Apple held its fall event today, and during the virtual event, Apple executive unveiled the new Apple Watch Series 6. The new wearable boasts a faster processor, new case colors and features, and a new blood oxygen sensor and accompanying app.
Also announced were additional watchOS 7 features, including Family Setup, sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, new workout types, and the ability to curate and share watch faces.
Blood Oxygen Sensor and App
Apple Watch Series 6 offers a new feature that measures the oxygen saturation of the wearer’s blood, allowing them to better understand their overall fitness and wellness. 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.
The Blood Oxygen sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, along with the four photodiodes on the back crystal of the Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood. The Apple Watch then uses an advanced custom algorithm built into the Blood Oxygen app, which is designed to measure blood oxygen between 70 percent and 100 percent.
Users can ask for on-demand measurements while they are still, and periodic background measurements occur when they are inactive. All data will be visible in the Health app, and the user will be able to track trends over time to see how their blood oxygen level changes.
“Apple Watch Series 6 completely redefines what a watch can do,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “With powerful new features, including a Blood Oxygen sensor and app, Apple Watch becomes even more indispensable by providing further insight into overall well-being.”
Apple Watch Series 6 offers redesigned hardware that includes a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic in iPhone 11, the upgraded S6 SiP runs up to 20% faster, allowing apps to also launch 20% faster, while maintaining the same all-day 18-hour battery life.
The Apple Watch Series 6 also features the U1 chip and Ultra Wideband antennas, enabling short-range wireless location to support new experiences, such as next-generation digital car keys. The new Apple Watch offers faster charging, with a full charge coming it in at under 1.5 hours. Improved battery life is available for tracking some workouts, such as indoor and outdoor runs.
The Always-On Retina display on the Apple Watch Series 6 is up to 2.5 times brighter than the Apple Watch Series 5 outdoors when the user’s wrist is down. When their wrist is down, users can also now access Notification Center and Control Center, tap on complications, and swipe to change faces without having to wake their watch screen.
An always-on altimeter provides real-time elevation all day long by using a new, more power-efficient barometric altimeter, along with GPS and nearby Wi-Fi networks. It allows for the detection of small elevation changes above ground level, up and down to the measurement of 1 foot, the information can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.
New Apple Watch Color and Finish Options
Customers now have more choices than ever with new cases and bands. A new blue color joins the silver, space gray, and gold aluminum case options, along with a (PRODUCT)RED Apple Watch with exclusive matching bright red bands.
Stainless steel models are now available in graphite — a rich gray-black hue with a striking high-shine finish — and an updated classic yellow gold color. Apple Watch Edition is available in natural and space black titanium.
All-new band styles include the ultralight Solo Loop that introduces a continuous and stretchable band design that comes in two materials: soft silicone and braided yarn. To ensure the best fit, a new sizing system offers nine available lengths for the Solo Loop styles. The first-of-its-kind Leather Link wraps elegantly around the wrist, effortlessly attaching on the other side with flexible molded magnets.
Apple Watch Nike now comes with new colors for the Nike Sport Band and Nike Sport Loop, and a new Nike Compact watch face allows for multiple Nike Run Club complications. Apple Watch Hermès offers stainless steel cases in silver or space black paired with Single or Double Tour styles in an assortment of vibrant new colors.
Pricing and Availability
- Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) starts at $399 and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499.
- Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and 27 other countries and regions.
- Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and 21 other countries and regions.
- Apple Watch Nike is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and more than 27 other countries and regions.
- Apple Watch Hermès is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US and more than 14 other countries and regions.
- New Apple Watch bands are available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18. Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop in (PRODUCT)RED will be available in late October. Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop are compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and later.