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Thoughts On The New Apple Watch Series 2 with GPS & Waterproofing

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Heads up – February 2017! Looking for the Apple Watch Series 2 In-Depth Review? Swing on over to that page here!

It’s been almost exactly two years since Apple announced their first version of the Apple Watch.  Today they announced details regarding their second iteration – simply called ‘Apple Watch Series 2’.  You’ll remember that the first iteration of the Apple Watch was more of a general fitness and day to day lifestyle watch than that of an endurance sports watch – at least per the specs.  It lacked true waterproofing or GPS.

In reality though, it actually could hold its own in certain endurance type activities, including on the waterproofing front as I showed in my crazy waterproofing videos.  However the challenge was still the lack of GPS connectivity.  For that it depended on the GPS of your phone for accurate distance in most sports.  Alternatively, it could also estimate running distance using an accelerometer.  But as I found in my review that accuracy tended to be rather variable, which is often the case for wrist-based accelerometers.

In addition, the watch was often criticized for being a bit slow.  While there has been work on that with various software releases, there were still limitations there on just how fast things would load.

What’s Changed:

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The Series 2 aims to solve those previous technology concerns with four new specific features:

– Waterproofing to 50-meters
– Added GPS chip
– New faster GPU (graphics) as well as computing processor
– New brighter display

The waterproofing piece is actually pretty interesting.  In the presentation they detailed a bit of what they’re doing to protect the speaker from water, which can cause issues later on during playback if water clogs it up.  First they showed all of the seals in a breakout image:

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But then they showed how they actually utilize the speaker to clear the water, and the differences between the first generation and second generation:

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Though, far more impressive to me was their waterproof testing chamber.  This thing would swirl around for long periods of time to test waterproofing.  Super cool.  I want one, obviously, to compliment my existing waterproofing test chamber.  If not, it doesn’t seem too difficult to build actually.

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Following that display of waterborne prowess we got to see some fancy photos of their swimming ‘lab’ setup to determine more accurate calories while swimming.  Of course, that in turn depends on more accurate HR sensor data, which we know the Apple Watch isn’t exactly world-class in (no matter how many times TV crews visit that fitness lab, nor have Jony Ive narrate it).  It’s good, but not great compared to other optical sensor options in the market today.  On the flipside (literally), the display is of course market-leading.

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On the GPS front, we don’t have a lot of details yet in terms of battery life (how many hours with GPS-on? – Update: 5 hours is GPS-on time, which is lower than any GPS devices on market) or GPS type (for example, is it GLONASS)?  The original Apple Watch was largely hindered by battery life, getting about 24-36 hours day to day usage (non-GPS) for most people with regular use.  GPS will certainly impact that substantially, as it does on every wearable.  It’s the single biggest battery draw.

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The new unit doubles down on performance specs, including the GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) being twice as fast.  Additionally, the dual core processor is now 50% faster.  Finally, the company is using a new display that’s twice as bright as before, making it what Apple claims is the brightest screen ever on any Apple product.

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With this new waterproofing, unsurprisingly the Apple Watch gains two new sport modes – pool swimming and openwater swimming.

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Meanwhile, with the new GPS you’ll also get GPS track maps within the default Apple fitness apps, such as with running:

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Apple then brought Nike on stage to talk about a new partnership offering that culminates in an an Apple Watch Nike+ Edition that includes additional apps and a different stylized band:

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While the companies did their best to make these new Nike fitness app functionality sound impressive, it’s largely the same stuff we’ve seen by other companies and apps in the fitness space.  Reminders and motivational pieces primarily.  Still, interesting to see that Nike/Apple relationship continues to deepen and integrate.

Pricing & Availability:

The new units will go on pre-order on September 9th, for $369USD.  Then the Apple Watch Series 2 units will start shipping a week later on September 16th.  In between that they’ll release WatchOS 3 on September 13th, which will be available to existing Apple Watches (and it dramatically increases app speed).

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In addition, they’ll be revamping the existing Apple Watches and rebranding them Apple Watch Series 1.  Those units will get the new dual-core processor, and be available at $269.  They won’t be getting waterproofing or GPS though.

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Finally, the Nike+ edition will be available in October, but will also sell for $369 (same as Series 2).

My Final Thoughts:

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So, will this be the end of Garmin or Fitbit?  Well two years ago folks noted that the Apple Watch would kill Garmin and Fitbit.  Yet the opposite happened.  In fact, times have never been better for either company.  It’s done nothing but escalate sales of fitness and smart watches within the industry.  By any and all possible metrics you look at, it’s increased interest and demand in the smartwatch and fitness watch segment

Of course, Apple is no doubt cutting into some portion of both companies’ potential sales. However with Apple having only two offerings in the market, I don’t expect it to have a dramatic impact on either the low-end fitness tracker market, or the high-end endurance GPS market.  Where it may definitely have an impact is that ~$250-$350 mid-range fitness GPS watch market.  An area covered by the (slightly older) Fitbit Surge, Polar M600, and Garmin FR235 (plus the Vivoactive HR)…among others.  All of those units lack the vast ecosystem of Apple Watch OS.  Of course, as with before, you’ll be balancing deeper apps vs longer battery.

And as with purchasing decisions for the last two years since Apple Watch was announced, it’s really going to come down to what you use your watch for.  For day to day business (aka ‘lifestyle’) use, yes, the Apple Watch will continue to expand in that space.  But for the low and high end price ranges, I don’t think we’ll see it impact competitors much. In fact, if history is any indication it’ll just drive demand and interest, as well as competition.  And competition is a good thing for consumers.

As for an in-depth review of the Apple Watch Series 2?  Of course…once I’ve got a final production unit in-hand.

Thanks for reading!

(Note: All imagery in this post from Apple’s event presentation.)

789 Comments

  1. GoldsteinTeach

    At this price, I would say Garmin, Suunto, and the rest are finished. When I use Garmin and their software I feel like I’m using something from ten years ago.

    • Devin

      Biggest problem with Apple and the 1st generation watch is no different is that they lock you into their own ecosystem of products.

    • Jonas

      That isn’t such a bad thing for many people…

      But doesn’t strava and 3rd party apps help bridge the gap here?

    • Brian

      I doubt Apple sees that as a problem…

    • Dave

      I disagree. I’m an Apple guy, but also a serious runner, and even with GPS, I see nothing with Series 2 that can compete with the features, accuracy and battery life of a Garmin (FR235 in my case). Will it eat into sales? Sure, a bit of course, to those who’s priorities tend towards daily/general use than focused running. But “finished”? Hardly.

    • Haris

      I made a similar comment about Apple having an impact on mid-market (thread about Garmin Chronos). Biggest difference here is ecosystem and stability of software. Battery life still isn’t there but it you can really see Apple way of doing things step by step in every product they make. It is funny that many of the comments made before are addressed by this watch like for example screen readability outdoors, water-resistance, speed and GPS. I really liked the hiking app shown. I really am glad I got rid off that horrible and mistreated product called Garmin Epix in time. I said that we will see Apple watch being a serious contender for Garmin and Suunto in abou 2-3 years. I still stick by that prediction. When it comes to everyday watch one has to be blindfolded and not agree that Garmin, Suunto or Polar that Ray mentioned are not as near as good as everyday smartwatches as Apple Watch Series 2 is. Interesting times for us consumers.

    • ekutter

      I can see this replacing my 630, but not my Epix. While the Epix was the epitome of what I hate about Garmin, having full maps for all day runs/hikes makes it worth every penny (I paid half price).

      If this lives up to the hype, the only reason I’d consider Garmin again is if they beat Apple to the punch with a built in 3G chip for true sans phone operation.

    • Haris

      I agree about all-day hikes or runs. But to be honest I am ready to do some small adjusments to my routines when it comes to hiking and switch to Apple Watch as my sole watch. I always carry a battery with me anyway so to bring a cabow for watch and charge it once I do a longer break is no bigger issue. For those running longer than 5 hours in a stretch it won’t work.
      If I remember corectly, new Suunto Spartan has battery time of approximately 16 hours of battery life in Sport-mode. So 3x of the battery life of Series 2. Bearing in mind differences in screen quality, speed and mostly size difference (Suunto and for that matter Fenix 3 having much more space for bigger batteries altough they seemt to have same capacity) Apple isn’t doomg so bad with battery life.

    • Mike Richie

      You are assuming Garmin will not react. The vivoactive HR is a pretty compelling device from a hardware standpoint. If they were to give it some of the more advanced features like workouts, openwater swim, multi sport (all of which the hardware would support) you would have an extremely competent fitness watch for at least $120 less than the Apple Watch and with barometer, compass, Ant+, etc. Actually you can do all those more advanced things now with Connect IQ, although not straightforwardly. If Garmins sales start to drop off (rather than increase through greater awareness of the whole fitness watch market) I am certain that they will react.

    • Bill

      Not sure I agree, Just bought the fenix 3. It offers so much more than the AW in terms of data output and activity. Happy with the fenix at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see how 3rd party developers adopt the new AW2.

    • Haris

      Hi!
      Well I really hope that Garmin will react but to be honest they and Suunto have had problems reacting when it comes to fixing bugs since they switched to their latest development platforms. I have to be fair and say thay Suunto is only on their first watch (Spartan Ultra) but Garmin has already burried one watch (Epix) and Fenix 3 and 3 HR are not even capable of taking advantage of latest developments. They have about 256 kb of memory space!! In a 600$ watch in 2016?!
      Vivoactive is not a good comparison since it is such a basic device in smartwatch-category so saying that it is 120$ chraper is not saying much.
      It will be interesting to see what Fenix 4 will bring. Sunnto can’t do to much at the moment before they have a solid ground with firmware for Spartan and untill they show how they intend to replace apps from Movescount.

    • George

      Yes, I have no doubt that Garmin will “react”… What I have little faith in is Garmin’s ability to *execute* their response properly. An external threat doesn’t suddenly make existing core issues with software quality management disappear.

      Though in truth Garmin should have been *preparing* for this as Apple’s direction has been pretty obvious.

    • JB

      exactly! The display on my 735XT reminds me of my watch when I was in high school 1990s.. Do don’t need tons of battery life but to each their own. I can see “true” athletes using more of the garmin line of products.

    • JB

      fenix3 is like strapping a dumbbell to your wrist. :P

    • Andrew Clarke

      The Apple Watch 2 isn’t going to wipe Garmin out. I’d still buy my Vivoactive HR over an Apple Watch 2. Apple doesn’t have a fitness ecosystem like Garmin does; for example it has no analogue to Garmin Connect. Connect is the best site I’ve used so far, so while I’m not saying it’s great, it’s not worse than the competition. Well, Connect + Strava, depending on the sport.

      I tried a Microsoft Band 2 over the winter and amongst other show-stopping problems, it didn’t have the battery life I needed for a day of cross-country skiing. The Apple Watch will be even worse than that, so until they vastly improve battery life (with and without GPS) I’ll be passing on it. 1-2 more generations though and I might be cross-shopping my Vivoactive HR replacement between Apple and Garmin.

    • Emma

      I don’t think they are finished, but I do think they have serious competition now for the hobby/casual runner/swimmer/biker, etc.. Basically for someone like me. Someone who only runs 15-20 miles a week to keep fit and does a half every once and awhile. There are about 10 million people who complete 5ks, 10ks, and halfs (versus about 600K people who complete a marathon or longer), and of those people I bet half or less are what most would consider “serious runners”.

      I think there is always going to a market for those people who want a lot of data, and who need extended battery life. But, for someone who is a casual runner? I think that the Apple Watch is very stiff competition, especially as if provides far more non-fitness related functionality. I think the biggest advantage brands like Garmin have is that they offer lower end models that are significantly cheaper and can get people introduced into their ecosystem.

    • Eric

      Except that if you actually try to use it, the battery will die before you have even made it through one day.

      But hey, you can play Pokemon on it, for a few hours at least.

    • George

      Yes, there are definitely limitations even to the new incarnation of the Apple Watch that will mitigate its impact to Garmin et al.

      Similarly there were limitations to the early iphones as well. limiting their impact to Blackberry and Nokia.

      Both companies essentially dismissed the threat until it there was too much momentum to overcome.

      Garmin, Polar, etc. presumably saw the flare go up in April 2015 and hopefully are executing their responses. Apple clearly will keep improving their watch with each iteration, I’d like to see that cause Garmin to step up their game. If they sit on their laurels, Apple will eat their lunch in the casual athlete space.

    • Haris

      I hear this from time to time but never get an answer about what people do with their Apple Watch so that the battery gets depleted before the end of a day. What did you do, I mean how did you use yours Erik?

    • Jordan Oroshiba

      While many people don’t see the apple ecosystem as being “A problem” the majority of people are still on Windows with Android phones.

    • John garret

      Which watch did you have in the 90’s that had a coloured display? Come on, stop being silly.

      You like the display on the apple, cool, we get it. No need to be so hyperbolic.

      Both companies will have their own markets. Apple at the moment doesn’t fit the bill for me in terms of battery, that will be the case for a while I’d suggest.

    • Heath

      It is still too early to say it’s gonna kill off garmin or polar yet. Part of what makes garmin, polar etc shine is the free platform (connect, flow) that they provide for non-pro for post workout analysis. To even put a dent on fr235, Apple has to step up on their game rather than a average heart rate or average speed for the entire duration of the workout.

    • MT

      Nope – A) You haven’t yet used the Series 2
      B) It’s not a question of the Series 2 being able to compete… The FR235 is going to be TOAST compared to the Series 2 – completely. It’s better technology and it’s as simple as that. But of course, for the time being as you’re a Garmin fanboy, you will learn to realize everyone switching over because the Series 2 is better and then follow.

    • >> To even put a dent on fr235, Apple has to step up on their game rather than a average heart rate or average speed for the entire duration of the workout.

      I think you are missing the fact that they have an app platform. AW already integrates into Strava, TP, GC, Sporttracks, anything you want through your choice of apps. And this is the very area that Garmin have pretty much failed with CIQ.

    • “Nope – A) You haven’t yet used the Series 2”

      “B) It’s not a question of the Series 2 being able to compete… The FR235 is going to be TOAST compared to the Series 2 – completely. It’s better technology and it’s as simple as that. But of course, for the time being as you’re a Garmin fanboy, you will learn to realize everyone switching over because the Series 2 is better and then follow.”

      Wait, I’m confused. How can it be better technology since you just told someone 7 seconds prior that since nobody’s used it they don’t know?

      Based on pure specs alone we already know the core fitness aspects aren’t better. That’s not debatable. Period. We know the Apple Watch HR sensor (from what I gather, it hasn’t changed). At this point, the Garmin HR sensor is marginally better than Apple in accuracy. We also know the battery is far better. We don’t know how GPS accuracy is, but we know the FR235 has very solid GPS accuracy.

      What’s up for debate is how much of that matters. For some people they’ll find the Apple App Store is more useful to them than what Garmin offers. For others, they’ll find things like usable buttons on a fitness watch is more useful than a touch screen when wet. Then there’s the charging aspect. For some, charging every night is no big deal. But for others, it’s a PITA.

    • Greg Hilton

      well given nobody has tested the AW2 in a single sports mode let alone the multi sport mode that the 735xt does I think it’s far too early to be calling it “toast”

      Competition can only be good for the consumers, but there are plenty of things I’d be wanting clarified in tech reviews like rays when it comes out, ie how you “hit” the lap button for interval work, both running, swimming and cycling. Can it pick up output from cycle power meters over bluetooth whilst doing a workout? Can it do run workouts/intervals that you can plan “off watch”? Can it follow run courses? How does it handle multi sport events like duathlon or biathon? Can you “glance” at it for instance pace when running/swimming/cycling? How is the battery in “real” GPS use?

      etc etc etc.

    • ekutter

      MT stated that the 235 is toast, not the 735xt. If you are a long distance triathlete where you actually require something like the 735, the AW2 might be good for some training, but not all, and certainly not an option for a race. But for people that never do more than a half marathon, the AW2 very well could give them everything they need, and there are way more of those people than IM people.

      For most serious athletes, the AW2 would not be a full replacement for something like the 735xt but an addition to. You use the AW2 as your every day watch and put on the 735 (or whatever watch you fancy) for the longer workouts and races. The AW2 will almost certainly be a better watch for 95% of people (iPhone owners) for the 20+ hours a day you aren’t working out.

      I suspect most of us long distance athletes already do this, or at least did it not long ago as the 310/910 didn’t even work as an every day watch.

      Either way, you are making trade off’s. Only time will tell what trade off’s people are really willing to make.

    • grandriver

      I have that Garmin and I use the golf app. Unless Apple Watch adds a decent golf app – I won’t be a buyer.

    • pete

      There’s about 3 or 4 apple watch golf apps

    • JayWY

      Yes there are golf apps but, so far, none of them permits the Series 2 iWatch to work as a standalone rangefinder (showing distance to the green). Distances on all the apps out there now show distances from your iPhone to the green, not from the iWatch to the green. Golfers would love an app that replaces their Sky Caddie or their Garmin golf watches. I, like others, have no interest in the iWatch without a stand-alone golf app.

    • Craig Eggleton

      I have 630 and been a garmin fan for a while. Just picked up the series 2 and like it quite a bit but no way does it come close to 630. I still like all the running data i get and lack of altimeter is disappointing on series 2.

    • Cornelius

      I like the look of the Apple Nike version, but as a serious triathlete, runner etc., I really can’t imagine doing track intervals with the Apple watch. I need to be able to press the split button without looking. I also need way longer battery life than what the Apple Watch 2 offers. I really think the Apple watch is a smartwatch first and a serious running/triathlon watch a distant second. Maybe when the throw some physical buttons for start/stop and splits in there, I may consider it. As for right now, I need my Garmin Forerunner 735XT.

    • Cornelius

      I can’t see the Apple Watch 2 subbing in for the Forerunner 735XT. As a serious athlete, if I had to pick one watch, I think the Apple Watch 2 would frustrate me to heck in a workout. Whatever run, bike or swim I am doing. Not to mention that 3,2,1 countdown is the dumbest thing you can introduce into a serious running watch. Comon Apple or Nike or whoever came with that up.

  2. Jonas

    I figured you’d have something posted the second it hit the mass announcement. Still exciting to see where it goes. Garmin and their bands still don’t make it as an everyday watch for me but I think the apple watch can swap in metal/leather bands much quicker without screws that make it attractive as a ‘do everything’ kind of smart watch.

  3. Mike

    Shameful that they didn’t get you a preview version to be testing. This actually is quite interesting to me. I currently use and am very happy with a 235 but this could be a nice replacement if the battery life is there.

  4. Bill

    Any word on improved battery life?

    • Craig

      Here is what Apple has posted:

      link to apple.com

    • Drew

      Craig,
      Thank you for that, I’ve been looking for some actual numbers but haven’t been able to find any. I was contemplating it, but given those numbers, battery life under normal daily use just isn’t there.

      It would drive me crazy to have to charge it every day under normal use. I’ll just have to stick to my vivoactive, that I have to charge for about an hour or two and I’m good for a week (without GPS usage). If they got it to two or three days I’d consider it, but 18 hours is just crap IMHO.

    • Harald

      “Using the built-in GPS of the Apple Watch Series 2 without iPhone, workout time is up to 5 hours.”

      We’ll see, if that is true.

    • Robert

      Is that with or without wrist-based heartrate?

    • klinu

      Good question :))

    • Shir

      I’ve read in a few reviews that the 5 hours is without heart rate.

      Which is fine for me, because I have a FR 235, and I find that 1) I don’t actually use HRM that m much 2) Switching on the HRM actually drains the watch battery really quickly, even if I’m not using the watch. It just keeps blinking green!

      I think the deal breaker for me is that currently, Strava is unable to leverage the GPS in the new AW2. Let’s up Strava does an update!

    • pete

      With the Built in heart rate. if you you a Heartrate strap you will obviously get longer

    • pete

      “I’ve read in a few reviews that the 5 hours is without heart rate.”
      Apple watch series 2 battery life with an outdoor work out is 5hrs with HeartRate and GPS on. 8 Hr with GPS off (using the phones gps, or indoor workout
      Its even longer with HR off (using a chest strap etc..)

    • rs

      Battery life just took a massive leap forward with the latest OS.

      When I got my Series-2, it would not last 24 hours. Now my Apple Watch Series 2 with the latest software (3.1.1) went 61 hours to 5%. I noticed it was dead at 61:58. So somewhere in the 61-62 hour range. I was using it as normal, but no activities were used. That is 2.5 days.

      This means that it needs to be retested for activities, as it may last longer for those as well.

  5. Quite excited about this, and I’m assuming that we will now see a few (or more!) swim apps that could offer all sorts of stuff we would typically have to wait years for Garmin to do (for example, although swim plans are nice in Garmin connect, there is no way to have alerts as well as follow a plan – a major omission in my view).

    And running looks much improved (I use Apple Watch 1 already 75% of the time over my Fenix 3 for running)

    So the last piece in the puzzle is the bike. I didn’t see if you could connect Bluetooth sensors such as power and cadence; that would be interesting to find out.

    So my question to you Ray, is do you see this as being a multi-sport device for full tri’s particularly if you have BT sensors on your bike?

    • Roelof

      I have the same setup, for my running and boot camp training Fenix 3. For every day use apple watch. This looks like I can go sell my Fenix 3.

    • Swim.com will have our swimming app for the Watch Series 2 next week. It’s super exciting because this platform is a lot more polished than the others we are used to developing for. There are lots of features we’re going to be rolling out that will supplant what Garmin can do in terms of functionality.

    • manny Sidhu

      will the swim.com app for Apple Watch give you swim stats such as swolf and others that we are used to seeing from garmin?

    • Yes, you’ll get all of those stats plus Automatic Intervals. Plus, last time I talked to the folks at Garmin Connect, they wanted to copy over our web/mobile UI for viewing swim workouts but I’m not sure they’ve gotten around to that yet.

    • That’s great news! Looking forward to it. I have been enjoying Swim.com recently – great site! Most other sites in my experience (with the possible exception of sporttracks) treat swimming as a third class citizen – it’s great to see as dedicated site for swimming.

    • Angie

      I just got a Garmin 735XT which I love so far, but the AW2 has me very intrigued (still in the Garmin return window!). I do masters swimming and just do the sets my coach gives me. Will the swim.com app on the AW2 have functionality to push a button to have the watch lap during sets?

    • Yes, you just start the watch at the beginning of the workout and it will record everything including your rest between sets and intervals!

    • Darren Dunn

      I’m keen to use the swim.com app on my apple watch can you export data from swim.com to strava?, as a multisport athlete i keep all my workouts in strava

  6. Pi

    Forerunner 235 has à 13h battery with gps on, which is double than it seems to be for the Apple Watch 2. It is a big différence.

    • Dr Fager

      For who? How many people train/race for more than 8hrs a day?

      I’ve never quite understood the obsession with battery life UNLESS you are in the 1% that is doing ultra marathons, which is clearly not the market that smart watches are going for.

      Id love to have the raw data for percentage of Garmin activities uploaded to Garmin Connect that exceed each hour mark. (1-13) My guess is after two hours it starts hitting 1%, for runners either doing a marathon prep long run, or actually racing in the marathon itself. My guess is 97% (Scientific) of all Garmin activities are 2hrs or less.

    • Drew

      If you watched the Apple event video, they demo’ed an app for the watch that is for trail hiking. A good long hike in the wilderness could very easily go longer than 5 hours, and if you don’t take a battery and charger with you, you’re essentially screwed if you’re using that app for navigation. For me, 100 miles on the bike is about 5 hours. If it can’t hold up to that, I’m not going to be able to use it.

      Aside from that, if you have to charge it for about 2 hours every 18 hours under “normal daily use”, that’s definitely not going to be something I want to deal with. My vivoactive gets charged for about an hour or two every week under “normal daily use”.

    • Dr Fager

      Your needs exceed those of the vast majority of users they are targeting. No device will fit everyone’s individual needs.

      I suspect runners/hikers concerned by a 5hr GPS battery life already own a competing sport specific device.

      Apple is aiming for the meat of the market, not the extremes.

    • Dan

      My obsession with battery life isn’t related to GPS/Activity time, but to recharge frequency. I like not having to worry about charging my 735xt during the week. A couple of weeks ago I did an hour swim, 2 hours on the elliptical, a 45 minute GPS run and a 2+ hour GPS bike w/ Cadence/Speed and still had 48% battery left at the end of the week.

      Apple watch is still sitting at around 18 hours with a 30 minute activity. I can just imagine having to find a Starbucks at 3PM to charge my watch because I did an hour swim in the morning before work and have a bike ride planned for that evening.

    • Haris

      Hmm, are you seriously comparing devices having so different hardware, for example top noch screen instead of 1980 one, with each other?
      You know, my Quartz Tissot or Certina can run for 2 years on same battery! 😉

    • dan

      Yes, and my dad’s Citizen will run as long as he’s still moving, but none of those watches have GPS, HRM, Activity Tracking, or Notifications.

      The 735XT and the Apple Watch 2 are definitely competing with each other, but they have different features, which appeal to different people. Since nightly charging, a top notch screen (that will be black after midnight), and the ability to play pong is what you want, buy the Apple Watch 2. Since I want weekly (or even biweekly) charging, Android compatibility, and a screen that is very readable in the sun, I’ll stick with the Garmin.

    • Haris

      Hmm, something doesn’t add up. They say it is 5 hours with GPS so we will have to wait what the real-time tests say. They have been very conservative when it comes to battery-life on first version.
      You seem to know a lot about how Apple Watch works, which size do you have?

    • Haris

      You must have missed my smiley.
      735XT, Fenix 3 HR or Suuntos top models aren’t in any way competing with Apple Watch since Apple has never marketed it in that way. It is your assumption and in my opinion it your are not correct. Not yet, maybe in 2-3 years but not now. We are on version 2 of Apple Watch, version 3 of Samsung Gear. Companies like Garmin and Suunto have had something like 12-13 years to develop what they have today. Give new companies at least 3 years to get into market. Software-vise they are already there.
      Aren’t you contradicting yourself when it comes to screen?
      “Top notch screen” and not readable in sun?!
      Have you seen new Apple Watch 2 in life so you an make judgement about screen visibility?
      Comment about ping is laughable and not serious, by the way someone has had Windows 95 running on Apple Watch, maybe something for you? ;-)

    • Jim

      For a lot of people, I think the lower battery life could be mitigated with a few ideas:

      1) a way to charge the watch while still wearing it. For example, are the contacts still hidden under the band insert? they still haven’t told us what they are for – maybe a battery built into the band? That would be awesome!

      2) a change in how often the GPS cycles could improve battery life. For example, when walking or hiking, you wouldn’t need to acquire data points as often as say with running or cycling. Maybe there are ways to tweak that setting.

      So many possibilities!!

      Garmin: Not as flashy as the AW2, the Forerunner 35 has a lot going for it, number #1 being battery life 13 hours with GPS. And number #2 it’s a whopping $170 cheaper but with ‘smart notifications’. This last is important because as a runner, I don’t really have time to be inundated with notifications. The simpler the better in my book. Those 2 facts will keep Garmin up there with Apple, or least it should with runners.

      If you’re a runner who might sometimes use smartwear features, the Forerunner 35 makes a lot more sense. But if you’re a smartwear user who sometimes/also runs, then the AW2 might be a better choice.

    • Victor

      I believe median time for marathon is about 4 hours. 5hr of GPS time is too close for comfort. Even for training, long runs of 3+ hours are getting too close to the limit. And battery time in real life is much shorter then on paper…

    • Eric

      It’s got nothing to do with how long people train /compete for, except as you say for the small percentage of ultra/marathoners. Instead it’s got everything to do with not having to put your watch on a charger every single night. Or you know, if you actually use that GPS for a couple of hours then guess you’ll need to do without your watch for part of the day. And I love all the sleep tracking apps for apple watch. So you can either track your sleep at night and do without your watch during the day or you can use your watch during the day and track your nap. :D

    • Haris

      I am eager to see what the real usage will show. Ray will probably put it to limits and give us an honest opinion about battery life and usage.

    • Longjohnsticker

      I suppose there are some that like to be to use a watch to tell the time 24hrs a day …..

    • pete

      Apple watch is a Smart watch that can do way more (non sport) things than vivoactive.
      Its designed to charged every day like your phone (which is when I charge it, with my phone) If you bring your phone out on your biking and hiking, kayaking trips (i keep mine in my backpack/water pack) then it can get 8hrs heart rate tracking (uses the phones gps).

      Really comes down to what your want in a watch. I can record my work outs (apple workout app) Record my lifting (Gymaholic), see my altitude, distance, mark a waypoint, my location a map (gai gps) buy at starbucks (starbucks app) check my bus time (transit) see the weather (dark sky, Radar- Noaa weather). Find out what stars i’m looking at (night sky 4). Use siri to TXT, Call, add to todo list, Or play a song. And of course filtered notifications so I make sure I dont miss the important things.

    • A-aron

      If anything, the battery life on my AW 1 was longer than on paper as Apple seemed to give a conservative estimate. My AW 2’s battery life seems to be even better, but I’m only doing short runs and using my phone for GPS, so currently I couldn’t give you an estimate on AW 2 battery life when using the GPS.

    • Michal

      I guess 100% hikers take an iPhone with them. Apple Watch will use iPhone’s GPS during the hike so there is no problem for virtually 100% of users.
      This is the beauty of Apple’s ecosystem vs solitaire’s reality of Garmins.

  7. John Hardcastle

    I beg to differ… The original Apple Watch was NEVER going to challenge without standalone GPS or waterproofing – it just wasn’t in the game and anyone predicting impact on Garmin was misguided in the extreme. But this iteration, this is game changing from Apple… Standalone GPS and waterproofing makes it an option for serious fitness users – the original Apple Watch was a miss – this addresses those misses.

    I think Garmin should be very worried.

    • ekuter

      I’d have to agree completely. V1 wasn’t a real competitor in the fitness space. But if V2 has at least 6 hours of GPS usage, it could easily become my every day watch, replacing my 630. Any time I need more than that, I probably want my Epix anyways. If the apps are right, this would cover 90+ percent of my workouts.

      And I’m so sick of Garmin and their poor customer service/product support that I really want to find an alternative.

    • Dr Fager

      I thought everyone loved the software feature locking Garmin does for price point differentiation! :-)

      If the v2 of the apple watch gets favorable hands on reviews out in the wild, its going to be extremely hard to justify supporting Garmin moving forward.

      Software feature locking, and the abysmal Garmin Connect are screaming for a legit alternative, and this is probably it. (Not even considering the expanded non fitness features it will have for the other 23 hours during the day)

    • Doug

      I agree as well. I bought the first edition Apple watch, but gave up on it because I couldn’t swim with it or accurately gauge my running without GPS. The second edition addresses both of these issues and gives you a host of other features that Garmin and others can’t match.

    • Haris

      I am on a same boat, or I was untill I sold my Epix. It started with problems with synchronisation of alerts and time during intervall training and continued with watch changing screens and settings while doing any exercise with a small amount of water (raindrops or sweat) landing on screen. If you hike or walk a lot, Epix is still best device from Garmin or Suunto but not so good as “all rounder” as it was advertised by Garmin.
      Did you like the hiking app shown during the conference?
      Just imagine what apps we can expect from other developers in coming period.

    • Jon S

      I agree that this now presents some actual competition to Garmin, but Garmin still beats the Apple watch on quite a few fronts imho. Battery life is a big one. Cross platform support another. But the biggest win surely has to be on looks? The Apple watch looks like a cross between a Fitbit and a mini iPhone on your wrist. The Fenix 3 (probably uniquely within the Garmin lineup) actually looks like something I’m happy to wear on my wrist day to day. In comparison the Apple Watch (along with the majority of most smartwatches and fitness bands) might look okay with your workout kit, but looks rather naff with casual or office wear.

    • FunkyMagicUK

      Shame that the battery wouldn’t last you through those other 23 hours of the day so you could fill them with all the wondourous functionality!!

      I’m tempted though, need to see the screen in real life as they’re always a let down to me, and would want to research how usable the Apple world is for running…can I run and finish or mark laps by pressing a button, or is the touch screen required? Can I customised multiple screens of data display to swipe through during a run?

      I guess all the answers are out there already…and that I am now interested in them does mean that Apple has become a serious contender for my next running watch, and I don’t have an iPhone.

    • gnsks

      From The Verge’s review:

      “I’ve noticed the display still doesn’t wake every time I raise or twist my wrist, which is annoying. And, even though the screen is now brighter and easily visible in normal daylight settings, it’s still tough to see in direct sunlight.”

      I don’t see how any serious fitness is going to put up with that. I’d never trade my dedicated running watch for a smartwatch with such issues.

    • pete

      Other reviews said its very good in sunlight and the screen turns on when is supposed to 99% of the time.

      Serious people have Serious needs but lucky that only covers 1% of the market

  8. Rodger

    Battery life will be the big question. Without being able to do at least 6-8 hours of GPS usage it’s not going to be much better than an entry level Garmin watch for runners and cyclists.

