Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE were launched as two new wearable offerings from Apple in mid-September. The Apple Watch Series 6 is the flagship model for this year with an 'Always-On Retina' display, a blood oxygen monitor, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) measuring functionality.
Other features include the ability to measure VO2Max, measurement of altitude using the altimeter, enhanced screen brightness and the amazingly accurate optical HR sensor. I tried a few features on the watch from a health and fitness perspective and also took it for a long run over the weekend.
The new feature on the latest Apple Watch Series 6 conveniently measures the oxygen saturation of the user’s blood. Oxygen saturation, or SpO2, represents the percentage of oxygen being carried by red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body and indicates how well this oxygenated blood is being delivered throughout the body. Needless to say, I was the most excited about this feature and took my blood O2 test as soon as I set up the watch. It takes 15 seconds to measure it on the Apple Watch Series 6 and I measured it twice in quick succession to check its accuracy. And it was the same.
Series 6 uses similar technology as a pulse oximeter—the device they clip onto your finger when you visit a doctor to measure your blood oxygen saturation. The SpO2 sensor shines red and infrared light through your skin, onto the blood vessels of your wrist, and measures the colour of your blood, which indicates the amount of oxygen present.
HR accuracy while running is way better than the Series 5. And let me tell you series 5 accuracy too was very good for an on wrist HR sensor. Almost giving HR values close to running with a chest strap on.
HR sensor on series 6 is extremely sensitive to elevated HR whenever you hit a hill or extremely hot patch under the sun.
Series 6 features an always-on altimeter, which makes it easy to check your elevation in real-time (it's also available on the lower-cost Watch SE). This feature is especially useful for trail runners and hikers.
The watch uses data from the barometric pressure sensor, GPS, and nearby Wi-Fi networks to determine your exact location and update your elevation on the fly.
There is definitely a battery improvement over Series 4 and Series 5. I ran a 28 km in 2 hours 52 minutes with music on Airpods. Airpods were connected to the watch using Bluetooth. And to track the run, the GPS was on and also on was the ‘always-on display’ feature. In spite of this, the battery left after close to 3 hours of running was about 57 percent. So this watch will last you a marathon even if you are doing a 5 to 5 hour 30 minutes hour 42 km race. Without GPS, for regular usage as a smartwatch and for basic workouts, the battery can last a day and a half on a single charge. Battery life is definitely solid if not class-leading.
As far as music is concerned the watch can download songs from Apple Music to its 32GB of total space so you can listen to music offline as I did on the run.
Using a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic in iPhone 11, the upgraded S6 SiP on Apple Watch Series 6 runs up to 20 percent faster, allowing apps to also launch 20 percent faster. You can really feel how snappy the app launch is.
Apple claims that the always-On Retina display on Apple Watch Series 6 is up to 2.5 times brighter than Apple Watch Series 5. I couldn’t exactly measure in figures how bright it is, but when outdoors it is definitely better and easier to see a watch face in bright sunlight.
Alongside the release of the Series 6 and SE, Apple unveiled two band options- the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. Both bands are totally devoid of clasps or buckles for a super-comfortable fit that’s easy to put on and take off. Both bands attach to the Apple Watch forming a continuous loop, and both require the wearer to stretch the band over their hands to put on and take off. I am particularly fond of the solo loop sports band. It keeps the watch snug and tight on the hand during a workout.
The smartwatch comes in GPS and GPS + Cellular variants priced at Rs 40,900 and Rs 49,900. It is available soon at Apple authorized resellers across India as well as the newly launched Apple online store. You can buy it in two sizes, 40 or 44mm, and in a variety of case materials and colours.
It terms of design it remains the same as its recent predecessors and there is no change there.
WatchOS 7 has seven new watch face options, including Stripes, Chronograph Pro, GMT, and Artist. New health and fitness features, including low-range VO2 Max, sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types. From tennis to Tai Chi, from yoga or pilates to swimming or surfing it is ideal for a sports or a fitness lover.
Size. 40 or 44mm
Operating system: WatchOS 7
Water resistance: 50 metres (5ATM)
Sensors: gyro, HR sensor, ECG, blood oxygen, light, microphone, speaker, NFC, GPS/GNSS, compass and altimeter.