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Hands-on with the Apple Watch Series 2

The Apple Watch Series 2 arrives a year and a half after the original Watch went on sale. Some things have changed...

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Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott Stein
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Scott Stein
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The Apple Watch Series 2 has arrived, and it's swim-proof.

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The second-gen model is available in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm.

Prices start at $369, £369 or AU$529 for the 38mm model and $399, £399 or AU$579 for the 42mm model.

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The Apple Watch Series 2 is waterproof up to 50 meters (about 164 feet).

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It's safe to rinse under a sink, wear in the shower or even use while swimming in both fresh and salt water.

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There is now GPS on board to measure pace, distance and speed when running or cycling. That means you can now exercise without carrying your iPhone with you.

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There is still an optical heart-rate sensor on the back to keep tabs on your heart rate.

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You can even pair Apple's new AirPod headphones with the watch and store up to 500 songs right on your wrist for some truly wireless running.

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All of these features are in addition to standard fitness tracking for things like steps, distance and calories burned.

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There's also an improved display. Its brightness is rated at 1,000 nits, up from 450 on the original model. That's seriously bright, and in the most intense sunlight in the middle of a 90-degree day in midtown New York it was perfectly readable.

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But unlike the Pebble Time and various Android Wear watches, the Apple Watch still lacks an always-on display.

The display lights up easily by tapping or lifting your wrist, but...it's time to get always-on as an option.

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Apple's custom watch chip, the S2 processor, makes the Apple Watch Series 2 faster than the original. It's also said to be more efficient...

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...and that helps improve battery life slightly. Plus, the new Series 2 is actually a tiny bit thicker than the last version. You wouldn't notice it unless you held two watches side by side, and even then you'd need to look twice.

Inside, a larger battery helps manage GPS and fitness functions, but it also helped get a little more life than Apple's conservative 18-hour claim.

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Enjoy more of our beautiful photos of the Apple Watch Series 2 in action.

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