While it may not break the mould, Apple Watch Series 6 improves upon a formula that already defined the best smartwatch the market has to offer. Minor tweaks and new health tracking features cement the Series 6 position at the top of the pile.
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What we love – Still the best, great new colour options and wellness still a focus
Apple Watch Series 5 already offered the best all-around smartwatch experience on the market and, as such, Apple had chosen to rest on its laurels. We’re not sure that matters this time though, even with strong competition from Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
The performance of Watch OS 7 is speedy, offers the same great range of apps and simple notification system. Watch Series 6 adds new sleep tracking and hand washing timer features. There’s a new Family Setup feature for if you fancy getting a watch for your iPhone-less child.
Watch Series 6 has added a sprinkle of colour to the options for the new watch. You can now pick it up in Red and Blue, neither of which is too garish not to be stylish. Apple has added new Solo Loops, which slip on your wrist without the need for a class, in both regular and braided versions. The rest of the design stays the same as Watch Series 5, with that signature rounded square look.
Along with the fitness tracking features you’ve come to expect from modern smartwatches (heart rate tracking, altimeter, the benefits of GPS and activity tracking), Apple Watch Series 6 has an ECG, fall detection and a new blood oxygen monitor. The more traditional features remain easy to use and look to be coming into further focus once Apple Fitness+ launches.
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What we don’t like – Battery stays about the same, as does a lot else
The battery life on the Apple Watch Series 5 is far from bad, hitting around 18 hours on a charge. However, with few changes made from last generation to this, a boost to those 18 hours on Series 6 certainly would’ve been a welcome addition – potentially dodging the overnight charging we’ve become all too accustomed to. The stagnation is certainly noticeable against top battery performers like the Fitbit Sense and Withings Scanwatch.
The average battery life is particularly notable when pushing the device with GPS use or streaming music, significantly reducing the runtime. Fingers crossed for a bump on Apple Watch Series 7.
While battery life stands out as an untweaked feature, the rest of the Series 6 also remains much the same. If you own a Series 5, there’s really no reason to upgrade to the Series 6 – unless you have a deep need to track your blood oxygen levels.
Apple Watch Series 6 might very well be the best smartwatch on the market – like the Series 5 before it. The “smart” experience remains fluid and useful while fitness features remain extremely easy to use and analyse. However, there’s little reason to upgrade from last gen.
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