Beyond this, Apple’s changes include a faster processor, an always-on altimeter that lets you see your elevation in real time, and a bump in screen brightness when your wrist is down. These improvements, plus many new additions in watchOS 7, including a 20-second hand-washing timer and sleep-tracking capabilities, make the Apple Watch Series 6 the company’s best smartwatch yet and our new Editors’ Choice.
Apple introduced two new smartwatches this year, the flagship Series 6 and the more affordable Watch SE. The Series 6 starts at $399 for the GPS-only model and $100 more for the GPS and cellular version.
The Watch SE, which shares design elements with the Series 6 along with key health and safety features like fall detection, starts at $279 for the GPS-only model or $329 for the GPS and cellular version. It lacks an always-on display, as well as blood oxygen saturation and electrocardiogram (ECG) readings.
The GPS-only Series 3 remains on sale for just $199 as another budget-friendly option. All models require a paired iPhone, so Android users are out of luck.
The Series 6 comes in 40mm and 44mm case sizes and three different case materials: 100 percent recycled aluminum, polished stainless steel, or brushed titanium. Apple is also giving you some new jewel-toned colors to choose from this year. The aluminum Series 6 is available in new navy-blue and red, as well as gold, silver, and space-gray. The stainless steel model comes in a new classic yellow-gold tone, a grayish-black called Graphite, and silver. The titanium model comes in Natural Titanium and Space Black.
Apple Watch Series 6
Measures blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) on demand. Always-on altimeter for real-time elevation tracking. Improved wrist-down screen brightness. WatchOS 7 adds handwashing countdown timer and sleep tracking. Fast new processor. Best third-party app selection. Attractive new watch colors and band options.
Expensive. Offers only a slight battery life improvement
With an unrivaled user experience, fantastic apps, and potentially lifesaving health and fitness features, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the best smartwatch you can buy.
Swapping out the strap is a big part of the Apple Watch experience for a lot of people, and this year Apple debuted some nice options, including the $49 Solo Loop (which you can choose to get with the watch instead of the default Sport Loop) and the $99 Braided Solo Loop. Both feature no clasps, buckles, or overlapping parts and are available in a range of colors. They stretch over your wrist and come in nine different sizes to ensure a good fit. The Solo Loop is made of liquid silicone rubber, and the Braided version is made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled yarn that is braided around a thin silicone thread.
For this review, I tested a 40mm GPS and cellular Series 6 with a blue aluminum case and a deep navy Sport Loop. Apple also sent a matching Atlantic Blue Braided Solo Loop band in size 4, which fits perfectly on my wrist. It looks chic, yet understated and casual. It feels secure and is easy to get on and off, but its $99 price is hard to swallow. For the sake of comparison, the fancy Milanese Loop is also $99.
Apple includes a charging cable in the watch’s box, but you don’t get a USB power adapter. The company says it made this decision to help the environment, and it will have the same impact as eliminating 50,000 cars from the roads.
Like it or not, the Series 6 has the distinctive squarish design with rounded corners the Apple Watch is known for. The 40mm model measures 1.56 by 1.35 by 0.42 inches (HWD), while the 44mm model is a touch taller and wider but the same thickness, at 1.73 by 1.48 by 0.42 inches.
Looking at the Series 6 next to the Series 5, it’s hard to see a difference aside from the case color and band. Indeed, Apple hasn’t made any changes to the size or resolution of the display. To that end, the 40mm model has a 1.57-inch display with 394 by 324 pixels, while the 44mm Series 6 has a 1.73-inch display with 448 by 368 pixels.
The Series 6 is light and comfortable on my wrist, even when I wear it to bed. The 40mm and 44mm aluminum models weigh 1.07 ounces and 1.28 ounces, respectively, without the strap. The stainless steel models are the heaviest at 1.40 ounces and 1.66 ounces, and the titanium models weigh 1.22 ounces and 1.45 ounces.
The Series 6 is water-resistant to 165 feet. Apple says it’s safe for shallow-water activities such as swimming (in a pool or the ocean). You can also wear it in the shower and hot tub. You shouldn’t, however, wear it while scuba diving, waterskiing, or “other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth,” Apple says.
SETUP AND INTERFACE
The Series 6 comes partially charged. As soon as you take it out of the box and turn it on, a screen appears on your iPhone asking if you want to set the watch up for yourself or someone else using Apple’s new Family Setup service. It then instructs you to put on the watch, hold it up to your phone’s camera, and align the watch face with the viewfinder on screen to pair it. As soon as I did this, it said the Apple Watch was paired and asked me if I wanted to restore from a backup or set it up as a new watch. I regularly use the Series 5, so I chose to restore from that device.
