Instead of bringing only one Apple Watch with new features to the market as usual, Apple has launched two new Smartwatches this year. At the Apple Event 2020 in September, the new Apple Watch Series 6 was presented together with the more affordable Apple Watch SE. The Apple Watch Series 6, which will also be discussed below, is available from 405 Euro, whereas the cheaper Apple Watch SE is available from 281 Euro.
In this test, an Apple Watch Series 6 in the Product(RED) 44 mm variant was used. For this test we have put the latest features of the top model from Apple to the test. Does Apple keep its promises and how reliable are the new features?
|Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)
|OLED Retina, Touchscreen (resolution: 324 x 394 pixels)
|iOS 14, Bluetooth
|40.0 mm x 34.0 mm x 10.4 mm
|Outdoor, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, tracking (running, cycling, swimming, skiing), pedometer, heart rate monitor, media control, call answering
|Apple Watch Series 6 (44mm)
|OLED Retina, Touchscreen (resolution: 368 x 448 pixels)
|44.0 x 38.0 x 10.4 mm
The first experience – the packaging
As usual Apple delivers here again according to their own standard. The packaging is both simple and elegant. Unpacking your Apple Watch will be a unique experience in itself, because you will be using these folding techniques. In addition, the red accents on the packaging and inside the box look very elegant. The watch is divided into two parts: the watch itself in one package and the strap itself in a separate package. In this case a complete packaging would have done the same.
It is important to note that the Apple Watch comes without a power supply unit for charging. For us it makes no difference, because I already have several power supplies in different versions of Apple at home. However, this is not an attempt to be more environmentally friendly, but to save money at one or the other corner.
The first impression
The first time you create the Apple Watch Series 6 you will not notice any difference to its predecessors. Nothing has changed on the case or the band. The watch sits very comfortably and doesn’t move too much up or down, if you put it on properly. In addition, the same design as its predecessors allows the accessories of the older Apple Watch to be used, which is a plus point.
The strap has changed slightly in quality compared to its predecessors. The wristband simply feels finer in the fingers and therefore has a better and more pleasant wearing comfort on the wrist. The Velcro fastener packs very well and can also be opened easily without hooking anywhere. But I don’t quite understand the design decision of the band color, for me it doesn’t make sense that the edges have different colors. Someone at Apple must have thought of something that is not obvious to me. The quality of the fabric and the colors are very solid.
But when you first turn it on you have to be patient until you can wear the Smartwatch, because it has been updating and loading for about an hour. I personally always find it a bit of a pity that after unpacking you have to wait until the first real use. One unpacks it with great pleasure and then has to hold back. But this is standard nowadays.
The initial setup is very easy to do by Apple. Once the Apple Watch was turned on, I immediately got a notification on my iPhone 11 to start the setup. Personally, I was surprised because I didn’t even think about the fact that Apple recognizes everything automatically and automatically. However, this shows competence from Apple’s side and makes searching in the settings easier.
The crown has also retained its basic functions. It can be moved easily and precisely to move through the App Gallery. This makes it very comfortable to use on the Apple Watch Series 6.
Let’s start with the well-being of the newest and most interesting technology. The probably biggest innovation is the sensor for blood oxygen measurement. The function of this is quite simple. With a combination of red and infrared light the oxygen saturation (SpO2) is measured. It indicates how much of the blood pigment haemoglobin is loaded with oxygen. The higher it is, the better. The average for a normal healthy person is between 95 and 100 percent. However, the value can vary greatly depending on the state of health or activity of a person. The measurement takes 15 seconds in total, during which time you must keep your arm still.
I have noticed that Apple is quite serious about “not moving” when measuring. Even the slightest movement cancels the process, suggesting that Apple wants to record data as accurately as possible. How accurate the measurements are compared to professional, medically approved devices is still in the stars. Apple itself has not registered the Apple Watch Series 6 as a medical device, which suggests that Apple is still working on this system. When I used it for a week, the values were always between 94 and 100 percent.
Fact is: The Apple Watch measures the blood oxygen level quite reliably in most cases. However, the values should still be taken with caution. If you move the watch to another position while sleeping, the values there can deviate considerably and thus distort the overall picture. It also plays a role in how tightly you wear the watch on your wrist, or how straight your arm is positioned – for example, when sleeping with the display facing down. But it can be said that this is yet another successful step towards simpler health monitoring. Apple is once again opening new doors for a promising future.
While we are already sleeping, we can continue there directly. The function of the sleep stretching is very simple and also effective, if you stick to your own plans. You set a sleeping time and the time how long you want to sleep. Thus then already automatically an alarm clock is set and it can start. Not only the sleep is measured, but also the pulse while sleeping.
Now that I have been woken up by my Apple Watch several times during the last week, I can say that this is a very good and successful feature. It is reliable and also manually adjustable. The watch not only reminds you to go to sleep, but also puts the phone into “Do Not Disturb” mode, which allows you to shut down your mind an hour before going to bed and then finally switch to sleep mode. Thereby some features are exhibited so that one can successfully enjoy his sleep. In addition, the pulse measurements are again quite reliable. The average for a sleeping person is between 40 to 60 times per minute. I am at 49 to 72 times per minute, deviations are there as always normal.
Again, the tracking works and the pulse measurement is very solid. As always, Apple does not give any guarantee for the heart rate measurement, because the classic deviations can always occur. You should also always make sure that the watch is charged more than 30%, otherwise the function will not work. In addition, you could add a small but nice feature: It wouldn’t be bad if you could manually keep special apps available in sleep mode, even if Apple didn’t have it in mind. The basic framework is in place, but still has room to move up.
