Apple Watch Series 6: price, availability, specs, and everything else you need to know

Apple Watch Series 6 brings better health monitoring, better outdoors features, and lots of new looks

Apple Watch Series 6
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has just revealed Apple Watch Series 6, the next upgrade to Apple wildly popular wearable, bringing new health features, a faster S6 processor, extra outdoor-focused improvements and new colours.

The Apple Watch Series 6 price will start from $399 / £379 / AU$599, for the aluminium version at 40mm. There will also be a 44mm model, as usual, and also the option to get a model with 4G built in, which will start from $499 / £479 / AU$749.

The Apple Watch Series 6 release date is Friday September 18th, and the new models are available to order now.

As was rumoured, the Series 6 includes an O2 sensor, meaning it can measure your blood oxygen level, thanks to the new blood-flow monitoring sensor on the back. With a 15 second reading, you can get a specific blood oxygen measurement.

2020 isn't the best year for going outside, but the new Watch has features for outdoors anyway, including a 2.5 times brighter always-on display – that's brighter when it's dimmed, not when in it's at full visibility, to be clear. It also has an altimeter that's always measuring, which is great for giving more accurate measurements of how strongly you're exerting yourself, since altitude and height changes can make a huge difference.

Apple has also included support for Ultra-Wide Band tech, and new wireless technology that can locate other UWB tech really accurately, and has been rumoured to power Apple 'Tags' for a long time – these Tile-like devices would make it really easy to know exactly where your keys are, for example. As yet, there's been no use for UWB, but maybe that's finally going to change.

There are no major changes to the physical design of the Apple Watch in Series 6, but the Watch Series 6 comes in blue and red aluminium finished for the first time, which look great – especially the rich blue.

There's also a new off-grey steel finish called 'graphite', which looks a lot like the colour of the titanium case, and an updated gold stainless steel finish (this was our favourite of the previous finishes, so we'll have to see how we feel about it…).

There are new Watch faces for customising the look further, and Apple is introducing an all-new Watch band design that's a single loop – no clasp at all. There's a simple polyurethane Sports Loop, or a Woven Loop.

Apple has also introduced the ability to power a whole family's worth of Apple Watches from one person's iPhone, so kids can have Watches to track their health and activity without having to have iPhones.

You can find more details about the Apple Watch Series 6 below:

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch Series 6: Blood Oxygen Sensor and App

Apple Watch Series 6 expands the health capabilities of previous Apple Watch models with a new feature that conveniently measures the oxygen saturation of your blood, so they can better understand your 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.

To compensate for natural variations in the skin and improve accuracy, the Blood Oxygen sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, along with the four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood. 

The Apple Watch Series 6 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. 

On-demand measurements can be taken while the user is still, and periodic background measurements occur when they are inactive, including during sleep. All data will be visible in the Health app, and you will be able to track trends over time to see how your blood oxygen level changes.

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch Series 6: Performance 

Apple Watch Series 6 improves performance through redesigned hardware that packs even more features and power into the same impressively small design. 

It runs on a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic in iPhone 11, the upgraded S6 SiP runs up to 20-percent faster, allowing apps to also launch 20-percent faster, while maintaining the same all-day 18-hour battery life.

Additionally, Apple Watch Series 6 features the U1 chip and Ultra-Wideband antennas, which will enable short-range wireless location to support new experiences, such as next-generation digital car keys. 

Apple Watch Series 6 offers faster charging, completing a full charge in under 1.5 hours, and improved battery life for tracking certain workouts, such as indoor and outdoor runs.

An enhanced Always-On Retina display on Apple Watch Series 6 is up to 2.5 times brighter than Apple Watch Series 5 outdoors when your wrist is down, making it much easier to see a watch face in bright sunlight. 

When your wrist is down, you can also now access Notification Center and Control Center, tap on complications, and swipe to change faces without having to wake your watch screen.

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch Series 6: Always-On Altimeter

The 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. 

This feature allows for the detection of small elevation changes above ground level, up and down to the measurement of 1 foot, and can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch Series 6: Options

For the first time, a new blue colour joins the silver, space grey, and gold aluminium 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 grey-black hue with a striking high-shine finish – and an updated classic yellow gold colour. 

Apple Watch Edition is available in natural and space black titanium. 

Apple also launched three all-new band styles offer customers innovative options that provide a tailored and comfortable fit without traditional clasps or buckles. In an industry first, the ultralight Solo Loop introduces a continuous and stretchable band design that comes in two materials: soft silicone and braided yarn. 

A special UV treatment process used on the soft silicone of the Solo Loop creates a smooth, silky finish, while a precision-braiding machine interweaves the 16,000 polyester yarn filaments, made of 100-percent recycled material, with ultra-thin silicone threads, giving unique stretchability and a distinct look to the Braided Solo Loop. 

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 moulded magnets.

Apple Watch Nike now comes with new colours for the Nike Sport Band and Nike Sport Loop, and a new Nike Compact watch face allows for multiple Nike Run Club complications. A

And finally, the 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 colours. The fall collection also unveils the Hermès Attelage Single Tour and slimmer Attelage Double Tour bands, which feature a refined connection to the case that reflects the brand’s equestrian heritage, and a new Hermès Circulaire watch face that offers increased options for complications.

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch Series 6: watchOS 7

With watchOS 7, customers can take personalisation to the next level with seven new watch face options, including Stripes, Chronograph Pro, GMT, and Artist, while curating, discovering, and sharing new watch face configurations with others. 

New health and fitness features, including low-range VO2 Max, sleep tracking, automatic handwashing detection, and new workout types, can help users better understand overall well-being. 

Conveniently accessible on the wrist, Maps includes cycling directions and Siri offers language translation.

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch Series 6: Family Setup and Optimised Features for the Entire Family

Family Setup in watchOS 7 extends Apple Watch to the entire family by allowing kids and older family members of the household who do not have an iPhone to benefit from the connectivity, safety, and fitness features of Apple Watch. 

Kids can take advantage of communication and personalisation capabilities, access Emergency SOS at any time, enjoy an Activity rings experience that has been optimised just for them, and utilise a new mode called Schooltime, which can help them stay focused and attentive while learning at home or in the classroom.

watchOS 7 also offers optimised features for older adults, starting with a simplified onboarding and configuration process, along with a refreshed X-Large face that shows the time and a rich complication at a glance.

Older adults can also benefit from a new Health Checklist in the Health app on iPhone, which offers the ability to track whether health features like fall detection have been enabled in one centralised view.

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