    With the focus on swimming in the presentation I wonder whether or not they’re trying to do optical HRM while swimming.

    • Jonas

      Which is probably 90% of the market. I think the average person is okay charging every day or two overnight.

    • rickNP

      From Apple’s site:
      “Using the built-in GPS of the Apple Watch Series 2 without iPhone, workout time is up to 5 hours. “

    • Chris

      Looks like it is supposed to have up to 5 hours of GPS usage.

    • Dr Fager

      I think you are looking at it wrong. For the Apple Watch, fitness is a sub-feature set, not the sole value of it. So, you can squeeze out a few more hours on a single charge on a Garmin, but youll have none of the other benefits of the Apple Watch for the other 23 hours of the day.

      This is where Apple and other smart watch manufacturers will win. It will become increasingly hard to justify buying a stand alone fitness watch, when an Apple or Samsung smart watch will do all of the fitness tracking as a value add to other feature sets being provided.

      And with battery life, again, if a 5-6 hour GPS battery life isnt long enough for your daily workout, then this watch isnt for you! This watch is most certainly not aiming for people that are exceeding the 6 hour mark for a workout or race.

    • rickNP

      Unfortunately DrFager, you argue against your own point a bit. The more the watch does, the less you need to test its battery-life in a GPS-based activity in order to get to its battery limits. A truly useful smartwatch will be used frequently, meaning you don’t need to exercise for 5 hours with GPS; you couldn’t if you tried because you likely used a significant portion of the battery life before you ever exercised.

      And if, as you assert, this isn’t for dedicated athletes, that means that the person who *does* this and decides they want to try running a marathon is more likely to be a 5-6hr marathoner, which means they can’t touch the watch for *anything else* before the race is over, otherwise they risk power failure. This is exactly the group my wife belongs to. She loves her Apple Watch 1 but is not a dedicated athlete, but uses the device’s features frequently enough that even a 1 hour workout at the end of the day shortcuts her ability to use the watch for other advertised features without a supplemental charge.

      It’ll get there though, eventually.

    • I doubt the optical sensor is going to function in the water. The water between skin and sensor will diffract too much light.

    • Haris

      Yes, finally someone that understands that this is just a beginning, version 2. What will come in year or two will only benefit us all from a competition standpoint.

    • William B.

      To be fair your comment is self contradictory, any version 2 product by definition is not the beginning, version 1 is. Now for marketing spiel “just the beginning” is a nice ideal of great things to come but it also ignores the fact that others aren’t just going to sit around idly whilst you improve your product even more.

      For me the lack of GPS was a deal breaker on AW1 but I can see if my Fenix 3 ever broke that I could be tempted to a AW2 or AW3.

      The battery issue isn’t a problem for many people as we all charge our phones every night and with the watch it would just come part of the same routine. The real thing that will hurt Garmin is not hardware but software. The Connect IQ apps are mainly rubbish due to the free nature Ray has commented on many times. The App Store has so much more potential due to its commercial nature and that will bread innovation.

      Saying that maybe this will kick Garmin up the arse and make them work a bit harder and if so then I would be happy to stay within the Garmin family.

    • Carlos A.

      To be even more fair, Harris stated that this was *a* beginning not *the* beginning. There is quite a difference between the two. It’s defintiely A beginning for Apple to try and corral fitness customers that they couldn’t do with version 1.

    • Haris

      Thanks Carlos for “translating” my unclear statement. :-)

    • pete

      “She loves her Apple Watch 1 but is not a dedicated athlete, but uses the device’s features frequently enough that even a 1 hour workout at the end of the day shortcuts her ability to use the watch for other advertised features without a supplemental charge”

      Apple watch 2 has a bigger battery more efficient processor. She will have 0 problems lasting a day. As far as using it for a Marathon. I’m sure most people do not run one every day. So on marathon day you top it an hour or 2 before the start and charge it after. If you only want something to track a Marathon and dont want the other stuff then buy a marathon watch.

  9. Sal

    Wow Ray!
    The Apple Keynote was still on-air and you already published this article.
    Great work (and timing)!

    I think the apple-watch lets cry Garmin, Polar and Suunto and lets laugh of joy Strava, Runtastic, Endomondo,…
    The watch with in-built gps and hr is the perfect platform for sport-apps companies.

  10. Eric Hanneken

    Garmin still has ANT+ sensor compatibility and battery life going for it.

    • ekuter

      This is the first device I see having potential to move the market away from Ant+ over to BT. Most currently shipping sensors seem to be moving to dual broadcast anyway.

    • Harrison

      The choice was almost always ANT+ because of Garmin. But if a behemoth like Apple makes the right watch with their eco system – Garmin should be very worried. It would definitely be a needle mover.

  11. Timothy F.

    The biggest question for me is, can workouts on a apple watch be easily imported into garmin connect. Also on the airbuds, will you be able to use them working out or is sweat going to kill them. Was hoping they would of said something about that.

    • Jonas

      Why not use strava? or TP? not hard to migrate all your data over if not already done so.

    • Timothy F.

      Yes I use Strava but Garmin Connect is the main hub and all my data is sent out from there to Strava and TP. Question, if the apple watch syncs to Strava will that workout sync to Garmin Connect.

    • Jonas

      Doesn’t tapiriik sync between both? may be a convoluted way of doing things but is a way?

    • Timothy F.

      Yeah that would probably work, Thanks

    • ekuter

      If this lives up to its potential, Garmin Connect won’t matter much any more. I suspect most people just use Garmin connect because that’s where the data ends up automatically. But real analysis is done elsewhere. I really do hope they make it easy to get at your data in an industry standard way.

    • Dave

      Apple buds have horrible/loose fit as it is. The Airbuds will fall right out even with a light jog, I’m pretty sure. I would hold out for proper 3rd-party BT buds that use the new sync tech (assuming Apple licenses it).

    • Patrick

      Yes, using the iOS app RunGap. Tried it using the watchOS 3 and iOS 10 betas and it worked fine (though I can’t remember if the map also exported).

    • Dr Fager

      They mentioned in the presentation Beats will have wireless activity earbuds for those needing activity specific ones.

      I’ve always had to buy standalone earbuds to workout in for fitting reasons. (Standard ones always fall out)

    • Mike S.

      I agree. I prefer my Plantronics Backbeats which wrap around and stay in my ears. If I understand it correctly, their sync tech is not based on Bluetooth.

    • Bob Kowalski

      I expect some third party apps to come up with something better than Garmin Connect if the V2 gains some traction.

    • JB

      Garmin Connect is a horribly ugly app! One thing is has is custom laps on the *mobile device which strava doesn’t have (yet?). Only reason I use garmin connect.

  12. Roelof

    It seems this watch will be the perfect fit for me if someone can come up with an app in witch you can set up running workouts based on heart rate and speed combined.

  13. Christophe

    Is heart rate available under water while swimming?

  14. Matthew

    Garmin /Suunto / Polar killer? Perhaps, but although the Apple Watch price is competitive, doesn’t it still need an iPhone to do all the smart watch stuff? Thats the deal breaker for me, i’m simply not prepared to spend £500+ on a phone, and another £400 on the watch to go with it.

    • ekuter

      Unfortunately yes. But what sports device doesn’t require the phone for this? The real benefit here over things like Garmin and Suunto will be the software platform is way more sophisticated.

    • Matthew

      But other devices are not iphone only. Nexus 5x 32gb is currently around £270, and the cheapest iphone 6s is £499, never mind comparison with something like the Moto G at £130. These costs need to be factored in when comparing the devices. It would be interesting to know if the apple watch can work without an iPhone for anything? Or maybe they will give android compatibility, like android watch has for iPhone?

    • Mark

      But the apple watch requires an iphone, specifically. Apple has less than 50% of the US phone market. Worldwide, only 17% of smartphone owners can even use an Apple Watch. 83% of the worldwide market is non-ios – 78.8% of which are Android users.

      IMHO, that fact alone is what won’t kill Garmin, Suunto, Polar etc.

    • ekutter

      Android does have much higher overall user base. But I suspect the numbers would be skewed heavily in favor of iPhone if you looked at people who are in to fitness who would otherwise buy a high end watch like Garmin or Suunto. I’d love to see some actual numbers on this. Ray could probably shed a little light on this by what percentage of visitors to dcrainmaker.com are on an iPhone vs Android. I believe he did publish something similar a couple years ago.

    • Indeed, the whole ‘Android has a larger user base’ is a meaningless metric when it comes to who buys sport/fitness devices. That Android userbase includes cheaper devices (especially in poorer countries) that simply aren’t going to go out and buy an Apple Watch.

      The dcrainmaker.com mobile stats is a good snapshot of who is that target market, since my reviews span everyone from cheaper Fitbit buyers to $1,500 GPS watch buyers. It’s theoretically the perfect target market.

      For the last 30 days, mobile share is:

      1. iOS – 65.25%
      2. Android – 32.76%
      3. Windows – 1.42%
      4. Windows Phone – 0.40%
      5. BlackBerry – 0.15%

      Still, anytime a watch is limited to even 65% of the market, least 35% of buyers and potential sales. That’s a big amount.

      Cheers.

    • braisim

      Not sure if the iWatch series 2 is competitive on price. minimum price here is €439 whereas a Garmin 235 can be had for less than €300.

    • gingerneil

      @Mathew – you quote the Moto G and the Nexus 5x (both happily in use in my household). Hopefully you can soon also add in the Pebble Core to that @£70 – a tiny phone that isn’t a phone. I am hoping that some clever person will get Garmin Connect running on that so that it can be used with a Fenix 3 for live tracking, music playback/control etc etc.

    • Basing conclusions on the mobile website stats is equally flawed. iOS users are more likely to register as they more frequently will visit using their iPads as well.

      In the end the conclusion will probably come down to features of the watch along with mobile platform, but predictions on whether Apple will wreak havoc in the high-end watches space or not simply can’t be credibly based on any numbers available right now.

      Android as a smartphone OS continues to get closer to Apple’s high-end market with for instance Samsung’s S7/S7 Edge “edging” out Apple’s 6S in sales earlier this year by a slim margin.

      I suspect believers in both camps will continue to believe their camp will win.

      Truth is, we all win with more competition, and the Apple bid is a welcome shake-up to devices that from a UX perspective could remind some of the Nokia devices of 2007/2008:

      Big on features and battery life, with complex, deep menu systems to go with all those capabilities. Hope Garmin will take note of what happened to Nokia.

    • “Basing conclusions on the mobile website stats is equally flawed. iOS users are more likely to register as they more frequently will visit using their iPads as well.”

      Not really. Android tablets also register as Android devices, so it evens out. At the end of the day, the stats are the stats – they don’t lie. And it’s the *exact* reason why companies in this space will almost always favor iOS apps vs Android apps when it comes to development priority: There’s simply more users on that platform for the target market.

    • Sounds like oversimplification to me. If it was that easy Apple should have taken the market for premium phones years ago. They owned that space and more they’re losing their firm grip.

      Android is becoming increasingly premium and appeal to a different (but not a poorer) consumer than iOS.

      The reasons developers do iOS first had to do lots with market share and more with the hardware they’re developing for. It’s just easier to develop for a few iOS services than for a trillion Android devices.
      And finally there’s not a one reason developers choose iOS over Android.

  15. Claudio

    What’s excactly the difference between the Apple Watch series 2 and the Nike+ Edition?
    I mean except for the bands and the additional apps?
    And what kind of apps? won’t they be downloadable on regular series 2 – watches?

    • A pretty colored band and some pre-loaded apps. That’s all.

      The apps are more motivational in nature when it comes to encouraging you to use their platform and get out and excercise. They demo’d the idea of having basically a Sunday Funday Runday concept, or the concept of pushing people to exercise on Sunday since it drives better fitness throughout the week.

      My penny bet is that you’ll see that on all Apple Watches within a few months. The reason? Nike’s now in the platform business. The sales of the hardware aren’t worthwhile, whereas the platform is what they want.

    • But the question is: will those pre-loaded apps — and, perhaps more importantly, watch faces — be available on the non-Nike models. I think the answer might be no (I believe this is similar to the Hermes-specific watch faces)…

    • Bryan

      Do you know why the Nike version is coming out so much later? It’s the same hardware.

    • Stephen Thomas

      There are some differences between the Nike+ version and the standard Series 2, but (a) they’re not heavily promoted so you sort of have to discover them on your own, and (b) they’re pretty trivial (IMHO). Here’s what I’ve noticed so far:

      1. Two special Nike watch faces (with a fair bit of customization available for each).
      2. Special Nike color (“volt”) available for all watch faces, not just the Nike ones.
      3. Built-in complication to launch the Nike Run Club app on Nike faces. (This complication can’t be removed. On the digital face it takes up one of the slots otherwise available. On the analog face it’s a special Nike logo in the center-ish of the watch and doesn’t take up any of the regular slots.)
      4. The NRC app is built into the watch and can’t be removed (though you can hide it).
      5. You can use Siri to start/pause/end a Nike+ run or workout. (On the standard watch Siri controls the Workouts app.)

      There are probably a few others that I haven’t run across yet, but I’d guess they’ll all be relatively minor as above.

  16. Pearce Point

    Can the new Apple Watch make it through a full Ironman?

  17. Louis Farnham

    So perhaps Garmin may pay attention now to how simple a product line should be. Let’s be honest, the only differentiation between a lot of their products is in software – removing VO2 max from some devices, adding a GPS-based compass to others, Virtual training partner etc. These are all software items and as such if you want a mixture, you are forced to purchase a hugely expensive (and huge), device such as the Fenix, or have two devices. Apple takes an all-in-one approach and makes the target audience far wider. Garmin, take note.

    • Tim Grose

      Surely Apple takes the view – buy our relatively expense watch and iPhone or don’t. Aside from the Chronos – way more of an outlay than a Garmin GPS watch.

  18. Dr Fager

    The first apple watch was not really a threat to Garmin, because the first apple watch was not in direct competition with them without GPS. It was essentially a notification device that was an add on to existing iPhone users. With GPS and water resistance, the second gen apple watch now firmly becomes a competitor with Garmin and company. The race essentially starts NOW.

    Remember, the Apple watch does not have to do everything a Garmin device does to take market share, it just has to do ENOUGH to where its other features (iPhone integration, apps, ecosystem) become too compelling for users in the market to ignore. Garmin will never have the app and phone integration Apple does, but Apple is capable of including every fitness metric that Garmin can provide. Fitness will ultimately become one feature set in the smart watch category, not the sole total of its capability.

    At $369, with an ever expanding feature set, its not much of a stretch to forecast Garmins future will either be entry level (cheap) or ultra hardcore. (expensive) Apple, Samsung, etc are ultimately going to dominate the middle of the market. And I cant say that entirely a bad thing, because they will bring more to the category then Garmin and CO. ever could. (Heck Garmin cant even get Garmin Connect right)

    IMO

    • Haris

      Not to forget that Garmin had multiple more years advantage being one of the pioneers of fitness equipment. Apple is on their second generation of Apple Watch.

    • Brandon

      Palm, Microsoft and Blackberry all underestimated Apple in the phone space. None of these are even players today.

  19. Meagan

    Looking forward to your review! Although I wlll be placing my order on Friday along with you and many others I would guess.

    Gonna be my first true “multi-sport” watch.

    Love reading your site and all of your reviews.

  20. Jonas

    From apple’s website regarding estimated battery usage:

    Workout
    Up to 8 hours
    Testing conducted by Apple in August 2016 using preproduction Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 and Apple Watch Edition, each paired with an iPhone; all devices tested with prerelease software. Tested with workout session active, heart rate sensor on, with iPhone. Using the built-in GPS of the Apple Watch Series 2 without iPhone, workout time is up to 5 hours. Battery life varies by use, configuration and many other factors; actual results will vary.

    So obviously not that great… and maybe 18 hrs of standby time. But for casual users who want to work out for an hour and then wear it all day it might be okay. Just charge it on the go? Can’t really do a 24/7 activity monitoring. Might need to ‘gasp’ take it off to sleep and charge!

  21. Daniel

    Ray,

    do you reckon it will be possible to connect a normal heart rate monitor through bluetooth? That’s the only deal breaker for me, if that is possible I’m getting this.

    • Chris

      Yes, you can do that now with the original Apple Watch.

    • Brian

      Thanks. I was wondering the same thing.

      Also seems nice to be able to play music from the watch while running. I’m sure that will cut the 5 hours of GPS time down to 3-3.5 hours with GPS and music playback.

      Does Polar have their Polar Beat App available for the Apple watch?

      I just looked and YES they do. I really like the Polar Flow web site for data analysis. It’s much better than Garmin in my opinion.

    • Eric

      Has anyone used the Polar app on the Apple Watch? Curious as to how well the Polar app works, and if the Polar app works as an activity tracker in the background. I’m not in love with the new M600, but the new Apple watch with a holistic Poplar app would be great.

  22. Greg Franks

    From the Apple Insider site, the display still turns itself off in order to save battery power. If the watch doesn’t sync to Strava, I can’t see a lot of people swapping their Garmins (or whatever) anytime soon. I’m sure there will be an App for that “real soon now”.

    If you believe IDC (and their magic 8-ball), Garmin and FitBit are doing quite well in the grand scheme of things, whereas the Apple Watch is clearly in need of a refresh. link to businesswire.com .

  23. Chris

    I had 2 big problems with usability on my Apple Watch for running. The built-in running apps is awful, so I used Strava which let me see pace, distance, time and HR on a single screen. The problem was that Apple wouldn’t let third-party apps save HR data, so although you could see it real-time, you couldn’t see it after the fact. This may be fixed in the new version of the WatchOS, I don’t know.

    The other problem is the screen shuts off to save battery, automatically coming on when you bring your arm up. There is a slight delay, however, and sometimes a long delay. This is relative, it might be 1/2 – 2 seconds, but a delay nonetheless. This was extremely annoying when running. I just want to see my HR/pace/whatever, not flip my arm around while I dodge sidewalks, tree branches, dogs, etc. This is still a problem.

    • Jonas

      Good to know… that delay would be a deal breaker for me and probably many. Though I’m guessing they didn’t care so much as it wasn’t run focused as it is now with GPS. Hopefully it will improve.

    • Jon Nall

      Another gripe I had when running with Apple Watch (v1) is rain or sweaty fingers made it very difficult to interact with the touchscreen.

    • HR capture was fixed on series 1 sometime ago with watch OS2 I think – I use Strava all the time on the watch and get HR recorded no problem :) (example: link to strava.com)

      That delay is a bit of a pain though so hopefully fixed with faster processors on both new series 1 and series 2 devices.

    • Rolf

      The display issue you describe is the exact same with the Polar M600 just terrible….

    • JayB

      there should be a lower power screen on option. imagine trying to do intense intervals and waiting for the screen turn on. sounds annoying. in summer my hands typical have lots of sweaty saltiness… problematic.

    • Yes would be good – though I was playing around with Watch OS3 today (on an original watch) and it is definitely much more responsive in terms of turning the screen on with a wrist movement. Also I discovered you can pause/start a workout by pressing the digital crown and side button together and I am pretty sure this is available for developers too, so they can use hardware buttons for controlling the apps…

    • Jay Bussiere

      Nice, that is good to hear!

  24. Garmin, no, because Garmin is a hardware company that opens to other platforms for software and focuses on niche markets.
    Fitbit, yes, because Fitbit is a hardware company that closes to other platforms (attempts to control both hardware and software) and focuses on wide markets. There’s more room to be undercut at the low end than at the high end.

    • Haris

      Hmm, I am not sure I follow you definition of “open platform”. I canˋt install any other firmware/OS on Garmin but their own, so no difference from Apple watch.

  25. Chris

    Ray, not sure if you’ve noticed yet but according to the Apple website they are expecting it to get up to 5 hours on GPS
    link to apple.com

  26. Paul S.

    “On the flipside (literally), the display is of course market-leading.”

    Yeah, when it’s on, it’s gorgeous, and the series 2 screen is supposed to be even better. Have they made it possible to keep it on during an activity? If not, that’s a major problem.

    • JayB

      big time! Does the iwatch 1 now turn off automatically or go into a “low energy” dim mode?

    • Paul S.

      Not dim, blank. It only turns on when you do the arm raise or hit the crown. There’s a setting to say how long it stays on, I think, but you can’t make it infinite (and if you did, the battery would likely not last long).

  27. Lee D

    A lot of people throwing around the phrase “_____ killer” are forgetting this is an Apple product. That only works with Apple products.

    There are well over a billion Android users in the smartphone world. That seems like more than enough market share for Garmin and the rest to appeal to. And without knowing what type of running features this has it may not even be enough for dedicated Apple runners either. What stats can it display? What sensors does it support? What training plans can it store? What routes? etc. etc.

    I have been an Apple user for twenty five years and still haven’t discovered any worthwhile advantages to use iOS over Android phone. So I still wouldn’t swap my various devices and wearables for an Apple Watch.

    • Dr Fager

      The problem being that there are Android based and compatible smart watches too.

      I wouldnt sell any existing gear either, but ultimately fitness specific watches will be an ultra niche market. (More so than at present) Activity tracking and metrics are just a subset of the overall smartwatch functionality, so it will become increasingly difficult to justify buying a watch that can only do activity monitoring, versus a watch that can do activity tracking, and have access to a growing app ecosystem, and have integrated functionality with a phone and other smart devices.

      Im a Garmin user, but its difficult to see a future using their watches when its activity tracking is being consumed by competing devices that provides other functionality for the rest of the day.

    • Lee D

      I agree, eventually smartwatches will put a large dent in the lower end of the fitness wearables market (as Fitbit seems to have realized with the Blaze) for those looking for just casual daily feedback. But the Apple Watch is no threat to any of the main performance players as long as it stays locked into it’s ecosystem. They will only be taking a bite out of existing Garmin, Polar, Fitbit etc. users who already have iPhones, like technology and have the money to wear it.

      Right now at this price point it’s not going to threaten the casual Fitbit Apple moms and the limitations and availability are not going to threaten the power user market.

  28. Ryan R

    Any word on barometer and compass? If I can use this as even a half arsed ABC watch I’m done with my Fenix 3 for any activity under 4 hours.

    • Mike S.

      May I ask why?

      I’ve seen a few comments here about people trading in or switching to an Apple Watch over a Fenix 3. What are the downsides that would make you want to switch? I thought the Fenix 3 was the ultimate sports watch and that the Apple Watch still has too many compromises.

    • ekutter

      Very different devices but now competing in more areas. Most people who have a Fenix, really don’t use all (or even most) of the features. But if you do, the Apple Watch can’t compete. But for day to day stuff and for variety of 3rd party apps, the Fenix doesn’t really compare. Connect IQ apps are very limited compared to what you can do on an Apple Watch. The new Apple watch probably does everything that 90% of Fenix owners need. For me personally, a Fenix will never be an every day watch because of the size and weight. But if a 2 hour run keeps an Apple Watch from lasting through the day, it would also be a non starter for me. We are still one generation of devices away from the ultimate watch I think

    • rickNP

      ekutter, I agree with most of your assessment.

      I have a fenix 3 HR and I am quite satisfied with it, despite some of its shortcomings. However, I do not use many of its features, though I do wear it daily. I will not swim and won’t ever race a triathlon, and I stay away from most ConnectIQ apps because they tend to drain battery faster and don’t provide enough increased functionality (for me) to make it worth it.

      However, if someone, even once, decides to have an activity that lasts longer than 3-5 hours, assuming you started from 100% charge, whether that’s a family hike on a camping trip, their first ultra, touring a city while traveling the world, their once-every-year marathon, etc. Every instance is one where a dedicated Apple Watch user would need an additional device if they wished to log that activity, lest they bump into a power failure or a need to supplementally charge much earlier than they’re accustomed.

    • ekutter

      Agreed. Personally, I’d still need a F3 or Epix for more serious workouts. Biking isn’t an issue because I’ll always have a dedicated bike computer (plus I usually have my phone while on the bike). I do less than one run a week that’s over 4 hours, and if I do, I’d usually have my phone then too. Most days, my run and/or bike is under 2 hours so this would work out fine. And I suspect well under 5% of Garmin users do more than that.

      But yes, there is a sizable percentage of users that will still need a backup device for longer outings.

    • Haris

      Yes, I agree. One alternative is to bring one cabke and battery pack with you as a compromise for those longer outings like hikes.

  29. John A Galani

    I am on record on this site as saying that the Apple Watch will be the demise of the specialist sport watch the way Nokia and Sony Ericsson were as well.

    This second version is not the absolute killer watch but gets much closer, the way that the original iPhone was not the killer phone by the 3G started becoming.

    At issue is that Garmin and others dividing their team by targeting too many segments and not focusing on being the best with say 2 models. The most expensive are far too big as normal watches, the 230/235/630 are frankly the same watches with small tweaks. We then have the the low range, the triathlon range, the multi-sports range, multi-activity range,… They are all derivatives of the same. Nokia did EXACTLY the same with a massive range of phones, none of which ticked all the boxes at the same time.

    What is holding the Apple Watch back are:
    1- iPhone integration. Take that away (probably in 18 months’ time), and then you start having a serious contender.
    2- BT sports devices pairing: honestly this part is a 2 way street and not solely Apple. The Apple Watch already has enough sensors on it to give you a large number of metrics “à la Garmin”.
    3- Immature sports apps: now that this version does not need to be tethered, I can see fast paced developments of the Runkeeper / Strava / Runstatic variety.

    Everything non-sport, and I mean EVERYTHING else, is just way way way better (if you have an iPhone), so Apple only has to get to 75-85% of the way there.

    This is why my 630, which does not do swimming, will be replaced by an Apple Watch in 10 days.

  30. I agree with Ray. It’s taking a bite of the market but won’t kill them just yet. A lot of people use these watches for workouts but a lot of people also use watches for travel/hikes/photography/camping, etc.

    Apple watch doesn’t really appeal to this market (yet)

    Most people doesn’t use the barometer or thermometer on their watch, but a lot of people do. Having to recharge a watch after 5 hours is a huge deal breaker for a lot of people. I don’t wanna go on a 3-4 hour ride and have to worry that I have enough battery on my watch.

    • okrunner

      Battery life will be a huge issue. My wife and oldest daughter have the v1 apple watch. I see it on the charger as much as I see it on their wrist. Forget to charge it one night and you are watchless the next day. Mostly for that reason, I bought my 11 year old a Pebble when she wanted a smart watch. She goes days without recharging or worrying about it. Garmin’s recent releases such as the Fenix 3hr, which I have, shine in the battery department. Regardless of what anyone says, it’s not really about the time in gps mode, it’s the day to day recharging that becomes most important. Yes marathoners and ironmen need long gps mode but most people just don’t want to recharge all the time. The majority of people, except gadget freaks, don’t want another device that has to be charged every single day. People may think the Fenix Chronos is crazy but I’d much rather spend an extra $500 and not have to charge but once a week.

    • Andre

      There are a lot of people out there that use a GPS watch that doesn’t have an outlet every night to recharge it….

      I know the target audience of this blog is sport people/people that workout. But if you look at Garmin and Suunto, you’ll see they have watches for a wider target market.

  31. Josh

    Will all versions of the watch have GPS built in or only the Nike edition?

  32. Håvard

    It’s only a matter of time before Garmin, Polar, Suunto and the gang will need to revolutionize their business or go bankrupt. They consider themselves hardware companies, but since their software is so terrible and their hardware really isn’t all that good, and since their mass-market mainstream users can be satisfied by whatever android or apple watches are out there, they will need to provide more than 20h battery life as a differentiator.

    They need to start by hiring good software engineers, and then pay them enough to not jump ship once they have learned how to program for iOS or Android.

    The best software will ultimately win, now that the hardware is becoming a comodity, and none of the classical fitness watch makers have software of any noticeable quality.

  33. Lisa Folb

    As always, you’re on top of it! One thing I’m excited to hear your take on … Airpods. Specifically, do they stay in your ears while running…

    • Brian

      Yes all series 2 will have GPS built in. The series 1 will still not have GPS.

    • Mike S.

      I doubt it. You’d probably have to look at what Beats is offering. I would go insane if my earphones kept falling out during a run.

    • Brian

      Exactly. I’ve found that the Bose in ear headphones are the best for running. You can still hear things around you and they never fall out but as of now they are still wired. Hope they make a wireless version soon.

  34. David

    Another point to remember, Apple says GPS battery life is “up to 5 hours” but unlike many Garmin/TomTom and other running watches that tend to be used by us for JUST workouts, the Apple Watch really is supposed to be an all day watch. If I go on a 2 hour run on a Saturday morning, is my Apple Watch series 2 really going to make it to the end of the day? My Apple Watch today finishes each day with 20-40% left (and I don’t use it much) so with WatchOS 3 increasing use of 3rd party apps combined with GPS use are we going to make it a whole day? The word is the battery has 30% more capacity but before I would even consider this I have to know it can survive a 2-3 hour workout and make it the whole rest of the day.

  35. Scott

    The problem with Apple Watch for running is that it lacks a physical start/stop button. As a competitive runner I just can’t see any serious runners getting ready to press their touchscreen Apple Watch to start their race. What happens when it’s raining and the touch screen doesn’t work? I think I’ll stick to my Garmin Forerunner 630 for racing, although I could see the new Apple Watch being useful for training runs as it will play music wirelessly.

    • FunkyMagicUK

      Can’t you use the button on the side?

      That’s a deal breaker for me. I tried using an Android Wear device with the brilliant GhostRider app, but touchscreen for running is utterly useless and I gave up after a couple of weeks.

    • Bob190

      I have been beta testing WatchOS 3 for a few months and you can now pause the run by pressing both the crown and side button .. works great. You still have to press the virtual end button to end the run, but once it’s paused you can usually get end to respond eventually with sweaty fingers, but the run is already stopped so not a big deal. The touch screen seems more responsive to me in the later beta versions when wet .. but it may just be my imagination since i am not stressing over ending the run since it is paused.

    • Scott Hunter

      Can you start the run by pressing the side button? This would be a deal breaker for me. I’m not sure if I could trust a touchscreen to start the activity when toeing the line of my local 10k. What’s the Strava app like for providing real time running data e.g. current pace / lap pace etc compared to using a Garmin Forerunner?

  36. Gabe

    While 5 hours is bad the apple user is custom to recharging the device daily.

    I think garmin should rethinking their pricing IMO.

    • Andre

      They will sell a shit ton of these. No one is arguing that. Most people that owns this watch won’t go on a workout everyday… Or ever.

      But that doesn’t mean they will run Garmin and Suunto out of business.

  37. Tom

    I’m considering an Apple watch, but wondering if anyone has a solution for getting data to Training Peaks either directly or through another app?

    • Depends on the app you are using. The strava app obviously sends straight to Strava, and then you can configure TP to sync with Strava. The built in Apple Activity app doesn’t’ do any FIT/GPX export, but there are ways of pulling it out of the Health app.

  38. mo

    Does anyone know if the heart rate sensor will now run and log data continuously, like the fitbit surge or garmin vivoactive? Or is it the same, stupid, only-during-a-workout or only-if-you’re-not-moving feature that the series 1 uses? thx!

  39. Steven

    So how about instead of some silly special editions with silly looking designer bands we get the Apple Watch cialis edition that is twice as thick but lasts a long time?

  40. DerLordBS

    As a triathlete I am not ONLY ask about the battery live. I am asking about pairing my power meters. I am asking about structured workouts. I am asking about interval timers. I am asking for swimming metrics beyond calories. I am asking about power based metrics. I am also asking about a Triathlon mode.

    But overall I am asking about reliability. And I am not sure if an Apple Watch is a reliable as a dedicated triathlon watch. As I believe that there will be a lot of apps around to fulfill my requirements I am not sure if I would do a triathlon or even a marathon using such a watch.

    • > I am asking for swimming metrics beyond calories

      Swim.com will offer metrics beyond calories in our app for the watch!

    • PGarrett

      Well reliability isn’t too high a bar with Garmin in my book – Garmin 410 broke replaced with 910XT which broke, replaced with another 910XT which broke, replaced with a 920XT which knock on wood still seems to function, most of the time that is… On average they’ve each lasted roughly 1.5 years before failure which for $450 devices isn’t terribly encouraging not to mention helpfully just outside the 1 year limited warranty. Now the 410 was a bad idea the bezel never really worked properly or well and it eventually failed. The 910s barometers both broke so no elevation tracking on the bike in particular. And all the 9xx watches were more expensive than the AW2.

      But my wife and I continue to use Garmin devices partly due to familiarity and partly due to lack of real alternatives (although that is changing) particularly for her as a long distance triathlete. The AW2 may not replace the Garmins for long distance activities but it sure is encouraging to see a big player make some noise and perhaps encourage Garmin to improve their software (which has perpetually been an issue for all of us) and their hardware focus.

  41. Mike Harker

    do you think that the Nike version is worth waiting for? I wish it were coming out at the same time, but it doesn’t come until the end of October

  42. Venda

    Ray, pls what I have not seen here yet is comment about the new SAMSUNG GEAR S3. I know, little info is available, but doesn’t it look better than Apple Watch 2? Visual as well as “all rounded” concept? That would be interesting once somebody will make test since it is not, supposedly, limited only to one phone platform.

