It’s officially here! The Apple Watch 6 has been launched. It wasn’t alone for this release, though. The cost-effective Apple Watch SE and a host of other iPad products have burst onto the scene alongside it. There was some disappointment at a lack of iPhone 12, but what we get instead is a cheaper version of the iPad and a new iPad Air 4.
Let’s go through some of the things Apple covered about the Apple Watch 6 in their release.
When was the Apple Watch 6 released?
The Apple Watch 6 was revealed on September 15 during a live-streamed event.
Your Apple Watch 6 will set you back $399.99 if you want the standard 40mm version. The larger 44mm will cost $429.99. It also comes in LTE-ready models, which are $499 and $529 for the 40mm and 44mm respectively.
So What are the new features in Apple Watch 6?
Apple hasn’t done too much to the design of this latest release. If you put it side-by-side to an Apple Watch 4 or 5, there’s a lot of similarities. What the Apple Watch 6 does bring are new colour options.
There’s a new aluminium case in blue and you can pick up the stainless steel model in steel or gold. There’s also a really sleek black graphite option and a brand new colour to Apple, a red version. Cases and bands are compatible with older models so you have a wide choice of cases and also bands available.
The always-on display feature remains. It’s had some tinkering with and Apple have improved it. It’s now brighter by 2.5x than the predecessor. This is aimed at helping users see the display in various lighting conditions.
You no longer need to wake the watch fully to access either your control or notification centres. They are both accessible via your always-on display. It’s possible to change your watch face this way too.
Apple also announced a range of new bands for the Apple Watch 6. This includes new colours and styles. As for the latter, there’s now the Solo Loop and a Braided Solo Loop. Neither has a clasp and this means you need to stretch the band over your wrist to put it on.
They were very excited to talk about the new fitness features. There’s an additional health sensor on the belly of the watch that will monitor blood oxygen levels. It does this through an app (called Blood Oxygen) and takes only 15 seconds to take a reading.
It’ll also take readings in the background, meaning it’ll collect data as you sleep or during the day as you go about your business. The information will be the basis of identifying any potential underlying health issues you might have.
Other than that, there’s not much else that’s new. You get features you’ve probably become familiar with already.
The Apple Watch 6 is 20% faster than the Series 5, thanks to a new S6 processor.
Apple boasts up to 18 hours of battery life. This matches the Series 5, but the 6 charges faster. You can get a full charge in 90 minutes.
Additionally, there’s a new always-on altimeter. This provides the user with elevation data in real-time, all throughout the day. Apple claims that this will measure with such accuracy that it’ll pick up on changes as small as one foot.
Another feature Apple wasn’t as loud about revealing is is the U1 Ultrawideband chip in the watch range. You’ll see this chip in an iPhone 11 and what the rumour mill has been saying will be used in the eagerly-anticipated AirTags.
This means the Apple accessories containing the Ultra Wideband will have a very accurate, albeit short-range, communication standard for finding things like the AirTags (think Tiles, for comparison). You’ll be able to put these on the devices you want to keep safe and their location will pop up in apps like Find My, which, apparently, you can use on the Apple Watch 6.
Apple Watch 6 software
Naturally, you get the latest WearOS on the Apple Watch 6. In fact, Apple developed a new software version specifically in anticipation for this new model, in June fo this year.
WatchOS 7 allows you to collect data on your VO2 Max. This tells you if and when your blood oxygen levels are low.
Sleep tracking has had the most attention and the company claim this version supersedes all others in its capabilities.
You’ll find new and improved workouts and sleep tracking and even a COVID-related feature of tracking your hand-washing habits. Apparently, there are some big plans in progress for later release.
Users are really spoiled with seven new watch faces to choose from.
These are part of the new WatchOS 7 so they weren’t designed exclusively for Apple Watch 6 users. In fact, you can share your face configurations with friends and family.
Should I buy an Apple Watch 6?
If you can afford it and you’re into having the latest gadget, then absolutely. Perhaps you’re seduced by the addition of being able to monitor your blood oxygen levels because you’re currently managing some health issues closely, then this will be a useful device for you. If you like the idea of having a never-before-seen Apple Watch colour, then go for the new red version and get people’s heads turning.
What about the new Apple Watch 7?
Apple Watch 7 was unveiled on September 14 alongside the iPhone 13, marking a major redesign for the brand’s watch line. We now know more about what to expect from the wearable, which is expected later this year (Q3 2021). It seems to be a series of minor updates.
There are more screen real estate, rounded corners, and smaller bezels in the Apple Watch 7, it also comes in two new sizes, 41mm and 45mm. This is the first major update since the Apple Watch 2’s 40mm and 44mm sizes were extended. However, the changes were not as dramatic as we had initially hoped.
