small improvement, best choice – One More Thing

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The Apple Watch Series 6 was announced at the Time Flies event on September 15. The successor to the Series 5 offers improvement, although the device appears to be a small step forward on paper. But how good is the smartwatch in practice?

In this review we will tell you exactly why the Apple Watch Series 6 is your best choice at the moment, but also why a large part of the users will probably pass it by.

Apple Watch Series 6: The Wrong Comparison

When I read a story about the Apple Watch Series 6 in recent weeks, I saw a comparison with the Series 5 in almost all cases. At first, that is a logical comparison. In fact: I have also made it regularly on this website. But if you think about it, that’s the wrong comparison. There are not many people in the Netherlands who have an Apple Watch. If that is the case, they usually have an older model. The small group of people who did score the latest model last year will probably not make the switch to the Series 6 a year later.

It is good to compare last year’s most advanced model with this year’s model. The Apple Watch Series 6 is the best smartwatch from Apple you can get right now. But if you look closely at the target group of this watch, that comparison does not hold in my opinion. That is why in this review I first look separately at the new functionalities and improvements in general. Then I look at the progress Apple is making, and then share the conclusion with you. When is this the smartwatch to buy? I’ll explain!

In addition to the SE (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

Apple Watch Series 6: New Additions and Improvements

The Apple Watch Series 6 brings improvements and new additions in several areas. We not only see the new exclusive functionalities, but also a new operating system. In addition, Apple has chosen to introduce multiple color options for the case and we see a new type of strap.

Oxygen level in your blood

The first, and therefore the most striking, new functionality is the possibility to measure the oxygen level in your blood. The Apple Watch Series 6 can measure this through the Infrared sensors added to the device. The operation of the functionality is quite simple. You put your hand on a flat surface and make sure that the sensors are right on your arm. You must then keep your arm still for 15 seconds to complete the measurement. After that measurement you will get the result which, if everything is completely correct, is between 95% and 100%.

It sounds pretty simple, but I have noticed in the past two weeks that a measurement can fail quite quickly. It may be that your arm is just not straight enough, you really move minimal during the measurement, or that the Apple Watch Series 6 is not tight enough on your wrist. Of the approximately twenty measurements that I have taken, I think that approximately 9 measurements have failed. So slightly less than half.

In addition, I wonder how many people will use this functionality extensively. The functionality appears to be very niche and mainly aimed at athletes. For the “general consumer”, this feature is unlikely to be of great value.

Apple Watch Series 6
Infraroodsensoren (Image: Apple)

Real-time altimeter

The real-time altimeter is a good example of this too. With this functionality you are able to measure in real time how high you are at that moment. That is of course nice to do a number of times, but not a functionality that you will use every day. It is therefore mainly advantageous for people who walk a lot or people who climb, ski or snowboard. A nice addition, but no functionality to persuade the regular doubting consumer.

Higher brightness

The Apple Watch Series 6 has a brighter display. During the September 15 presentation, we found out that the Series 6’s display is 2.5x brighter than its predecessor. Something that I immediately noticed after using the Series 5 for a year. I must honestly say that the difference during regular use was not that much apparent to me. That was the case with the always-on display. Especially in the open air, the time indicated is a lot easier to read, without having to turn your wrist a quarter turn.

Apple’s S6 chip en U1 Ultra-Wide band

Thanks to the new S6 chip from Apple, the Watch Series 6 is a lot faster than its predecessors. This new chip is based on the structure of the A13 Bionic Chip that is currently in the iPhone 11 series. This means that you will notice a difference very quickly when you open applications on your Apple Watch Series 6. In addition, the apps are able to do much more with machine learning. It does not matter with which Apple Watch you have experience, you will notice the difference 100%.