  43. Petter

    Hey Ray,
    Are you planning on testing the Gear S3 as well? It would be nice if these two where compared. :)

  44. Brian Simpson

    I agree with the comments about this Apple Watch 2 being a very nice upgrade to the first version. As someone who has been using watchOS 3 for a few months the new OS is greatly improved.

    The only thing still missing from my “want” list is the ability to sync a foot pod to the watch. Maybe you will be able to do so in the future (I’m looking at you Adidas bluetooth foot pod). Maybe Ray could look into this feature as well. Many people run on treadmills regularly or on on indoor rec center track during the Winter season.

  45. pswim

    Does anyone know if the GPS works even while doing open water swimming? It doesn’t specify on their website and only says “With built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 can record precise distance, speed, and pace while you’re walking, running, or cycling outdoors.” I know a lot of fitness watches don’t support that because it’s hard to maintain GPS signal when the watch dips under water when you swim openwater.

    • Unlikely. I’m guessing it tries to guess how far a stroke takes you and then counts your strokes.

    • pswim

      Grrr, that’s what I was afraid of. That would be wildly inaccurate for open water swim distance? I guess time will only confirm, but I think you are right. It would be too good to be true.

    • I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t use the GPS during OWS. They key thing is that any app you are using to record it is able to smooth the course for when the watch is under or over water. Or you could use the DCRainmaker patented swim cap method (stick the watch in your swim cap) to get a perfect track :)

    • Paul S.

      Would that work? When it comes off your arm, a generation 1 will lock. Does it continue tracking activities afterwards?

    • I can confirm it works fine – AW2 captures a pretty good track, and even captures your HR in an open water swim. Only issue is that I can’t find an app that would export this to Strava or TP (you can always enter it as a manual activity though)

  46. Great first analysis! Swim.com will have our swimming app out for the Apple Watch Series 2 on launch to add to the swim metrics that Apple provides out of the box to make it a more proper, advanced swim watch.

  47. JVVH

    Surprised no one has mentioned the Pebble 2 and Pebble Steel 2. Swim tracking, HR monitors, great battery life, everyday smartwatch functions. $130/$170 ish?

    • Honestly, we (Swim.com) do most of the swim tracking on Pebble. There are a ton of things we can’t do on the Pebble because of hardware/software limitations which we can do on the Apple Watch Series 2.

  48. DB1

    Five hour GPS battery life and no barometric altimeter are not going to kill Garmin. The battery life leaves even weekend warriors with too little wiggle room and the lack of barometric altimeter means it can do what even many Fitbit devices do with activities ranging from stairs to downhill skiing. However, the major improvement here from the first Apple Watch suggests to me that Garmin has about 18 more months to get their software running properly and their snotty attitude to open standards/app store usage etc. fixed, or they will have a fight on their hands.

    Suppose Apple’s Watch 3 doubles battery life and comes with a barometric altimeter, ANT+ and an Android client while Garmin stagnates. That would at a stroke knock half or more of Garmin’s high-end market. I’d switch for starters. Suppose on the other hand that Garmin becomes a better neighbor about its API, improves its app store and keeps up improving its software. Then it matters much less what Apple does.

    • Haris

      And stops putting embarrasing hardware in its top models. 256 of space in Fenix 3/3 HR!! An as a sugar on a top, none is comostible with new dev platform. And they still sell both watches. And I thought that Samsung etc. were masters of selling hardware with “out of date” software.

  49. jd

    Simple question: Do you still need an iPhone to operate the Apple Watch Series 2? I’m an Apple guy EXCEPT for my phone (Android). I don’t care about notifications, texts, etc. while I’m working out. But are their other Apple hooks that will keep me from using the Watch if I don’t have an iPhone? Thanks.

    • Paul S.

      The current Apple Watch is useless without the iPhone, and I haven’t read anything to make me think that’s going to change. Apple Watch is a wrist born appendage of your phone that can do a lot of useful things, but it’s all routed through your iPhone. Most people I’ve read who know about these things don’t think there’s going to be a Watch app for Android any time soon. (But they did eventually create iTunes for Windows, so it’s not impossible.)

    • ekutter

      If you don’t have an iPhone and don’t care about the connected features, the most basic Garmin would probably do everything you want, and better. Really, the only reason I can think of getting this watch is for the day to day features, not the activity features. Activity wise, it is at the bare minimum to be competing with the other options out there.

    • Its the apps! The built in activity app is basic, but swim.com have already announced in these comments that they have a fully featured swim app that has more than Garmin has. Connect IQ has been largely a disappointment, but it is a different game altogether when the multitude of IOS developers start building activity apps for the Watch.

    • Yes, but to be honest there have been Android Wear watches that do what the Apple Watch Series 2 does for awhile now.

  50. Dave Wright

    If anyone is counting, a watch with only 5 hours of GPS is useless to me. I go beyond 5 hours almost every weekend on a long ride or hike. I’m also pretty sure the Apple Watch Series 2 is not nearly as tough physically as the Ambit 2 that has flawlessly guided and tracked my adventures for the past 3 years. No barometric altitude sensor is a problem also.

  51. giorgitd

    I’m on board with the consensus of our comments. But to me, the real differentiator in the long run will be customer service. As the demands for an increasing feature set accelerate and the development end of things gets pressurized (I’m looking at you, Polar), Apple has the deep pockets to (eventually) slay everyone. Garmin’s customer support of ‘oh, it’s not working, let’s replace it’ works ok, but will be too expensive in the long rung and unsatisfying to the end user – especially when the combination of development cycle time are resource limitations cause an increasing number of end user problems. I’ve had some modest troubles with a 920xt. Garmin forum? Next to absent. So, should I make the call and send it in and lose recording of my training for awhile (it’s still under warranty)? Probably, but I suspect that it’s a minor problem resolvable at home. Or the Genius Bar. Garmin wants to sell hardware and there’s nothing wrong with that. Apple wants to woo you into their ecosystem and this watch is just another entry point. And there’s nothing wrong with that, either. I’m not an Apple fanboy – I owned a 3GS but have been Android for 6? years without any new Apple products. But they are looking more attractive with each iteration….and I do need a new phone…

    • ekutter

      This really is the big thing. Lots of people like me are so fed up with Garmin’s poor customer support and slow bug fixes that often break more than they fix, that we’re grasping at straws for anything to replace it. Suunto and Polar have their own share of problems. With Garmin, you never know if bugs are going to be fixed or new features added. With Apple, you can pretty much be sure you’ll get every update that is physically possible on your hardware for at least a couple of years. That’s the main reason I won’t even consider an Android or Windows phone.

    • rickNP

      I can read between the lines here and see that you’re just disparaging on the dog tracking app!! What do you have against dogs?! ;-)

      Seriously though, Apple’s customer support instantly makes it the #1 support in the fitness watch business. I’ve been lucky enough to either a: have Garmin watches that have never been *that* problematic, or b: never used them to the nth degree in order to reveal dealbreaking issues. But should I need the customer support, it too shouldn’t be buggy.

    • Tim Grose

      > Garmin forum? Next to absent.
      Well I have made over 9000 posts on the Garmin forums and there are plenty others on there as much too. So not sure I understand that comment?

    • Paul S.

      I think he’s pointing out that, with rare exceptions, Garmin is absent from the forums. It’s not a place to go if you want support from Garmin.

    • Though, Apple isn’t present in their forums. Garmin is semi-present in certain forums, some more than others.

    • ekutter

      RickNP, actually, my Garmin Alpha is one of my favorite Garmin products. Way better than any of the cell based dog trackers as it works regardless of cell signal. It too has its issues but has been a great product.

      As for Garmin participating in the forums, they seem to throw us a bone every once in a while. There are some issues they stay on top of and report updates promptly. Other times (like anything with the Epix or the 810 crashes) they are completely MIA. But any of us who have had numerous Garmin products have had to deal with the customer support call where they tell you they’ve never heard of the issue, despite it being reported extensively on the forum, including others that have called in about the issue.

      The sad thing is Garmin really does have great hardware, I’d even say best in class. But they definitely fall short on firmware bugs and fixes. Sounds like in general the Fenix group is better but the only product I’ve had from them has been the Epix :(

    • I agree. Garmin support is horrible. I started a ticket about a faulty Fenix 3 – took 2 weeks for the first response, which was a template answer to hard reset, another 2 weeks to get an answer to a question I had about that, another 2 weeks after I tried it and it didn’t fix it, only to be offered an exchange for around £100. Another two weeks to ask if I could change to a different watch (I couldn’t), then they seemed to lose the thread and started recommending I do a master reset again. Just unbearable!

    • Tim Grose

      > It’s not a place to go if you want support from Garmin.
      True if you want a personalised reply but it’s rare for somebody to not get help there with a problem unless of course your device is basically broken and/or you are asking about something it can’t do.

    • Greg Hilton

      I’ve had good support from Garmin in the UK. I rang them, got straight through and follow ups via phone were carried out as scheduled.

    • Haris

      Even the hardware is a bit if hit and miss. Anyone remembers “touch-ring” on Forerunner 405? Not to speak about 256 kb of space on a 600$ watch.

    • In general I find that most folks that call Garmin support have a pretty good experience. Note that you really need to separate support experience from things like software bugs.

      I think that anytime you e-mail any company instead of calling, you’ll get mixed reactions, if for no other reason than the lag time back and forth.

    • Tim Grose

      Yes agree on calling. I can sort of see the delays with email correspondence. For instance, lost count of the number of times on the forums where somebody raises an issue with their activity but does not post their GC (or maybe Strava) link. As such it becomes almost impossible to give good advice until often the 2nd or 3rd exchange when you can actually see it.

  52. 24-36 hour battery life is still way too short. My Fenix 3 HR is usually at about 55-65% when I charge it, once a week. For me an absolute minimum battery life needs to be able to survive what I somewhat regularly do, which is leaving home 5am Friday morning, going to work, out for a weekend, and still having an operational watch when I get home 10pm Sunday night.

    I’m glad to see Apple watch is finally getting it right in regards to sensors and monitors, with GPS now being part of the fray.

    But I still take wide variety of activity monitoring types / functionality and battery life over smart functionality any day, especially when most apps I’ve seen are more a case of doing that functionality on the watch because they can – not because it’s actually beneficial / useful. Generally the only beneficial / useful aspect is the notifications, which is something most activity tracker devices have anyway.

  53. M. Sabry

    As much as i like Garmin Vivoactive hr and prefer it over Apple watch (1st gen)
    i really find their software and companion app is lagging behind it’s competitors.
    Adding the GPS with the whole App stores options i’m really considering the new Apple watch now
    I’ll miss the monochrome screen and the 4-6 days battery life,but Garmin really needs to update
    it’s software cos that where all the money is,also should considering more memory to their devices
    to install useful apps it’s not the early 2000s anymore.

  54. Ozzy

    Why put GPS in the Apple Watch if it only last 5 hours? Golfing or Mountain biking with friends last longer than 5 hrs. Apple please make up your mind, are you trying to attract fitness conscious people or kids who want to play games on their watch? I really think it’s ridiculous that Apple tries to sell fitness but then uses battery life for graphics (games) and being able to shine 1000 nits!

  55. Ingo

    “Update: 5 hours is GPS-on time, which is lower than any GPS devices on market”, true BUT it’s probably in the same range of battery life of a GPS device that was bought ~2 years ago with a promised 8-10h that has now deteriorated to about 5h and if that’s still good enough for some people they may even look at the new Apple watch to replace it.

    Btw, I’d very curious about an analysis of advertised battery life, real life out of the box and duration after say 2 years vs. what a device maker said their gadgets should be able to deliver on launch and after a couple of years. I am dancing currently with Garmin about my 620 because it was advertised with an initial 10h and if you suffer from short battery life their FAQs state that the battery should perform at ~80% (i.e. 8h) after “a few years”.

    Well, my 620 hardly makes it past 4h after 2.5 years. I sense that most battery claims are vastly overstated and can only be reproduced in some lab setting – and battery deterioration is massively understated. Their claims having nothing to do with the real world and most gadgets, even the higher priced ones, are pretty much just disposable items after 2+ years. Class action anybody?

  56. Brad

    Ability to craft workouts, GLONASS and GPS recording rate (accuracy) will determine it for me. I’m always a little baffled by all the Garmin bashing in the comments. My Garmin 235 tracks better than Suunto and is half the price. I’ve had three Garmins now, and all of them have been rock solid. Customer service with Garmin has always been a good experience: they’ve sent me replacement bands, replacement heart rate monitor, and have helped with one glitch (that ended up being user error).

    I really wanted to like the Suunto Spartan Sport, but it’s way behind Garmin feature wise, and the supposed GPS superiority of the Ambit is not there. Had it for less than a week and it’s going back to Suunto – very disappointed.

    I would love for the new Apple Watch to replace my Garmin, but I just don’t see them making it sport specific enough for serious runners.

  57. Ian

    We DCR readers are a special bread. For the remaining 95%+ of people who exercise a few times a week the Apple Watch 2 is compelling. {Apple Watch 3 with a cellular radio/streaming music will be even more so next year.} Apple Watch and Android Wear will take the lions share of the smart watch market. Apple isn’t interested in appealing directly to the <1 million hard core endurance athletes world wide; it's simply too niche to be financially attractive for Aplle's goliath bottom line. Thus, the Garmins of the word can continue to survive in various hard-core niches like ours. If Garmin doesn't switch to Android Wear, then we are going o be stuck having to buy two watches over the next several years- one for training and the other for daily life.

    • chris

      Garmin can’t move to Android Wear if they do they will have a battery issue like Apple. Their only chance is to own every nich. I don’t think they can do it… Apple has time on their side and tons of app developers. Need an app to track you underwater basket weaving league, there will be one.

      I love my Garmin 910 it’s the right tool for the right job.

      One thing that Garmin can do to try and stay ahead is the optical heart rate sensor, they have shown that they can keep making it better. Ray’s data has implied that the 735 is much better than V1 and is very close to good enough I expect the next version will be as good as MIO and Scosche.

      The question is has Apple’s improved the same amount, more? Because the the Apple V1 version was a joke.

      C

    • Ian

      Chris, you raise some good points. There will always be trade offs. For example, Apple will sacrifice battery life and # of buttons in favor of CPU performance, GUI and industrial design. Try using the Apple Watch on a run- it’s not very good if you have sweaty fingers. It’s also annoying to exaggerate the flick of your wrist to get the screen to go on. Of course Apple could fix these usability issues, but the compromise on other factors is too great. Apple’s app ecosystem helps to a certain extent but it can never fill all the holes created by the hardware trade offs.

    • “We DCR readers are a special bread.”

      Sorta. :)

      The hardcore long-time DCR reader may be, and the ones who interact on posts may be. But, my Amazon sales, search, and Google Analytics numbers actually tell a different story: The low-end ($100-$200) fitness devices dominate views/etc here. At times earlier this year, the Fitbit Charge and Charge HR pages/Amazon sales outdid everything else on this site…combined. Funny, huh? All for a device that’s $100-$150.

    • Doug

      I love these insights into the readership Ray. More, pretty please?

    • Ian

      Point well-taken Ray. As for the typo- you gotta love autocomplete hilarity!

      Anyway, it would be interesting to see a survey and click-stream analysis of your web visitors to analyze what’s going on with the lower-end purchases. In general the health/fitness market dwarfs the endurance sport/GPS market (I sent you a pptx analysis in May) so that’s probably a key factor. Also consumer electronics’ price elasticities do some interesting things around the $200 price point.

    • gingerneil

      Yes – second that. A detailed post on your site analytics would be awesome!

    • Gregory S

      Also remember that allot of big companies are moving to wellness programs that give there employees often up to 150$ of credit towards a step tracker. This is then used to help reduce premiums. I consult in this space

      Most folks buy within the range and rarely buy more $$$ products. This helps to seriously drive volume on the lower end

    • Gregory S

      I am an android wear user so I can relate to everyone thinking the AW2 will replace their garmin.

      For me, my Moto 360 sport replaced two of my prior garmin watches completely as I fall into the 4-7 miles a day runner, where the battery life is more than enough to get me through the day. Plus, it ties directly into Strava, is sweatproof, has offline music via bluetooth all while having more of the business focused functions like emails, notifications, apps, etc…

      Charging every day is not a problem as it sits in the cradle while I sleep.

      I think garmin should not worry just yet, but knowing apple their next version will up the ante allot more than garmins version upgrades tend to. It is just a matter of time before all but the super long distance folks move over

    • John

      I hope the likes of Garmin and Suunto survive. Unlike Samsung and Apple, I feel they were making products for serious non-professional athletes like me. I don’t want to be bothered when I’m doing my runs by calls, texts or music. I wanna be attuned to my body.

      Nevertheless, I get it that we should be getting more utility for the price we pay for these watches. What happens after we run, swim or bike? The watch goes back into the drawer. Thus I’m quite happy the Fenix 3 is designed so I can wear it to work. Which is kind of a very small step for mankind (pardon the pun).

  58. Mircea

    So, I really like the look of the Apple Watch Series 2 Nike edition, but as a serious multisport athlete that finds himself at above 90% max heart rate regularly, I really can’t see myself using the Apple Watch in its current form. I need buttons that I can reach for and press without looking. Buttons that stand out when I feel for them and reassure me they did their job with good positive feedback. Buttons, separate from one another and dedicated to their most important task of start/stop, recording splits and navigating through data pages. In it’s current iteration I don’t see the Apple watch being a threat to the fenix 3, Forerruner 735XT or the new Spartan Ultra. Even the few years old Polar V800 is safe. Again, I do love the look of the Nike version of the Apple watch, but I just don’t think it’s ready to compete with the top echelon of multisport watches from the likes of Garmin, Suunto and Polar.

  59. Bradley Hall

    I am very very imbedded into the Garmin products and the connect.garmin world. I have used garmin GPS units since my first Garmin 12x, probably in 1997. That unit is built like a tank and still works perfectly to this day. My current every day watch is the FR235, replacing my FR15 and FR610 and FR305 before that. I like the FR235 a lot. My most Garmin purchase is the Edge 820, replacing my Edge 800 (very nice unit!) which I am passing along to my son. Not every Garmin has been great. I cursed Garmin many many times over the IQ3600, the device using palm os and overlaying the palm capabilities with a gps color mapping unit and in theory a great idea. But so aggravating when a static shock would zap out the maps that mapsource took 48 hours to load back in approximately 2002 or 2003. I did not care for the FR610 much either, as my farsighted eyes could not very well read the watch and I have to say I find side buttons just easier to use than touch screen on a watch face.

    Anyhow, I generally like Apple products and I would be very tempted by Apple’s watch and all the other bells and whistles that come with the Apple watch, but the specs and in particular battery life give me no reason to replace my forerunner. And no, I do not need more than one wearable watch. It is one or the other, not both, And garmin connect may not be the greatest, but I have been using it and have stored all my activity data for probably the past 3 years on this system. So I am not looking for another system to store and analyze my data.

    • Paul S.

      Here’s the thing. Apple Watch is so much better at being a smart watch than any Garmin watch that you really should think about having two watches. I wear an original (not Series 1, since that’s getting the new processor) AW Sport constantly, except when I’m cycling or in the winter cross country skiing (or sleeping, since it needs daily charging). To name just a few things that it can do and a modern Garmin watch (I own an Epix) cannot: you can use it’s speaker/microphone to actually answer calls if you’re in a situation where reaching your iPhone is difficult. You can answer texts, not just see them, either using pre-canned responses (“Ok”, “Yes”, “No”, etc.) with a single tap or by using Siri to dictate a response. And Apple Pay, right on the watch. No need to dig out your phone for any of these.

      On the other hand, adding GPS to the AW is a “meh”; now it’s going to drain its own battery rather than the iPhone’s. I’m not so sure making the screen brighter is the answer to the big, big problem it has in direct sunlight, but I suppose we’ll find out soon. For me, leaving aside that watches are awful for cycling (they’d have to make an waterproof/shock resistant iPhone with a built in mount before I’d even consider using one for cycling), the lack of ANT+ is a non-starter. If I used it for skiing, then it’d go on the outside of my clothing, and I couldn’t use the HR sensor anyway. And you can’t side glance at a screen that’s off most of the time. I have all of the “fitness” junk on mine as off as possible (I can’t stop it from counting “steps” or periodically taking my HR, but I don’t have to look at the results).

      And back in July, when we were driving around Utah using our iPhones for guidance (Apple Maps, although I don’t think Google Maps would be any better) we were pining for our Nuvi. Sometimes purpose built devices are just better than jack of all trades devices.

  60. Stefan

    I’m also interested in your opinion regarding the new Samsung Gear S3.
    Compared with the new Apple Watch, it seems to have more fitness focused features: altimeter, barometer, always-on display, more rugged feel(Frontier version).

  61. Wawan Setiawan

    Not for my full marathon then (mine is slow 5-6 hours marathon) and not for my long ride (usually 4-6 hours).
    The only negative thing I noticed is the battery life. I also want to know the gps accuracy in a country like Singapore or a city full of tall buildings (I always have difficulty with 910xt, but new garmins with glonass may solve the problem)

  62. Troy

    Agree @gabe

    I have v1..I’m already accustomed to charging if needed during the day.
    I even have a charger in my car. No matter what my battery status is at the time. I just top it off. Charges quickly
    Just becomes a habit. And by no means an inconvenience

    So, to get 4-5 hours of GPS usage is a great addition.
    I’m just an average fitness user…cycling and hiking
    V2 price point. Quite where it should be IMHO

    I was wanting a f3, this just adds to my decision
    A good thing
    A choice or alternative

  63. Kartik

    What I’d love is for Garmin to drop its price on the Fenix3 bcos of the AppleWatch2 release (wishful thinking) so that I can replace my Vivoactive. :-)

    • gingerneil

      You can get them on ebay for around £220 now – so used prices are coming down. Some places that do them refurbed (from Garmin, and we know from Ray that these are essentially new units) sell for not much more.
      Do it – I love my F3!! :)

    • Mike S.

      And oddly enough Garmin just released their pimped out Fenix 3s. I don’t see a price drop anytime soon.

  64. Rolf

    I don’t have experience with the apple watch and am considering the Polar M600, albeit I am an iPhone user. Not sure how much better the series 2 is over the series 1 for running (well apart of GPS obviously), but what is the feature coverage for running on the apple watch? Is it very basic or does it have the features of a low/mid-range sports watch regarding running? I am in the market for a decent running watch with OHR and if it supports other sports great (my priority is not all the smart features and wearing it all day – I have plenty of normal watches for that). Since I want optical HR on the wrist my options are currently somewhat limited and that’s why I consider those. Any insight regarding the apple watch for running is welcome.

    • Mike S.

      I’d wait for Ray’s review before making a decision. My impression is that it won’t have as many running features as the mid-level running watches. And battery life will always be Apple’s achilles heel.

  65. Tony

    Some thought on the battery life here as well.

    Indeed an 5 hours max. GPS time won’t cut it for real long (trail) runs or extended hikes. However I suppose I will not go out for these kind of prolonged workouts without bringing my phone anyway (in my case an iPhone, so that adds up). I’m just wondering if for “workouts with iPhone connected” it will not drain it’s battery on acquiring GPS-location but use the phone’s data instead would be possible?

    Anybody on this?

    • Brian

      I believe that the watch will use the iPhone GPS as it states that you can get up to 8 hours of watch usage when you have an iPhone with you.

    • Mark

      I’m wondering the same thing. I always run with my phone, and no, it doesn’t bother me. Training runs, road races, ultras, always have my phone. I listen to pandora and podcasts, and I need to stay in contact in case of an emergency (I’ve got 3 young kids in daycare, preshcool, and elementary school during the week).

      I’d love to know how the battery life would be improved if using phone gps. How about using my scoshe for optical heartrate?

      Perhaps I would be better off grabbing the “version1” with the upgraded processor, but lacking gps which is a non factor for me. At that point, the waterproofing would be the only differentiator, and it supposedly was pretty solid in that respect already.

  66. Thomas

    The real decision point for me is if the native workout app in watch series 2 syncs with Strava, Endomondo like my Garmin Fenix 3 does via Garmin Connect. All of my workouts historie is in these 2 apps – and I am not giving up on that. The answer is not, just use the Strava app – as that does not work for all types of workout.

    Does anyone know if activities sync to other 3. party apps?

  67. Adam R

    I wear an Apple Watch (1st gen) every day. I also own and use a Garmin Fenix3 and a Suunto Ambit3. I wore one or other of the bigger watches as my daily watch prior to getting the Apple Watch, but the size was not ideal.

    When I train, I wear two watches, because I do not want to do without the functions of my Apple Watch. I have come to rely on the notifications and Apple Pay. I also want to be able to use one fitness tracker that keeps track of everything.

    The Apple Watch can’t be my main fitness watch for a number of reasons. First, I don’t want to carry my phone when running if I can avoid it. Secondly, the available fitness apps are not as good as the Garmin or Suunto ones. Thirdly, the HR is unreliable and bluetooth to a separate HR strap sometimes fails. Fourthly, and most importantly, I run often on a treadmill in bad weather and I NEED a foot pod.

    That is also the reason why my Ambit 3 gets less use — I cannot find a bluetooth footpod, and I wont accept the poor wrist-based pace measurement on any device. I keep hearing about the Adidas footpod, but it is unavailable in practice in Australia.

    However, if GPS in the Apple Watch series 2 leads to better running apps, then I will use it for most outdoor running. I don’t need a barometer for my road running (nice to have, but not essential). I don’t need more than 2.5 hours of battery on a workout. I find I can get through a day and a half (if needed) on the current Apple Watch, so I doubt battery will be a real limiter.

    I am sure there are many who, like me, have been prepared to spend the money on the better fitness watches, without needing all their features, and willing to accept their inconvenience as an every-day watch. I would rather be able to use them less, and get more done with my Apple Watch. It is much the same as how I use my (many) serious cameras less now that I get nearly as good results with my phone. Good-enough is all the Apple Watch needs to be.

    • Tony

      Not sure if it applies to you, but I forgo on the need for a footpod by using a connected treadmill. It exports my runs to the Netpulse system, where the Nike+ system picks it up (other connections available as well I think). Maybe this is something to look for at the gym, or when getting a new treadmill when it is time…

    • Mike S.

      Hmm. You can’t find the Adidas footpad on Ebay or Amazon? I used it with my Polar M400 but then I got a Garmin 235 that doesn’t support bluetooth.

  68. Mimmo

    The first smartwatch that implement the optical HR while swimming ?

  69. Earlier today, @wim_s tweeted thus: “@dcrainmakerblog’s site is one of the only ones that has a great comment section with civilized conversation and questions.”

    It is absolutely true and a wonderful thing. However…! Every time Apple gets mentioned everybody goes tits up in appraisals, counter appraisals, dissing, counter dissing, arguing anecdotal evidence for and against, and what not. Could everybody please at least try to live up to DCRainmaker’s exceptional standards and make sure that @wim_s is not proven wrong?

    There are places for religious discussions that are far more suited than this one.

  70. Ric

    A big question will be, will the Apple Watch be as accurate as Garmin/Suunto GPS/GLONASS ?
    I guess time will tell?

  71. Rodrigo Valle Teixeira

    I truly believe this new Apple Watch 2 will have the same impact on Garmin/Suunto/etc as the previous one.
    Zero or positive impact.

    Think about any semi-serious sports person, who actually trains, using Garmins and Suuntos and TomToms, etc. Now let’s think about using the new Apple Watch 2:
    — Cycling: Can’t pair with speed/cadence/power, useless.
    — Running: Can’t pair with HR strap, will only be useful IF optical HR is equal or better than Scosche Rhythm, AND IF GPS accuracy is decent.
    — Swimming: Only useful if it is near perfect as a 920XT.
    — Triathlon: No QR, no big buttons, doubtful tri app, useless.

    So I would say it really comes down to OptHR and GPS accuracy for most people, as very few use a watch for swim training.

    Personally, I need all the sensor pairing, custom fields, big buttons and near-perfect accuracy on all sports of my Garmin 920XT. Is is the pinnacle of magical software algorythms refinement, and I really, really doubt the iSheep Watch will ever come close.

    • Scott Hunter

      And the Garmin Forerunners have dedicated physical start/stop buttons which are completely reliable, even in the rain. I just can’t see any serious competitive runner toeing the start line of their local 10k with their touch screen Apple Watch at the ready.

    • Rodrigo Valle Teixeira

      Sorry, forgot that any activity longer than the couple of hours the Apple Watch will probably last will GPS+OHR make it useless as well.

      Rodrigo

    • Rodrigo Valle Teixeira

      Absolutely. When I finish a hard running interval, or a hard swim set, all my blood is being used to “not die”, my brain and arms are nearly shutting down, so finding even a huge button like in a Garmin 920XT is a challenge.
      A small touch screen?…. Forget it.

    • bob190

      Sorry .. you’re not entirely correct

      You can pair the AW with a Bluetooth HR strap. I used it with my 4iiii Viiiva for a while, before WatchOS 3 which has made the optical sensor on the AW dead accurate. I no longer see the need to use the HR strap.

    • bob190

      @Scott Hunter … WatchOS 3 allows you to pause a run using the two physical buttons (crown and side button). Once paused, you still need to hit the End virtual button, but that’s not a big deal since the run is already paused. Works fine. WatchOS 3 also has auto pause which works fine also.

    • Karl

      While the (speed/cadence/HR strap) sensors are not there today, it’s only code to add BLE connectivity and have this be “similar” to Polar (to pick on 1 BLE implementation). And yes, “similar” is a big YMMV.

      Or perhaps that just isn’t important enough for the majority of purchasers, and the minority for who it is will remain with purpose built fitness devices (Garmin et al).

      Let’s see how this unfolds.

      …karl

    • bob190

      @Karl … you can pair HR straps with the current Apple Watch. It has been that way since the watch was released.

    • The Swim.com app on the Apple Watch will autodetect the moment when you start/stop swimming to rest. No button-pressing needed.

    • This is sounding better and better!

      Is there a full list of functionality somewhere? My main goal::

      – Structured Swim Workouts (like Garmin does now) BUT with the ability to have alerts at the same time (like Garmin doesn’t) so I can set a CSS pace for example…

      Cheers

      Ian

    • Haris

      I have no answer to you questions Ian but Swim app sounds promising. I think that we all were a bit blindfolded when it comes to data we get from our Garmin, Suunto and Polars thinking that for example Apple Watch canˋt give us similar information. I havenˋt seen any serious technical article explaining why this should be the case. What, apart from software that is there from the start, gives ability to get SWOLF from Fenix 3 and not Apple Watch? Are there really some extra sensors inside that are missing in AW? I would appreciate any info about it.

    • Angie

      A follow-up question about the swim.com app. The auto-detection sounds great, but what about kicking with a kick board? Will the AW (and app) be able to accurately detect the laps?

    • Michael Benis

      You can pair an HR strap with Apple watch

  72. Mark

    Although interesting (particularly with GPS and waterproof), I’m more interested in how the new Samsung Gear S3 performs.

    Not only is there GPS, but also a barometer, and in one model 4G for standalone calls. I also like the 3 – 4 days they are quoting. Unfortunate that they are only making it splash proof.

    I think that may be a more serious contender for Garmin / Suunto if they get the apps right.

  73. Jim

    Excited about a waterproof version of the Apple Watch. Unfortunately though, I can’t find an IPX8-rated Bluetooth headphone solution to pair with the watch (IPX8 Bluetooth headphones, or waterproof Bluetooth receiver attached to waterproof wired headphones, etc.). I was hoping to use the watch for offline music/podcasts while swimming too.

  74. Jen

    Ray, really looking forward to your review of the series 2 watch.

    I bought an Apple Watch a few months ago and ended up returning it because I was annoyed by the lack of GPS (I thought I’d be fine, alas, I was wrong). With the addition of GPS and waterproofing this has absolutely resolved my complaints of the series 1 watch.

    As a 7x average marathoner, I’ve often felt that my Garmin 620 was dated and another one-purpose item I needed to bring with me on long runs and long rides (as a new rider). I was satisfied with sticking with the Garmin and “just dealing” with it since my metric means were on the minimal side of things however, after seeing this announcement yesterday, I have to say I am sold.

    I will definitely be purchasing the series 2 to try out. I was curious what the actual differences were between the series 2 and the nike+, so thank you for clearing up that it’s not much and in my humble opinion, not worth waiting for the October release!

  75. dale jayne

    Will the screen stay on during a workout or timeout. That is one of the main reasons I can’t use an apple watch to work out I like my screen on all the time during a workout especially cycling. Right now I’m using a fenix 3 but could see myself using an apple watch all day and putting on my garmin for workouts still.