We’re still in round-edge territory, despite reports of a more dramatic makeover to a flat-edged appearance like the iPhone 13.
Apple has also ruled out adding new health-tracking features – such as blood pressure and glucometer sensors, expected to appear in Apple Watch 8 next year. It appears that the Apple Watch 7 does not offer any significant improvements over its predecessor.
On the inside, the Apple Watch 7 boasts a 70% brighter Always-On display, IP6X dust protection, and similar water-resistance as previous models, as well as greater durability. There is no difference in battery life (18 hours), however, the battery recharges 33 per cent quicker.
With the Apple Watch 7, the company has released its latest watch after its Apple Watch 6. Apple Watch SE remains the most affordable wearable in Apple’s lineup while the Apple Watch SE 2 is still being developed.
The new WatchOS 8 will run on the Apple Watch 7, just as it does on Apple Watch 3 and later wearables – but it’s best suited for the Apple Watch 7.
Even though the Apple Watch 7 isn’t a revolution, it’s still the best Apple Watch money can buy (or it will be, once it’s released later this month).
Price and availability
When will the Apple Watch 7 be released, and how much will it cost?
The Apple Watch 7 was unveiled on September 14 along with other high-profile products from Apple. It begins at the typical price of just under $400. We don’t have any additional official pricing or a release date for the Apple Watch 7 yet – just that it will be released ‘later this autumn’ (Q3 2021).
In addition to the usual small and large sizes, this time around the Apple Watch 7 comes in 41mm and 45mm GPS-only and 4G LTE variants, but prices are not released except for $399 for the 41mm GPS-only model.
You can choose from a range of colours when you buy the Apple Watch 7. You can choose from five new aluminium finishes: midnight (black), starlight (grey), green, blue, and (PRODUCT)RED. There are also three new colours for the Nike Sport Loop, as well as new Hermès bands for the Apple Watch.
Display and design
The Apple Watch 7 will remain a round-edged piece of wearable technology despite rumours of a flat-edged design similar to the iPhone 13. Despite the slimmer 1.7mm bezels of the new wristwatch, it offers 20% more screen space than the Apple Watch 6.
This year’s Apple Watches will have a bigger screen and a smaller bezel than last year’s – increasing to 41mm and 45mm, respectively – but the actual size will not be that much larger. Besides the display, which has now been brightened by 70% in an Always-On mode indoors compared to its predecessor, there have been other improvements.
It is also possible to create words by tapping and dragging on the keyboard in QuickPath. Apple has never supported keyboard typing before, but third-party applications previously have.
The new Apple Watch boasts more durability than its predecessor, with an optical display with “robust geometry” and “over 50% thicker” front glass than its predecessor. Along with its WR50 water resistance rating, the Apple Watch also features IP6X dust resistance certification. That means it can be submerged to a depth of 50m.
Having a larger screen also implies the watch will be heavier. According to a leaked support document, Apple has not verified that each model weighs slightly less than the nearest Apple Watch 6 model at the time of writing.
Specifications and battery life
Apple didn’t mention any details about the Apple Watch 7’s specifications, but based on its predecessor, it will likely feature 1GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
Despite this, we’ve just seen a leaked support document pointing to a new S7 chipset, along with another leak indicating that this is indeed the case. In reality, however, it does not seem to be substantially faster than the S6, however, it seems to be more energy-efficient. Both leaks confirmed our suspicions about 32GB of storage.
According to Apple, the Apple Watch 6 has the same 18-hour battery life as the previous model, which implies the 304mAh battery will also last that long.
Despite the short charge time of 45 minutes, the watch does come with a more sophisticated charger that charges it 33 per cent faster. It is currently claimed that an 8-minute charge will monitor sleep for 8 hours. The watch will also come with a new 1m USB-C magnetic rapid charging cable.
Fitness and health
The Apple Watch 7 uses the same sensor suite as the Apple Watch 6, thus reports that the Apple Watch would include glucometers and blood pressure sensors weren’t true.
But the smartwatch still offers an impressive range of health monitoring features, including ECG, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and many others.
The Apple Watch 7 also comes with watchOS 8, which contains the new Mindfulness app, which is independent software that offers audio-only meditation sessions from Fitness Plus.
Some of the anticipated new features in watchOS 8 (Image credit: Apple)
The Apple Watch 7 will ship with watchOS 8, which should be available for other Apple smartwatches in the coming weeks.
An innovative Mindfulness app (which will integrate the Breathe app), Tai Chi and Pilates added to the Workout app, the ability to monitor respiratory rate while sleeping, and a revamped Photos app are among the highlights.
If you’re not sure which Apple watch is best for you then we have created an easy comparison of all Apple offerings from the first generation to the Series 6 and SE. Check it out here.
Will you be investing the latest Apple Watch, let us know in the comments
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