Find your focus
After using the Apple Watch Series 6 Breath app, I’m still a bit perplexed. You are supposed to increase your focus by breathing by taking seven controlled breaths. At first I was confident that the feature made sense, but I don’t think it helped me. My focus has stayed the same and controlled breathing hasn’t done anything obvious for me. In addition, I was always reminded of breathing in the beginning, but this faded after a while, which I find a pity. Or I have apparently already completely found my focus and inner peace.
Fitness as a key to the future
The well-being of every user seems to become more and more important to Apple. Not only did Apple need a new function to monitor its blood oxygen levels, but also the fitness functions were revised and expanded. Now it doesn’t matter at all how exactly you do sports. The new features measure and record skiing, running, swimming and other activities. The training modes are simple and very understandable. All important data like heart rate, training duration and calories burned are displayed and recorded live.
The whole thing works well here again. The app shows all of them, so you can always see if your day was successful or if you should still do some sports. It’s also nice that you can compare yourself with your family members or friends. So you can remind your friend to do sports or motivate him to run around the block.
As with the predecessor, the heart rate is tracked while running and walking. In addition, the altitude meter, which always runs parallel and very smoothly, is also tracked. Here Apple has kept its promises.
The new color – Product(RED)
Not only do you support the HIV/AIDS research by buying a red Apple Watch (at the moment you support the Corona research), but you will also be happy with a very good and extraordinary design. The aluminum case in the bright, matte red color looks very chic and elegant on the wrist. In combination with a simple bracelet it is now possible for the first time to put the accents on the watch itself. This again opens new doors for great and unusual individual designs. Furthermore, one can only hope that Apple will continue this way in the future, new colors are always very vivid.
Since my Apple Watch is already red, I like to wear it with a black wristband. This puts the grading on the watch and looks very elegant in my eyes. But if you want to attach a metal bracelet to your Apple Watch Series 6, you should be careful not to scratch the bracelet holder of the watch. You should be careful here, because it easily happened to me and that’s where the case has its weak points. But attaching the bracelet works without problems and is very simple.
Besides the new colors of the Apple Watch, there are also new wristbands. Here the new “Solo Loop” bracelet was presented. It consists of a continuous elastic band that can be easily pulled over the wrist. I like the new bracelets, but I think the price for the braided version is a bit too high. In my opinion it is too much of a good thing for just under 100 Euro. In practice it will show how long it takes to wear out the rubber of the bracelets.
Better processor and more performance
Thanks to a new S6 processor, loading your own Apple Watch is now much more convenient and faster. According to Apple, the watch should be about 20 percent faster. Personally, I don’t notice much of it, since the predecessor was already fast enough for all applications. All apps can be opened and used smoothly.
A “quality of life change” is definitely the loading of the watch. In about 90 minutes, the battery is fully charged again and the watch is ready for use. A pity is still the low battery life, the battery has remained the same and therefore charging is still necessary once a day.
My personal tip: If you want to save battery power, you should lower the brightness in the settings under display and optionally switch off the always-on function. This way you can save a lot of battery life.
How can a brighter display be reconciled with the topic of battery saving? Apple boasts that the new display is now 2.5 times brighter than its predecessor. It is unclear how exactly this value can be achieved. What is striking, however, is that the display has become brighter. In the sun, you can clearly see what is shown on the watch better. Since I personally don’t want to load the watch that often, I use the darkest setting, so I don’t have much of the new feature
Contactless payment is more important today than ever. Thanks to Corona, we unfortunately have to do without cash in some places and use an EC card. To make payment even easier and more contactless, Apple has launched the Apple Pay function. With the latest series of the new Apple Watch you can easily pay with your watch. Recently, this is also possible with a savings bank card, which is an enrichment for me personally, since I preferred to use it.
I could not find any problems when using the function. Paying with this function works without any problems and makes the exhausting search for your giro card in your wallet much easier. So you save one step when paying. Whether this is absolutely necessary, I may doubt. However, it is a small feature, which is also sometimes great to have.
Matching the new colors on the outside, there are also new designs on the faces. For example you can now decorate your watch with your own memoji. Furthermore there are new faces like Pride, Mickey Mouse, Toy Story or Artists. Here again the creativity in designing your own Apple Watch is increased. You can not only customize the faces with a color, but you can also change what exactly you want to see on some faces. You can display the date, the battery status, the fitness rings and more.
You can also customize the faces individually, which gives you even more possibilities to individualize your Apple Watch. The app works well and is very clearly arranged. All in all there is a suitable face for everyone, especially since you can change the colors or even customize them with different displays. It’s just a pity that you can’t change the position of one face with another face. This is a bit cumbersome, because when you swap a face you always have to delete the one in front of it, but in most cases I only use one face and I don’t have to deal with that.
Phone calls work as they should – very fluently and well. The quality is very clear and there is no interference, even if the phone is further away. Under good conditions and with no interference to the Bluetooth connections, the distance can be extended to approximately 30 to 40 meters and remains clear. Thus one is also always attainable, even if one leaves for example the cell phone at home and is in the garden at work, or if one goes in the summer into the pool and its cell phone still on the garden table lies.
Compared to its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 6 makes a very solid step forward. But those who hoped for an innovation with this watch will be disappointed and should wait for the next successor. But in the big overview you can see that the watch is getting more and more noteworthy with small improvements. The blood oxygen measurement seems to be the most interesting one and directs the view to an informative healthy future. Apple’s obvious focus is clearly on the well-being of the user. Features like the Apple Watch SE are very well equipped for those who want to do without these innovations. In return you get everything a modern Smartwatch needs nowadays. However, those who can afford the Apple Watch Series 6 should take it and will be quite happy with it.