Apple has launched two new Apple Watches exclusively-The new Apple Watch Series 6 and an Apple Watch SE. Apple clearly has your family in its sights with a new Family Set Up feature that will make it easy to manage various Watches in your household. We will also discuss the Apple Watch SE in a separate article, here we will be discussing the new features coming to Apple Watch Series 6, which include a new blood oxygen sensor and new blue and red colour options.
What’s new to look for?
The Apple Watch 6 offers blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring for the first time, a brighter always-on display, an always-on altimeter and a faster chip. .
The watchOS 7 software update brings some useful tools, too, including Apple Watch sleep tracking. There’s also a slew of new watch faces and watch bands. So long as you’re jumping to the Apple Watch 6 from the Series 4 or older, the combination of refreshed hardware, software and accessories supplies a more significant upgrade.
There is also a new always-on altimeter that will provide real-time elevation data.
Apple also announced a new Fitness subscription service for the Apple Watch. Fitness Plus will include virtual workouts, for a fee.This Apple Watch 6 review explains how Apple continues to keep its edge, and justify the $399 starting price.
Release Date and Price
Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 6 at the Time Flies Event ,15th September,2020.The Apple Watch Series 6 release date was Friday, September 18, and you’re now able to pick one up online or in store with (relative) ease.
In terms of the Apple Watch 6 price, you’re looking at $399 / £379 / AU$599 for the 40mm version, while the 44mm version starts at $429 / £409 / AU$649 (those prices are for the GPS-only version, without cellular connectivity).
If you want an LTE-ready watch, the 40mm starts at $499 / £479 / AU$749, and the 44mm at $529 / £509 / AU$799.
The most expensive model will still set you back $1,499 / £1,449 / AU$2,259 if you go for the most luxurious straps and finish – but Apple still believes that fashion has a large part to play in the allure of its Watch.
And remember: you can still plump for the Apple Watch 3 for $199 / £199 / AU$299, or try and find the similarly-specced Apple Watch 5 discounted at many retailers.
- Design-Design of the Apple Watch 6 is the same as the previous generation
- Colors-There are new color options including blue, gold stainless steel, graphite, and a Product Red version. Apple describes graphite as “a rich gray-black hue with a striking high-shine finish”. There is also an updated yellow option.
- Solo Loop-New stretchable solo loop band uses silicon and doesn’t have a buckle or a clasp. There are seven different colors available. They kept a braided Solo Loop made from 100 recycled polyester yarn with five different color options. And there is a new leather link strap that attaches with magnets. There are nine available lengths for the new straps so hopefully you will find one that fits.
- Protection against swimming -The Apple Watch 6 is also 5ATM certified, which means it can be used for swimming and pop down to a depth of 50m for 10 minutes if you so wish – but, in reality, it means that the Apple Watch is fully protected against ‘normal’ swimming.
- Weight-It’s lightweight too – at 36.5 grams (for the 44mm edition) we didn’t feel it weighing down our wrist very often, and it’s sometimes easy to forget you have it on.
- Activity Sharing-Share your Activity rings with friends and family to encourage each other.
- Activity Rings-Stay motivated to sit less, move more and get some exercise. Day after day.
The Apple Watch 6 display uses OLED technology, and it’s a fine-looking screen as a result. When you’re in darker places, it’s only the numbers, letters or whatever’s on the screen that you can see, as OLED technology enables incredible contrast between the black and white tones, which makes whatever is on the Apple Watch 6 look really striking.
Where older Apple Watch models (and the new Apple Watch SE) require you to raise your wrist to see what the time is or check a notification, the Watch 6 continues where the Watch 5 left off with an always-on display. This means you don’t need to raise your wrist to see the time or an alert, and can just glance down to see what’s happening. This is useful, we feel it’s still Apple didn’t implement this well. The always-on display is helpful at times, but mostly we just want to see the time.
The problem is that, even though Apple Watch screen 6 dims when it’s not being looked at, it’s still rather bright.
So whenever things get darker, you either need to put it into theater / cinema mode, begin sleep tracking to get the low-light monochrome version of the display or just accept that your watch will be glowing rather brightly. We’d rather there was an option for just a very, very dimly-glowing set of numbers for the time .We don’t want to see the whole watch face, just a little view of the time that’s not distracting.
We wish Apple really should improve the battery life..
The charge easily lasts a full 24 hours, and often longer. Also Improved Fast charging is now a blessing for the Apple Watch enthusiasts. S6 internal chipset makes activities more efficient
However, while that might sound like a good thing, in reality 24 hours isn’t much more helpful than 18, especially when you factor sleep tracking into the mix. Now that WatchOS 7 allows you to monitor your slumber, you really need a device that you can take to bed at night and will have a decent slug of battery remaining when you wake up.
The Apple Watch 6 can just about manage this, but you’ll need to charge it fairly soon after waking – so if you’re going to use this Watch to the fullest, and get your sleep-track on, then you’ll need a daily window where you can charge it.
The Watch 6 also charges much faster than previous models – in a side-by-side comparison with the Watch SE, from 0% the Watch 6 was fully charged in 75 minutes. While the Watch SE, with the older S5 chip, took 100 minutes to fill up
The S6 chipset inside the Apple Watch 6 is, indeed, the most efficient processor Apple has ever put in a wearable. You’d expect the combination of the always-on display and the SPO2 sensor would be far more of a battery-drain than on the Apple Watch SE, for instance; but, over a 15-mile run, 110-minute run we found that the Watch 6 actually used less battery than the SE, as Apple has made the GPS tracking more efficient. The 6th generation Apple S6 chip is based on A13 Bionic chip. Apple says that the S6 chip is 20% faster than Apple Watch Series 5, which should mean apps launch faster.