  76. Keith Fleming

    Why doesn’t any company just answer yes/no as to their product being stand alone ….from what I gather this is a NO! Does anyone know of a 100% stand alone watch with a phone? No other optioons needed , I do no computing on the go ……I’m starting to think the “Dick Tracy” watch/phone has gone the way of flying cars. lol

    • Mike

      I can’t speak to other manufacturers but Apple is very clear that in its current form the AW and AW2 are stand alone devices (except for GPS uses for the new AW2). Neither have a cellular chip therefore to get notifications, emails, texts, phone calls, etc you’d need your iPhone nearby.

    • Keith Fleming

      This is what I am talking about…..If my iPhone has to be near by IT is NOT stand alone…..I am OLD school and have NO need for a $600 phone $300 for the watch angers me but if I want to communicate…..If the watch needs a friend it is NOT stand alone..it is leaning on a companion ….somewhere

  77. JR

    Smartwatches and fitness watches are still different products. Garmin et al make great fitness watches, with some rudimentary smartphone features. Apple makes a great smartwatch, with increasingly competitive fitness features.

    I think the big issue is that, while it’s true that a huge portion of the market has no interest in high end fitness watches, there’s also a huge portion of the market that has no interest in a daily-wear smartwatch. I literally know only one person who wears a smartwatch, and I’m a big firm lawyer in an east coast city (my friends spend a lot of money on toys). On the other hand, I know only one runner who doesn’t wear a GPS watch. So for Apple to really pose a threat to dedicated fitness watches, they need to either (1) convince more people that there’s a point to smartwatches, or (2) get their fitness features competitive with Garmin while ALSO getting their prices competitive (and that’s probably impossible in the medium term, since they’re offering a lot of other stuff–it’s just stuff that many people don’t care about).

    I think where you’re most likely to see Apple taking business from Garmin is in the segment of people who definitely want a smartwatch and might want a fitness watch.

    Something else to keep in mind is that Garmin is not quite competing at 100% yet. People get annoyed because Garmin differentiates products with crippling software, but the only reason Garmin gets away with it is because no other company in the space is competitive enough to punish them for doing so. If the space becomes more competitive, Garmin can drive more features downmarket and slash margins in order to maintain market share.

    • Rolf

      I agree completely with your sentiments in paragraph 2 – that’s why I am disappointed with Polar and their M600 positioning. They could have exactly bridged that area by making sure that their rich set of sports features is reasonably integrated, so that it appeals to all those that want the sports feature and find it cool to also having the smart features and Android wear, and maybe to those that primarily want the smart features but find value in having also the fitness features.

  78. Damian Fisher

    Hi DC Rain Maker I enjoy your product reviews. Will the Apple 2 watch work with Garmin’s cadence meters? I would be interested in your thoughts on this.

    • Paul S.

      No. Garmin cadence sensors use ANT+, and the Apple Watch does not have an ANT+ receiver.

    • Tim Grose

      All current Garmin watches can do cadence just from the watch. With the HRM-Run/Tri strap or a foot pod you just get more ways of getting cadence. Unclear if the AW can also do so from the watch.

  79. JB

    I tried the iWatch v1. Odd enough I had a reaction and my hand kept on tingling and numbing my hand. I had to return it after a couple days. Then got the garmin 735xt and no issues. Don’t know the difference between optical sensors but myself and I hear others as well have had issues.

  80. Pedro Cardoso

    Great stuff, im wondering when Apple and other vendors in general will rollout IoT, that will make a big difference and I see that as the game changer (lets face it, we dont really need constant celular connection) and IoT saves alot of battery plus as really interesting possibilities such as uploading workouts, body data periodically to a server or receiving notifications like mails/messages (useful if you go for a run without ur phone).
    Whats your opinion about this Ray?

    Cheers,
    Pedro

    • IoT is a buzzword. It has no true technical definition from an engineering standpoint. It loosely means something that connects to the internet in some manner, which the Apple Watch does via your iPhone (as does Garmin’s watch in fact, via Connect IQ and your phone).

      Now, if you’re asking whether or when Apple will make in cellular connectivity for direct connectivity, the rumors sound like it’s planned for the next iteration. Once you do that your complexity skyrockets, primarily because of dealing with cell companies. Apple is in a far better spot than even Samsung in this area, due to muscle they’ve gained over years of selling iPhones over carriers to demand (and get) anything they’d like. Meanwhile, Garmin, Pebble, and Fitbit has virtually no pull here. So they’d have to approach things from a US-centric plan of either allowing you to buy a SIM card of your choice (fine, but has low upstick) or taking an Amazon perspective for data access ala Kindle.

    • Haris

      Hi Ray!

      I might be completely wrong but I assume that Apple has been planing this “independence” from iPhone for its devices for longer period since they been pushing very hard for introduction of software-based SIM-cards (at least according to some reports).
      Those cards would free space taken up by physical SIM-cards and would make procces of switching the carrier/provider much smoother. As you said, Apple is probably the best positioned company to do such a change/ask for such demands.

  81. Slow Runner

    Time to move to the iwatch.
    I am on my 3rd Garmin and 3rd iphone.
    The reason for the Garmin changes is related to reliability (diminishing battery life and a strap break)
    The reason for the iphone changes is related to performance upgrades.

    Since I have some time on my hands (no pun in 10 did), I will get the new iwatch.
    Reasons:

    1) Anyone do the fake stretching pose with a Garmin when in reality you are hoping to get a signal?
    I do it all the time, even with the latest watch. Sounds like the iwatch hunt for a signal will be near instaneous.

    2) prospect of continuous and useful software upgrades of Apple products versus Garmin bug fixes.

    3) My old Garmin 305 has a face that only a runner would love. My latest 15 is better but is certainly no dress watch. Admittedly, the latest Garmins are better but still cannot compete with the iwatch.

  82. David Tucker

    I think this is definitely an interesting, and welcome, upgrade to the original AW. I had people asking me before if I would get the AW since they know I’m into “exercise”. My response before was easy. No, the AW is not actually useful for anyone into sports. Not to mention I’m an Open Source guy so I won’t be buying any Apple products beyond the shuffle I own (and purchased only begrudgingly ;) ) But I do appreciate what Apple brings to the marketplace and I think this can only help the overall smartwatch market.

    But will this every really compete with Garmin, Suunto or Polar? I don’t see it. Fitbit? They might be the ones with a real problem here. You don’t have to be into ultras or triathlon for the AW to not have enough battery life for you. Casual runners who don’t race…sure! This is great for them. But casual runners who are BOP and most likely to want something that’s not a pure running watch? Even a half marathon is a struggle.

    I have a friend who does his half marathons in 3+ hours and he does them regularly. Forget the occasional 7 marathon he participates in. For the rest of us…it might, barely, get through a marathon. But not hiking or skiing. I have the Fenix 2 and soon to upgrade to the Fenix 3. That market is safe for a while and Garmin obviously can see that given it’s attention to the Fenix line.

    I really will be interested to see what happens to Fitbit though. Their market, to me, seems to be the same one as what the AW is targeting.

  83. Marios

    Ray, I wonder if you could test one of the Ceramic White ones to see if that material allows better GPS reception. Ceramic might not act as a Faraday box the way all metal cases do …

  84. Doug

    Any chance of using the HR sensor of the Apple Watch on another device such as an Edge 520? The Edge works great for me as a bike computer but I am a watch guy and being able to wear the AW for HR w/o having to hunt up a HR strap would be a good thing

  85. Ken

    What I haven’t really seen in these comments is if I do a very reasonable 2-2½ hour GPS workout then I’m assuming the watch can’t make it thru the day w/o a recharge because I’ve used half of the battery life & it doesn’t last for two days in ‘regular’ mode. That would make it a non-starter for me (if I WAS considering it). Also, as others have alluded to, battery life degrades over time. What’s 5 hrs new won’t get the average person thru a marathon in a year or two.

    • bob190

      I have had the Apple Watch for over a year and a half, and each of those days included a workout of 1-3 hrs and I have never had an issue with the battery life. I wear my watch consistently 22.5 hours a day (I use the Heart Watch app for sleep tracking) and the other 1.5 hours a day it is charging. I charge while getting ready for work in the morning, and they usually after a work out, or before going to bed. It charges fast and it isn’t much of an effort to drop it on the charger.

      I know people like to highlight battery life when dissing the Apple Watch .. as a long time user of the device, I can say it has never been an issue.

    • Joe

      But that’s without GPS, which is going to drain about twice as much battery as your same workout with the 1st gen Apple watch. If you use GPS for more than an hour I don’t see how you’d get through the rest of the day without having to recharge in the middle of the day. And while charging may be quick, it’s still a hassle and will require that you have the charging cradle available to do it.

    • Bob190

      Not necessarily. The battery capacity as been increased in the Series 2 so it should be roughly the same. I just don’t find charging it to be a hassle. I have a charger at work and at home and have never had with battery life. I rarely see my battery go below 30%.

    • Joe

      It may have a larger battery; I haven’t seen that spec. What I have seen is Apple’s battery usage spec which states the same 18-hrs for “normal” usage for both the Series 1 and Series 2 watches. So perhaps the larger battery is offset by the more power hungry components (brighter screen, faster processor, etc) because it doesn’t seem to be making the watch last longer.

      link to apple.com

      From Apple’s own data, every hour of GPS usage is going to eat up 20% of the watch’s battery capacity.

  86. Mike

    Apple Watch v2 and the equivalent Android Wear devices will do to the fitness tracker and low-to-mid range GPS watches, what the smartphone did to point and shoot cameras and mp3 players. It doesn’t need to match the stand-alone device feature for feature (or battery life). But it gets close enough for the average user to compel them that having (and buying) a dedicated device is no longer worth it. In this case, it checks the boxes with casual-length workouts, maybe-ok HR monitoring, coupled with better phone integration, payments and more robust app ecosystem than our current GPS watches. Garmin, Suunto and Polar will continue to have the high-end market, similar to where DSLR’s are today. But I think the low and eventually mid-end watches are at risk in a few years.

    • JR

      The camera phone comparison is an obvious one, but there’s a big different. EVERYONE had phones by the time camera phones started showing up. But at this point, basically nobody has a smartwatch, and most people don’t want them.

    • Rolf

      JR, good point but I do think there is a real demand for smart watches. I don’t care for them but there is a lot of folks that buy them not because they really need it but because they think it i cool.
      I also don’t want to wear one of those watches every day (I have plenty of watches that are just that a watch to see the time..), but for those that in the past didn’t care for watches but want an activity tracker (I know personally so many people that got one), a combined smart watch with activity tracking is appealing (because the intended use is to wear it all day long).
      Where I see a difference is true fitness watches (running, cycling, swimming, etc.). Like you I want a good sports watch and if that is realized on a smart watch platform, it doesn’t harm and can have it’s advantages. But it’s no good (for most all exercisers I assume) if it is a smart watch pretending to offer the sports/fitness features but only marginal – then I revert back to the true sports/fitness watch. For these activities wearing it all day is not necessary.

    • Edgar

      Or what iPhone (or smartphones in general) did to Nokia brick phones years ago… It”s not high vs low end in my opinion, the vast majority of users aren’t professional runners, cyclists, or swimmers. That’s where the problem begins. Polar, Garmin and Suunto failed in their intends to get an ecosystem of apps and companies contributing creating software for the watches they sell. In fact, Polar, Garmin and suunto are closed systems, bricks, like nokia phones were years ago (history is repeating? we’ll see).
      What apple does is to apply the same success formula to sport watches. We’ll see if they win or if managers of the other companies learn from the experiences of others and react in consecuence. No chances to fail for Garmin selling hardware for beta-test with users, or Polar and Suunto selling promises more than features.

    • Ian

      Hi Edgar,

      Your conclusion may be correct, but there are some nuances to the reasoning I’d reconsider. Nokia wasn’t a closed platform. From the late 90’s it was running Series 40 which allowed for J2ME (Java) apps. Starting around 2002, it launched Series 60 (Symbian) smartphone platform, in which there were 10s of thousands of apps. In fact, Nokia was shipping over 100M S60 smartphones a year by around 2006. The problem with Nokia’s ecosystem was the app delivery mechanism. It simply was too hard to find/download/pay for S60 apps, so the vast majority of S60 smartphones were used as dumphones. (My company, WorldMate, did manage to garner millions of S60 users on Nokia, but that was mostly because we were able to negotiate huge pre-load deals on the S60 phones.) Garmin’s ConnectIQ market suffers from many of these same shortcomings. On top of this, Garmin is only selling a couple million Forerunners + fenix watches. The end result is that the install base isn’t attractive to developers now. ANT+ is artificially locking in the hardware/sensor developers to Garmin, at least for now…

  87. Greg Hilton

    Well my wife and I have been looking for a watch she can wear day to day that can do GPS running, swimming, gym workouts with built in HR that isn’t massive.

    This could well be the only option available currently. She’s tried all the Garmins that meet he criteria and has said they are too big and bulky.

    • Tim Grose

      Including the 735? I can’t see the AW being smaller than that?

    • ekutter

      Actually it is quite a bit smaller, especially if you go with the 38mm version.

      AW2 38mm: 38.6 x 33.3 x 11.4
      42mm: 42.5 x 36.4 x 11.4

      735: 44.5 x 44.5 x 11.9

      Weight is hard to tell because apple on reports the weight for the watch excluding band. But the original AW was 40g I believe, which is the same as the 735.

    • Tim Grose

      Ah interesting. The 735 is definitely much sleaker than a 920 or Fenix 3 though so worth checking out if you have not already. Perhaps only the new FR30 is any smaller in a current Garmin watch but that can’t do swimming. Speaking of which no mention of that device by Ray as yet?

    • Tim Grose

      Need an edit facility Ray. I meant to say FR35 not FR30 of course :)

    • Greg Hilton

      I have the 735 so she’s tried it on. As said above the smaller Apple Watch could be an option…

    • I put up some FR35 YouTube videos a few days ago. But will eventually get around to posting on it in the next few days. This would be a prime example of other companies spent time/effort to get me hands-on units going into Eurobike. Such time/effort was not spent for the FR35 until days later (though obviously was for the VIRB Ultra), so it seems a bit wrong to punish the other products/companies that were prepared enough.

  88. Nicholas

    Will it have audio cues for splits and pace like Runkeeper and strava’s smartphone apps?
    Still waiting for a watch that can do that, ideally through built-in speakers but even using Bluetooth earphones would be OK since I understand the technological limitations.
    As far as I’m aware there is no such watch of any company which is a real shame.

    • Tim Grose

      You can get audio pace/HR cues with the 230/235/630/735 Forerunners. The phone “speaks” them via the GCM app. I can hear them fine without headphones from my backpocket. If you mean the watch in isolation then no but you need your phone for the “smart” features anyway.

    • Tim Grose

      Need an edit facility Ray. I meant to say FR35 not FR30 of course :)

    • Nicholas

      Yes I meant a standalone watch, just for those too lazy to look down at the watch and try reading the last split time, or for those unable to coordinate looking at the watch and keep running fast.

  89. Tim Grose

    Made a point of watching the Apple keynote presentation on this. It was interesting that the running features of the watch actually got their own section with some Nike exec (who looked an unlikely runner!) telling us how previous GPS watches weren’t easy to use nor locked onto sats quickly but this “solves” both! Umm nothing really “new” then? Also don’t worry there is an advanced section for those that want it. Unclear what else there is. So I can’t help thinking that if anybody else came out with a 5 hour GPS watch with no obvious truly “advanced” features (can you connect anything other than a BT HR strap for instance?) then Ray might not even bother reviewing it but because it is Apple we take notice and place our orders.

    Clearly it is very interesting development but would be nice to see some actual usage reports and just because you slap a GPS in a product it does not instantly mean GPS tracking and pace smoothing and indeed OHR will be to our liking.

    So don’t think will be ditching my 735 (or 630 on other days) just yet. And not sure I really “get” the advanced smart watch capabilities. I like notifications on my Garmin for sure but I never felt say if the phone rings mid run and I see who it is to then pull out my phone to take the call that this is any great “problem”?

    • Paul S.

      You’d answer it on the Apple Watch, provided you want to take it. No reason to pull out the iPhone. (Assuming all that worked during an active activity, but it certainly does work normally.)

      I haven’t seen any real problem with GPS lockup on my Epix. Provided you regularly sync so that the satellite ephemeris is up to date, it locks up within 15 s or so (never actually timed it). So I don’t see what the big deal is.

      I’m not a runner, and I have an gen 1 Apple Watch, so I’m not interested in series 2. What interests me the most is whether making the screen brighter actually solves the “can’t see it in the Sun” problem. It’s a real problem, and I have my doubts that just making the screen brighter will cure it.

    • ekutter

      A couple things that appeal to me about it. Your not locked in to what Garmin decides goes on the watch. For example, if I want a decent Golf app, I either have to go with the Fenix, which is bigger than I’m willing to wear as an every day watch. Or I have to go with the Vivo Active HR which is more limiting for running than what I’d want. Seems like there are a couple cheesy CIQ apps. Also, Apple Pay would actually be a pretty big feature for me if I can use it without my Phone. Also the ability to write much more sophisticated applications for it.

      I’m guessing, however, at this point the AW2 will be a bit too limiting for my every day watch as well, given the limited battery. I’ll have to wait and see how the reviews are for real life usage.

      Personally, though, the killer feature will be a G4 chip so I don’t even need my phone much of the time.

    • Tim Grose

      Golf app would be nice although with fourball rounds creeping past 4 hours even at my club with everybody reasonable competent and slow play frowned up might struggle. I think a lot of the problem with Garmin watches is they seem to run very close to the wire on resources. Good test there will be to see if Strava segments make it to the Fenix 3 variants. And yes if somebody comes up with a watch that is really a phone too that can also act as a competent GPS fitness device then that really would be a game changer. I suspect battery tech is not quite there yet even if there is room for a SIM card in a watch without really noticing it.

  90. Joe

    Battery life alone knocks the Apple Watch out of contention for any consideration by me. It’s spec’d at 18 hours, apparently without any use of GPS. If GPS is rated for 5 hours that will be enough to get through most people’s workouts, but that also means a simple 1-hour workout is going to knock off 20% of your battery. That leaves less than 15 hours for the rest of your day. A 2-hour ride in the morning and your watch won’t even make it to dinner time!

  91. Onecoolwoman

    The tipping point for me for AW2 over the Fenix3HR is every day wearability as a woman. I’m a serious triathlete and LOVE the features of the Fenix3HR, but it only comes in grey, with an ugly black band. And it’s extra large size is ridiculous on my wrist. Nonetheless, because I use the Fenix3HR to track my daily steps, sleep, iPhone notifications, and swim/bike/run workouts, I have had very little choice. I traded my AW1 for the Fenix3HR because then I didn’t need a separate watch in the pool or for cadence on my Tri bike (with ANT sensor). AW2 hasn’t solved my cadence tracking, but if I can mainstream my everyday watch and not have to swap watches when I get in the pool, I am getting closer to a great fitness watch. I really like the other features of my Fenix3HR, including VO2max and the Connect app data; I can only hope I can get similar data from the AW2. If Garmin could just make that Fenix3HR smaller and more attractive, they would have way more female athletes opting for it.

  92. mpulsiv

    Can someone shed some light on how sleep metrics function when 99% of users remove the watch from their wrist and put it on a charger overnight? Doesn’t this defeat the purpose?

    • Onecoolwoman

      I recharge it only when I take a shower. Otherwise it’s on my wrist 24×7. With my old AW1, I used a separate sleep app and recharged my AW1 overnight.

  93. Slow Runner

    Ray,
    I noticed the Apple site mentions if you use your AW2 with your iPhone for outdoor cycling, it will use the iPhone GPS signal.
    I wonder if you also run with both devices, the run mode will utilize the GPS signal from the AW2 and then switch over to the iPhone signal when the watch battery life reduces. That would be a neat feature to have…

    Also, do you have any idea on the relative power consumptions of the optical heart rate monitor versus GPS? And can you shut off the heart rate monitor?

  94. Andrew

    I’m quite interested in the new Apple Watch, but my biggest sticking point is custom workouts. I have all my running workouts (fartlek, repeats, tempo runs, hill sprints, etc) programmed into my 620 and use it to run all of my sessions. I simply cannot live without this feature.

    Is there any ability for this new Nike app to do this? Without this, it’s just a fun run toy.

    Also, I will be very interested to see if they have managed to get any reliability out of the optical sensor for HR. Best I can tell from all of the reviews on this site and others of current optical sensors are at best fairly accurate and at worst completely useless. None appear to be anywhere near as reliable as a strap. i like to use HR to monitor my effort on hill sprints and intervals, so wouldn’t want to go backwards here.

    If they do have an app for custom workouts and the HR is up to snuff, I could genuinely see myself not buying the new 630 and getting this instead. I’ve at the least delayed upgrading my 620 until in depth reviews are out

  95. Troy

    Ray…

    any “estimated ” time on when you will get your hands..I mean wrist on the aw2?
    For a review

    Thanks

    • I’m working with them trying to find a date/place to do the ‘official’ briefings and hand-over of final review units. It’s a bit complex because my travel schedule is a bit nuts the next 2 weeks. But they’re being flexible in trying to figure it out (within the confines of various corporate dates for when any reviewer, WSJ, NYT or otherwise, is allowed to have a final unit).

    • Mike Richie

      It would probably behoove them to get you one asap. When googling “Apple Watch 2” and “fitness”, “running”, “cycling”, etc. your post comes up on the first or second page; higher then many of the big tech blogs. This watch has fixed two of the major objections to using an Apple Watch by serious athletes, lack of waterproofing and lack of GPS. Now the main problems are battery life and sensor compatibility (as well as dependence on the Apple infrastructure for those using Android). But the second, I believe, can be fixed with Bluetooth and 3rd party software. I think some improvements have been made to heart rate recording as well. I, for one, will be relying on your first impressions, so I hope they get you a device soon.

  96. Chris

    The camera comparison has been brought up but some numbers hammer it home…

    2010 the year, Instagram was born and a hundred and twenty-two million digital cameras were sold

    2015 Thirty-five million

    The Apple watch isn’t just about fitness, any company that is in GPS sector are going to have issues.

    The watch reviewer at hodinkee, who knows real watches said that the two metal Apple bands are the best bands that have ever been made. Watchmakers have been making band since before we were born. Apple hired one of the best watches designers and said make the bands that you want to make and gave him a Apple team and then you get the “best bands that have ever been made’. Simple !!!

    We all have issue with the watches we use, and Apple is looking at every detail to make it the best watch that is possible, is it the best right now, no but it will be and we will all be looking back and wonder how we used anything else. This is only V2 and they are just getting started. The Nike version kinda implies that they know that the need a workout version, but just aren’t there yet..

    Gamin gets to spend 400 million on R&D, Nikon 800 million …. Apple 10 billion… the question isn’t is Apple going to take you business, the question is when is Apple going to take it.

    10 billion makes almost any issue/problem/road block go away… Apple is using their own metals in the watch, I don’t think we understand how hard it is to make something at Apple’s standards and how hard that makes it to compete with them long term.

    Not everyone has or wants a fitness watch, but someday everyone will have a phone and if Apple has all the revenue of the phone market there is no company on earth that is going to have enough resources to catch them in any market they want to enter.

    I’ll say it again 10 billion on R&D….

    C

    PS 10 billion could buy you better private replacements for GPS and LTE.

    PSS Only Rolex, of all the watchmakers (the middle of “real” watches) has more watch revenue than Apple.

    • Wawan Setiawan

      Someday, but that day is not today or the next 1-2 years at least.
      Not apple to apple comparing R&D between garmin and Apple (not garmin to apple then, sorry, the pun).

    • Michael Robinson

      Surely it depends whether Apple thinks a particular market segment is worth going after?

      Phone cameras mean that sales of low/mid market compact digital cameras have plummeted but IMO there will still continue to be a niche market for higher end DSLR-type products.

      So with fitness products, will the AW make much a dent in the low end tracker band market and how many companies can make money from higher end specialist niche products?

    • JR

      “Gamin gets to spend 400 million on R&D, Nikon 800 million …. Apple 10 billion… the question isn’t is Apple going to take you business, the question is when is Apple going to take it.”

      The number comparison is awfully misleading, for a few reasons. First, R&D has to have at least some relationship to potential returns. Being a wealthier company lets you take a longer view, but it doesn’t mean that cost is no object. Second, is the question of diminishing returns. At some point, there’s only so much you can invest per year in developing a certain type of product. I see no indication that Garmin is struggling. Garmin pours out products and innovations at a breakneck speed. Third Apple’s R&D budget is allocated across a wider range of products.

      As for the inevitability of Apple taking your business, history just doesn’t support that idea (in any field, for that matter, nevermind with regard to this specific company). Apple’s modern success has its roots in a few events”

      (1) The Microsoft monopoly in the late 90s led to PCs being almost unusable. Microsoft was more focused on anticompetitive innovations (like bundling software) than it was on improving the user experience. This opened the door for an alternative platform. (The Mac hardware itself was nothing special, but the OS was a great.) But Microsoft had to respond, and its recent OS releases have been great. PCs have essentially the same hardware as Macs at lower prices. And because so much of what we do is web based, people are less invested in a particular platform. PCs are here to stay at least as long as Macs are (Chromebooks are the biggest threat to both).

      (2) Then came the ipod and itunes. Apple didn’t invent mp3 players, but they made them easy to use by combining them with an (at the time) wonderful music management program and, crucially, an online store. Kudos to apple. But although the ipod is basically the last mp3 player standing, nobody buys mp3 players anymore. Nobody buys music anymore either. Spotify and Google Play are absolutely crushing Apple when it comes to music, and they’re poised to continue doing so.

      (3) The one product that Apple really did invent was the iphone, and they got a lot of mileage out of being the first, but they’re far from dominant in that market. They have about 20% market share, and though their share of the premium market is higher, it’s been years since they’ve made a phone that could be objectively called the best on the market. What’s more, because there are so many android competitors on fast release cycles, even if a new iphone is the best at a given moment, there will absolutely be windows when it is not the best.

      Essentially, Apple has been unable to truly dominate ANY category of tech. They’re an extremely profitable competitor that makes great, premium products, but other companies have compelling offerings in every sector. The ONLY space in which they were able to actually kill their competitors was in the mp3 player market, and the reason for that was network effects. (Ipods, the itunes store, and the itunes software, which was free but took an investment of time to set up, worked perfectly with each other, but not very well with anything else, which made it almost impossible for anyone to displace.) Apple won’t be able to do this with fitness because they aren’t going to have a dominant fitness platform. Strava, for example, is here to stay, and it’s an open platform.

      Also, a word about sports watches just being for “elite athletes.” I don’t think that’s accurate. I think the real users are simply “athletes”–anyone who trains regularly and tries to get faster. That’s not a huge market, but it’s not negligible. Even if apple’s watch really takes off, that doesn’t mean that there won’t continue to be a place for dedicated sports watches, just like the digital camera market is still quite vibrant and innovative at the moment.

    • Ian

      Hi JR and Chris,

      Some added points for your conversation:

      A.) Apple’s traditionally goes for the mid- to high-end in search of the highest profit, not the largest volume.

      B.) That said, JR was right in that Apple took over the MP3 market in terms of market share– peaking at about 75% share by 2005. Ultimately, the smartphones killed the MP3 market.

      C.) In its history, Apple has never had more than a 20% market share of the PC market in any country (except Japan in the 1990’s). It’s current global market share is arond 8%, but it is generating over 40% of the PC market’s profit!

      D.) Similarly, the iPhone only has about 15% global market share, but in 2015 scooped up 95% of the smartphone industry’s profit!!

      E.) Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, but it did revolutionize the market. I’m sure we all remember the Japanese i-Mode phones of the 1990’s and then the Treos, Microsoft-based PocketPC/MS Smartphones, Sony Ericsson P800, Noka S60s and BlackBerries of the early to mid 2000’s. All could run 3rd party apps and many had touch screens. In fact, Nokia was already shipping over 100M S60 smartphones a year before the iPhone was launched. What Apple did was lead the wave of next generation of smartphones, and give rise to the “app economy”.

      The GPS watch market for endurance athletes is only a few million units/year. Its simply too small for Apple to specifically target. The big market is in activity trackers and other smart watches. (Of course there is some overlap, so activity trackers and smartwatches will cannibalize some of the GPS sports watch market.) Given Apple’s preference for mid- to high-end markets, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Apple take up to 15-30% of the smart watch and activity tracker market…along with 75%+ of those markets’ profit. As you can from the graph, Garmin and Fitbit are already in a race to the bottom in terms of profit margins for activity trackers.

    • chris

      JR,

      R&D has to have at least some relationship to potential returns, Yes but not as much as we think when the number is that big.

      Apple has said many time they are proud of the products they don’t make, I think that the “cost is object for Apple” is the exact thinking that happens when you are just trying to build a product, not try to build the best product in the world like Apple does.

      You are right Apple doesn’t view “cost is no object” however they have the resources to design the best products and try and drive the cost down until they can mass-produce it (oh and by the way they are the best at the world at mass-production too).

      Pixar had Bugs Life planned out years before they could afford the compute power to make the movie and did the math every year until they could afford the computers. I am reasonably sure Steve learned that from Ed Catmull. Do you think the new AirPods is only the second BT headset Apple has built and designed?

      Yep Apple product line is more diverse, but this is really an problem for Garmin and they know it or they wouldn’t have bought the company that designed Vector. 50 billion in profit, is more than enough to support Apple product line, is there not a CEO or person in the world that would like the resources that 50 billion brings to the table.

      It’s not about events, it’s about the best products!! 1999 the iMac, 2001 PowerBook G4 Titanium, iPod and iPhone, Mac OS X

      The phone is an iPod, so that really hasn’t changed just how people look at it, the watch is an iPod too. The 2105 music revenue numbers are 45% streaming to 39% physical purchase so we like to think that it’s changed but it could just be that more people are listing to streaming instead of the radio, but the music lovers are still buying. Spotify hasn’t made a profit, how long can that last? Streaming music to Apple is just a piece of Apple music.

      Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, just like the iPod, there were other players there 1st, but Apple did it best, just like they are going to do with the watch.

      This is never about market share this is about the best products that lead to people wanting to use those best products that ends up with Apple making all the profits. Then taking that profit and making even better products. They have such a lead I can’t see where any company is going to catch them.

      With 17.2% of the smartphone market in 2015, Apple captured 91% of the profit. 91% I don’t know if you can have a monopoly of profits in this day and age but I think 91% is close enough for me. As for more companies making Android phones and making them better, the last tests I have see says that the s7 can’t keep up with the one year old 6+.

      The phone market is just like the PC market, just that nobody is leaving the Apple phones to Android, there isn’t even a race to the bottom, Apple exploited their iPod lead and money and just took all the phone profits. How are the Android phones makers going to be able to afford to create improvements if they only have 9% of the profits to re-invest. While it’s still super early to call this a win like the iPod, I just don’t see any math, resources and or growth opportunities were anybody can catch them.

      Apple is going to follow the same model with the watch that they did with the iPod and iPhone. Build the best with the profits from the previous products and knowledge and own the profits of the next device..

      This is not about fitness watches this is about computers/phones on your wrist and Apple makes the best computers right now and that will not be any different when it on your wrist.. iPhone sales are going to going to fall, not anytime soon but when they do you can bet that Apple will be the only one “making the iPhone killer”. A phone on your wrist or the size of an Apple watch… I am really upset that I can’t get a phone that is just like the iPod nano right now.

      Right now most everyone is making “sort of expert systems” as a watch. Apple is building a General computer platform that will allow any developers/companies to software and hardware that will work with that platform. Sure those expert systems do some things better now but as Apple and developers understand what people want and what the limits of the watch are those expert systems are going to be made in software.

      Strava is great example, their expert app runs on the watch, Wahoo is another, sure all the players have issue but I only see the watch market doing the same as the phone market. (also Strava hasn’t made a profit yet)

      What happens if Apple decides to hire the Golden Cheetah people or just forks their open source app.(not that is is possible as I think I think they have “real” jobs.

      I don’t call losing 70% of your sales (digital camera market) vibrant..

      C

      PS I also strongly disagree that “PCs have essentially the same hardware as Macs at lower prices.” The Lenovo carbon is more expensive than a like MacBook Air. Also if I had designed the Lenovo I would be embarrassed to tell my parents that I did that for a living, it’s not even close to build as well as the Air and the Air is years behind the MacBook. I agree that the Chromebooks are a threat, but they are just that a threat not real. Google doesn’t have to sell them to win, they just have to get their 62,000 employees to use them and they can stop buying their “sort of competitors” MacBook Airs.

    • Lil'KONG

      Lets just talk about the AW2. Less Apple aggrandising would be appreciated please?

    • Haris

      Hmm, I don’t know what you mean by dominate, but Apple surely is dominating high-end phone market and has been doing so since the release of the first iPhone. Just look at revenue numbers for this category of phones and you will see that you are very wrong. Sure it is not complete phone-market but they have zero 100/200/300 phones to compete with.
      Your comparison with camera market is a bit strange too. That complete market is not fluorishing. Compact cameras have since few years ago lost to mobile phones, DSLRS are having slight decline. Inovation is hapening in mirorless sector and high-end one. The complete picture is that number of those who take a lot if photos and who really buy expensive DSLR, no matter if they need one or not, is very small compared to those who take photos with thir phones or mid-priced cameras.
      Same thing is hapening with watches we use for fitness/training. Only small percentage need something like Fenix 3 or Suunto Spartan Ultra. There are far more persons that run 5-10 km few times a week, swim or ride bicycle few times a week than those who run 20 km or do similar long exercises elsewhere on regular basis.

