As expected, Apple has now launched the Apple Watch Series 6, a new model of the company’s smartwatch that continues to focus on health and movement.
Last year’s big news was that the screen can be awake all the time and never goes out completely, so you can always see what time it is. That feature will be expanded this year as Apple has managed to make the screen significantly brighter (150 percent brighter) when it is idle and you are outdoors. You can also view the Note Center and Control Center and tap complications without activating the screen. It can probably save at least as much power as the higher brightness uses.
Keeps track of the body’s oxygenation
We’ve heard it for a long time in various rumors and now it’s a reality: the new Apple Watch can measure your oxygenation with a pulse oximeter. The old heart rate monitor has been replaced by a new set of lamps that can shine not only with green light but also red and infrared. Just like with heart rate measurement, sensors read how the light from the diodes is reflected inside the wrist, and the watch then calculates the color of your blood. The color of the blood is directly linked to oxygenation (more oxygen gives redder blood).
A measurement of oxygenation takes 15 seconds. It is much slower than traditional pulse oximeters you can order from health stores and the like, which sit on your fingertip and measure how light is absorbed as it passes through your finger. Because the Apple Watch Series 6 has to measure reflections, the watch uses many measured values and advanced algorithms to obtain an accurate value. Apple has probably tested different lengths of measurements and compared to reference models used in hospitals, and it will be interesting to see how good it turns out to be in reality.
New colors and bracelets
Another novelty is two new colors on the regular aluminum model. It is already available in space gray, silver and gold, and now also in dark blue and red (with the Product Red label where part of the proceeds goes to fighting HIV / AIDS). The steel model has also been given a new color: Graphite. It looks in pictures as a more glossy dark gray color.
The titanium edition model remains, but the white ceramic model has disappeared again.
A bunch of new bracelets have also been launched to match the new color choices. In addition, two completely new bracelet designs have been developed, Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop. The unique thing about both is that they have no opening mechanism but are elastic so you can touch them. Solo Loop is reminiscent of classic Sport Band but is completely smooth. Braided Solo Loop consists of braided silicone and recycled polyester. Because they lack size adjustment, they are sold in a number of different sizes so that you can find a size that fits well.
Faster processor and other news
The processor in Series 6 has been upgraded to S6 and unlike last year when it actually contained the same cpu, Apple has now switched to a cpu based on the A13 processor, which should be 20 percent faster than before. One detail Apple did not mention more than in a compilation of the news is that the S6 has a U1 circuit for ultra wideband technology, the same one that sits in the iPhone 11 and is expected to work together with “Airtag”.
As before, there is an ECG and all older sensors such as an accelerometer, compass and gyroscope. But another news is that the altimeter is now active all the time and can measure the height above sea level in real time when, for example, you walk up stairs, run up a hill during an interval workout or go downhill.
The rest of the presentation was devoted to Apple’s innovations such as new dials and new health studies, which are not directly linked to Series 6 but also apply to previous models that can be updated to Watch OS 7.
Price and availability
Apple Watch Series 6 can be ordered now and at the time of writing, many models are still “ready to ship” within 4-6 days. The price for the aluminum model with the simplest bracelets starts at SEK 4,495 (40 millimeters) and SEK 4,895 (44 millimeters), respectively. Mobile networks cost SEK 1,200 extra. The steel model costs from SEK 7,695/8,295 and includes, as before, mobile networks.