Apple Watch 2 release date, features, specs: Next watch will switch from OLED to Micro LED displays

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The Apple Watch 2 could be thinner, and last for longer before needing a charge

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We’re just a few months from the Apple Watch 2, and new rumours are starting to emerge about the screen technology used in Apple’s next wearable. The Apple Watch’s OLED screen is clear, vibrant and one of the best things about the original smartwatch, but new reports suggest Apple is about to ditch it for a Micro LED display.

According to DigiTimes, the new displays will be sourced from a newly Apple-owned company LuxVue technology, and should be ready to ship by the second half of 2017. And the reason for the swap? According to those close to Apple, the move comes down to battery life. Although the screens are more expensive to make at the moment, Micro LEDs tend to have a longer battery life than OLED screens – and they’re thinner, too. 

What is the Apple Watch 2? 

If there’s one thing Apple products are good at, it’s making an entrance – and that’s exactly what happened with the original Apple Watch. It wasn’t the first smartwatch on the market, and came after several releases from the likes of Samsung, Sony and others – but it was well worth the wait. The Apple Watch 2 will need to be even better though, and appeal to the general public – not just early-adopters and Apple fans. There’s an outside chance the Apple Watch 2 will appear in Apple’s WWDC 2016 event later tonight, but what can expect from it? Here are 7 things we pretty much know about the Apple Watch 2 ahead of its release date.

7 things to expect from the Apple Watch 2

1. Tim Cook says the Apple Watch 2 will provide health warnings

The Apple Watch 2 will probably keep track of your stats even more than the previous Apple Watch, and it looks like Apple wants to use that information for good. According to report by Business Insider, Apple is on the lookout for an experienced lawyer specialising in health privacy regulations. Why? Because the Apple Watch 2 may alert users to possible health-risks way ahead of time. At the recent Startup Fest Europe in Amsterdam, Apple boss Tim Cook said the feature would work much like a car warning system.

2. The Apple Watch 2 will have a wider range of prices

Apple may offer more choices for consumers when it launches the Apple Watch 2. It wants to fill the huge price gap between the most expensive 42mm Watch at £949 and the 42mm Watch Edition at £9,500 with a selection of mid-range variations. Each version of the Apple Watch features the same internal hardware, so it’s likely the new models will use different, more premium cases and strap materials.

3. The Apple Watch 2 release date will alongside the iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 might be the most highly anticipated Apple product this year, but rumours suggest it’s going to share the stage with the Apple Watch 2 at some point in September. In fact, it’s likely we’ll only get a quick look at the Apple Watch 2, with a more focused event in a few months time.

4. The Apple Watch 2 could be waterproof

It’s likely that the Apple Watch design will remain largely unchanged, but it could become slightly thinner. In addition, it’s possible that Apple will make it even more suited to sport by increasing its IPX7 waterproof standard to an IP67 rating, like the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The current Apple Watch is protected for a “short duration of water immersion” at a depth of less than one metre, but we think this could be improved by the forthcoming Apple Watch 2. As a result, the new Apple Watch could be suited to a wider range of sporting and outdoor activities

5. The Apple Watch 2 might have the SAME battery life as the Apple Watch

 

According to several reports, Apple’s research showed that most Apple Watch owners finished the day with around 30% to 40% of battery charge left on their smartwatches. Surprisingly, the Apple Watch 2 is likely to have similar battery life to the existing model, suggesting that Apple wants its customers to continue charging their watches on a daily basis.

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6. The Apple Watch 2 will be even more fashionable

Apple introduced more bands and finishes after the initial release of the Apple Watch, and rumours suggest it will extend the range even further in March 2016. It’s, therefore, likely that Apple will use its experience with the original Apple Watch to make sure the Apple Watch 2 has a good range of finishes and bands on release.

7. The Apple Watch 2 wants to break free (from your iPhone)

Apple’s preview of watchOS 2 earlier this year offered some clues about the Apple Watch 2. Alongside new features such as more clock faces and a Time Travel function, watchOS 2 also makes the Apple Watch far more independent from a paired iPhone.

Currently, the Apple Watch relies on a tethered iPhone for everything from messaging and weather updates to location tracking and Apple Pay – functions the Apple Watch 2 could do independently using Wi-Fi. The move shows Apple addressing one of the common complaints about the Apple Watch, and could make it more similar to “standalone” smartwatches like the Samsung Gear S.

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