While Apple will undoubtedly announce a new iPhone, probably the iPhone 7, at its event in New York today, some rumors are also suggesting that it will also announce the Apple Watch 2, a successor to the much-maligned wearable from the tech giant. So in this article, I am going to look at the rumors surrounding this new device and try to compare it to the original.
Apple Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch: design
With the current Apple Watch, there are only minor differences between the Steel, Sports and Edition variants. This is because Apple decided early on in its development that the differences needed to make each variant stand out could be catered to by the various types of bands or straps that are available for them.
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With the Apple Watch 2, Apple is said to have been working on two new variants that could sit between the low-cost Sport and higher priced Steel variants. However, as for how the device would differ in looks from that which is already on sale is not known. More recent rumors have pointed towards the second Apple wearable coming in 38mm and 42mm sizes, however.
Apple Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch: battery
At the end of August, images leaked from China via Weibo showed what was said to be a battery for the 42mm model. This new battery supposedly has a capacity of 1.28 Wh or 334mah, which means it would have a massive 35% increase in capacity compared to that found on the first Apple smartwatch.
Apple Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch: chipset
Rumors have suggested that Apple may include the highly advanced ARM Cortex A32 chip in the Apple Watch 2. This tiny CPU has been built by ARM specifically for smartwatches, and it is said to provide superior battery life compared to the original watch.
All in all, it is rumoured to be around 25% faster than the chip found in Apple’s first wearable and as such will provide a great working environment for embedded apps and improved power management.
Apple Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch: cell and wireless connectivity
While the first smartwatch from Apple did feature Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi, its ability to make its own way in the world is significantly hindered when there is no iPhone to tether it to.
So with the Apple Watch 2, the inclusion of cellular connectivity is almost a must, and fortunately, that is what rumors are suggesting that Apple is/has been working on. With cellular connectivity on the new watch, it would be possible to leave an iPhone at home and still get notifications, run apps, and make calls. One piece of information that supports this comes from Apple itself, which suggested in a blog post that starting June 1, this year all Watch OS apps had to be native, meaning that they had to be able to run directly on the watch, rather than needing an iPhone to be nearby and tethered.
Apple Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch: camera
The complete absence of a camera on the original Apple Watch left many wondering whether the device was nothing more than an iPhone accessory. As such, the rumors that suggest the Apple Watch 2 will have one are great.
Apparently, this new camera will be front-facing and able to record video and snap stills as well as be able to make/receive Facetime calls. Where it could be located on such a small device is pure speculation, but it is thought that it will be located near the top of the display.
Apple Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch: multi-functional straps
The straps for the current Apple Watch serve little more purpose than those on a standard watch, although they are more expensive.
With the Apple Watch 2, it is thought that Apple has been working on multi-functional straps. This rumor came about because Apple applied for a patent for a “Magnetic Wristband;” details of the patent supposedly suggest that when connected to the watch, it will provide extra functionality.
The functionality of a strap like this is two-fold. One, it would provide a secure fastening around a user’s wrist due to its magnetic lock. Second, when the watch is taken off, the strap would protect it from damage by wrapping around the body of the device.
Apple Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch: size
At the beginning of August, TPK Holding told DigiTimes that Apple is planning on not using the glass-on-glass panel currently found on the Apple Watch. Instead, it will supposedly go with what is being called a one-glass solution; it is believed this is being done to save space inside what is already limited room to play with.
However, if this is accurate, it could mean that the Apple Watch 2 is somewhere in the region of 40% thinner than its predecessor.
Apple Watch 2 vs. Apple Watch: conclusion
Seeing as the Apple Watch is the bestseller in a small and slowly growing wearable market, it’s not surprising that Apple has patiently waited before revealing its next move.
Personally though, I fear for Apple, as it seems as though in recent years the tech giant has lost its way and can no longer innovate. So what I’m hoping for with the Apple Watch 2 is a device that is unshackled from the iPhone — one that can make and receive calls and do the majority of things that a standalone device needs to do to be widely accepted.