What To Expect From The Apple Watch Series 6
Launched in September 2020, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the latest in the company's run of wearable tech. Apple still dominates the smartwatch market, but is this newest iteration truly a next-gen piece of kit, and what sort of new features can you expect? Find out as we take a deep dive into the latest specs and characteristics.
Pros and Cons
- Detailed health tracking features
- Water-resistant up to a depth of 50 meters/160 feet
- It looks great
- Fast charging times and 24-hour battery life from one charge
- Improved display with better brightness
- New blood-oxygen monitoring app
- Faster charging times
- New sleep monitor is a little basic
- It’s a little expensive
- Can only connect to an iPhone
- Fitness App - This is where the watch really comes into its own, and you’ll find multiple sensors tracking all kinds of different metrics. There’s a host of new workout options, customizations, a heart rate monitor, and performance trackers. What’s more, general well-being options have been added that include mindfulness and meditation, with handy vibrations to get you into a relaxing breathing rhythm
- ECG App - This new feature lets you initiate an electrocardiogram whenever you like. It’s a great tool for monitoring your heart rate in post-workout cooldowns. You can turn on alert settings that will let you know if an irregular heartbeat has been detected too
- Bluetooth connectivity - Of course this watch connects quickly and easily to any iPhone, and you can transfer health stats and data easily between the two. However, bear in mind that it’ll only connect to Apple products, and other platforms aren’t yet supported
- New S6 Chip - You can always rely on Apple to come out with much more powerful processors with every new product launch, and the Watch 6 comes fitted with the aptly named S6 chip. It’s around 20% faster and more efficient than the previous generation, although unfortunately, this efficiency doesn't translate into extended battery life
- Sleep Tracker - With an explosion of third-party sleep monitoring tools, it was no surprise Apple has integrated this feature into its flagship watch. Being early days, the sleep monitor is still a little basic and can’t match up to Fitbit’s excellent offering quite yet, but we’re hoping to see it combined with the blood-oxygen monitoring feature soon which should help users detect if they’re suffering from sleep apnea
- Blood-oxygen monitor - Another feature that’s a little underused at the moment. It’s designed to tell you how well your lungs are working by measuring how oxygenated your blood is, but we’ve only been able to use it when doing altitude training and running. As we mentioned above, it will be great to get this integrated with other features on the watch and is hopefully something to expect in future patches and updates
Design and Display
As with just about any Apple product, you can rely on a sleek, good-looking, and modern design, and it comes in 12 colors to choose between. It’s a lot more durable than previous iterations too, with a robust stainless steel case designed to keep the electronics safe in water at depths of up to 50 meters (160 feet). If you prefer a lighter casing, you can opt for the aluminum version instead, which is just as robust as its stainless steel counterpart.
The watch comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm, and has a range of interchangeable straps to match your own personal style. There have been some significant improvements to the Always-On retina display too, which is now 30% larger and more than 2.5 times brighter than previous versions. You’d be surprised at how much more convenient this makes the device, and you don’t have to do a little wrist flick every time you want to see the display.
- Battery life - Up to 24 hours with one charge
- Weight - Between 30g and 47g/1 - 1.6 ounces depending on the material chosen
- Water-resistance - Up to a depth of 50 meters/160 feet
- Processor - S6 model
- Storage - 32GB
- RAM - 1GB
- Sizes - 40mm or 44mm
- Sensors - Blood oxygen, heart rate, ECG, altimeter, compass, GPS
Who Is It For?
If you have an Apple Watch Series 3 or below or are brand new to the world of smartwatches, we’d highly recommend getting your hands on Apple’s latest version. However, those with a Series 4 or 5, or proud owners of a Fitbit Versa 3, might want to hold off on this purchase. While we’re impressed with the looks, style, and raft of new features found here, this expensive offering doesn’t quite offer up enough to justify an upgrade for Series 4 and 5 users quite yet. Keep an eye out for more updates and patches in the future, as we expect Apple to make much better use of the various apps now built into the Series 6.
If you already own an iPhone, this will be the best smartwatch for you. With such seamless and responsive integration, you’ll get the most out of the features on offer here.