A second addition under the hood is the U1 Ultra-Wide tire. Despite the fact that you cannot make optimal use of this with the Apple Watch Series 6 at the moment, this does ensure that your smartwatch is future-proof. The U1 Ultra-Wide band was introduced last year with the iPhone 11 series. This makes it possible, for example, to use CarKey. This functionality ensures that you can open, close and start your car with your iPhone. Something that will soon also be possible with your Apple Watch. It’s just one example of the countless possibilities Apple has with the addition of this chip.

Apple Watch Series 6
The new series (Image: Apple)

Battery

The battery of the Apple Watch Series 6 has also been greatly improved. Or at least, the way in which it is anticipated in the software field. Despite all the innovations, Apple wants the smartwatch to still last a day and a half. Something that the company from Cupertino has succeeded very well. If you keep a close eye on your Apple Watch Series 6, you will see that it can save between 32 and 36 hours on a single charge. It is of course very dependent on what you do with the Apple Watch and how many measurements you let run in the background. But in general that one and a half days is achieved.

If that is not the case, then of course you charge the Apple Watch Series 6. Something that you have to do with your own adapter, because Apple no longer supplies that as standard. Fortunately, the time in which your Apple Watch is charged from 0% to 100% has been considerably shortened. Your Series 6 is fully charged within an hour and a half, which is great now that there is also a sleep meter in the smartwatch. The first 75% normally charges just as fast as the last 25%. In that respect, you have enough charge in 45 minutes to be able to move forward a whole day.

New color options

Furthermore, the Apple Watch Series 6 has new color options. I’m not talking about the straps, but about the color of the case. In addition to space gray, silver and gold, you can now also choose from blue and red. To be honest, that red variant seems to be a bit too much to me. The color stands out and I could imagine that people might prefer to ignore it. I personally am a big fan of the product (RED) products from Apple and I especially like the color very much. Although I have not yet been able to admire him in real life.

I did receive the blue version from Apple and I am personally very pleased with that. The color does not immediately attract all the attention, but in my view it looks something beautiful than my space gray Apple Watch Series 5.

Solo Loop

In addition to the new color options for the case, there are of course also a number of new straps available for the Apple Watch Series 6. In that area, the new Solo Loop is particularly successful. This is a strap without any closure, so you pull it over your hand like a kind of bracelet. It looks very useful, but at this point we haven’t had the chance to test the strap yet. I simply cannot say yet whether this works just as conveniently in practice as it does on paper.

watchOS 7

Of course, the new operating system, watchOS 7, is also available for the Apple Watch Series 6. This operating system introduces a sleep meter, a number of new functionalities and a number of new watch faces. Curious about what the software can offer you, be sure to read this article!

Apple Watch Series 6 Review
In addition to Series 5 and SE (Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)

Apple Watch Series 6: a small step forward

Now for the comparison that, as I said at the beginning, I shouldn’t really make. Is the Apple Watch Series 6 a big improvement over the Apple Watch Series 5?

There are two different answers to this question. It really depends on what you do with your Apple Watch. Are you a fanatic athlete who has a lot to do with height differences and who use the Apple Watch daily for these purposes, then this complete package is considerably better. Especially considering that the Apple Watch Series 6 runs on watchOS 7, with all the benefits that come with it.

If you are not planning to use it a lot, then this is really a minimal upgrade. Your battery life remains the same, but the battery can be charged faster. Furthermore, the screen is brighter, you have a faster chip and your smartwatch is future-proof. Certainly all inexpensive, but not really worth spending at least € 429 again.

Apple Watch Series 6: Small improvement, best choice

That is the story of this Apple Watch Series 6. As I said in the first part of this review, the people with a Series 5 do not belong to the target group. Anyone who bought a brand new Apple Watch last year will not want to switch so quickly. Certainly not, because this new version probably won’t convince you to do so.

Do you have a Series 3 or a Series 4, then this step is considerably interesting. The hefty load of new features, including those of the previous model, makes the step big enough to consider it. People who have never owned an Apple Watch simply have the best choice in front of them.







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