  97. Sportsblogg

    and what about Forerunner 35, not interesting enough for you?

    • Brigitte

      Yeah, I would love to see a comparison between the new Apple Watch 2 and the Forerunner 35!!

    • Tim Grose

      link to buy.garmin.com
      About half the price and nearly 3 times more battery life. Despite that I suspect sales of it will not quite be comparable :)

    • Birgitte 2

      you stupid?

    • Birgitte 2 – Let’s avoid name calling. Cause otherwise I’ll start zapping comments. Just not the way I roll here.

      As for the FR35, I noted in another (albeit now buried) comment:

      I put up some FR35 YouTube videos a few days ago. But will eventually get around to posting on it in the next few days. This would be a prime example of other companies spent time/effort to get me hands-on units going into Eurobike. Such time/effort was not spent for the FR35 until days later (though obviously was for the VIRB Ultra), so it seems a bit wrong to punish the other products/companies that were prepared enough.

  98. Tom

    perfect! finally the perfect political correct product! looks gay, can’t do anything really well and has zero battery life. poor steve jobs – these two guys cook and ivy ruin his whole company within 10 years beeing political overcorrect and 100 percent uninspired.

    • Tom

      p.s. i own more than 20 actual apple products – so i’m not an apple hater. but i clearly stay with my watch for boys :)

    • Paul S.

      Good luck answering a call or text on your little boy’s watch.

    • Tom

      … while workout i never answer anything – rest of the day i simply use my phone

    • shawrx

      Agreed, I’m an Apple fan and have tons of their stuff but for my lifestyle and personal preferences the Fenix3 is still the way to go. Does everything I want (swim, bike, run, ski, gym, notifications) and in my opinion looks great in a rugged way.

    • Tom – Let’s try and not ruin what is other 296 cordial and friendly comments on this post. No reason to start getting into derogatory name calling.

    • Tom

      ray you’re right :) but on the other side if the apple watch would have been a huge success nobody would have said a word if i’d praised the two men – but to say that their single real new product they developed within 4 years is a big fail seems to be a problem …

      i am somewhat disappointed about nearly anything they rolled out since steve jobs death. their software got more and more buggy, the macpros were a big step back, the macbook pros now have glued-in batteries, the evolution of iphone and ipad was very moderate and so on. so – in my opinion they did not do a good job and just earn the merits steve jobs invented.

      anyway – thanx to you for all your outstanding reviews that helped me very often over the last years to find the best products for my needs (e.g. kickr, fenix, edge, etc.)

      regards
      tom

    • Paul S.

      You know this how? So far as I know, they’re like Amazon and have never revealed sales numbers for the Watch just like Amazon has never revealed sales number for the Kindle. I’ve seen third party speculation (“They haven’t sold as many as they wanted!” well, duh), but even those third party guesses show that the AW is by far the best selling smart watch. Sales up, revenue up, stock price up. How is it that Tim Cook is a failure? (And I’ve been wondering for a while what I’m going to do when my cheese grater Mac Pro finally needs to be replaced. The new one’s are horrible. At the moment I’d probably get a Linux box built.)

    • Tom

      … there are endless reliable reports about their bad aw sales (for such a low priced apple product) on the internet. but it’s much easier – nearly everybody of my circle of acquaintances has an iphone – but a single person owns/uses an apple watch :)

    • Paul S.

      And how many have other smart watches (and you can assume recent Garmin watches are smartwatches if you want) do you see? I don’t see many Apple Watches around either (both wife and daughter have one and don’t wear them). That doesn’t mean that Apple hasn’t sold millions, which is the number I see even from detractors. Certainly it’s not a “got to have it” device, but it’s sure nice to have.

    • JB

      Actually, stock price down, since the announcement of the iPhone 7 and the AW2. From what I’ve read, analysts are criticizing the AW2 because it’s TOO fitness oriented, which may be great for DCRainmaker’s demographic but not for the general public. It’s not clear that the average person is going to pay almost $400 on top of their $650 iPhone 7 in order to get both GPS from their watch and the ability to answer the phone without pulling their phone out of their pocket. Except for a small population of device fetish types (and I count myself among them), the AW2 hasn’t shown itself to be an essential part of the wardrobe. Heck, my son and my younger friends don’t wear watches at all, or as little as possible.

    • eric

      In my circle of about 20 coworkers, it’s probably 50/50 IPhone/Android. Of those 20, I’ve seen about 6 fitbits, 3 garmins, 1 polar A300, and 1 apple watch. Everyone else has a regular watch (3 or 4) or no watch at all (the rest).

    • Tom

      agree that most of them do not wear their sport watches all time. they use breitling, panerai, rolex or others and for sports mostly garmin. i did not like the apple watch from the first time i saw it two years ago – but what was a real surprise to me is that nearly no one in my entourage (girls and boys) has bought an apple watch or even thought about …

    • Tom

      and nobody says that they did not sell millions of apple watches. but for apple selling some millions of such a relative cheap product – where they invested billions of dollars in development and marketing – are a epic fail. in particular as this is the only real new product they invented over the last six or seven years …

    • Ian

      Hi Paul,

      You are right- Apple hasn’t specifically announced its Watch sales, but IDC has been tracking this market based on various sources. The numbers aren’t exact but probably with 25%. The report shows about 11M Apple Watches sold from launch (April ’15) until the end of that year. From Jan 2016 to June 2016, Apple only sold about 3M watches because the product line hadn’t been refreshed until now.I

      I’m attaching a graph from IDC which shows the 2014 and 2015 market for activity trackers, GPS watches, and smartwatches combined. The 2016 numbers are my personal forecast based on the reported 1st half of 2016 figures, the market’s growth rate and Q4 spikes.

    • Paul S.

      So these are “fitness trackers” rather than smart watches? (I own an Epix, and given that I also own and have used an Apple Watch, I don’t consider my Epix a smart watch. It’s certainly infinitely better, for me at least, than my AW as a fitness device.)

      We’re getting far afield from the intent of this post, anyway. So here are the questions I have about the AW 2 for Ray once he gets one. 1) Have they really fixed the “screen in sun” problem? It’s so bad that I’m not sure just making the screen brighter will fix it. 2) Can you use the AW 2 off the wrist? Someone above mentioned your swim cap trick for outdoor swimming, and when I’m skiing I wear my Epix on the outside of my clothing. But the gen 1 AW will lock the screen (under typical settings; you might be able to get around this) once it’s removed from the wrist. Can you actually use to record activities it on the outside of clothing (clearly you’re not going to get HR then), or in a swim cap? 3) Can you leave your iPhone at home? Will it still work as a GPS watch then? When my AW is parted from my phone it’s the phone that’s with me, so I don’t have much experience with my AW away from my phone. Everyone here seems to assume it’s just like a Garmin and doesn’t need the phone, and maybe Apple said so during the presentation (didn’t watch it), but that’s not the way I’d bet based on my experience with gen 1. 4) GPS accuracy, of course, but I’ll bet it’ll have the usual small device problem of not much room for an antenna. And will it dead reckon if GPS is lost?

    • Hi Paul

      Some food for thought there. I was the chap who mention the swim cap idea – haven’t tried it yet because I don’t have AW2 yet but I will. I can confirm you can’t start an activity on the original watch when not on your wrist though – I agree it will lock, but the activity can continue in the background with WatchOS3 (not sure if that was the case with watchOS2)

      It’s strange about the screen in sun issues – I really haven’t noticed it but I’m in the UK so…

      Apple have very clearly said you can leave your phone at home, so that should work provided the app you are using is a native WatchOS3 one. You can also sync music to the watch and listen to it without the phone.

      GPS accuracy will be interesting. I heard in Lauren Goode’s review on the Verge (link to theverge.com) that there is no indication if you have a fix or not at the start of a run. I’m guessing Apple is counting on the phone providing that last fix to the watch before they get disconnected and the watch just picks up from there, but we’ll see how that works and how the accuracy is during the activity. I’m guessing Ray will cover that In some detail.

  99. Ken Walker

    Any info on whether or not the workouts contain an entry for triathlon?

  100. Jerome

    Would be interested to know if you can do custom workouts, similar to what you can do on Garmin watches for speed/track workouts, on the Apple Watch.

  101. ChrisJ

    Battery life aside, the real reason I think that the inclusion of GPS in the Watch Series 2 will not seriously challenge Garmin, Suunto etc is that for it to be a useful device you need to own an iPhone too. A quick google search tells me that of January, Apple’s global share of the smartphone market is only around 16%.

    The only easy fitness market segment that Apple can attack is the portion that own iPhones already (or are considering switching) and are considering a new Apple Watch 2.

    In my view the combined cost of an iPhone & Watch 2, as well as a switch into the Apple ecosystem maybe a commitment too far when weighed against the cost of a dedicated fitness device.

    • Joe

      This is actually a very good point. I specifically do not purchase any media content (movies, books, etc) from Apple because I recognize that the day may come that I break out of the Apple walled garden. So wherever possible I only purchase cross-platform content. Apple knows that every purchase you make, whether it be content or a watch or a set of headphones with their proprietary Lightning connector, also adds another row or bricks to the wall and making it harder to ever escape.

    • Paul S.

      From where? Amazon and Ultraviolet are both closed systems, although you can watch Amazon and Ultraviolet content on more devices. You can buy Blu-rays/DVD’s, but that’s not nearly as convenient. It was Apple who slayed the DRM dragon for music. I buy video content from both Amazon and Apple, buy Kindle books exclusively (read on an iPad), buy music from wherever. But both the books and video have DRM.

    • Joe

      Most of the video services are closed, but most (except Apple) are at least cross platform. Apple video and books will only be accessible on an Apple device. Amazon makes players on a broad array of platforms, including Apple hardware, most blu-ray players, many TVs, and even my TiVo can play Amazon video. Similar for Amazon ebooks. If I purchase an iBook from Apple and later decide to switch away from my iPhone and iPad, I’ve just lost all my books, too.

    • ekutter

      read the earlier comments on this. The relevant user base is likely closer to 2/3 iPhone given Ray’s user stats. People who are likely to buy mid to high end fitness products are also more likely to have an iPhone.

  102. Gary

    The problem for Garmin is they are entirely too slow to react. A compelling apple watch for fitness users could have been predicted the second they entered the space two years. Yet fast forward two years and Garmin Connect is still garbage, syncing can still be flaky, updates and bug fixes arent timely, and they have a cluttered amount of devices, many of which use software, not hardware, as selling points.

    Apple on the other hand offers premium hardware, premium software, a unified OS with expanding features sets, the best app ecosystem, and excellent support.

    Garmin is never going to be able to compete on hardware or software. The one advantage they will have is battery life, simply because their devices are single pupose and Apple’s are multi-pupose.

    I suspect v3 is where the nail will be put in to the proverbial coffin. Not just because the specs will increase further, but becuase when the v2 with GPS becomes the affordable entry level apple watch at $250, it will open up to a new market avoiding the $360 price for the top end model. Ultimately the sport specific market will be fighting for the cheap end of the spectrum. ($100-$150)

    • Greg Hilton

      Gary go read the Apple forums about watch issues, freezes, app crashes etc. It’s not the rosy picture you paint. I must admit my 735XT syncs fine, keeps the time, does multi sports fine and has about a week battery life even doing swims and runs within that week.

    • Gary

      Nobody posts on a forum “My Device Is Working As Intended!” I certainly wouldn’t user that as a barometer for the quality of a device. (Check out the Garmin forums lol)

      That aside, none of this has anything to do with Apple’s emergence in the fitness watch space. If you are satisfied with your Garmin continue to use it! I’ve owned three Garmin devices and a variety of Apple devices. I stand by my statement that Apple makes premium hardware and software, and that smartwatches (Both iOS and Android based) will ultimately dominate this space based on superior hardware, software, functionality, and support.

      Garmins sole near term advantage is battery life, since they build a single purpose device, versus a multi-functional smartwatch. Fitness tracking is destined to be a feature-set in the smartwatch category, not its singular purpose, and that’s what will ultimately minimize the need for a sport-specific watch for the vast majority of the market.

    • Joe

      I agree with what you are saying about Apple’s quality (not that they don’t have their faults there, too), but there is one very limiting factor with Apple’s ecosystem…lack of choice. Apple has very much a “my way or the highway” view of their designs. As an example, you can almost guarantee that the Apple watch will always have one button and one scroll wheel and then the touch screen. I was never a fan of the FR 620 and using a touch screen on a sports watch. And the 620 still had four buttons. I love that my fenix 3 HR has 5 real buttons. I can confidently operate it during vigorous activity without looking at the screen or trying to hit just the right part of the screen to get it to do something. Apple has pre-ordained that a smart watch only needs one button and one scroll wheel, and their insistence on sleek minimalist design (both in hardware and software) can cause real usability issues. So even if some future Apple watch can do everything a Garmin or Suunto watch can do, will it always do it as well? And will that one, minimalist design work for everyone?

      Yes, you can call Garmins “single-purpose” devices (although the fenix does quite a few things), but it’s often the case that a multi-purpose tool does not do any single task as well as a tool dedicated to that task. Perhaps Apple’s collaboration with Nike will result in a more purpose-built platform for a fitness watch, but barring that I don’t see the Apple watch becoming the dominant fitness watch anytime soon.

    • gnsks

      Correct. Lack of dedicated hardware buttons is OK for a fitness tracker but far from ideal for a sports watch. Add to that a display that’s hard to read outdoors and that automatically turns itself off and I fail to see how things are so clear-cut.

      In the end, you get what you usually get with hybrid devices: jack of all trades, master of none. That will no doubt is going to be what some people are looking for, but will also make it inferior for those looking first and foremost for a dedicated sports watch.

    • How can the iOS App Store equal lack of choice?

      And AW2 has a much brighter screen than the first one (I have not had an issue with AW0 but I do live in the UK so not many bright sunshine days!)

      Also you can use the two physical buttons on the AW to pause / start workouts on the built in app – I am guessing other apps will use then for laps etc.

  103. glenn smith

    I’m keenly going to watch out for your review. My old Forerunner 305 has died and I’m temporarily running and cycling using my iPhone stuck to my arm :-( As I’m in the market and been tossing up between the 235 or Fenix 3; or waiting to see if something new comes along in Nov, the AW if any good, could be a good middle ground for me.

  104. Manny Sidhu

    I recently purchased the Garmin 735, it’s an awesome watch. Does everything you want (swim, bike, run, etc.), looks nice and the smart phone notifications are good. But if you can get all of that in the S2 Apple watch for almost $100 cheaper and it has deeper integration with your phone beyond just notifications, my Garmin might go back. I’ve owned many Garmins starting with the 305, so it is a sad day if I end up with an AW. It’s funny before I purchased my 735, I was reading that some people didn’t like it because the battery wouldn’t last through an Ironman… okay a vast majority of folks aren’t doing IMs. My point is, people are always going to complain about battery life. If you need to charge the AW daily, oh well you also charge your phone daily so that doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

  105. Lucas

    Not a fan of the look. And not a fan of the Apple eco system. Borrowed an Iphone 6 when my phone broke, and it was awful in my experience.
    I’ll stay away from Apple and stick to anything else really. Even if the ‘specs’ are the best.

  106. Marion_the

    As I was expecting, party started, so many comments here on DCR site… I had Sony SW3, Moto 360 Sport and I was planing to take Samsung G3, not anymore, Apple watch have nice design, its compact, great eco system, and waterproofnes is nailing it.

    Honestly cant wait for Garmin to go for deserved history

  107. James

    People here are too much concerned on issues related to hardware and not the data the device produces and how that health data may be cultivated. As far as I know training data from Apple can not be exported to third party, it has to reside inside the Apple ecosystem which is the most serious downside of Apple watch as a training device. Not having the option to export to Training peaks makes the Apple Watch useless for me. It is like beeing more focused on a camera than the images it produces.

    • Tom

      perfect argument – agree!

    • BV

      Totally incorrect .. There are plenty of third party tools that allow you to export data collected by the Apple Watch and stored in Health to be exported to Strava, Training Peaks or anywhere else. RunGap is a perfect example of an iOS app that accomplishes this.

  108. Troy

    Rungap. Yes
    Also exports to smashrun, dailymile, polar flow and Garmin connect
    Some others too
    Great app

  109. Gunnar

    I have a 735 currently and it works great.

    But, I can see the Apple watch 2 being a great tool for commuting or just plain old navigating around the city. I can keep my Edge 800 for serious cycling and navigating.

    Does anyone who has or had the Apple watch 1 ever used the map function as well as another sports app such as Strava? If it can come close to what the Garmin epix did I might be tempted.

    • Roelofk

      I have an AW1 and navigating while walking or cycling is nice. Apple Watch will let you know when to turn with haptic feedback: taps. “A steady series of 12 taps means turn right at the intersection you’re approaching; three pairs of two taps means turn lef.

      I love using it during the day, soccer scores, messages that can be replied to from the wrist, setting a timer with your voice (very handy when cooking ;), weather information, calendar on the wrist, stand notifications (I work in an Office), voice command to turn on my hue lights, setting a reminder with your voice and I even like sending bad little drawings and heartbeats to my wife.

      For running I have used the Nike app, the build in app and also run keeper. I did not use strava jet.
      But I have a couple of problems with it for running:
      1. Refresh rate of speed when doing intervals
      2. Heart rate monitoring from the wrist during intervals – can be solved with a bluetooth wristband
      And my biggest problem:
      3. I can not find an app which can run on the watch that has the ability to make and plan a workout based on pace and/or heart rate.
      For example:
      Warm up 3 minutes in heart rate zone 1
      Run for 45 minutes in heart rate zone 2
      Run for 90 seconds at 4:45 min/km
      Run for 1 minute in heart rate zone 2
      Repeat step 3 and 4, five times
      Etc.

      But I think now that GPS and waterproofing is on board refresh rate for pace will be no problem and someone will build me that app.
      Only iffy part for is if it will get me through a 4 hour marathon with a connected heart rate strap.

      So I pre-ordered the Nike edition which will be delivered end of October, which I can cancel if the reviews are bad.

      But I think it will the watch I can use to do my boot camp and running training (combined with a heart rate strap for Intervals) with just fine 99% of the time.

    • Roelofk

      Oh, and because of the problems I had for running, I now use a Fenix 3 for that, which is nice and has a navigation function as well, but it’s a big watch and I miss many of the smart features. But for workouts I like it a lot.
      Rest of the day it is apple watch for me.

    • Tony

      I need you have to take a look at the iSmoothRun app if you want to define such training schedules.

    • Roelof Koelewijn

      I did try to use iSmoothrun which is a great app.
      The current version has a problem that the alerts to switch between the different intervals do not always come up on the watch.

      The developer told me that he will be working on a stand alone watch app for the series 2

  110. Keroma

    I just returned my Garmin vivoactive hr after Apple announced new AW2. I am not sure if I will like AW2 over Garmin. But I will give it a try as it does more what Garmin watch does with similar price ($100 more). I know I will not used to charge it every day as my Garmin can last for a week. But the rest is pretty much the same. I am a casual sporter and swim every day. I never do intensive training for more than 3 hours. I think it will serve me well. But one of the feature I want is the sleeping tracking. Since I need it while sleeping, I am just not figure out yet how I arrange charging the watch during the day.

    • Bsquared

      Take a look at Sleep Cycle app for the phone. I prefer not wearing my AW or Fitbit or watch or any other device to bed. Sleep Cycle is working well for me.

    • Lane Michael Lombardia

      I agree with Bsquared about preferring not to wear a watch or other device. My personal pick for sleep app/ smart alarm clock is Sleep Time by Argus (same folks who make Hear Rate, which I used before I bought my first dedicated heart rate monitor).

  111. I can’t wait for this. I still use my garmin 205 and have been patiently waiting for a new “running/activity” watch. I was debating on the fenix 3, but honestly it’s an over-rated, over priced hockey puck on the wrist. Apple will soon take over, maybe I should wait another year to see what Apple has in 2017.

  112. Oscar

    Could be a great watch.
    But I won’t touch anything apple. wouldn’t surprise me if they had the courage to remove watch straps to make it less ‘cumbersome.

  113. Roelof Koelewijn

    I have an AW1 and navigating while walking or cycling is nice. Apple Watch will let you know when to turn with haptic feedback: taps. “A steady series of 12 taps means turn right at the intersection you’re approaching; three pairs of two taps means turn lef.

    I love using it during the day, soccer scores, messages that can be replied to from the wrist, setting a timer with your voice (very handy when cooking ;), weather information, calendar on the wrist, stand notifications (I work in an Office), voice command to turn on my hue lights, setting a reminder with your voice and I even like sending bad little drawings and heartbeats to my wife.

    For running I have used the Nike app, the build in app and also run keeper. I did not use strava jet.
    But I have a couple of problems with it for running:
    1. Refresh rate of speed when doing intervals
    2. Heart rate monitoring from the wrist during intervals – can be solved with a bluetooth wristband
    And my biggest problem:
    3. I can not find an app which can run on the watch that has the ability to make and plan a workout based on pace and/or heart rate.
    For example:
    Warm up 3 minutes in heart rate zone 1
    Run for 45 minutes in heart rate zone 2
    Run for 90 seconds at 4:45 min/km
    Run for 1 minute in heart rate zone 2
    Repeat step 3 and 4, five times
    Etc.

    But I think now that GPS and waterproofing is on board refresh rate for pace will be no problem and someone will build me that app.
    Only iffy part for is if it will get me through a 4 hour marathon with a connected heart rate strap.

    So I pre-ordered the Nike edition which will be delivered end of October, which I can cancel if the reviews are bad.

    But I think it will the watch I can use to do my boot camp and running training (combined with a heart rate strap for Intervals) with just fine 99% of the time.

    • Have you tried the ismoothrun app? I think that does what you need for training plans…

    • Roelof

      Thanks I will give ismoothrun a shot.

    • Roelof Koelewijn

      I did try to use iSmoothrun which is a great app.
      The current version has a problem that the alerts to switch between the different intervals do not always come up on the watch.

      The developer told me that he will be working on a stand alone watch app for the series 2

  114. Tim Grose

    Kind of think with various reports of orders being placed that those of us who are happy with their Garmins etc for now (me included) just need to wait to see the first hand reviews.

  115. Dave

    Waiting on your hands on review. I’ll base my decision on to buy or not on it.

  116. Oscar

    The Apple watch is not one of the company’s stronger product. However, it is good that Apple’s Halo effect is making other companies come out with better products. Good for us, that is :-)

  117. Arnaud

    @DCRainmaker: I was extensively using Garmin Connect Online to pre-program my interval trainings and sync them to my FR 610 (so easy), do you know if there’s any comparable company/brand that does the equivalent for AppleWatch? I’ve been looking at Runkeeper/Endomondo/MapMyRun/Strava/etc. but none seem to be on par…

  118. Ricardo

    I would be very interested in V2 if The battery was at least closer to my Fenix 2, I have version 1 and for me is a little annoying charging it every day (but anyway I love it).

    I wonder if the Nike strap would hold the watch in place swimming in open water surrounded by hundreds of arms and legs kicking you?

    • Paul S.

      If it doesn’t, there are tons of other straps available, both Apple and third party, so you should be able to find one that will. I haven’t seen anyone say that the strap connection has changed, so I assume gen 1 straps will work on gen 2.

  119. Bill

    When my 910Xt finally dies I’ll consider the AW2, but only if it is better than the competition as a fitness/GPS watch and even then I’d have to see if Apple have started to pay taxes in same manner as others and wether their factory worketrs are being treated with dignity. So many sides to a coin.

  120. Stil don’t understand the real purpose of the Apple Watch. It’s not good for cycling , not good for running and definitely not good for triatlons. I guess it is just a fashion accessorie for the consumers.

    • Well it’s good for running (I use it with Strava all the time) and looks really interesting for swimming. Cycling not so much (unless you have Bluetooth sensors, and when we get bike apps, and a bike mount :). And the argument that it’s just a fashion accessory is pretty old and been debunked more times than I can be bothered to quote :)

      Tri is a stretch for anything over sprint and maybe Olympic (again once we have apps but they will come, you can be sure of that), but for training for Tri – I think that would be fine

    • Greg Hilton

      Ian, How does it work for a quick glance at your watch to guage pace whilst running? Is the display always on whilst running?

      What’s it like in full bright sunlight and how about when it’s wet and you want to move onto the next stage of a workout by tapping a button? ie on my Garmin I have an open warmup and decide to press lap to move onto the “serious” part of my workout, can I do that on the AW??

    • It’s not always on while running, instead its activated when you twist your wrist. Works ok though a little slow (I’m hoping it is quicker in the new ones). It’s not a massive issue for the sort of running I do.

      Bright sunlight is fine – at least I’ve never had a problem.

      Pressing a button from an open warmup – will depend on the app you use. The two I use are Strava which doesn’t do training plans but is fine for just running, and ismoothrun which does workouts, but don’t support button press for end of an interval (just intervals based on time or distance)as far as I know (though there are a ton of options in that app I haven’t explored). Other apps may well offer it of course.

    • Heath

      Right now, the apple watch was never meant to compete with the any of the serious training devices. It is first a smart accessory with built in fitness for the recreational fitness buff. Triathlete should look elsewhere if multi-sports is a concern. Cyclists, pls hold on to your HRM strap…. till date no built in OHR watch could give a proper reading due to vibration when cycling. Like wise for serious runner, OHR still sucks at HIIT reading.

      Series 2 built on what was lacking to really gives a minimum meaning to a fitness watch with GPS to ditch your phone. Yes some runners do bring their phone along, likewise there are those who leave their watch behind if the phone could do the job.

      If data and metric is your thing, we still have to wait out till the actual unit is shipped before making a decision. But with the kind of battery life, dun expect it to replace your garmin or polar. AW series 2 would would be good for the casual day steady run which the original AW is pretty bad at without a phone.

    • >> Triathlete should look elsewhere if multi-sports is a concern

      I don’t think all Triathletes and Triathlons are the same! Sprints would be perfectly fine with bluetooth equipment if someone creates a multi-sport app (which they will)

      >> till date no built in OHR watch could give a proper reading due to vibration when cycling
      I use the Scorsche Rhythm+ all the time (not a watch but is optical) and never heard or had this virbation issue

    • Bob190

      I usually wear my Apple Watch when cycling, along with using my Garmin 520 and a Wahoo Tickr chest strap. I can say that since WatchOS 3 has been introduced (yes I am a registered developer and have had the beta version installed for the past few months), the HR tracking between the Tickr and AW have been nearly identical.

      I have seen no spikes, dropouts, or other weirdness with the AW since WatchOS3 while riding or running for that matter. Not sure what Apple as changed, or whether they have implemented better smoothing, but for me at least, I am more than satisfied with the AW HR tracking.

      One key I will mention is that the AW needs to be worn tight. I wear the sport band and usually tighten one more notch than normal wear before a ride or run.

    • Bob190

      Here is a comparison of yesterday’s ride. As you can see the AW started out a little funky, but was dead on for the rest of the ride.

    • Heath

      There’s a reason why I say OHR WATCH…..

      There are a lot more better option for Tri when it comes to multi-sports the reason why I dun understand why are there people comparing a lifestyle watch to a fitness focus watch.

    • I think Bob190 has shown that AW works fine for HR – that’s an OHR WATCH… :)

      My Fenix 3 is ok but I have spent approx 6 weeks on Garmin support trying to fix an issue with it – we are going round in circles, and now they want £100 from me. The hardware is good (ish), but software is flakey, and Connect IQ is a failure IMO.

      The problem with saying that we shouldn’t compare a lifestyle watch to a fitness focus watch is that there is crossover. It’s not black and white. And it’s the grey areas that people are interested in and where there is value in the discussion. Just saying one is better than the other doesn’t really help I’m afraid.

  121. This is interesting – powersave mode in ios10/watchOS 3 still works with Bluetooth HR so presumably will extend battery life for the workout duration. How much? No idea, one for the full review hopefully :)

  122. Tom

    I’m so happy to have changed from Garmin Fenix 2 to Polar 2 years ago. I will certainly stick to my V800 for hard-core training but can now complement it with M600 for the fun of it and get all the other goodies you get with Android Wear. I don’t se how Apple can produce a smart training watch better than Polar

  123. Tom

    Why so much focus on Garmin in this forum? Is it because there are a lot of Americans hanging here or do you not care about bugs, a truly awful website and horrendous GPS-precision?

    • It’s because Garmin’s the market leader in GPS fitness devices by pretty much any way you want to define it (offerings, units shipped, features, website breadth, etc…) Thus, it stands to reason one would compare it against said market leader.

    • Tim Grose

      And the company with an amazing website and fantastic GPS precision and presumably not used much by Americans is???

    • Tom

      Suunto and Polar although I admit it’s unfair to talk about Americans. Garmin pretty much dominates worldwide as far as market share is concerned. But hey, my criticism of Garmin remains. I think any company releasing too many units will end up not being able to maintain them in the long run. Instead of fixing what you released, you just release another unit.

    • Mikey

      Is this a Garmin sponsored site?
      Disclaimer is there but over the years everything except Garmin keeps getting trashed and the “recommendations” keeps going to Garmin.
      DCrainmaker is one of the reasons I never buy Garmin again

    • In general I find folks that say that actually don’t ever read my reviews. One can easily look at a myriad of reviews and comments I’ve written about all sorts of products of Garmin that fail miserably upon launch (sometimes they improve them, sometimes not). The Edge 1000, Fenix, VIRB XE/X, and Vector2 all immediately come to mind. Not to mention plenty of detail on failings of optical HR sensors.

      The reality is that Garmin released 21 fitness/outdoor products last year. Some were great, some sucked. Apple released 1 product in the fitness space this year, and one in 2015. That’s it. Polar and Suunto each released less than half a dozen. Fitbit about the same.

      Ultimately, Garmin releasing more products mean they cover more segments. And those segments keep expanding. Recommendations go to who deserve it. I don’t sit here and mix up recommendations like magazines to make everyone ‘feel good’. If a company deserves a recommendation in a given segment, it’s because they’re actually the best product for that segment. Interestingly, I find very few people disagree with those recommendations. Though, those that do have very rarely actually tried all the products, but rather just base it on random tidbits of information from potentially years prior.

  124. Einundsiebzig

    Will the Apple Watch 2 be ready for salt water? I have read that almost every IPx7 or IPx8 phone is not ready for the use in salt water. Ports (USB, Lightning, Headphone) could be damaged and get leaky. How about the Apple Watch2. I guess the ne Iphone 7 won’T be good in salt water too? So sweat could also be a problem for the new Iphone (I know this is a little bit off topic), I am thinking to get a new Iphone 7 and like to use it on my bike too.

    • Salt water tends to be an issue for corrosion points (i.e. charging contacts). Given the Apple Watch lacks such contacts (it uses what is essentially near-wireless charging), there’s very minimal concerns there.

  125. Does anyone know if there’s a way to get a VO2 max estimate from the AW at the end of a run – like the Garmin 235?

    • Tim Grose

      Presume, for stuff like that, need to wait to see what specialist apps will become available for it. For instance, somebody has written a VO2 Max CIQ data field which actually works quite well when I tried it.

  126. Rolf

    For those who have insights and of course DCR what are your thoughts on the Polar M600 compared to the Apple Watch and using either as fitness watch (I am mostly thinking of running)? In theory Polar comes from the other end (fitness watch maker to integrate Android Wear / smart features) as oppose to Apple having a smart watch (and slowly adding fitness capabilities). I am disappointed as it appears the M600 is below par of their usual GPS / running watches, but wanted to see what others think.

    • Solar

      I will not suggest Polar to anyone. Because of the Software. Polar made a web application polarpersonaltrainer.com before, which is not as good as other training web site, but have a entry level of that.

      And now, they make Flow application, it lack of training program, but social networking. You could beat others in terms of how long you ride, how far you ride, how much in the month, quarter, year….etc.

      Garmin is growing up in web application, but they are lack of training plan (may be you could paid for some, but I failed to find it)

      In apple econ system, you will find providers of training/fitness application. If you are lucky enough, you may find one suitable.

    • I agree about the Garmin training plans – great if you want to create your own, but if you want to share them you can’t, or have your coach create them for you – you can’t; and the ones they provide are extremely limited and not changed for years. Training Peaks advertise Garmin compatible plans (or used to) but when I bought one some time ago I found out you had to enter it all in manually anyway so I got a refund. It’s baffling to me that Garmin have sat on their training plans feature for years without improving it. Seems like it could be such an easy win; but it is these sorts of prolonged issues with Garmin, and the terrible support that drive me crazy and ultimately I am moving onto other platforms and devices because of it.

