Apple Watch Series 6
- Measures blood oxygen saturation
- Always-on altimeter for real-time elevation tracking
- With WatchOs 7 handwashing countdown timer and sleep tracking
- Fast new processor
- New watch colors and band options
- A bit expensive
- Slight battery life improvement
The Apple Watch Series 6 tracks your sleep and blood oxygen. It has a brighter screen and faster charging time than the Series 5. And it has Apple’s U1 chip, which makes the smartwatch 20% faster than its predecessor, claims the maker. So, should you plunk down $399 for the 40mm or $429 for the 44 mm version?
Apple Watch Series 6 Review
Better health monitoring capabilities
The ECG sensor on the Series 5 has been redesigned to measure the oxygen saturation of your blood (SpO2). Most adults don’t need to monitor their SpO2 unless they’re experiencing shortness of breath or have chronic health conditions.
If you’re a performance athlete, advanced hiker or mountain climber, you may appreciate this addition. Your smartwatch can inform you about your oxygen intake at higher altitudes. The device also has an altimeter to keep track of elevation while hiking.
Restful sleep contributes to good physical and emotional health. Watch OS offers sleep tracking – you’ll have to wear the device all night and ensure it’s charged to at least 30%. This feature is useful to manage sleep hygiene – but inadequate to self-diagnose a sleeping disorder. And although studies suggest the accuracy of the Apple Watch in diagnosing sleep apnea and hypertension, it is best to consult your doctor on this matter.
Charges quickly and drains slowly
The Series 6 charges up to 80% in an hour flat and 100% in about 90 minutes. You can average about 1.5 days between charges, which is decent but uncompetitive in the smartwatch galaxy.
No appreciable difference in speed
Apple’s latest smartwatch is faster than the Series 3 but doesn’t feel like a level up in performance from its predecessor.
Brighter display and more colors
The always-on display sets Apple’s smartwatch apart from the competition. With twice the brightness level of the Series 5, reading information on the watch face is more comfortable than before.
Along with silver, gold and space gray shades, Series 6 is available in bright red and royal blue aluminum colors. Solo and Braided loops are new clasp-, buckle-less options, their stretch design lets you pull the strap over your waist.
The Series 6 is a more rounded health and fitness tracker. It isn’t a big step up from the Series 5, so think twice about any extra value the new version brings to your lifestyle.