At Apple’s iPhone 7 event today, the company quickly dished out some Apple Watch news. In addition to a slight revamp (revamp might be too strong a word) in the upcoming Series 2, we got word that the Watch is about to make playing Pokémon Go even easier.
Pokémon Go on the Apple Watch is a bit similar in practice to using the Pokémon Go Plus wearable that was announced before the game’s launch. The Watch will buzz when Pokémon are nearby, but it one-ups the Plus by showing exactly which Pokémon is nearby. In other words, if you get a buzz, you’ll know it’s your 567th Pidgey immediately, instead of being disappointed once you open the app. The Watch can also be used to monitor eggs and get items from nearby PokéStops. It’s not possible to actually catch Pokémon using the Apple Watch, but like the Watch itself, it’s a nice companion to have.
Now that the important news is out of the way, I guess we’ll talk about that new Apple Watch. It’s not exactly new — Apple Watch Series 2 has the same rectangular design and sizes. Most of the differences are on the inside. Apple has used a new S2 chipset that they say is 50 percent faster than the one in the original, with a display that’s twice as bright. The display tops out at 1,000 nits, making it the brightest display Apple’s ever shipped on one of their devices. Needless to say, direct sunlight will not be an issue.
The Apple Watch Series 2 will run WatchOS 3.0, which will become available to current Apple Watches on September 13. The new Watch has its own GPS chip, which makes it a much better choice for runners who want to leave their phones at home. It doesn’t have LTE connectivity like the Samsung Gear S3, though, so it won’t be possible to get notifications if you do leave the phone behind. Series 2 is also IP68 water and dust resistant, making it safe to take as much as 50 meters deep.
Speaking of sportier uses, Apple has also partnered up with Nike to turn the Apple Watch Sport into a Nike band. There’s a black and neon green colorway across the silicone band (which is full of ventilation holes), plus more Nike-style watch faces. On the other side of the spectrum, Apple is releasing what will certainly be a very expensive white ceramic version of the Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 2 and the Apple Watch Nike+ will retail starting at $370 for the 38 mm size ($400 for the 42 mm), with preorders starting this Friday. The original Apple Watch (now called Series 1) will be $270, and will get the new dual-core processor, but not the brighter display, the water resistance, or the GPS chip. Also on the way are new Hermès bands for the Apple Watch, including a double buckle design and a reworked Single Tour design.