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technology | IST

Apple launches Watch Series 6 with blood oxygen sensor, budget variant Watch SE

As anticipated, Apple unveiled not one but two new watches -- the new Apple Watch Series 6 and Watch SE. The biggest highlight of the premium Apple Watch Series 6 was the blood oxygen sensor and app which essentially measures the oxygen saturation of the user’s blood. During the keynote, Apple said that it is partnering with health networks and researchers to study the data that emerges from the new blood oxygen feature. Apple also said that the eventual plan is also to see if it can detect COVID-19 in a user.
Blood Oxygen Sensor: How Does It Work?
Apple's blood oxygen sensor uses four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, to measure light reflected back from blood. Apple Watch then uses an advanced custom algorithm built into the Blood Oxygen app, which is designed to measure blood oxygen between 70 percent and 100 percent. On-demand measurements can be taken while the user is still, and periodic background measurements occur when they are inactive, including during sleep. All data will be visible in the health app, and the user will be able to track trends over time to see how their blood oxygen level changes.
Under The Hood: Let's Talk Specs
Apple Watch Series 6 houses a dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic chip. The company claims that this watch's battery will last for 18 hours. Apple says that the Watch Series 6 supports faster charging, completing a full charge in under 1.5 hours, and improved battery life for tracking certain workouts. The Series 6 will run on watchOS 7. Apple announced the extension of Family Setup in watchOS 7 which includes a new mode called Schooltime for kids.
Design: Solo Loop And A New Blue Variant
Apple has added the much-awaited blue colour variant over and above the usual silver, space grey, and gold aluminium case options, along with a (PRODUCT) RED. Stainless steel models are now available in graphite and an updated classic yellow gold colour. Apple showcased a new watch band called Solo Loop which ditches the traditional clasps or buckles. It is a continuous and stretchable band design that comes in nine available lengths.
Apple Watch SE
Apple announced a budget variant called Apple Watch SE, which too will be powered by watchOS 7 with a larger retina display, almost 30 percent larger than Series 3. Apple Watch SE is available in three case finishes made of 100 percent recycled aluminium, and compatible with all Apple Watch bands including the new Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop.​ The SE will also support Family Setup.
Pricing and Availability
The Apple Watch Series 6's GPS variant starts at Rs 40,900 and Apple Watch Series 6 GPS + Cellular version starts at Rs 49,900. While Apple Watch SE's GPS edition starts at Rs 29,900 and Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular starts at Rs 33,900.