New blood oxygen sensor
According to Apple ,blood oxygen sensor may be able to help in the battle against COVID-19 as well as other challenges such as asthma and heart failure.
The blood oxygen monitor works by using green, red, and infrared LEDs, as well as four photodiodes. You will be able to see red and infrared light on to your wrist to measure light reflected back from blood. Apple says it is able to compensate for natural variations in the skin colour. Then algorithms are used to determine the colour of your blood and work out how much oxygen is in your blood. The process takes 15 seconds. Apple says its Blood Oxygen app will measure blood oxygen between 70 percent and 100 percent. This is known as a VO2 measurement.
The oxygen levels in your blood can be used as a measurement of health based on the maximum rate of oxygen consumption during incremental exercise.
But more importantly it can warn of health conditions because your oxygen levels are linked to information about your breathing and circulation and the health of your heart and lungs. Hence it could be a useful tool for asthmatics, it may help identify heart failure, and it may give warning if someone is in the early onset of Coronavirus.
With the new Apple Watch 6, there are so many ways to keep an eye on your general wellbeing, and being able to close your ‘Move Rings’, the metric Apple uses to let you know how active you’re being. With each new Apple Watch release, the brand brings more ways to track your efforts so you truly know how active you are, and encourage you to try news things as well.
The Watch helps with being mindful and meditating (the latter is made especially easy thanks to the onboard ‘Breathe’ app, which tickles your wrist with small vibrations to tell you when to breathe in or out).
With your Watch both monitoring these activities and monitoring your heart rate, you’re getting an accurate calorie burn, so you can see how well you’re doing if you’re on a fitness kick.
The Apple Watch 6 (and others in the Watch range) will also help you on your way to your goals of standing enough times, moving enough or getting enough exercise by prompting you at times through the day to get active when it thinks you have a moment to do it – it’s rather helpful. However, the fitness tracking on the Apple Watch is also limited in a few ways too.
Heart Rate Monitor
The heart rate monitor on the rear – we often find that this on-the-wrist pulse-monitoring technology is less accurate than wearing a chest strap, and there were times when the Apple Watch 6 clearly struggled to keep a track on our heart rate when we were running.
Choose from the most new faces ever, then customize them to match your mood, style or favorite activity — for a face that’s as unique as your own.
Now you can easily discover and share custom faces for whoever you are and whatever you’re into — with all the information that matters most all in one place. Find your favourites on the App Store, the web or social media.
It’s a particularly welcome feature for those who are already wearing their Watch in bed, not least because you can set the time you’re going to sleep and the display becomes monochrome. And you won’t be able to wake it easily, as you’ll need to spin the digital crown to get back in – it’s an excellent way to help you resist the temptation to check that last notification when you’re supposed to be sinking into slumber. The sleep tracking itself is very basic indeed, though. It’ll work out when you got into bed based on when you put down your phone, and will then monitor how long you’re asleep for. This data is fed into the Health app on your phone, so you’ll be able to see how your sleep time is increasing or decreasing over a period.
You get to see the amount of battery left and the weather for the day through the wakeup screen. So while it is a limited feature, the elements it does have are well executed.
Apple didn’t create the hand-washing feature apparently wasn’t create in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. But its presence on the Apple Watch 6 is useful for reminding you to wash your hands for 20 seconds, providing a countdown as you do so.
The hand-washing feature is also rather hard to please – if you’ve not got your hands near a running faucet, but are still washing them fairly vigorously, the Watch will pause the countdown timer. This feels unfair when you are actually washing your hands, but the upshot is that you just end up washing for longer to satisfy the Watchful gaze from your wrist.
In fairness, this must be an incredibly hard feature to get to work well – the Watch has to listen for the specific sound of running water at the same time as detecting a very specific hand motion, so it’s actually quite impressive that it works as often as it does.
The translation capability of Siri is very sensitive on the Apple Watch 6, activating far more often than it’s meant to, even when you’re not talking to the Watch.
There are a wide range of languages that Siri can translate into – Mandarin, French, German, Italian, and Spanish – but you can’t have a conversation from your wrist, as the Watch can’t translate back into English yet.
Who should Buy Apple Watch Series 6?
If you know you’re going to hold onto it for a few years, you should always go for the most modern version of whatever Apple thing you’re going to buy – it’ll be supported for longer with updates, it’ll offer longer battery life, and it’ll offer the widest range of features. The red color of the Apple Watch 6 really is really attractive and striking – so if you are fashion +tech enthusiast you should go with this!
Apple does not want you to use the Watch 6 as a medical device. But being able to take regular ECGs, or having a background monitor of your blood oxygen, is useful if you have any conditions where those are issues – and the heart rate alerts bring peace of mind too.
Who should not buy?
If you’re okay with doing a ‘wrist flick’ to see the time, then go for the Watch 3 or SE and save money. If you’ve been using an Apple Watch for a while, and are more serious about fitness, the Watch 6 isn’t great for things like interval repeats, checking your lap speed or adding in easy rest stops in a swim session.
While it’s fine to be able to track how long you’re sleeping each night over time, it’s more useful to know the quality of that sleep – and the Watch 6 isn’t offering that natively. If you need a separate app for it, you might as well go for a dedicated model like a Whoop Strap or Fitbit Sense.
While the Apple Watch remains one of the standout wearables you can buy, we’re still waiting for another leap forwards in functionality and, perhaps, design too. The blood oxygen monitor is another weapon in the arsenal of health Apple is building, but isn’t the headline feature most potential upgraders will be clamoring for. As ever, the incremental improvements to the battery life and display are welcome, but it feels like there’s untapped potential still with Apple’s wearable line.