    • Yeah, I’ve never understood why you can’t share training plans/workouts on Garmin. Though, at the same time, you can’t do it on Suunto or Polar there. So it’s not really something that would drive defections.

      All of which is too bad on the Garmin front, because their workout builder is really the best out there in terms of ease of use (especially since they’ve revamped the web tech they were using in the workout creator to be less weird in certain browser).

    • Tom

      I would definitely recommend Polar. Yes, more functionality needs to be added to their website but it’s steadily improving. Besides, I don’t want my training history to be bound to any specific training device. If I ever change to whatever brand, I will still see my rounds – that’s where Strava comes in to play.
      Besides, most important is good hardware and firmware on the actual device!

    • Brian

      I agree Polar has steadily improved their Polar Flow website and Apps.

  127. Jules Irene

    As a Pebble Time user with a Garmin FR220, an Edge 500, and an iphone I’m really starting to take a hard look at the Apple Watch 2. I’m pretty intermittent with training, not a hard core daily trainer, more like a hey this event sounds fun I’ll work towards that for a while. I love getting the data, seeing GPS maps and tracking my improvements from steps to distance and whatever else these apps can serve up, I’m just tired of having to swap around watches and devices and make sure the one I want to use is charged up (with a proprietary cable no less).

    Pebble has made great strides with their Health tracking this year on the Time but I find the integration of that data to other apps really lacking. There’s no reason to not get integration to MFP for steps at this point. For some reason MFP won’t take Pebble generated data from Healthkit only iPhone motion processor steps or Apple Watch steps. There is a really clunky Sync Solver workaround from Pebble->Healthkit->Fitbit but it’s ugly and breaks often. I am also getting increasingly frustrated in the lack of Pebble/iOS feature integration compared to Android (yes I know it’s Apple’s walled garden but I have my reason for sticking with it, family overseas).

    I do actually run with my iPhone 6S+ wearing a flip belt and using BT Plantronics Backbeat Sport earbuds, the FR225, and a Scosche Rhythm+ for HR. It seems like I could significantly reduce this pile of gadgets, proprietary USB cables, and general sync headaches if I switch over to Apple Watch 2 primarily. I just really want to see how the real world Battery tests turn out. I’m not planning a marathon anytime soon but the idea if can I finish wearing my watch for the day after exercising for an hour with GPS on. That’s the one huge pro the Pebble has, I still get pretty good 3-5 day battery life even with all the added step/sleep tracking they’ve added this year.

    Looking forward to the indepth review of the AW2 to see if it really might help the average not-marathoner crowd integrate data better.

  128. SJV0415

    Let’s call a spade like a spade.

    I’ve been a Garmin user for years as a serious runner. I’ve also been an Apple user on the iPhones, mac, and iPads for years. Unless Garmin comes up with a phone, computer, and a tablet to compete soon, it’s all over.

    And for the guy who claimed that he’s a Vivoactive HR user and he won’t consider this (while trying to being serious). He should be blocked from commenting here so normal people can take comments serious on here.

    • Greg Hilton

      why on earth would Garmin want to do that? It’s not their market at all, tablets, laptops, phones etc are not something I would imagine they are even considering!!

    • SJV0415

      I understand that….I’m just saying I think I fall in a lot of Garmin’s user base. I’m a 7 day of a week runner who runs in 6 or 7 races a year. I want a GPS watch that I can wear on any type of run (I need pace, route, and total miles). What’s a bonus is that I can do everything in the Apple ecosystem on this watch with a display on my wrist that works (Not like Garmin’s vivoactive HR and 230/235 series). That’s a win-win for me and lots of normal athletes.

      I think Garmin is in a lot of trouble and I love that company.

    • Eric

      Garmin doesn’t need a phone, tablet, or computer. They can already work with those devices from not only Apple, but also Android and Windows. Vivoctive has better battery life, better waterproofing, better HR sensor, and likely is better at tracking GPS and running metrics. And it’s screen is always on. Vivoactive in my opinion IS the better smart watch.

    • Wawan Setiawan

      Funny. Just because Garmin did not give the users the ‘bonus’ feature, it’s all over for Garmin. :D

    • I don’t think anyone is suggestion this feature is a cause for concern for Garmin. I do think that Garmin need to address support, and their app platform (CIQ) but more importantly although they have done a reasonable job of making their watches work as “smart watches” as well as fitness ones, I think that it is crazy to underestimate the attraction of a smart watch from Apple that is also a pretty good sports watch for a lot of scenarios (rather than a sports watch that’s an ok smart watch).

      If you drew a Venn diagram showing users looking for a great sports watch with smart watch capabilities and those looking for a great smart watch with sports capabilities, the overlapping areas is where I expect Garmin would be concerned. It’s emphasised now that Apple have focussed AW2 with health and fitness being one of the three pillars of its success (the other two being a stylish timepiece, and an easy convenient way to extend your iphone functionality)

    • Jared

      Garmin tried making a phone. It failed miserably…

      link to gsmarena.com

  129. Louis Rosado

    I’m training for an Ironman in 2017. Once I get past 5 hours of training with GPS, I’ll use a second apple watch that is already charged on the go. All I have to do is swap the watches and I’m good to go. As far as Garmin is concerned, I’m still waiting on them to converge their data when you swap watches on the same day. I hear that this is coming out this year, but it is too late for me. I can’t stand the 80’s display on it for an everyday watch, if doesn’t even have a nice lite, a la Timex Indigo Blue.

    • Greg Hilton

      seriously you are going to buy 2 Apple Watch series 2 and then take both out on your training just to solve the battery life issue!! That’s assuming it can do triathlon/multi sport and you can then also “link” the two outputs together. I’d love to see you swopping watches half way thru the ironman!!

    • So you’d start your Ironman on one watch, end the session (because apps can’t be cross-watch), and then restart your time/tracking on another watch (or two watches if you go above the 10 hours on the Ironman)?

      All of which leaves you with one or more (actually, at least 4) activity files. That’s because at present we haven’t seen any apps either that are multisport swim/bike/run. I’m sure we’ll see them, but it still won’t solve dualing or tripling watches.

    • Wawan Setiawan

      Buy 3 AW2 then, if you finish above 10 hours. :-P (I would, 10 hours, not the 3 AW2)

    • That seems a bit impractical.

      However if you could charge your AW2 in use on the bike then it could work… something like a combination of this link to amazon.co.uk with this:link to amazon.co.uk could be interesting

    • Heath

      New watch transition phase…..

  130. pl6125

    Claims it has GLONASS support:

    link to news.com.au

  131. Haz Omran

    Hi! Can you upload your data from Apple Watch 2 to Strava?

  132. Greg hilton

    Info below from runners world first run with the aw2

    Apps: At this point, only Apple’s Workouts app supports phone-free runs. You get an error message if you try to launch Strava or MapMyRun without your phone connected to the Watch. And, those phone-free workouts are trapped within the Workouts app; currently it appears there’s no way to export or sync those activities to another service like Strava. In short, if you want your workout to show up on Strava or MapMyRun, you still have to run wth your phone.

    • Are those apps updated for WatchOS3 ? I’m guessing not since very few are yet and what you are describing is watchOS2 behaviour. In short I’m confused – are you complaining apps haven’t been updated yet or that they should somehow know the watch has a GPS in now automatically and don’t need any update?

    • pete

      Apple showed apps at the keynote that highlighted the use of on watch GPS. Apps have access to the watch GPS they just need to be updated to use the new API’s

  133. Tonny

    You can use RunGap to sync from Apple Health to many different sites. You just don’t get the route mapped.

    • Tim Grose

      If you don’t get a route that does not sound like a full sync? No route and it’s going to be useless for say Strava isn’t it…

  134. Spyros Kleisas

    Well I’d thought i’d share some of my thoughts on this matter of AW vs something else.
    First things first, I have started exercising some months ago. I have been a long time user of apple products, but I have an android high end phone too-and I have had others before it for some years (I use the Iphone 6 plus as my main phone). I have bought only samsung gear s2 so far. The reason for that was that AW was said to have poor battery, and the fact that apple needs a 2nd generation to do it better. I guess I am more or less an average user, and I am trying right now to up my game a liitle bit.
    So i am trying to delineate the pros and cons of each platform to get the best of both worlds
    The 2 worlds would be apple watch/gear vs a dedicated sports one, mainly the fenix type.
    The first problem is that of speculation. Most comment on an AW that hasn’t been used yet, sorely on specs and ads.

    For me, and for now, I guess the new gear is out of the question beacause my main phone is the apple, it’s as simple as that.
    (I bought gear s2 in the first place because of excellent pricing, because it had HR, and decent battery of 2 days, to find out that if I used losts of 3rd party watchfaces with metrics battery had a 50% decrease! What happens now is that i charge it every night, from 22:00-00:00-01:00 and this way I can use it for sleep tracking as well, so same goes for AW as well I guess.)
    Aesthetics: I think this is kind o f easy: a huge vs a smaller watch and aesthetics is purely subjective, so because they are so different you either like the one or the other.
    Software stability: from what I read there is a high variability of garmin problems, less so with apple having a lot more resources as well.
    Metrics: Most of the people and companies admit the restrictions of optical heart rate measurements. So they use accessories! So the prevalent idea is I have a watch thats good for measuring parameters most of the day and then I use additional gear to have precision during exercise! (whether this would be a chest belt or something else. So that means that I could in theory use my smartphone as well, if at least it wouldnt bother me. My solution to this would be a waist belt.
    Compatibility: That goes for both watches. If someone owns apple staff, probably he’s reclining towards AW 2. If someone has a lot of ANT+ gear, towards fenix.
    Power: AW 2 would be a lot more power hungy, mainly due to the display, that is certainly lacking in fenix. I guess this is a trade off we all understand. The chronos has similar tradeoffs due to aesthetics.
    So from what I can understand, if someone is an athlete, likes the aesthetics, wants/has dedicated equipment,has a thing about battery life buys a fenix or some other similar product, or has to wait for some time up to January where Garmin might announce fenix 4 to see whats included in the update.
    If someone just wants to keep active, have a lot of smartphone compatibility, likes the aesthetics, could buy AW 2. If this person wants to increase activity, maybe could also use AW 2 because we could assume there is going to be a new harvest of apps, AW has very capable hardware and lots of storage, and could be used together with a phone. (when near the phone I have read watch GPS goes off, phone GPS is on-so battery not consumed as much. Phone in a waist band, and watch in gps when swimming or doing things where a waist band cant be worn (I can’ imagine where apart from swimming).
    I would be glad to hear opinions about these thoughts

  135. gavdxb

    I swam for the first time this morning with an AW2.

    Length tracking was really accurate but they need to show rest intervals in the activity tracking.

    I can’t find the swim.com watch app – not out yet?

  136. ARIELA

    Looking forward to an in depth review

  137. Tim Grose

    Anybody ran with one yet?
    Does this review link to theverge.com suggest it is all rather basic?
    link to runnersworld.com is worth a look too.
    What’s with the 3-2-1 countdown though? So your race or interval session starts and you miss the first 3 seconds?

    • The count-down was the same on the first Apple Watch as well. There’s other GPS watches that do similar count-downs, never really understand the thinking there.

  138. Lane Michael Lombardia

    I’d love to see a comparison between the Series 2 Apple Watch and the Polar M600. They both appear to be targeting similar markets, with similar capabilities.

    • I’ll likely include that within my M600 review as a starting point (slated for late next week – around the 28th or so).

      In general though, as one who keeps alternating back and forth between using the M600 as an Android Wear device on iOS, versus using it on Android…I just find it somewhat frustrating to use on iOS. Of course, the Apple Watch doesn’t work at all on Android.

      I know that things will eventually get better insofar as Android Wear on iOS…but…that hasn’t happened yet. And everyone I’ve talked to at Google and Polar can give lots of ‘theory’ on how it might get better, but nobody can actually say exactly how that’ll work. It’s like giving a Michelin starred restaurant recipe to a computer science student in college: It might well turn out great…or, the kitchen might catch on fire. Hard to know.

      So, it is what it is today.

  139. Gavdxb

    Second swim this morning – tried to leave it unlocked to use the screen touchto record intervals but it’s doesn’t work well.

    Length/lap tracking seems really good. HR also seems to work when swimming.

    They need to give access to a button to start rest intervals but use the push off to start timing so I don’t need to remember to press to start.

    Also rotate the screen in swim mode so I can read it looking down my hand at turns.

    I can see this making a great swim watch.

  140. Iceack

    Hi, thanks for your in-depth reviews Ray, they´re LONG reading, but really interesting:)

    What I find strange in the discussion on the AW series 2, is hardly anyone talk about HR accuracy. In my opinion it´s a really odd move from Apple to add GPS before they make HR more accurate. If they´re aiming at making it a training essential, it´s incredible that they didn´t go for better accuracy in this version.

    I have to admit that I have never tried an AW myself, only read several reviews that all say the same: HR readings can´t be trusted (AW1). I might be outside the target group, but I can´t imagine training (or even enter competitions) without my phone. So GPS would´t be a concern anyway, since the phone is always there. Ok, I´m all MTB cycling. I can see how you could do without a phone in races (or workouts) where you have lots of people around. But in the MTB races I´ve attended, we get the number for the organiser so we can call if we can´t finish the race for some reason (broken bike in the middle of nowhere…) or get injured, otherwise we are to call the regular emergency number if we are seriously injured or see someone else injured.

    Yeah, worst case scenario, but still very odd that Apple would make the AW “independent” from the iPhone through GPS but not concerning calling. Cause this voids one of the (most) fancy features from the presentation of AW1: the press and hold SOS. In this years presentation they highlighted going on long hikes using the GPS without the need of a phone. But are´t these (and training by yourself far from others) the situations where you really could need the SOS function? The bottom line is, does GPS or battery life matter, if you can´t trust the HR for sports anyway?

    Well, I´m just a bit bummed out cause I sold my Polar V800 to buy a second generation AW. I was so sure that Apple would have improved the HR accuracy by now, like Polar did with six LEDs on the M600 (or even 360 through software). So now I wonder if Apple could silently have improved the LEDs, or made some software tweaks or gaining from increased user data. I suppose you´ll do a new HR accuracy test on the AW2 Ray:) Until then I´ll pair my AW2 to an extra H7:(

    By the way, in your tests of watches/bands for the wrist, have you seen any difference in accuracy during cycling through different ways of holding, for example using handlebars, tight grip, lose grip etc?

    Man, I wrote a lot here now, sorry:/ Just one last thought; I´m not one of those low weight fanatics, but I think it would be interesting to see if there´s a weight difference between the regular sport bands and the Nike band;)

    • Bob190

      I have both the Apple Watch original and the Series 2 and find the HR sensor to be perfectly accurate for me. Of course, the recording rate is only every five seconds, so that makes it less than optimal for intervals, etc.

      I don’t think you can make general statements about optical HR sensor accuracy in any device. There are way to may variables from person to person. Things like position on the wrist, how tight the band is, skin pigmentation all make a difference. I can’t tell you how many people I see with devices that contain an optical HR monitor wearing the device directly on their wrist bone like a normal analog watch .. which would make it very inaccurate.

      As for having integrated GPS, it was essential for me as I have never, and don’t ever plan to run with my phone. I always have my phone on bike rides, so don’t really need on the integrated GPS there. But in that case, the AW defaults to using the phones GPS when it is available.

    • Iceack

      Thanks for your answer Bob190. As I mentioned I never tried an AW, only read several reviewers saying it´s inaccurate. DCRainmaker is the only one that really explained thoroughly how it was tested (or not tested), maybe the others got it wrong. I read Apples own explanation on the matter too. What I gather from all of this, is that you buy a 400+ bucks device, and you might be lucky and have it work for the intention you bought it, or you might find out after a while that your skin-type or sports preference or some other variable makes one of the main functions not really trustworthy.

      Well well, I was stupid enough to sell my V800 and bought an AW so I can´t really complain on lack of commitment to sports from the producer, should have stayed with Polar:/ Come to think of it though, I never really tested how accurate the V800 was, I just trusted that it was spot on, maybe it had errors too:) Anyway, the V800 got me addicted to the “smart” functionality, but Polar´s solutions made me want to get over to Apples full smart-solution… Yeah, I´ll probably miss the commitment to sports in the V800, but what I imagine I will miss the most is the estimation of recovery status. Just hoping this will become available on the AW through software, I suppose the hardware already makes it possible.

      By the way, is it true that the AW can´t connect to speed/pace/power sensors through bluetooth?

      Oh, and just some more curiousness: is the water emptying function only after a water workout in the workout app? Or can you activate it anytime? Just wonder how it will be after cycling in heavy rain. And how well does the loudspeaker work when wet/full of water?

    • Heath

      Dun put too much hope on apple to introducing recovery status in its native app. At the end of the day, the watch still revolve around the app store to bring in the money for the company. Third party apps might have higher chance to introduce it.

  141. Dan

    Does the Series 2 have a run/walk interval setting? With a vibration alert for either?

    • Ali

      I took my AW2 for a run today…. didn’t see an option for intervals. You could probably use a 3rd party app to do that…..

  142. Ed Vega

    Hi, any review yet on the production version ?

    • Not yet. It won’t be till next week I’ve got one. My travel to Interbike threw a wrench in their plans to have me onsite to do a handover. So once I get back next week I’ll head up to London and do it then.

      It’s OK, there’s plenty of new watches to work on reviews in the meantime:

      FR35
      TomTom Spark 3
      Polar M600

      Cheers.

    • Eric

      Great news! All of those are more interesting to me than AW2.

    • Razak

      It would be amazing to see those 3 pitched against the Watch 2, and to compare it to the fenix 3 would be great. I was about to buy a Fenix 3 HR, and then Apple released the new watch. So I am awaiting the in-depth review before making a decision.

      Thanks!

  143. Razak

    Based on some of the comments I have seen, is it safe to say, the in-depth review will be out in 2 weeks?

    Thanks!

  144. pep

    Waiting for this review, i’m really tired with v800 problems with iphone sync/pair every week or so.

    Best regards,

    • Lane Michael Lombardia

      I too, am finding sync issues with the V800 testing my patience. While it worked well with my old iPhone 5S, with my new iPhone 7, every time I want to sync, I have to go to Settings – General settings – Pair and sync – Pair and sync mobile device (the V800 never connects to the phone using the back button; but will connect using Pair and sync mobile device). I opened a support case with Polar to address this, and this was the best we could do until software or firmware updates become available to permanently address this. At present, I’m considering downgrading the V800 to race-only duty and replacing it, for daily use, with a Series 2 Apple Watch.

  145. Pete

    Apple watch series 2 has a barometer:

    link to ifixit.com

  146. Stotty

    I am reading that AW2 does not track elevation. If true it seems like a big omission for those that run, cycle and hike. It was my understanding that GPS was used to measure variances in elevation. It will unfortunately be a deal breaker for me. Can anyone confirm if it does or doesn’t?

  147. Ali

    Yeah – confirmed. NO elevation tracking when using the watch alone.

    • Pete

      Yes, It looks like right now apple is not using the barometer. I’m not sure why but maybe the workout app was not ready, or the API to access it is not done. Hopefully they will enable it with a WatchOS update.

      So iOS 10.1 beta was released the other day release notes mention:
      “Currently, Apple is relatively tight lipped about what changes the new software might include. For example, a point-one version for iOS would suggest new features will be included, however the release notes simply mention that developers will have access to barometric pressure data on new iPad models.”

      Not sure about WatchOS 3.1

    • Pete

      Currently I see no mention of barometric pressure win the watchOS 3.1 beta notes

    • Stotty

      Thanks Pete and Ali

      So they have included a barometer but are not using it to log any data. That does seem weird as it will have cost them $ and space and maybe it’s reasonable to assume they may utilise it in a future software update.

      I wonder if it has anything to do with the Nike + edition being delayed until late October

    • I think the key thing is if the barometer is available to developers.

      A major difference of AW compared to Garmin and other sports watches is that the apps will be the primary sports trackers for a lot of people and not the built in activity app.

      Garmin have CIQ but it has hampered by limitations for developers so that those apps don’t seem able to be as fully featured as the Garmin ones.

      AW is the opposite, the built in activity app is fine for many athletes, but there will be a plethora of apps that can offer more for those wanting it). The data from these apps,will go into Apple Health (so you can still get movement on your Apple activity rings) and be shared to platforms such as Strava.

    • Charles

      According to the API reference, the Core Motion already contains CMAltitudeData and CMAltimeter since watchOS 2.0. These provide pressure and altitude data for the developer. However, the dev has to check if the functionality is available on the device as older watches and iPhones before 6 don’t have a barometer. Hopefully/probably it is available on the Apple Watch 2, which seems likely because the barometer is confirmed by ifixit.

      I agree completely with Ian. The Apple watch standard app is fine for many but I am not too interested in it but expect apps like Strava, Nike+, iSmoothRun, swim.com etc, etc to come up with the tools/data I would like. Battery and heart rate accuracy seem the most limiting factors at the moment.

  148. Is there any way to extract a TCX from an activity recorded using the stock app? I’ve tried Heart Graph but the TCX file I get seems not to be working with the different apps I’m trying, nothing is shown. And there’s no GPS data.

    Obviously I can work with any other apps (such as Strava), but the point is to test everything with the stock app.

  149. Bobito

    I purchased the apple watch series 2 when I found out that it had a gps chip in. But much to my surprise…no 3rd party apps support it. There are plenty of 3rd party apps that you can load on it…Strava, Polar, Wahoo, and of course Nike…but when you go for your run…expect to carry your iphone. The apps do not track gps data unless your phone is tethered. So whats the point of having a gps? Apples stand alone workout app that just about every serious runner does not and would not ever use will of course record gps data, but thats it.
    So dont go buying the Nike version iwatch and expect to go for a run without your iphone.

    • pete

      Apple showed apps at the keynote that highlighted the use of on watch GPS. Apps have access to the watch GPS they just need to be updated to use the new API’s

    • Hold your horses there :) I think it will take a few weeks for those apps to be updated to support the new Watch. Bear in mind that Apple doesn’t share the details with most developers ahead of launch, so they have some catching up to do.

  150. Sylvester Tan

    Finally a review from a swimmers prescriptive while we wait for DC to do his. link to macrumors.com

    • onecoolwoman

      Wow, Sylvester, thanks for pointing to the review for swimmers. Not being able to log or record drill/kick sets within a workout is a deal breaker for me. I have a Fenix3 HR, and it has a way to incorporate those sets where you don’t do a traditional stroke the whole way across the pool, but do drill or kick sets. As I have mentioned here before, I am not a fan of the masculine look of the Fenix3 HR, but it does everything I want it to do, from a serious triathlete’s perspective, reasonably well. I’m sure Apple will incorporate a drill/kick set recording feature in a future release, but I will stay with my Fenix3 HR for now!

  151. Hal Pineless

    I want to buy an Apple 2 Watch and use it in a saltwater pool. Do I need to worry about the saltwater corroding it? Would I be better off with the ceramic, aluminum or stainless steel unit?

  152. Sam

    There is one absolutely massive advantage the Apple Watch has over other running devices that you forgot, but also that Apple is not highlighting in their marketing at all (stupidly). I surely can’t be the only one who likes running with music?! When is the last time you could load a gb worth of music on your garmin device and have music, gps and heart rate data all in one place? Apple’s forte here is the combination of all these things, at quite a competitive price. As long as you aren’t an ultra runner the battery life is going to be acceptable for 90% of runners. Plus the quality is absolutely better. My fenix2 would regularly crap out on long runs. Like that time I ran a marathon and i needed to do a hard reset at km 30-yay…

    • Louis Rosado

      My MotoActive Watch had music storage,a reflective screen, better than Garmin and Apple during the day and better than Garmin at night. The golf course app had actual maps. I believe addidas has music.

    • Sam

      I guess there are others offering this though was more thinking garmin. And given that most runners that like music already use an apple product for that purpose, this should be a bigger selling point than it is imo.

    • pep

      Yep, this is really a point for consideration (in my case, with a v800), users of M600 have this feature covered already.

  153. Allison

    Does anyone know if any of the apps for watch 1 or watch 2 have the running metric of current lap pace? That’s the metric I use the most with my Garmin watches and find that a lot of other companies don’t have it. I find it to be far more stable/accurate than instant pace and has become a bit of a deal breaker for me.

    • Ali

      The apple workout app itself has an option for “average pace” to be included in the metrics visible on the watch. However, I believe that’s for the overall workout, not per lap. I am not sure about other 3rd party apps. I am just coming from Garmin to Apple…. so I haven’t figured it all out yet.

    • Ali

      Addendum: I just checked and iSmoothRun will allow you to put Lap/Interval average pace as one of the metrics on the watch.

  154. Sam

    I use the strava app on the watch and have it read back last lap every k. When looking at the watch I have it configured (strava again) to show current lap pace. Apples own workout app isn’t bad but I prefer strava and their watch app ain’t half bad. And of course their online area/phone app are a LOT better than garmin connect.

    • Greg Hilton

      Sam I didn’t think the strava app uses the inbuilt gps yet so are you running with your phone?

    • Sam

      Yes, so the new one is going to be a perfect companion for me when I finally get my hands on one AND Strava makes this update. It can’t be that far off – they know full well this is a make it or break it feature for their users: link to support.strava.com

  155. Andy Z

    For all those early adopters out there, this one’s for you.
    I received my Apple Watch series 2 a few days ago and took it to the pool today to see how it compared with my Suunto Ambit2. What I found is that the average swim pace and average heart rate matched up pretty well (within 1 second and 1 beat per minute respectively). I’ve included pictures below. Now I’m not a die-hard swimmer, but do like to do some laps on the weekends, so please ignore my slow pace. In case you’re wondering how I recorded heart rate under water on the Ambit2, I wear a Mio Go right next to it. Data communication by Ant+ seems to work pretty well. The only discrepancy I’ve seen is that the total calorie estimate for Suunto is 261 calories higher than Apple! I suspect each is using a different algorithm to calculate calorie expenditure, but perhaps Ray will help enlighten us when he finishes his review exploring the Apple Watch in more detail.

    I would like to know 2 things from the community: how can I export all the raw data (second by second) from the iphone activity app to be able to visualize my swims in a nicer format like what Suunto’s Movescount has (you can see how awful the Apple one is in the picture)? And second, is there a better third party app that can analyze swimming data than what I’ve been using with Suunto?

    thanks much
    AZ

    • Thanks for the comments Andy – great to hear about the watch in use. Mine is still to arrive but this looks promising.

      The swim app that looks like it could give you the detail you want together with the visualisation is the one from swim.com – I haven’t used their app yet of course, but their web site is really good at visualising data from swim using other devices to I am excitied to see what they have done with their Watch app.

    • Hers an example session from swim.com by the way: link to swim.com

    • Andy Z

      Thanks for the info Ian. I installed the swim.com app on my watch and noticed a problem right off the top. It doesn’t lock the screen when you’re swimming like the native Apple swimming app does. As a result the display goes crazy when water hits it. I’m sure swim.com will revise their app to support the series 2 Apple watches, but for now I think I’ll have to stick with the native Apple swim app – despite it’s shortcomings.
      By the way, I mistyped something in my original posting – I was using a Mio Fuse (not Mio Go) to get HR recorded on my Suunto Ambit2.

    • Pete

      Until they lock the screen, click the crown, swipe up from the bottom to launch control center, click the water drop icon that will lock the screen

  156. Alex

    Hi All,

    Has anyone heard anything further with regard to Apple workouts, or other 3rd Party apps being able to Sync to Trainingpeaks? I’m struggling to find any info.

    Thanks,
    Alex

    • Hi Alex

      It comes down to the app you use and if it has a direct export to TP. Ismoothrun will do that for you for running for example.

      Native export is not available directly from the Activity or Health app, though.you can work round it by using apps like heart graph which read the Health database and provide tcx export which you can the import to TP.

      Antpother onlone option is link to tapiriik.com which you can setup to sync data from many services (e.g. Strava) directly. Into TP so you can use the Strava app and then your log will be synced to TP automatically.

      Hope that helps

      Ian

    • Greg Hilton

      But none of those apps you mention support the inbuilt GPS yet do they?

      So at this moment you cannot go for a run and get the route & run details into any third party i.e. Strava etc. I’d hope that will change as 3rd party apps support the inbuilt gps.

    • Yes I think you’re right Greg :(

      This would be an area that Rays influence could perhaps help – I’m hoping the review of the watch will include the major apps too – those that are already supported (swim.com is the only one I currently know about) and perhaps he can use his contacts to get info on when others will be available (Strava support site offers nothing currently for example)

      Cheers

      Ian

  157. Sal

    I got my AW Series 2 last Friday, installed a couple of running apps and tried them out WITHOUT carrying my Iphone with me.
    Of course Apple’s own fitness app works properly, When you finish you get all data, including a GPS-map.
    Problem: there is no way to export it to a 3rd party app yet.

    Nike+ and Runkeeper both work without phone but they measure distance, pace, etc. using other metrics like cadence I think. They don’t use the internal watch-GPS, so you don’t get any map after your run.

    Runtastic and Strava don’t work at all without connection to your phone. You get an error message.

    Like somebody else already wrote, probably all those apps will work with Apple’s GPS in a couple of weeks. But they first have to update their watch-apps. And it’s a big update, a compleatly new app if they do it right! They have to build an app that works without connection to the mother-app on the phone.
    Think about Strava-segments: how will they include them?
    Think about audio-feedbacks: it could work, but they have to build it up first.

    And another thing is:
    Apple and Nike are partners: I think Nike will be the first 3rd-party App to use the watch-internal GPS.
    So we have to wait at least till the end of Octorber.
    That’s what I presume. Maybe I’m wrong.. Ray probalby has a lot more details about it.

    • Roelof Koelewijn

      Have you tried runmeter. Or has anyone tried runmeter on an Apple Watch?
      I would like to know if it works well with workouts:
      3 min heart rate zone 2
      20 min running 14 kph
      Etc.

      My guess is all those apps will get updated over time to get gps support.

  158. Ian Berman

    I’m sure Ray will post the definitive Apple Watch Series 2 review soon that will answer all of our questions. In the mean time, here’s a blog post discussing the watch with respect to outdoor readability, GPS with open water swim, bike commuting, and music/podcast listening.

    link to 9to5mac.com

  159. Manny

    I reached out to MapyMyRun to see if/when they are going to support the GPS on the AW2 so that we could run without an iPhone. This was their response (it seems like it could be a while…)

    “Thanks for writing in.

    We do not offer GPS on the Apple Watch Series 2 just yet; however, I’ll forward this suggestion to our project managers for review. Our support team works to ensure that all of our user feedback gets heard by our product managers and developers, and many of our fixes and product direction are thanks to our insightful users like you. Thank you, again!”

  160. Robert Silvers

    My wife told me she was going to the YMCA to swim laps, so I asked her to wear my watch. It counted 31 laps. She did 30. Not bad. It seems to work a lot better than my Pebble watch with the swim.com app.

    Apple says “lap” when they mean “length,” BTW. I guess some people consider a lap a length, and other people consider a lap to be two lengths (that is what I thought). I will have to relearn that a lap and length are the same thing.

    I really want the swim Activity to upload to Strava. I will have to manually upload them, or just not bother.

    Also, I just did my first run with the watch. I turned off the phone to see how it would work with no phone. Strava would not load on the watch with the phone off. Then I realized, Strava needs the phone! So, no running with the watch with no phone if you want Strava.

    I am a huge fan of keeping all of my running and biking logged in one place in Strava, so that is a big problem for me.

    So one can just use the Apple Activity app, right? Well, that cannot upload to Strava either. Once again, this is a “yuge” problem for me. Strava matters more to me than an Apple watch, so I guess I can’t run with the Apple Watch yet.

    • Ali

      Yeah, I’d really like to see the ability to have the watch’s workout app upload to strava. I’d also really like the workout app have the ability to do intervals.

    • Sal

      See my msg #519
      I think it’s a huge update all the app-developpers (Strava, Runtastic, Runkeeper, Endomondo, Nike+ …) have to do actually.
      They’ve to change from “streaming the app-data to the watch” to an indipendet app that works on apple-watch.
      I think some of them will release it in a couple of weeks. At least Nike will have to do so till the end of October when the Nike-Apple-Watch will be released.

  161. Dave

    So, I use Strava to save and review all my data, running, cycling, and swimming. However, am currently using Garmin to record the actives then upload them to Strava through Garmin Connect. I will wait till I can use the AW2 without carrying a phone to do so before I buy. I contacted Strava to find out if the app for the AW2 will be updated. Here is their response:

    Hello David,

    Thank you for contacting Strava. We currently have a Strava app available for the Apple Watch, but it does not support the standalone GPS in the watch. However, it is something that we are currently exploring adding support for.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Best,
    Steisy
    Strava Support Team

  162. Bill Fillman

    I appreciate your “everyman and woman” approach… nicely done. Really interested in the GPS version of Apple watch or the Nike version ….. as compared with Garmin Fenix3 which I have not bought yet but was ready to till I received an email from Nike about the GPS coming in a few months … guess I will wait to see what you think…. make sense?

