigadier (sapphire screen ^^) and I would be excited for the new iPhone 7, if it was 1. more affordable & 2. supported wireless QI charging, 3. Had a 3.5mm headphone jack!

Longer Battery Life Desired

1 day of battery life may be an improvement over the first generation of Apple Watch, but having to charge a watch every day makes it a pain to use.

I suspect this was the result of packing tons of electronics into the housing, and making it water resistant to 50m, which is amazing!!! I suspect changing the battery will be extremely challenging, at least doing so without damaging the water tightness. They can do it though, other watch makes figured it out with, get this, a screw on back with butyl rubber gasket!!

Taking the Apple watch off ever night to stick it on its propriety inductive charger means sweat will not build up under the band, a problem I have been having wearing my Fitbit too much!

OCD Fitbit Surge Ect

I have skin lesions on both wrists from wearing my Fitbit Surge 24.7 for 3 days at a time, charging for 30min then wearing it for 3 more days.

I have been guilty of wearing it in the shower, drying it off partially afterwards, then switching wrists, and back and forth, I am surprised it has held up to the abuse.

I am giving my wrists a break for a few days now, my left wrist is about 85% healed, my right wrist about 70%, it will be another day or so. For now, I only wear the Fitbit Surge for GPS tracking when my wife and I go walking or bicycling riding, then I take it off when we get back, shut it down, and switch back to using a Casio G-Shock solar tough watch that I put on a loose setting to allow sweat and water to escape easily, very important when I get wild with the dishes in the kitchen sink, or when showering.

Speaker H2O ejection ^^

The speaker ejects water from the case if you wear the Apple Watch 2 while swimming; once you exit the water, you have to unlock it with the crown dial, then the system moves the speaker to spit water out of the speaker grill! That is super cool! Well done!

1000 nits of OLED screen brightness

Thats the brightest screen on any Apple mobile device ever! Holy consumer electronics, thats awesome! This makes it readable in full sunlight, and the OLED can dim way down for night time viewing! I am curious when, if ever, Apple will bring OLED to the iPhone, Macbook, iPad or their other products, like the 5K iMac, perhaps an 8K version with long life OLED, at least its worth wishing for, time will tell!

Apple Watch OS3

The software continues to improve, but still needs work, and lags behind Fitbit for example, while also doing more, it does less in some ways.

GPS sorta

To conserve battery life, the Apple Watch 2 using the iPhones GPS data. Bait and switch to say that it can run with GPS alone, and it can, but it will always default to using your iPhones GPS signal if you have your iPhone with you, and who leaves the house without their cell phone anymore........

Watch or Read the official 7.5 score review on the Verge < click the hyperlink text to the parent article and enjoy! Lauren Goode does a solid job with the write up & the video reviews!

Smaller Computers

Wrist mounted computers and wearable technology both get me excited. I think of the smart suit and HUD that Kira Cameron had in that fictional Canadian TV series Continuum and look forward to such technology, including the ultrasonic shower technology she mentions. The IoT revolution is already underway with smart appliances of all kinds, fridges, washers, dryers, ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, toaster ovens, coffee machines, it seems that bluetooth and wifi have made their way into more products than ever before. 

Wifi Everywhere 

Home WiFi a mainstay in most homes today, people are no longer subscribing to cable TV if they have netflix and highspeed internet. These IoT devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat are already in the homes of many millions of people, hooked into their wifi networks. Most wrist mounted computers like the Apple Watch (either generation) are really only useful when pared to mobile internet device (iPod, iPad, old smartphone), a smartphone (active), or a computer with USB dongles that connect. The real power, the information, Fitbit leading the way with its web app interface echnology! 

Fitbit Alternative

Fitbit caught my attention a few years ago as the first worthwhile wearable tech aside from smartphones, bluetooth audio products and or earbuds. Today I can be regularly caught wearing a FitBit Surge that a friend gave me :) Thanks Jaeson! Previously I was wearing a Fitbit Charge HR, interested in the HR and sleep tracking data more than step counting, deeper ways to quantify health statistics for tracking.

A computer?

The Apple Watch 2 is very much a computer but not in the classical sense, its more a deluxe accessory for iPhone users that is able to port commonly used iPhone interface items like recent calls, text messages, music, and more to a small touchscreen crown dial button enhanced heart rate tracker that is strapped snugly onto one of your wrists. Frankly I wish there was an ankle version of the Fitbit! I do not think you can mount your new Apple Watch 2 to most ankles given the included or widely available strap options. At least with Apple you will have the most options for aftermarket accessors like watch straps. Apple has a streamlined product offering that they update like clockwork, and Apple products are extremely popular all around the world! 

