A new premium Apple Watch was announced at the company’s Time Flies event. The Apple Watch Series 6 has the latest technology and design and is now considered the most premium Apple Watch on the market. Those with an Apple Watch 4 or older will likely see the benefits of upgrading, but should owners of a Watch Series 5 also consider a switch to Series 6?
In the last few years, Apple has revealed significant changes to the Apple Watch. Last year’s Series 5 brought the always-on display, a feature that was in high demand from Apple fans. The previous year, 2018, Apple revolutionized expectations for the smartwatch industry when it announced the Series 4 could record an electrocardiogram (ECG). Before that, the Apple Watch improved incrementally.
The Apple Watch Series 6 was announced at the recent Apple Event, bringing new features and updated specifications. Starting at $399 for the Wi-Fi model and $499 for Wi-Fi plus cellular, it offers more than the Series 5 for the same price. While this year was more of an iteration than a revolution, there were some nice improvements. The Series 6 brings a better always-on display, which is 2.5 times brighter when the wearer’s wrist is down. That makes it easier to see at a glance when outside in bright sunlight. A new blood oxygen sensor also measures VO2 Max and can alert the wearer to abnormal levels of either metric. This is very helpful for identifying and monitoring sleep apnea. New stretchable watch bands were announced, but those will likely work with the Series 5 as well.
For those that already own an Apple Watch Series 5, the Series 6 may not be a large enough update to be worth the extra expense, but if coming from the Series 3 or 4, it is clearly a big improvement. The Series 6 and Series 5 have the same size screen and same ECG capability. That said, the SpO2 sensor is a nice feature and something that has become standard on some competing brands. Perhaps the biggest new features are the 26-percent faster S6 processor and 2.5 times brighter display with arm down.
Of course, a purchase decision is a very personal choice, particularly in challenging times. With so many new Apple products to chose from this year, a new smartwatch may rank lower on the wishlist than an iPhone, iPad or Mac computer. However, the Apple Watch Series 6 is an excellent option and buyer’s remorse is unlikely, especially if purchasing the affordable new Watch SE. Being a wearable means it will add value to everyday life and the Apple Watch Series 6 improvements increase those benefits.
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