  163. Brad

    With both Suunto and Apple apparently the new fad is to release products before they are fully developed. It’s frustrating to the user for the product to not have full functionality when purchased. Suunto and Apple both seemed to have released a product (Spartan and AW2) before they were fully baked. Is this just an arms race? Why should you have to wait a month or two after release for the product to really work?

    • Robert Silvers

      The AW2 works with the Apple Activity App. It is just that Strava never updated their app. They could have – the OS3 development system has been out for a long time. I don’t think Apple should delay the hardware just because other companies have not yet taken maximum advantage of it.

    • Agreed – though Strava (and others) were probably not aware that AW2 would be waterproof and have a GPS (there was no hint of that in the WatchOS3 API’s that I saw, or at WWDC that I attended), so it is understandable that it would take them a while to release a fully featured app.

      Having said that we could have expected certain key partners with Apple would have got advanced access, but that doesn’t seem to be the case (I’m not even sure if the Nike Run Club is using the GPS yet?)

    • Robert Silvers

      True. RunClub does not use GPS in watch.

      I am pretty frustrated with three things:

      1 – Apple doesn’t consider it a critical feature for their own app to upload to Strava. I do. I don’t feel like I can use the Apple Watch for running until they have this because it is too big a step backwards.

      2 – Strava is putting each bike ride into my Apple Activities twice. I deleted Strava and the data, and reinstalled it, and they all went back once – but then when I did a new ride – that went in twice again. It does seem like Apple Health is half baked as per duplicates. Even MyNetDiary was reading a step counter from the phone, and then putting that into my step log again, so that was in there twice. Very frustrating.

      3 – There is no auto-pause for cycle. So when I ride with both the Apple Activity App and Strava, I could not even compare them, as the Apple had much longer time.

    • Thanks Robert.

      I wouldn’t hold your breath for 1 – I think Apple will leave that to third party apps unless there is a way to do it with a Share Sheet sometime in the future.

      2 – I’m getting those duplicates too. I thought it was down to the way I had things set up so it’s interesting to know you are getting it too. The Health app is improved in IOS10 (I had given up on it in IOS9) but still seems like a bit of a mess :(

      3 – Haven’t been able to try it yet, but that’s a shame. Though again I expect Apple will leave that level of use to be for third party apps.

    • Robert Silvers

      Apple did add in auto-pause for running, but left it out of cycling for some reason.

      In my own usage, I never use auto pause when I run, but do use it when I bike with my Garmin 520. I am not sure why. I think it is because I have a policy of never stopping when running, even on 20+ mile runs. But I am not afraid of getting lazy while biking, so I don’t any anxiety over stopping.

      I guess it doesn’t matter for a Strava users, as Strave does its own auto pause.

    • Pete

      “Apple did add in auto-pause for running, but left it out of cycling for some reason”

      I think the way apple is detecting running pauses is arm movement. When you are not swinging your arm you probably have stopped running. With cycling that is much harder since its would need to use the GPS to tell you are not moving but with the gps not bet super accurate and always having a little movement this would be a lot harder.

    • Robert Silvers

      Every GPS bike computer does it, though maybe not very well, but no one is asking Apple to do it better than a Garmin bike computer.

      The numer-1 feature I want on a new iPhone is cm GPS.

    • Pete

      “but no one is asking Apple to do it better than a Garmin bike computer”
      Except apple its self, at least this is what every one keeps saying that apple does.

  164. Bob190

    Looks like we have the first 3rd party app that actually uses the integrated GPS from the Series 2. The app from Pear Sports lets you run without the phone using GPS. It also has audio feedback and syncs to Strava .. including map and elevation data.

    Just ran around the block for about a 1/2 mile and it worked fine. The GPS track looked a little squiggly, but I might not have had a good fix.

    Unfortunately, Pear is one of those services you have to sign up for and offers training plans etc., but there is a 30 day trial.

    • Robert Silvers

      Thanks. I just loaded Pear. The subscription seems to be for “optional premium content” like training plans, but not required.

      I cannot find where to input Strava settings to make it transfer data. What am I missing?

    • Robert Silvers

      Found it.

      Click on the three lines in the upper left.

      It will say “Shop Gear,” “Membership,” “Partners.”

      It is under Partners (Strava is a partner).

      They used to call this “Connected Partner Apps & Devices” which is hugely more descriptive.

    • Robert Silvers

      PEAR Sports Apple Watch app – it is very promising, but here are things I would change:

      1 – When you start the app, it asks if you want to run on iPhone, or Apple Watch only. If you select iPhone, it tells you to start the app on your iPhone. It does this *every* time, even for experienced users who know to start the app on their iPhone if they want it on their iPhone. Should be a preference to never ask this.

      2 – Every time, it asks if you want to pair with Bluetooth audio. I never want to do that. But every time I have to press “continue without audio.” Should be a preference to never ask this.

      3 – Every time it asks me if want to transfer a workout from my phone. I never want to to do this, but yet I have to click on “Tracking only.” Every time I use the app. Should be a preference to never ask about workouts.

      When the app is running, the readouts are on the small side because it has a 4-line display. One of these lines is calories. I have never wanted to see calories while I run or ride, so it would be nice to have a way to make it a 3-line display, or to replace calories with something actually important, like heart-rate. The only way to see heart-rate is to slide to another screen.

      In the iPhone app, the settings screen has something that says “Partners.” I never though to click on this to turn on Strava. Perhaps it should be named “Connect to Partners.”

      The app for some reason uploads to Strava as pace instead of MPH. Very strange.

      The app logs in Apple Workouts as “PEAR Sports” rather than what the activity is. For example, Strava uploads to Apple Workouts as “Outdoor Run” or “Outdoor Cycle.” In fact, even if you click on the activity, there is no way to know if it was a run or a cycle except perhaps by your average speed. It is enough to see the blue logo to know that it is a PEAR Sports activity – no need to waste valuable information space in that subject line with saying this is PEAR Sports.

      The iPhone app has too much going on. The readouts are super-imposed over a photograph of runners. Too busy looking.

      The app tells me to “enjoy the rest of my day.” Come on. This is an app, not my friend. Personal comments from an app are meaningless.

      So I would use it for now, but if they don’t change these things, I would switch off it as soon as Strava or Apple make their system work together.

    • Bob190

      Can’t say I disagree with any of your points. You should provide your feedback to Pear.

      I am just happy to have at least one app I can use with the watch that allows me to export my runs to Strava. I have a Garmin 520 for bike rides, so I don’t use the AW for cycling.

    • Robert Silvers

      I also have a 520 for biking.

      And realistically, I have never wanted to run without a phone – just because if there is an emergency.

      But I just want a good standalone app to exist. Really I want Apple to upload to Strava, Strava to not put duplicates into Apple Activities, Strava to update their app to work on the watch, and for the Strava iPhone app to show maps with track up instead of North up (a problem they have had for years with no fix).

      My plan: I guess I will just use Strava on the phone and learn to ignore the duplicates in Apple Activities.

    • Bobito

      If you always run with your phone then why the heck do you need an Apple Watch?????
      Just get a dang Bluetooth heart rate strap and be done.

    • Robert Silvers

      I got the Apple Watch for other reasons like notifications, swimming, step tracking, and to see what it was like.

      Now that I have it, it is just in my nature to want it to work and not have strange problems like Strava stuffing in every activity twice.

    • I typically run with my phone when I’m on my own and it’s a long run, but I don’t want to keep pulling it out to check pace and other stats. A sport watch of any type is clearly quite handy for that…

    • Bob190

      Personally, I have never found a comfortable way to carry my phone especially now given how big phones have gotten. I have tried Spibelts, armbands, holsters, and all were miserable to run with.

      I like running because it allows me to disconnect .. hard to do that when you have your phone with you. As for emergencies, I don’t worry about it. We all managed fine 10-15 years ago when no one carried a phone while running. Emergencies are no more prevalent now than they were then.

    • Well each to their own – certainly my personally circumstances often mean I would want a phone.

      For anyone interested this has worked well for me over Marathon distances with an iPhone 6+ – hardly felt it was there: link to amazon.co.uk

  165. Jess

    Hi and thanks for review!
    I would like some advice. Choosing between the Garmin fenix 3 rose/gold, the Garmin forerunner 735 or the Apple watch 2, help me out there. With the Apple watch and the 735 I don’t need a belt for the puls and for the Fenix I need to buy it because its not included. The battery I guess last longer on the Garmin choice. Have you tested all three of them?

    • Greg Hilton

      doesn’t sound like the Apple GPS is up to much for serious runners.

      link to engadget.com

      Cons:
      Average pace calculations in workouts are often off the mark
      Distance tracking in running falters if you stop to walk

    • Heath

      As of now, AW2 is still a smartwatch before a fitness watch. Not many native fitness watch apps around and most are still waiting for updates which might or might not happen. Platform makers will always go for the masses first and if they dun see the return for native watch apps you pretty much stuck with a watch which is just an extension of your phone as in AW1 case.

      It is still in an early stage where developers are seeing how restricted would they get in developing their apps. If they could access all the hardware sensors without limitations, we probably see more varieties of fitness apps in a single watch than we will ever see rather than having to buy different watch for a specific purpose.

      Next is your use case. Garmin, Polar etc. offer a simple and seamless solution for your training needs to post analysis which is important to some or you wouldn’t mind the need to install additional apps for training plan and another apps just to export your workout for post analysis.

  166. Ivan P.

    Has anyone found a good running app for the Apple Watch that will sync its data with TrainingPeaks?

    I tried to use the Strava app, and tell it to sync with Garmin, (which is then set to sync with TrainingPeaks) but the data didn’t make it.

    I currently run with a Garmin 235 and was hoping to switch to the Apple Watch, but the features for running are pretty simplistic with the Apple app or Strava. No “courses” or “workouts” like on the Garmin.

    Curious to know if there is a better app out there?

    • Bob190

      If you are OK with carrying your phone along then I would recommend iSmoothRun or Runmeter. There are many choices that work with the Apple Watch tethered to your iPhone, but just one thus far that allows you to run without your phone using the GPS in the Series 2 AW.

    • Robert Silvers

      I have used Runmeter for 4+ years. It is of course an excellent app – maybe the best. I was using it to upload to Strava. It was a little annoying that Strava always re-computed the distance and it never matched. So for example, I would run for 5.0 miles on Runmeter, and Strava would call it 4.9 miles.

      Lately I made the move to Strava to eliminate this annoyance. I learned that the Strava app does everything I want, and no more. Whereas Runmeter does everything I want, and so much more.

      Also note that Runmeter/walkmeter/Cyclemeter are all the same app. I accidentally bought them more than once due to this.

    • Wayne Wilson

      I love Runmeter and miss it now that I have been running with my Polar M400 since it came out. I had it push its data to Daily Mile which I loved to track my runs and keep in touch with some local runners. Lately I have been strapping on my iPhone again so I can get some music. I am realizing that running with music has a big impact on my runs, especially the longer ones. It is much easier to interact with my watch, so I doubt I will be going back to the iPhone for tracking and I don’t really like having it strapped to my arm anyways. I am looking at getting the Apple Watch S2, maybe the Nike+ variant. Would forgo Nike (and the wait) if I knew Runmeter ran on the watch using its GPS (not just controlling the app on the phone). Also thinking of just keeping the Polar and using an iPod Shuffle ($49) for tunes instead. Cheaper and less charging of the watch…

  167. Bobito

    I ran with my apple watch over the weekend and used the Pear sports app. The app does work and it did transfer my run to Strava. However, the data that it transferred was wrong. The time and distance that it sent over to Strava did not match what was on the Pear app. I dont quite understand that one. But it is what it is.
    I came to the conclusion that the apw2 just cannot replace my garmin. Simply because I need a manual button to stop and start my workout. As I was coming up to the point to stop my run..I had to swipe the screen to get to the off bottom. Of course it wasnt recognizing my finger because I was sweating…so there I was at my finished point and 5 to 8 seconds passed by until I finally got it to acknowledge my stop. Luckily I wasnt running for a PR or anything…but fumbling thru and trying to stop the watch is turning into a nightmare with sweat.
    Yesterday was my long run day…I used my Garmin Forerunner and will continue to do so for a while looks like.

  168. oh

    got my AW2 yesterday and today went on my usual run at work. the AW2 recorded a distance of at least .2miles longer than any of my garmins or suuntos ever did and about 1/3 less calories burned. my pace was the best ever (due to over estimation of the distance).

    i also looked at the map that the watch recorded (ran with watch only, no phone) and it’s pretty terrible, had me running accross the street at one point, in the lake, etc. not sure if this is a limitation of the GPS chip or actually something that will be adjusted in the SW later on. strongly debating returning this within the 14 days allowable.

    • Robert Silvers

      0.2 miles longer? That doesn’t mean anything hearing that in itself. That is not actionable information.

      As for calories – some apps report net calories, and some gross. There are two different philosophies.

      As for returning it – if you just want it for running then you probably are better off with a Garmin or Suunto. If you want a smartwatch, then the Apple is the best.

    • Eric

      Best how? The screen is not always on, it has terrible battery life, touchscreen is inferior to physical buttons for fitness and it’s a confusing mishmash of apps as far as which ones work without the phone and which ones don’t. The apps might get fixed but you can’t fix the screen, butons, or battery life. Buy pretty much any Garmin and you will have a better ‘smartwatch’.

    • Paul S

      You can’t answer texts on a Garmin (with WatchOS 3 you can actually write your reply rather than just using canned responses or Siri). You can’t tell a Garmin “Take me to the nearest Starbucks” and have it do it turn by turn. You can’t use Apple Pay with a Garmin. Garmin’s (I have an Epix) aren’t in the same class as an Apple Watch as a smartwatch. Nothing prevents you from having both, though, since it sounds like even the new Apple Watch still sucks as a fitness device.

    • Pete

      And here we go. You touched on it perfectly. It’s a smart watch. That’s what it is. It’s not a triathlon, do a few things Watch. Can garmins tell you the weather for the area you are in? Give you bus times? Reply to text? Show you sport score? Turn on and off your lights? Show how much money you have available in your ban account. Let you purchase items in the most secure wa, show you are calendars, show you what constilations you are looking at? Show you a Topo map of your location? If you do not want those things, that’s 100% fine. Those other devices are not smart swatches, they do a few things good and that’s it. Maybe that’s all you need. Great but if I’m going to put something on my wrist it’s going to do more than just record some workout info

    • Robert Silvers

      By “smartwatch” I meant general-purpose, not fitness watches.

      So for example, Apple Watch, Pebble, or Android Wear.

    • Robert Silvers

      I can answer my phone on my Apple Watch. I can use it as a viewfinder for a GoPro. It can display my blood-glucose levels in real time.

      It works well enough for running that I would not want to give up all it can do just to be a little better for running. But I could totally understand it not being good enough for some people. And I suppose if I really cared about smart-watches, I would have had a good one before last week.

  169. Terra72

    Another review of the AW2, in this case using it to track distance and pace during a marathon:
    link to techradar.com

    It compares well with the Garmin FR735XT but the Garmin fares better on accuracy.

    I wonder if these minor accuracy issues will be resolved with SW updates or if they are inherent limitations of the type of GPS chip used in the AW.

    The current limitations about uploading to Strava etc are surely just a question of time (weeks?) before compatibility is restored and/or Strava produce a new app.

    • Robert Silvers

      I did a walk/run today that was 12 miles on trails. This was almost four hours.

      I ran Strava on my 520 and Apple Activities on the watch.

      The Watch reported distance as 11.58 miles. The 520 and Strava said 12.18.

      Apple gave me 831 active calories (which are used with apps to calculate how much food you can eat on any given day). Strava gave me 1614 active calories. I will note that I was not wear a HR sensor with Strava.

      That is a huge difference. Which is not appropriate, I am not sure. I would think 1600 calories makes more sense for the over 24,000 steps and almost four hours.

    • In my experience you have to take calories with a pinch of salt. If I upload the exact same data from my Fenix 3 to Garmin, Stava, TP and they all have the same profile info for me (weight and height) then I’ll get 3 very different figures, with the sort of variance you are seeing on larger rides/runs. Couple that with the fact the in the UK at least manufacturers are allowed a 20% margin of error on calorie figures on labels, then calorie counting seems a bit pointless as an accurate guide. I find it better to just use it as general rough guidance…(having said that I am still overweight so what do I know!!!)

    • Robert Silvers

      A website calorie calculator thinks 1500 calories is normal for that many minutes of hiking. And since I ran some, more is expected. So Strava seems to be more correct. Plus I never heard of Strava over-estimating calories. If anything it seems to skimp.

      1592 for another calculator. A third calculator says 1953 calories. Fitbit says 1948. So Apple Watch Activity calories seem very low.

      That is discouraging. The Apple Activity app was winning as I love it in every way except it would not upload to Strava, but this is another reason to be concerned about.

      BTW, my AW2 started at 100% battery at 9:30am. Seven hours later, even after the four-hour hike activity that it was tracking, it still has 79% power left!

    • Andy Z

      I also was frustrated with the difference in calorie estimation while swimming with my AW2 and my Suunto Ambit2 with HR monitor strapped (see my posting from late September). Disappointingly, the AW2 doesn’t use HR to optimize their caloric expenditure estimation while my Suunto does. I was seeing a difference of 500-1000 calories with the AW2 always being the lower.
      I’ve been hiking in Colorado daily this past week. The thin air makes my heart rev to the 160’s for my hour-long hikes (90% max heart rate). Yet my AW2 only estimated 150-200 calories for each hour-long hike. Physiologically this is way off.

    • Ian Berman

      I totally agree. Algorithmic-based calorie calculations aren’t accurate. There’s also nuancies based on how you burn the calories and what you eat.

      If the calorie counters are motivating- that’s great! Just don’t expect a strong correlation between what your watch reports and how much weight you lose.

    • Robert Silvers

      I don’t use a calorie counter to motivate me. It is to tell me how much I can eat on any given day.

      Basically 2200 calories a day will maintain my weight. So I can eat 2200 + any active calories I burn. Or if I am trying to lose 1 lb per week, then I can eat 1700+any extra I burn.

      My 4-hour hike today (24,000 steps) would allow me to eat an extra 800 calories if I go by the Apple Activity app, or 1600 calories if I use Strava. No one has ever accused Strava of over-estimating calories, but a lot of people have accused it of under-estimating. So that fact that the Apple watch was 1/2 that of Strava is very concerning. I ran a bunch of web-based calorie estimators, and they were all pegging my hike in the 1500-1600 calorie range. FitBit was calling it 1950 – but I think that includes by BMR, so that is more like 1600 net/active calories. Hey – back at about 1600. Go figure.

      Maybe the only way to fix this is to tell Apple that I am twice my weight so that the calorie burn comes into the range of other apps.

      This is a huge fail for Apple to be off by a factor of 2:1, if in fact they are – and I think they are.

    • Pete

      Wish people would read Apple documentation but maybe that’s to much to ask for

      When does Apple Watch measure your heart rate

      When you use the Workout app, Apple Watch measures your heart rate continuously during the workout.
      This information, as well as other data it collects, helps Apple Watch estimate how many calories you’ve burned. In addition, Apple Watch measures your heart rate throughout the day when you’re still. You can see these background heart rate measurements in the Health app on your iPhone. Since Apple Watch only takes this background reading when you’re still, the time between these measurements will vary. You can control which third-party apps have access to your health data from the Health app in Sources.

      Apple Watch uses the information you provide about your height, weight, gender, age, and wheelchair status to calculate how many calories you burn, how far you travel, and other data. In addition, the more you run with the Workout app, the more Apple Watch learns your fitness level—and the more accurately it can estimate the calories you burned during aerobic activity.

    • Paul S.

      “I’ve been hiking in Colorado daily this past week. The thin air makes my heart rev to the 160’s for my hour-long hikes (90% max heart rate).” But this is exactly one of the reasons why heart rate based calorie burn isn’t reliable. Why is your heart rate higher? Because there’s less oxygen available in the air, so you need more blood to be moved to get the same amount of oxygen to the muscles doing the work. But the same amount of oxygen means the same calorie burn. So your heart may be working harder, and that by itself will burn more calories, but your legs are doing most of the work and they won’t be because of oxygen availability. If you could move the hike’s elevation profile to lower altitudes, you’d expect about the same calorie burn. If you could move the hike’s HR profile to lower altitudes, you’d burn more calories (and go faster) because more oxygen would be available.

      If you’re obsessed about your weight, pay close attention to your scale. Weight can easily be accurately measured. Calorie burn numbers, both input on food packages and output based on heart rate, are unreliable.

  170. pete

    Are you guys calibrating your watch?:

    link to support.apple.com

    • Bob190

      Why would you need to calibrate a GPS equipped watch.

      I think that article applies to the Series 0 without GPS.

    • Robert Silvers

      The article says that if you do not have a GPS in the watch, to bring your phone so that the watch can access the GPS.

      The calibration is for the step-counter.

    • pete

      Calibration is for both.
      Theory is this:
      You turn on Motion Calibration & Distance. At that point the watch is looking for clean GPS data and accelerometer data. When it receives 20 minutes of both at the same time it then runs an algorithm that determines your stride at a speed range. So then next time you go out and GPS signal is spotty and it can use the stride data to fill in the data holes wholes.

      So you really should “calibrate” the watch or you going to see what other people are seeing. gps routes getting screwed up.

    • Robert Silvers

      The Watch does this calibration automatically. The only reason to manually calibrate it is if you can do it on a nice open road to maximize the quality of the calibration.

    • pete

      Some people have posted in other places that Motion Calibration & Distance setting on their iPhone was not on. This needs to be on for calibration to take place:

      link to support.apple.com

    • Robert Silvers

      I just did a test to confirm my results.

      I walked for 20:03 minutes for 1.01 miles in Apple “Outdoor Walk” mode. 57 active calories. Elevation gain 38 ft. Average HR 109.

      I walked for 20:01 minutes for 0.99 miles in Apple “Outdoor Run” mode. 52 active calories. Elevation gain 27 ft. Average HR 105.

      Conclusion: Outdoor Run and Outdoor Walk mode give the same amount of active calories while walking. Any differences are explainable by elevation or HR.

      So for two miles, I got 109 active calories. Here is the problem. I had Strava running on my phone at the same time, and it gave me 270 calories.

      I am thinking 270 makes more sense than 109, so the Apple Activity app is woefully underestimating calories. To the point where sadly I can no longer use the otherwise great looking Apple apps.

    • Pete

      You sure the 270 isnt total calories? the 109 is active not total.
      Also Strava is not using your HR to calculate these calories. So its using the distance and BMI (and what ever other calculations it using).

      “Calorie calculations are only estimates. You may notice differences between Strava’s calculations and those from other tools, even given the same activity data. This is most likely due to differences in Calorie calculation algorithms, and the data factored into the calculations. We believe our estimation is as accurate as possible given the limitations in data. ”
      link to support.strava.com

    • Ali

      I think 270 calories for 2 miles of easy walking is pretty high. I think most calorie estimations are inaccurate anyway because a. they are only as good as the algorithm and b. they don’t account for metabolic efficiency for seasoned endurance athletes.

      My .02 don’t sweat the small stuff. Personally, I would always go with the lower calorie burn and consider that more accurate.

    • pete

      Some more Strava info:

      “Calorie calculations for runs require that you enter your weight. Strava will use your weight and the elevation data and distance of your run to estimate calories burned. If you’re having trouble getting calories calculated for your Runs, check or reset your elevation correction by following the instructions on Elevation Correction for your Activities. Calories for runs are a function of speed (grade adjusted), weight, and moving time. Multiply these together with a scaling factor, and that’s the estimate.”

    • Robert Silvers

      “I think 270 calories for 2 miles of easy walking is pretty high.”

      2 miles in 40 minutes. That is 405 calories per hour. So maybe it is high.

      Apple Watch had me at 164 per hour.

      This says 156 per hour:

      link to calorielab.com

    • Pete

      Robert since Strava is not using HR, maybe it would be good to compare the apple watch with the HR off? you can do this by going into the apple watch app/ My watch/workout/ and turn on power saving mode. Then launch an out door walk or run.

    • Rober Silvers

      I will test it against Walkmeter, which uses HR.

    • peteo

      I though you were using Strava on your iPhone?

    • Robert Silvers

      I did use Strava on my iPhone.

    • Robert Silvers

      Walkmeter with a Polar chest-strap just gave me 146 calories for 1.06 miles in 21:46.

      Apple Watch and Activity app said that was 0.99 miles in 21:37 and gave me 50 active calories or 81 total calories.

      I ran those at the same time, so they were actually the same distance.

      I didn’t also run Strava, but presumably Walkmeter gave me even more calories than Strava.

  171. Ian Berman

    TechRadar published a test it did a few days ago running around London for 3 hours 30 minutes with the Apple Watch 2 with GPS on and HR turned off. The battery only drained to 50% implying that you’ll be able to get around 7 hours of GPS.

    Turning off HR isn’t such a bad thing, because unfortunately, the AW2 HR isn’t very good. We’ll leave it to Ray to report on the AW2 GPS accuracy.

    Anyway, it will take a bit more time for the app makers to integrate with the Core Location framework for WatchOS. Once they do, the AW2 will be an attractive option for running.

    • bob190

      Have to say I disagree with this..

      “Turning off HR isn’t such a bad thing, because unfortunately, the AW2 HR isn’t very good.”

      Since WatchOS3, the HR monitoring has been flawless for me. No cadence lock, no spikes, no abnormalities. I think most people who complain about the HR monitor on the AW, don’t even know how to wear the watch properly to ensure it works well. I see so many reviewers post pictures of their wrist with watch on and it is loose and squarely on the wrist bone .. drives me crazy. Of course it doesn’t work like that.

    • Ian Berman

      I’ve tried both arms lower/upper wrists- still not that accurate for me. Some spikes/lags and generally off by 5 or 6 beats vs. a cheststrep when testing simultaneously. Im not particularly hairy, have no tattoos, and very visable veins. Oh well. :-)

    • Pete

      That sucks:

      “Many factors can affect the performance of the Apple Watch heart rate sensor. Skin perfusion is one. A fancy way of describing how much blood flows through your skin, skin perfusion varies significantly from person to person and can also be impacted by the environment. If you’re exercising in the cold, for example, the skin perfusion in your wrist may be too low for the heart rate sensor to get a reading.”

      link to support.apple.com

    • It does suck if you fall into that category of it not working. But it’s the same for all optical HR monitors as I understand it and fairly rare. (Ray?)

      You can always attach a Bluetooth chest band to the watch and get better battery life too (turn on low power mode in the workout app)

    • In general, I take optical HR sensors with a solid grain of salt unless I’ve seen how the person is wearing it (including how tight it is). The vast majority of time people wear it on their wrist bones, which…just doesn’t work. Or, they try and wear multiple watches side by side w/o separation (that impacts blood flow, and thus optical HR sensor accuracy).

      There are still people that most optical HR tech doesn’t work on, but I think that’s a very small portion of the population. I think for everyone else that has problems, they fall into two buckets:

      A) The specific sensor/model they’re using genuinely sucks (not all suck, some are fantastic)
      B) They’re wearing it wrong

      That’s all.

    • bob190

      Just did a 5 mile run in the pouring rain with my AW Series 2, and didn’t have any issues with the optical HR monitor on the watch.

      Amazing to be able to finally get my runs to Strava (including map data) using nothing but the Apple Watch Series 2. Although the Pear Sports app has bugs (don’t pause it), it works for now. It is a shame that almost a month after the release of the Series 2, it is the only AW app that uses the Series 2 GPS.

    • pete

      I believe runkeeper also uses the GPS in the watch when not paired with an iPhone

    • bob190

      Unfortunately Runkeeper still doesn’t support the Series 2 GPS. You can use Runkeeper without carrying your phone, but it only uses the accelerometer to track pace and distance. No mapping.

      They have a post on their blog that they were going to release an update that uses the Series 2 GPS “in a few weeks”. But that was three weeks ago.

    • Bobito

      How were you able to get your data to strava?

    • bob190

      There is an app in the app store called Pear Personal Fitness Coach. It uses the Series 2 GPS, and has a direct export to Strava .. so no need to carry your phone. So when you finish your run, it syncs to Strava.

      The app is buggy .. for instance, if you pause the run on the watch, you only get map data from the point you paused forward. Sometimes it takes literally 30 minutes for runs to sync from the watch to the Pear app on the iPhone to Strava. The app gives audio feedback while running, but it pauses your music on the watch and doesn’t restart it. You have to switch apps and restart it.

      But other than that, it works OK for the most part. It’s free, so if you have a Series 2 watch, give it a shot.

    • Nathan

      Also been trying out Pear as well, while we wait for Strava, Runkeeper etc. Wondering what the holdup with the others… I guess they’re doing testing etc. Pear has it’s bugs and I guess Runkeeper and co want everything to work well. The Pear experience on the watch isn’t fantastic, I’d prefer just a one button “start running” but you have to jump through a few hoops and it’s not clear that your run has actually started.

      To cut to the chase, I think once the 3rd party apps “come to the party” that the Apple Watch will be fine for casual runners who aren’t that fussy and just want a reasonable record of their runs and activities. But unless someone releases a “serious” running app for it, I don’t see it every taking much market share from Garmin etc, particularly with it’s low GPS battery life. If you’re buying the Apple Watch it’s because you’re heavily invested in the Apple “ecosystem” and want thinks like Apple Pay, notifications (which are very well done… the best part of the watch), Siri, various 3rd party apps etc.

      The Apple Activity system, although very pretty, is woeful as far as all your data is locked up in Apple Health. If only they would let you export your runs to Strava or Runkeeper. I think the reason they aren’t allowing that is the upcoming Nike version. If Apple had wanted runners to take them seriously they would have partnered with Strava or Runkeeper rather than Nike.

  172. Moved from Garmin to the Apple 2 and there is a lot to like about it but unless I am missing something how can it have any pretensions of being a fitness device when there are no native apps that allow you to analyse performance and no effective ways to export the information. At least Garmin connect allowed you to rank activities over different criteria with the Apple watch you are stuck with what you can see on the iPhone

    Unless I am missing something ………

  173. Sal

    Hi Ray

    Just one simple question: do you think that the “big” running-app publisher (Runtastic, Strava, Runkeeper, Endomondo, Nike, …) will publish new or upgraded AW2-apps that will use the watch’s internal GPS and allow to run without carrying an Iphone?

    Or is the number of possible users of such apps too little to be of any interest for the app-devloppers?
    It’s not just a little update they have to do. Actually the AW-apps are nothing else than “external monitors” of the app running on the iphone. To make the app usable without the Iphone they have to transfer all the software into the AW-app.
    And whenever Apple publishes the next AW, maybe with internatl sim-card, they have to do the whole work again.
    My opinion is that we won’t see too many standalone 3rd-party-running apps for the AW2. But I’m curious to know what you think about it.

    My biggest hope is Nike! I would be very disappointed if they don’t publish a standalone AW2-App when the AW2 Nike edition will be released.

    Greetings!

    • I would fully expect most of those companies to. Not sure on any individual one, but would be blown-away surprised if they didn’t. And if they didn’t, it’d be a massive setback to the platform and theory behind the Apple Watch now having GPS.

    • JayWY

      I contacted PING about its rangefinder app and how it may work with the Series 2. Here is Ping’s response (essentially, yes it works as a stand-alone rangefinder but only by downloading one course at a time and by turning off both blue tooth and WiFi on the iPhone. Seems to be a flaw with Apple’s system that will impact all GPS uses of the Series 2:

      “For the Watch Series 2 to use its own GPS sensor it must NOT be in communication with your iPhone. This means that after you start your round (and the course data is loaded) you should turn off your phone’s bluetooth and wi-fi to ensure the GPS sensor in the Watch Series 2 is being used by the PING App, instead of the phone GPS sensor. This is by design for Watch Series 2, and not something that can be changed or adjusted. After your round, turn bluetooth and wi-fi back on, open the PING App, and go to Golf Workouts to view your information. You may have to wait a few minutes for the data to be transferred automatically from your Apple Watch to your phone. Watch Series 1 MUST have a connection to your phone to get GPS data, and the GPS location is from your phone’s location, not the Watch Series 1’s location.”

    • bob190

      Correct .. if the watch is in range of the phone, it uses the phones GPS to save battery. I believe this was mentioned in the keynote.

      I wouldn’t be carrying my phone on runs with my Series 2 GPS, so I am fine with that. Carrying the phone with the Series 2 on runs kind of defeats the purpose of it entirely.

      If was carrying the phone, than it would use the phones GPS as expected as it does on my bike rides.

    • JayWY

      Good points and thank you for explaining how the watch and phone work together. You must not be a golfer, though, because with most golf apps, distance to the pin is measured not from the iWatch but to the iPhone. Golfers want the distance measured to the iWatch. To get the proper distance from watch to green, you’re out of luck. Ping happens to make a rangefinder app that measures to the iWatch but you have to turn off bluetooth and Wifi during the round. Hopefully, some other apps will come out that use the GPS feature of the Series 2 without interference or help from an iPhone.

