Technology

Time for a better smartwatch: Faster, brighter Apple Watch Series 6 is giving us life

Design, performance and wellness are central to the appeal of Apple’s new flagship Series 6 Watch. This latest generation smartwatch introduces a revolutionary Blood Oxygen feature, and sprightly new dual-core processor, as well as a wider range of new case finishes and bands. 

You want speed? Apple says the Series 6 runs up to 20 percent faster than its predecessor, allowing apps to also launch 20 per cent faster, without impacting the 18-hour battery life.   

It’s brighter too. The edge-toedge, always-On Retina display claims to be more than twice as bright as the Apple Watch Series 5 outdoors when you’re outside, making it easier to see in bright sunlight.  

The enhanced Always-On Retina display is said to be more than twice as bright as the Apple Watch Series 5 outdoors…

The new Series 6 display is 2.5x as bright outdoors as the Series 5

Design credentials are predictably strong. New this season is a striking blue finish which joins the silver, space grey, and gold aluminium case options, along with a (Product)Red Apple Watch with matching bright red bands. Stainless steel models are available in graphite and an updated classic yellow gold. Apple Watch Edition is available in natural and space black titanium. 

There’s also a trio of new band styles, that promise a comfortable fit without traditional clasps or buckles.  

WatchOS 7 gets seven new watch face options, including Stripes, Chronograph Pro, GMT, and Artist. Also new is Family Setup (a sharing feature, only available on the EE network), sleep tracking, automatic hand washing detection, and the ability to curate and share watch faces.

Building on the health capabilities of previous Apple Watch models, the new wearable can measure your blood oxygen saturation. 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.

Apple’s Blood Oxygen IR sensor

Ingeniously, the Blood Oxygen sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, along with the four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood. An advanced algorithm in the Blood Oxygen app then measures your blood oxygen ratio. 

Further exploiting the wellness features of the Series 6, Apple is planning an exercise subscription service dubbed Fitness+, priced at a tenner a month. The service will allow users to follow exercise classes, including treadmill and yoga sessions, on their iPhone, iPad or Apple TV device.

Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) pricing starts at £379, with Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) available from £479. Apple has also unveiled the more affordable Apple Watch SE, which shares many of the features of the Series 6, but is priced from £269.

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