You have the option to enable the Blood Oxygen app during the setup process, which lets you check your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) levels and measure them throughout the day; you can also turn this feature on later. Next, you have the option to enable automatic updates; if you do, you’ll receive a notification before an update is installed. It then asks if you want to set up Apple Pay.
Next, it goes over the Emergency SOS and fall-detection features. To call emergency services, press and hold the side button. Doing so will also send a message to your emergency contacts. With fall detection enabled, the watch will call emergency services when it detects that you took a hard fall. You can disable this feature in the Apple Watch app.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
WELCOME TO THE VIRTUAL HUMANS FACTORY
Medical trials are risky business. Human subjects eager to help researchers find cures or treatments for life-threatening ailments put their trust in medical professionals. But what if these trials could be conducted without human testers?
LG Gram 17 (2021): Light Weight, Giant Screen
The case for choosing a laptop with a jumbo screen—one larger than 15 inches—has never been stronger. The much-improved LG Gram 17, with a gorgeous 17-inch QHD display, is exhibit number one.
How to Make Your Windows PC Boot Faster
Computers have come a long way since the beige boxes of old, but even with speeds measured in gigahertz and gigabytes per second, they still involve some occasional waiting.
DIGITAL DETOX 2021 Is It Time to Put 6 Feet Between You and Your Personal Tech?
Online socializing, remote learning, and working from home have changed our minds, bodies, and behaviors—for better and otherwise. It’s time to take stock of our relationship to personal technology and the growing need to distance ourselves.
Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen): Now With Sleep Tracking
The original Nest Hub was a perfectly capable smart display, but as Google’s only model, it felt a bit lacking compared with Amazon’s Alexa-powered lineup.
OnePlus 9 Pro: Excellent Performance, Display, and Camera
The OnePlus 9 Pro smartphone delivers a streamlined flagship experience to T-Mobile and Verizon subscribers, finally catching up to its competitors. The phone itself is light in the hand, and the user experience is weightless as well.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (15-Inch): Excellent Choice
The 15-inch version of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 offers one of the most refined computing experiences of any Windows laptop. With two color options and excellent build quality, it’s a standout big-screen notebook.
DJI Air 2S: Upgraded Camera and Obstacle Sensor
For all intents and purposes, the DJI Air 2S is last year’s Mavic Air 2 with an upgraded camera and obstacle sensors, expanded automatic camera movements, and the robust safety features and quality that have made DJI the market leader in aerial imaging.
10 Simple Ways to Make Better To-Do Lists
How effective is your to-do list? Does it help you plan your day and nudge you to prioritize the right tasks? Or is it a never-ending inventory of tasks you feel guilty for not having done yet, and now you’re not going to do any of them? A good to-do list should serve you. You should not be at its mercy.
Wyze Robot Vacuum: Affordable and Smart
Looking for an affordable robot to clean your floors? The Wyze Robot Vacuum offers a lot to like, including 2,100Pa of suction power and a laser sensor for mapping your home, a feature typically found only in more expensive models.
Android loses a huge innovator as LG quits making phones
LG phones pushed the bleeding edge of innovation, but it wasn’t enough.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR PASSWORDS USING iCLOUD KEYCHAIN ON YOUR iPHONE, iPAD, & MAC
IT’S MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU THINK.
APPLE MUSIC LAUNCHES MORE THAN 100 CITY-FOCUSED MUSIC CHARTS
Apple Music is coming to a city near you — the streaming service has launched daily music charts focused on particular cities around the world, including New York City, Tokyo and Lagos.
APPLE'S iPHONE PRIVACY CLAMPDOWN ARRIVES AFTER 7-MONTH DELAY
Apple is following through on its pledge to crack down on Facebook and other snoopy apps that secretly shadow people on their iPhones in order to target more advertising at users.
APPLE PROFIT SOARS IN LATEST QUARTER ON HIGHER iPHONE SALES
Demand for the iPhone and other Apple products drove profits to more than double in the January-March period as the tech giant continued to capitalize on smartphone addiction.
iPAD PRO 2021: SUPERCHARGED WITH XDR DISPLAY, M1 CHIP, & THUNDERBOLT
The iPad Pro has become something of a workhorse in recent years, offering professionals an alternative to a laptop with cutting-edge capabilities and software.
APPLE ANNOUNCES 1ST EAST COAST CAMPUS IN NORTH CAROLINA
Apple is expanding spending in the U.S. and announced plans to build its first East Coast campus, in North Carolina.
Logitech Ergo K860
Great keys meet great posture
FEED YOUR MIND. FEAST YOUR EYES.
APPLE UNVEILS NEW PRODUCTS, SCHEDULES PRIVACY CRACKDOWN
Apple spruced up its product line at an event Tuesday while slipping in quiet notice of a software update, now due next week, designed to enhance the privacy of iPhone users at the expense of digital advertisers such as Facebook.