Energy : Information

Electrically there is a lot of digital technology at work in the new Apple Watch 2. They crammed it with a sensor package, mainboard, logic that is actually remarkable given the case constraints. I wish apple would do one thing with the power system, make a strap battery and the associated contacts in the mounting channels where the existing straps attach to the head unit. The new Apple Watch 9 is 0.9mm thinker than the original, which is mostly due to its larger battery. This is why I wish Apple would make a strap battery, to give the Apple watch 2 or 3 or 4 days or battery life instead of 1 day. 1 full day of battery life in 2016 might be great for a laptop, but for a watch that is wacko. I have a collection of classical self winding mechanical jeweled movement and solar powered wrist watches, even some nice quartz watches, an with the exception of my Fitbit Surge (3-5days battery life) almost all of my other watches either never need a battery, or rarely need a battery. This charge every day nonsense is lame. I even consider the 3 day real world battery life of the Fitbit Surge kind weak, and you should see the amount of detail level C++ they had to do to optimize the Surge's operating system to run on its extremely power optimized hardware. The Surge has a cleaver power efficient B&W Inverted LCD display w/ integrate automatic LED backlight that can be enabled/ disabled or turned Auto in the setting interface. The sparse user interface of the Surge is fast and easy to navigate, its GPS function intuitive while also sapping the battery just fast enough to be practical for most workouts. The Apple Watch 2's GPS function does the same thing, it will drain the battery in 5 hours from full to flat if GPS is enabled and you are not carrying an iPhone. Apple did a neat trick, when you enable GPS and have your iPhone, the Apple Watch 2 will take the GPS data from the iPhone. I am not sure what kind of GPS they are using in the Fitbit Surge, and they did something creative to make the bluetooth power efficient. The level of engineering in the Fitbit Surge is actually remarkable. The same can be said in a different light of the new Apple Watch 2.

The Apple Watch 2 can remind you to breath! 

I have done it myself and I have observed other people holding their breath during a high stress moment in a movie, during a stressful moment at college, during stressful moments at work! I hope the iWatch helps people to breath, if that helps them! The level of AI needed to make this feature useful to a lot of people is not present in any consumer products yet, especially not the new Apple Watch. People who have review the iWatch 2 said that this breathing feature is a gimmick, but that depends on the person more than the device. A phone in the hands of a pro photographer will crank out better images then the greatest DSLR in the hands of a newbie. The USER is what makes the difference, not the device! 

Wireless Charging 

The Apple Watch 2 has an inductive charging dock, which great. Sadly this is the only way to charge it! I wish they had a lightning port, with a cover door, and it could even be in the band if there were smart contract at the band mounting points and smart bands with added functions like extended battery life, lighting charge port, etc. Perhaps the next version of the Apple Watch 3 will support these features. I like wireless charging so much that I modified my Galaxy Note 3 with an inductive charging sticker, and own two QI docks where you just set your device onto them and it automatically starts charging. My current phone a Kyocera Brigadier has built in wireless charging, which was its only saving grace since the internal battery is a turd to change or "non- normal user serviceable" and even if it is serviceable, is the service feasible, worth the time or cost, does it make sense to dump money into an aging platform from 2014 anyway, likely not. This makes me wonder about the actual service life of the new Apple Watch 2, time will tell, no one knows yet, not even Apple, not would they actually divulge their findings on this subject in anything but the most complimentary and optimistic terms. Given the durability of the battery in my ancient iPad 2 I know that Apple has the ability to use a long life lithium chemistry, but given the space constraints in the Apple Watch, I think they may have used a higher energy density cell with shorter life, battery are all a box of trade offs, and there are at least 12 main chemistries that companies like Apple have to choose from within the lithium ion class, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Lithium Sulfur would have been a good choice if it was more mature as a technology, more widely produced by more companies at large volumes in more shapes and formats, etc. There are a lot of barriers to entry to a market that a new battery technology has to overcome before it displaces the previous king. Lead Acid was the first really good one after the Edison Nickel Iron cell, then NiCd, then NiMH, then Lithium Cobalt Carbon from Sony in 1990. Apple could easily make a band battery, but this remains to be seen. Microsoft did a band battery setup in the new Hololens as an example of what I am talking about. 

Fitbit Surge Reconsidered 

Lately, because of a skin rash induced by wearing the Fitbit Surge in the Shower and OCD like 24.7, I have only been using the Surge to track our "activities", like walking, jogging, and bicycling. I leave it off the rest of the time, like right now, to let my wrist rashes heal up. I think I like this mode of use. I loose the 24.7 heart rate and sleep tracking in exchange for wrist healing. Interesting tradeoff. It is not Fitbit's fault as a company that I developed skin rashes. They clearly warn in their user materials, guides and other product literature that you are not supposed to swim or shower wearing the Surge, and that it is healthy for your skin to take breaks from wearing the Surge periodically, especially if a skin rash is starting to form. I believe there is a better technical solution. They could make the straps with perforations, and put a ceramic tile lining on the inside of the strap that is hypoallergenic. They could make the straps interchangeable, with stainless steel and ceramic options like Apple has done with the new Apple Watch Series 2. The newest Fitbit Charge 2 has interchangeable straps, so there is progress being made in this regard! For now I will continue using my Surge in a more sporadic way, mostly while doing physical activities for fitness tracking! It works well like this with GPS routing! Even though the GPS drains the battery, I rarely workout for more than 3 hours at a time, plenty of opportunities for charging between workouts.