The Apple Watch Series 6 is the latest smartwatch release from Apple (alongside the Apple Watch SE). Whether or not you’re an Apple fan, there’s no denying that the Apple Watch series is one of the standout options when it comes to smart watches. It’s known for excellent performance, fantastic app selection, and ample health and tracking features.
Released in late 2020, the Apple Watch Series 6 saw many notable hardware improvements, including a faster S6 System in Package (SiP) and next-generation always-on altimeter, along with its most colourful lineup yet, complete with a beautiful palette of new case finishes and bands. Software improvements include some revolutionary new health and fitness features, making it even more indispensable by providing further insight into overall well-being.
First, let’s take a closer look at some of the hardware improvements. The Apple Watch Series 6 uses a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic in iPhone 11; and the upgraded S6 SiP runs up to 20 percent faster, allowing apps to also launch 20 percent faster. Additionally, Series 6 features the U1 chip and Ultra-Wideband antennas, which will enable short-range wireless location to support new experiences, such as next-generation digital car keys. Apple Watch Series 6 also offers faster charging - completing a full charge in under 1.5 hours - and improved battery life for tracking certain workouts, such as indoor and outdoor runs.
It also has an enhanced Always-On Retina display that is up to 2.5 times brighter than Apple Watch Series 5 while your wrist is down, making it much easier to see a watch face in bright sunlight. With your wrist down, you can also now access Notification Centre and Control Centre, tap on complications, and swipe to change faces without having to wake the watch screen.
The Apple Watch Series 6 expands on the health capabilities of previous generations with a new feature that can conveniently measure the oxygen saturation of your blood. The remarkable new blood oxygen saturation sensor calculates SpO2 level on demand, and captures background readings day and night when you’re sleeping and inactive. This can help you understand how well your body is absorbing oxygen, and the amount of oxygen delivered to your body - all important measurements of your overall health and wellness.
While the ECG feature has been available since Series 4, it only became available in NZ last year, and it’s a momentous achievement worth mentioning. The Apple Watch Series 6 can take an electrocardiogram right from your wrist with the ECG app, and capture heart rhythm in a moment when you experience symptoms like a rapid or skipped heartbeat, and help to provide critical data to your doctor, and peace of mind for you. If you have a vulnerable loved one whose health is of concern, the Apple Watch Series 6 is one way you can keep tabs on their health too. If they’re at risk of falling, you’ll also appreciate the fall detection feature.
In addition to these features, the Apple Watch Series 6 also features a new Sleep app which can help to improve the quality of your sleep; and new fitness and tracking features that will help to push you even further.
The Apple Watch first hit the market five years ago with one of its key promises being to help monitor your health. Apple has continued to build upon this with each new generation and delivered some remarkable new health features with the Series 6. Let’s not forget the other impressive upgrades in the Series 6 such as a faster processor, brighter always-on display, and a next-generation always-on altimeter. This is all on top of what the Apple Watch is already known and loved for such as advanced health and fitness tracking, safety and lifestyle features, and an amazing selection of apps.
If you’re considering upgrading from the Apple Watch Series 5 unless you just like to spend money, I would say it’s only worth upgrading if you intend to use the new health features. It’s without a doubt the best Apple Watch currently on the market but probably isn’t worth upgrading from the previous generation if you don’t have a need for any of the new features.
If the Apple Watch Series 6 is a bit out of your budget, you could consider the Apple Watch SE. It has many of the same features you get with the Series 6, only minus most of the key ones we’ve highlighted in this article!