      Apple really needs to make the iWatch GPS stand alone like a Garmin or Sky Caddie so that the iPhone is not involved at all.

    • Nathan

      With the Pear app, when you start a run on the watch you choose if it’s with phone or without. So it doesn’t matter if the phone is in range or not, because you already told the watch you need it to do the work. Granted it would be better if the watch worked this out automatically, so that if you started a run whilst the phone was nearby and then left that area it would automatically turn it’s GPS on.

      I’m wondering if the reason we haven’t seen any apps from the majors like Strava and Runkeeper is that there’s some show stopping bug which they aren’t happy with in Watch OS3 and they’re waiting for 3.1 to be released.

      Runtastic have released a watch OS3 update today but it’s not clear if you can use the phone without GPS or not.

  174. yeoyo

    Does the apple watch 2 support navigation? Are we able to navigate with a map on apple watch 2 directly? Thanks!!

    • Pete

      There is a maps app on the watch which can do directions but you need the phone in order to get the maps.

  175. Ray still looking to publish a full review of the apple watch series 2? :) Thanks

  176. pete

    Apples Nike+ Watch launches on October 28th

    link to theverge.com

    • Sal

      yep!
      but the 1 Mio. Dollar question is:
      will they launch an updated/new STANDALONE app at the same time or not?
      Do you still have to carry your Iphone with you or not?

  177. Mark

    Hi DC Rainmaker,

    Really enjoy and value your reviews, thank you.

    When you come to review the Apple Watch Series 2 I wonder if you could consider the following scenario: using the watch for day-to-day use and swimming monitoring and then using an additional HRM (Scosche Rhythm+ as you recommend) for workout calorie tracking. The reason I ask this is because even with a Garmin Forerunner 235 I still use the Scosche as I find it much more reliable for a stable reading.

    It would be good to see if the Apple Watch series 2 in the above way could be the everyday tracker, smart watch and true training partner in one device.

    Best wishes,

    Mark

    • Robert Silvers

      I am getting reliable HR data out of the Apple Watch Series 2 now. Just put the band on a snug setting. I got good data today:

      link to strava.com

      I even got HR data while swimming, which I found surprising. I wish Strava would do more with swim data.

    • Greg Hilton

      how did you get the info from the AW2 into Strava Robert???

    • pete

      Was that run with the watch is self or did you have your iPhone with you?

    • Robert Silvers

      If you start Strava from the Apple Watch (as opposed to starting it on the iPhone), then you control Strava from the watch, and the watch will collect HR data from the optical sensor and send it to the Strava website after the run.

      I had some erratic results my first few times when I was using a magnetic loop band which you can’t really make tight, but my last few have been solid when using the Nylon band on one setting tighter than I would normally pick.

    • Robert Silvers

      You need a phone with you for Strava to work. I am not sure I would run without a phone anyway except maybe in a race, as what if I had a sudden chest pain and wanted to call for help? I think the genie is out of the bottle when it comes to phones and emergency situations. Once you have one, it doesn’t make sense to not always have it with you. That being said, I wish Strava would make it work without a phone anyway, just because they should, and I may want to rebel from my phone once or twice.

      If you use the Apple Activity App without a phone, it will gather HR data, but there would be no way to get it into Strava.

    • Robert Silvers

      BTW, Amazon has Garmin 610 reburbs for $49.99. These have the good GPS chip that is better than most newer watches.

      I just got one for my 9-year old son. I am very excited. How cool a toy is that for $50? They need an ANT+ dongle though, but I had one.

    • Bobito

      I am going to disagree with you a little bit there. You don’t need nor you shouldn’t need your phone with you to go for a run. Now I will admit, if I’m running a 10 mile loop in a trail that I’ve never ran before, I’ll put my phone in my camelback. But outside of that and like you said..it’s fine to disconnect. We’ve made it this far without it…though yes people will say it’s a luxury to have so why not use it, truth is most serious runners won’t have their phone while running. I suppose if I were to run a fun little 5k maybe take some pix along the way I would, but when you are pushing yourself to the limit because you are training for something big… you can feel every ounce on your body.
      I bought the AW2 because I assumed it would be great now that it had the gps, but I was duped. But then I found PEAR it let me export my data and I thought I was good.. but then I had an unfortunate incident where I couldn’t stop my run cause my sweaty fingers couldn’t be recognized. Let me be very clear here… sports watches have to have a very big button that you press to start/stop your watch.
      I’ve ran 5ks before where I was was trying to PR… at the brink of passing out (at least it felt like it) and I can tell you, when that finish line is in your crosshairs, blowing on your fingers to dry them off and doing a swipe swipe pause at the second you finish just doesn’t work.

    • pete

      You can hold the two buttons on the side to pause your run. Once you have regained the strength and ability to wipe your hands you can then end the run.

      As far as being duped, the built in apps do support the apple watch GPS out of the box. Apple does provide API access to the on board GPS It’s up to 3rd parties to code their apps to take advantage of this. It might take some time since I assume none of them had early access to series 2.

      If what you want if a gps tracker with a giant button to stop then maybe the apple watch is not for you. You could sell the watch if you can not return it. It holds its value pretty well.

    • Robert Silvers

      I am not at the point where I regret buying my Apple Watch as I like it for notifications and as an activity tracker, but after owning it, I can totally see why a serious runner would want a watch with physical buttons, a display that is always on, and one that updates quickly. And I am not 100% sure I would re-buy it had I not bought it. It did correctly count swim laps for me, which was good.

      The Garmin 610 can actually get your pace from a footpod (for instant response), and still use the GPS for distance. That is a huge win. And at $50 for a refurb – Amazing.

      My son’s came today, and it looks completely brand new. No ANT stick was included.

  178. Hollister

    Am curious whether a workout with Polar Beat app (version 2) on the AW2 has training load showing up on the Flow web service – just like the Polar watches?

  179. Pete

    Nike+ Run club has been updated to support the Apple Watch series 2 built in GPS!

    • Robert Silvers

      The built in Apple Activity app is already a nice running app that works without a phone but doesn’t upload to Strava.

      The Nike app doesn’t add anything.

    • Pete

      Maybe not for you, but lots of people like its features

    • Robert Silvers

      You can’t put the genie back into the bottle. With Strava in existence, I don’t see how any running app that does not post to Strava is usable.

    • Dionne Allison

      The Nike App at least puts your splits into the Workout app AND will sync to strava via RunGap. So I’d say it add something.

      Ran 3.6 miles with it today. Nice app.

    • Dionne Allison

      My Run with the Nike app with no phone, synced via Rungap.

    • Robert Silvers

      To do that, I think you need to buy the Swag Bag feature?

      And then after each run, I need to run RunGap and select the run and manually upload it?

      I guess I would have no choice except for this or Pear if I wanted to run without a phone and upload to Strava.

    • Dionne Allison

      For now, this appears to be true. But, my assumption is as it has always been, the apps that will come Runkeper, Strava, etc (probably slowly) will be better. This is a pretty good stopgap for me right now, although slightly cumbersome.

    • Peter

      Or you could keep on emailing them asking for their Apple Watch app to be upgraded to support the built in gps. I don’t think I’d pay $5.99 a month if the company would not offer support for this feature.

    • Robert Silvers

      I think I have Strava Premium because I wanted to get live segment data to my Garmin 520. But I turned off that feature after a few days due to it being very annoying. Garmin implemented it by having it take over your normal screen that I feel comfortable with and spent a long time configuring and replacing it with a segment data screen that keeps me from navigating on the track follow that I often need.

    • Peter

      Here’s their support forum. Other people seem to be getting upset there’s no Apple Watch series 2 GPS support.

      link to support.strava.com

    • Nathan

      Another possible way (though I’m yet to test it) to get runs into Strava is this:

      Create a Smashrun account
      Link your Nike+ account to Smashrun
      Sync your Smashrun account to Strava using Tapiriik.

      I know the Tapiriik part can be automated by paying $2 a year (well worth it IMHO), but I’m not sure about the Nike > Smashrun part.

      Though Dionne’s Rungap method is probably just as easy, if you don’t mind paying for Rungap. I would imagine we’ll get more apps in the next few weeks anyway.

    • Robert Silvers

      I tried RunGap with Nike+ and paid the $2 fee.

      First, RunGap was nice in that I used it to get my 675 Strava runs into TrainingPeaks.

      It seems to have issues with Nike+ though. I got two runs to sync after some significant lag time, but not one today at all. I logged out and logged in many times, and could not get it to work. I don’t feel like emailing RunGap support as I can’t picture using this long-term because it is not an automatic process and I have issues with the Nike app anyway.

      As for the Nike app – the UI on it is acceptable. About as good as the Strava watch app, and I like it more than Pear. It is clear why Nike does not connect to Strava – they want to have their own Strava-like system. Then again, so does Garmin, and they support Strava connecting.

      I don’t want to go to the Nike website and have the choice of ordering shorts, shoes, or logging my run! I don’t like all the photos and marketing tie-in.

      So, I will just run with my phone with me until Strava has a stand-alone app.

      What would I do if I wanted stand-alone now though? I would probably use Pear.

    • Shaun Walker

      I ran with Nike app on my AW2 (no phone). When I shared it to Strava via Rungap no gps/map shows up in Strava. How did you share your run to Strava and get the map to show up?

    • Dionne Allison

      I have noticed that the Nike app is quirky. Let it sync your run, pulling in all the detail and mapping, THEN go to Run Gap. Otherwise your maps may not come over if it’s still syncing. I ran again with the Nike app yesterday and it never pulled my map.
      Also, the Nike Plus website is an embarrassing disaster of a website. I’m stunned at how terrible it is and how slow it loads. Unreal.

    • Shaun Walker

      Yeah, the Nike app is flaky on pulling in the map.

      Maps never show up in the RunGap app for any of my workouts (screenshot). I asked the developer and they said the app doesn’t support GPS track info. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.

      Strangely, even though I used the Nike app on my watch to record the run, the Nike app on iPhone doesn’t show any splits. But if I sync a run from Garmin into Nike it does show splits. Sharing a run via RunGap to Strava does show splits (in Strava). Sharing via rungap to Garmin, Garmin does not show splits. This just seems like a tangled mess!

      I wish the Nike app gave average pace instead of only instantaneous pace as one of the data options. The instant pace widely fluctuates while doing what feels like the same effort level.

      At this point, I think I’ll continue running with my phone and using Runmeter. The customization of that app is fantastic on the Apple Watch. I wish they had native GPS support on the AW2.

    • Dionne Allison

      Mine pulled the map… See below.

    • Dionne Allison

      Also, I think splits are broken, as is Nike Fuel. Looking for an update to fix those.

    • bob190

      Shaun .. are you sure you are on the latest version (5.1.0)?

      The previous version of NRC would allow you to run without the phone, but would use the accelerometer for pace and distance. Only the latest version uses the Series 2 GPS.

      I have done three runs now with NRC and my Series 2 AW, and each time I eventual got the map in RunGap. It does take time for the run to sync from the watch to the phone, and then to the Nike servers. I had to open and close the NRC app to get it to sync.

      Here is a short run I did today with the NRC app, my Series 2, and then synced to Strava with RunGap.

      link to strava.com

    • Shaun Walker

      I checked the app version and it is all up to date (5.1.0).

      What “services/accounts” do you have rungap importing? I assume it just needs to read from “Health” since NRC writes to Health. Once NRC writes the activity to health, rungap should be able to share that activity to Strava or Garmin. Correct?
      By the way, there is a map reflected in NRC for today’s run; but no splits. That same run in rungap does not show a map. :(

    • Bob190

      Shaun .. you need to sync from Nike not Health if you then want to export map data to Strava with RunGap. Nike, nor any other app does not write GPS data to Health. As a matter of fact there isn’t even a repository for GPS data in Heath. The GPS data collected by the native Workout app is held in the app not Health.

      Sync your runs from Nike and you should be good.

  180. Bob190

    I tried the Nike Run Club app today with my Series 2 watch without the phone.

    I like it with some reservations..

    The Pros:
    – Audio Feedback that works even when playing a playlist on the watch (this is huge).
    – GPS seems much more accurate (smooth) than the Pear app
    – UI is easy to read, except for the microscopic font used for the HR value (don’t get this).
    – Didn’t have any trouble using RunGap to get my run to Strava and GC
    – App is lightning fast on the Series 2, no update lag.
    – Seems stable
    – NO PHONE NEEDED.

    The Cons
    – Still not a seamless way to get MY DATA to where I want it to go (shouldn’t have to use RunGap)
    – No audio feedback data on individual splits
    – No HR thru audio feedback

    All in all, the Series 2 with the NRC app felt more like the all in one solution I was hoping for. Music, GPS, HR all in one tiny package that I can wear like a regular watch the rest of the day.

    • pep

      Nice ideas there.

      How about the battery life? what is the charging time? (i want to track sleep but don’t know if this would be possible if i have to charge it for…lot hours).

      No problems withthe buttons? people complains about preferring great buttons (ie like v800)

    • Joey

      I’m seeing reports that battery life is Very much improved with OS 3.1. Awesome news! I’ll be getting my Nike+ version tomorrow.. Can’t wait!!

    • Ali

      I have a series 2… on a typical day I get up at 7am, wear it all day at work. I work out most days between 30-90 minutes. At the end of the day (11pm) I usually have 40-50% battery left. I’d say the battery is pretty good now. I also have accidentally fallen asleep with it on and when I wake up I still have around 30%.

    • bob190

      I honestly just don’t worry about battery life on the AW. I know it needs to be on the charger about 1hr to 1.5hr a day. I usually charge while getting dressed in the AM, and sometimes before bed since I use it for sleep tracking. It charges very fast. I don’t think I have ever had mine go into power-save mode.

      I typically don’t go out on runs longer than 2 hours, so 5-hrs of continuous GPS is plenty. On bike rides, I have my phone with me, so don’t use the watches GPS.

      It seems those who worry most about the AW’s battery life are those that don’t own one, and people who write reviews. For those of us that own one, it never seems to be an issue. At least it isn’t for me.

      With the NRC app you can double tap the screen to pause it. Seems to work well, then end with a virtual button.

    • Nathan

      Bob I agree with all your points there. You could try the Nike > Smashrun > tapiriik > Strava/GC/Runkeeper method instead to get your data off, this has worked for me, though you have to manually go into smashrun each time to kick it off.

  181. Robert Silvers

    Battery life is claimed as 5 hours of sports. People tested it at closer to 7 hours.

    It charges fast. One hour for nearly a full charge. There is no good sleep monitoring for it. Apple is working on that. You could charge it an hour before bed and wear it all night.

    • peteo

      I was really hoping apple could have got the charging time down to 15-20 mins for 80% That way I could have put in on the charger while in the shower and wear it for sleep tracking

  182. Rs

    Apple could have done that. But then the battery would not last as long.

    You will gain a lot charging it for 20 minutes twice a day.

  183. Rs

    Typical crap. Ran with Pear to test it. It put the activity into Apple Health and uploaded to Strava. Strava then put the same activity into Apple Health two more times!

    • Pete

      Why are you allowing Strava to write to the health app? If you are just pulling data from the health ap p there is no reason to give strava write access

    • Dionne Allison

      Agreed. If your are using the workout app or Nike Run Club and allowing them to write to the Health app, don’t let Strava write BACK to health. Thats double dipping!

    • Robert Silvers

      One of the great features about the Apple Watch is that it works like a FitBit activity tracker and sums you daily activity and calories, and shares it with you and your friends. If I don’t let Strava write back to the Health data, then the Apple Activity app would not give me credit for the calories I burned during that workout. That would have several down-stream repercussions. Besides the obvious that I want credit for my activity, it would also prevent my nutrition app from telling me how many calories I can eat on any given day.

      So yes, you absolutely want Strava to write to the Health log. Strava has a bug where it sometimes writes it twice though – that is something that they need to fix and not an expected results.

      As for Pear, since I have it upload to Strava anyway, I can and will just revoke its access to writing to the Health log.

    • Dionne Allison

      I have to respectfully disagree with you on some of that.

      Bob190 on here can attest to you that I have been experimenting with the Series 2 here and on Macrumors for over a month along with a Garmin 735 on the other arm. I think I have figured this out.

      Here are my observations:

      If you run with the AW2 on one arm without starting a workout and the Garmin on the other, the GARMIN month add calories to workout. Its a bug in the Garmin app they seem to refuse to fix. So, I have disabled Garmin ability to write back to health for that reason. Why allow them to record distance and other stuff if the calories are wrong? So I try another method….

      Once the Garmin data syncs to Strava, allow Strava to write back to Health. In my experience, the Strava data is always really high and overstated. Also, since Im wearing the AW2 on the other arm, it’s still recording my calories because it can tell my heart rate is up, etc. So Im already getting the data recorded WITHOUT starting a workout.

      So for your sake Robert, let’s forget about the Garmin…. Just make sure that in Health, you have Strava as your primary calorie counter rather than the watch, and your numbers should look good.

      I realized after I typed all this that it probably doesn’t make any sense and it sounds like gibberish. Maybe thats the problem. This ecosystem makes us all sound like idiots.

    • Pete

      What are you talking about? If you use the Built in workout app or the nike+ run app it will write to apple health and give you credit for calories. Strava does not need write access.

    • Pete

      that above comment was for Robert Silvers

    • Robert Silvers

      “What are you talking about? If you use the Built in workout app or the nike+ run app it will write to apple health and give you credit for calories.”

      I know the built in workout app will give you credit for calories. But the built-in workout app does not upload to Strava. I will not run or cycle with anything that won’t upload to Strava.

      Solution: I use the Strava app, and I allow it to write to Health so that the Apple Activity app sees and gives credit for the Strava activity.

    • Robert Silvers

      BTW, Pear on the Apple Watch with no iPhone gave me a very poor GPS track that was 0.3 miles longer over 2 miles than Strava using my phone’s GPS receiver. This longer track made Pear think I ran faster than actually did.

    • Pete

      So are using strava or pear?

      I haven’t had the same experience as you with gps on AW2. I don’t use pear thought. Did you update to watch OS 3.1? Maybe try and and do another track. If it just as bad i’d go to an apple store and see if you can get a replacement. You can also just return the watch if your not happy with its performance

    • Dionne Allison

      No, I agree with Robert here. Pear’s GPS tracking is screwy. Its the app, not the watches issue.

      Nike seems to be right on the money with tracking. As is the native app.

    • Robert Silvers

      I don’t plan to use Pear long term as I can’t read the display while moving (they have four lines, and too small), and it asks you many questions each time you start it. I wanted to try it and see how it worked without the phone.

      For the last few years, I used Runmeter on an iPhone. Then this year, I switched to the Strava App for running and a Garmin 520 for biking. I am happy with those (though the 520 map response time is very very very poor compared to an iPhone with an app).

      I don’t desire to return my Apple Watch as I like it as a fit-bit like activity tracker.

      I have tried the Apple running app without an iPhone, and didn’t have any GPS problem. But I would have to test them on the same day to see if this GPS issue is with Pear or with the watch itself.

    • Rs

      I want to scream. Now Strava is not putting calories into health but I did on a previous run this morning.

    • RS

      So I force killed the Apple Activity app, and restarted it, and now the calories are shown for that Strava entry! So it looks like an Apple bug. Too bad there is effectively no way to report this to Apple.

    • pete

      apple feed back site: link to apple.com

  184. runxc

    Will you be doing a review of the Nike+ Apple Watch? Interested to see your take of how to take splits and such.

    • Heath

      It suppose to be a simple thing of you;
      Run – Sync – upload to whatever platform like strava or TP and full stop.
      The reason by it is still not gonna replace dedicated running watches for performance training.
      The inclusion of GPS and the native workout app will works well for active individuals that have no interest in post-analysis.

  185. Aaron

    Got my Nike watch yesterday. Went out for a quick run with my old (and trusty) FR305 on the other arm.
    The wrist heart rate tracking was in sync with the Garmin chest strap for the most part. Very little variation and seemed to get more accurate as the run went on.
    No GPS data at all on the Nike watch for the first 0.47 miles. I started the run with the (useless) 3, 2, 1 count down. That meant no pace or distance data during that time. It suddenly started working on its own. It appears the Apple GPS needs some acquisition time.
    I restarted a workout at the first mile marker. The remaining 4 miles of the run were fairly accurate by comparison. The Apple Watch recorded pace was only slightly faster than the Garmin resulting in a slightly farther recorded run distance.
    I love the weight of the watch. The band is nice. Plenty of adjustment points, but I wish there was a third size available. I seem to be in the middle. The M/L seems too long, while the S/M seems just a little too short. I was successfully able to link up a Bluetooth chest strap for everyday use. I could already see that sweaty fingers are going to be a problem with the touch screen.
    Just some of my thoughts. Hope this is useful.

    • Aaron

      I just did another run. Better today. All miles logged correctly. HR and distance accurate for the most part. One major feature still lacking – Average Lap Pace.

    • Aaron

      Need to figure this out.

      I want to have the watch default to a chest strap HR monitor. I currently have to sync the strap before every activity.

      Alright:
      My Watch, Workout, Power Saving Mode (PSM).
      This is supposed to turn off the wrist based HR, but keep the chest strap HR. Says it right there.

      However, when PSM is activated the Heart Rate option is greyed out in the Outdoor Run Metrics and will not display on the screen while running.

      When PSM is off the watch defaults to wrist based HR.

      Anyone know a fix? It’s entirely possible I’m missing a step somewhere.

    • Alissa

      I have used my Nike AW 2 twice now. First run the GPS was a touch off compared to my husbands Garmin (.2mi for a 4mi recovery run). Today it was spot on (7.38AW and 7.40Garmin). Quick question however. I am using the NRC to record my run and loading in to the NRC app. It doesn’t seem to upload my splits – is this normal? Also – if I turn the voice over off for splits – it also stopped vibrating and broadcasting my mi splits. Kinda weird. Any thoughts?

  186. Rs

    It is normal for a GPS to need time after moving hundreds of miles in shipment. My son’s Garmin 610 did the same thing on the first run.

    • rs

      Ran a 5K race today and when I went to start Strava from the watch, it would not change from bike to run mode. I was not able to start it. I tried about 10 times.

      The race had begun and I was messing with it. I ended up pulling the phone out of my pocket and starting it on the phone.

      This is why physical buttons are better than a touch screen.

      I will say – I am surprised that the phone app sent HR data to Strava from my watch even though I didn’t start it on the watch.

  187. Pep

    I have serious doubts with attery life, thus, in my case i would use it at bed time (23:00) fully charged, for sleep tracking, go to work and doing a running session (19:00) using GPS+music….don’t know if i could do this without the need of charging during the day…
    Let’s see DC’s detailed review ;)

    • bob190

      Yes, you will be able to do this.

      The Apple Watch will need to be charged every day just like your phone. Those of us who own one have no trouble with battery life.

      It is a watch you wear all of the time, not like a Garmin where you wear it running then forget about it. Truth be told, I have had more with my Garmin devices running out of juice than I have with the AW just due to the fact that my Garmin isn’t always on my wrist and I forget to charge it, then mid run it dies.

      It charges from 30% to 100% in about an hour just by dropping it on the charging puck.

      I have a Series 2 with GPS and I wear mine 23 hours a day most days including a hour run most days or 2-3+ hour bike rides.

      If you have access to an electrical outlet, don’t worry about battery life .. you can recharge it quickly.

    • Pep

      Thanks, even if i use music during running (<1hour)?? don't know how the music app work but on iphone Spotify/Music are very demanding…
      Best regards,

    • peteo

      You cant play Spotify with the watch only. You can only sync apple music/itunes playlist to the watch. If you want to stream spotify you need to have the phone with you, and then it will be using only the phones power, not the watches. (of course you can control it somewhat with the now playing app on the watch Stop/pause/play/next etc.) There is currently no spotify apple watch app

    • bob190

      My watch was charged to 100% this morning about 6AM. Just got back from an hour run with my Series 2 using the Nike Run Club app and the watches GPS, the AW heart rate monitor, and a playlist synced to my watch using Apple Music thru BT headphones. It is now 12:43PM, and my watch is still at 70% battery.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about battery life.

      As others have mentioned, you can’t use Spotify if you run with just the watch. Apple Music only.

      I will mention that with the release of the Nike Run Club app, the Series 2 AW now feels like a viable running watch. Especially since I can now sync my runs to Strava using RunGap.

    • RS

      I have this weird bug where my Activity app will show 0 calories, and then hours later, when the watch does an activity update, the calories will appear.

  188. Ali

    I am curious – is there a way I can broadcast the HR from the apple watch to another device such as my Fenix 3? I really like the Apple watch, but kind of miss the advanced features of the fenix….. but I don’t want to wear a chest strap if I don’t have to.

    • bob190

      No you can’t broadcast HR from the AW.

      Even if you could, it would be Bluetooth LE, and could not be read by your Garmin.

  189. Sal

    From the Strava-Support-Site:

    “The next version of Strava for Apple Watch is in the works, and will take advantage of the native GPS. We expect to release it in early 2017.”

  190. Alissa

    This is great news. As a tiny small suggestion – could there be multiple metrics to choose from when running. Many programs do not incorporate current lap pace. Instant pace fluctuates to much to be of much use. For distance running current lap pace and overall average pace for the entire run are the most useful.

  191. Shaun

    I ran with my AW2 today (no phone). Hours later the Nike app still hasn’t synced it. My watch shows my last run as the distance I did this morning. But the app on my iphone doesn’t show anything from this morning. I’ve rebooted both the phone and watch and the apps. No change. Any ideas on how to get it to sync up?

    • Aaron

      Put the watch on the charger. I’m guessing this is when it sends the info to the phone.

      I ran yesterday and didn’t get any of my splits on the Activity app until after I charged my phone overnight. This morning all my splits are present for yesterday’s run.

    • Ivan P.

      Try this to force syncing.

      Load the apple watch app on your phone, choose General -> Reset -> Reset Sync Data.

      You may have to do this several times as the app gives you no indication that it in fact is resyncing the data.

      I have had to do this once or twice when my calendar failed to sync.

      -IP

    • Shaun

      Even after putting the watch on the charger, the run didn’t sync over in NRC. I can start a run with the watch while connected to the phone and the phone begins tracking. I did a short test run (.25miles) with AW2 only and it never synced over to NRC on the phone. I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled the NRC app on the watch and phone. Tried again, no sync. At this point I have no confidence my run with NRC will sync to the phone.

    • pete

      sorry this is the correct Nike+ Run Club apple watch app support

      link to support-en-us.nikeplus.com

  192. Aaron

    I noticed that when running the watch gives us a small haptic notification. When you feel the “bump” take a look at the watch to see your last lap average. It appears at the bottom of the screen for about 10 seconds.

    I’d still like to see last lap average pace as one of the fields on the watch during a run.

    • Alissa

      So my watch was on the charger last night – still no splits in the NRC+ App. Splits do show up in the “activity” app under workouts. Kind of weird.

      Also – how is your watch set-up to have the haptic at the mile split but no voice feedback. I turned voicefeed back off then watched my watch at every mile turn over and I never got a split. But, maybe I have some other setting off that should be on?

    • Sal

      Voice feedbacks? While running without the phone?
      Where do I turn them on?

    • bob190

      In the NRC app on the watch, turn the digital crown to scroll to the bottom of the start screen, one of the available settings is Voiceover.

      You can control the frequency of the updates (I use every .25 mile) and the information provided from the NRC iPhone app in run settings.

      Works great. If you are playing music, the updates can be heard clearly over the music.

    • Sal

      Thank you!

      Guess what?
      I don’t have that feature… but I just found out why!

      My language-settings: German
      Now I changed to English and Voiceover appeared!

  193. Reid M Burrows

    Does the Apple Series 2 watch have the ability to automatically upload to Training Peaks and Strava like my Garmin devices?

    • RS

      Not form the Apple Activity app that works stand-alone. But you can run Strava from it if the iPhone is with you.

    • Sal

      …or you use the standalone Nike-App and afterwards RunGap to export to Strava and TrainingPeaks

  194. Aaron

    I don’t use NRC, I don’t feel it’s quite up to snuff for all the reasons already listed. Also, I can’t get my BT HRM to show on the NRC app. It works perfectly fine with the Workout app.

    All my runs are done with the workout app. I’m able to use a HR strap, see my splits at each mile and after the workout. There are still things I’d like to see, but for now I’m really happy.

    I run the Indy Monumental marathon tomorrow. I’ll post how the Apple/Nike watch does.

  195. Rudy

    I have been using the Apple Watch 2 Nike edition now for a week. It is a good watch if you bring three things: lenience, patience, and optimism. To me it is pretty clear that the NRC app as it is pre-installed on the phone is an unfinished beta version. Whether this is acceptable or not everyone has to decide for themselves. I would expect an update really soon. But even then, once some of the kinks are worked out, you only have a basic running watch. It is important to note that at the moment it is not possible to program interval workouts into the phone. Once again, I would expect other apps to jump in and remedy that. And this is the main problem: to me, the AW has a lot of potential, but there are no guarantees that this potential will be fulfilled. In the ideal case, the AW2 finds its stride and will be a fully fledged running watch that one can use for years. In the worst case, it tanks, developers give up on it, and it just sort of remains at the functionality level it is now. I am looking forward to the Strava app, but I would not expect them to include a feature that allows uploading workouts. I hope I am wrong.

    The watch itself is beautiful in my opinion. It is nice to look at and feels good on your wrist. To some the design aspect is not important, but its a nice bonus for sure. .

  196. Rudy

    An UPS employee just picked up my AW2 Nike edition. I decided to return it. It needs some apps and updates, badly, and even then you only have a basic running watch and fitness tracker. I would have never thought that I would get a watch geared towards runners that can’t handle interval workouts. This was the ultimate deal breaker for me. Also, the NRC app is not only lacking features, there is a noticeable lag every time the screen turns on (it will show the previous stats “frozen” for a second or so before you see the current stats). This makes it necessary to stare at the screen long enough to stumble over roots and rocks while trail running, for example. I am also not confident that the watch works well in cold conditions (like -10C and thereabouts).Too bad, I wanted to like this watch but it did not work out.

    • Bobito

      I couldn’t agree more. I struggle to read my metrics when I am running in the trails. And then you add another variable like fall leaves to the ground and it becomes dangerous. I find myself almost having to come to a slow walk in order to read the watch…let alone some of the times when I lift my arm up to read it, it doesnt display…which results in doing the chicken dance to see your heart rate. Ive been running with both AW2 and Garmin for a couple weeks (1 on each arm) and the heart rate via the watch has been consistently off. I dont know if its weather related, but on my last Sunday trailrun, it was in the 40’s F. and my AW2 was 20 heart beats faster than my chest heart rate monitor. Then when I was spinning in my basement yesterday, both watches read similar heart rates. And that brings me to your other point…in order to use my watch for indoor cycling, I had to resort to Apples fitness software. So not only do I need a 3rd party source that I have to pay for to export my data to Strava, I cannot do anything with my indoor spin information.
      So yea…its all dandy that I can use Rungap to send my nike runs to Strava…but if you plan on doing anything else, it will be locked in the Apple workout app.
      I like my AW2, and I plan to keep it. Ive grown fond of some of the other features it has (non fitness related). But it just isnt ready to replace my Garmin.
      Imagine this:
      Your on the final stretch of your trail run, your burnt out and your sprinting out… you need to stop your watch but you cant take your eyes off the trail because of the stumps n roots. Your a bit dazed but you lift your arm up to quickly tap the screen to pause and it doesnt light up…you do it again and it lights up, you tap the screen and it doesnt pause cause your finger is cold and sweaty, you tap it again and you are starring at your screen to see if your time stopped…at the same time of being in a full out sprint whilst trying to prevent yourself from injuring your ankle 1 week away from a race you’ve been training 2 months for that cost $125 to get into.

    • George

      I’m unsure why you’re trying to stop your watch while in a sprint, but each to their own. I do find the auto-pause seems to work reasonably well; I’ve only had it engage once I’ve stopped, which is exactly what I want it to do when waiting to cross streets or at the end of a run.

      I agree with the assessment that at its current stage of software development, the AW2 is not a replacement for a dedicated running watch for “serious” runners.

      However I’m keeping mine. I enjoy the smartwatch capabilities far more than the rudimentary functions on my FR235. I like the ability to track other workouts as can be done with the Gymaholic or Activities app. For casual midweek runs the AW2 is sufficiently capable, especially with its ability to hold a music playlist and play it to my BT headphones while leaving my phone behind.

      Still, I’m not getting rid of my FR235. For races or interval training, it is definitely superior to the current NRC capabilities. How that will change over time remains to be seen.

  197. Tanel

    Can you guys with AW2 post some screenshots with Polar app. Does it display heartrate zones as the mobile app does ?

  198. Frankie

    Imagine this scenario:
    1- I leave my Watch at home and I record a bike ride with my Garmin Edge 810
    2- I upload the activity to Apple Health (Edge 810 –> Garmin Connect –> Strava –> Apple