Gadgets for humans

Apple Watch Series 6 brings blood oxygen monitoring and… an unadjustable strap?

I'm excited, but cautious

header image apple watch series 6 announcement

Apple has just announced a brand new Apple Watch, the Series 6.

In a keynote that focused intently on health and fitness, the company displayed some new features and upgrades it hopes will improve people’s lives. The biggest of these is the introduction of  blood oxygen monitoring.

Sensors on the back of the Apple Watch Series 6 can deliver this result in only 15 seconds.

Apple Watch Series 6 blood oxygen

This measurement is a sign of your overall health, but it’s important to realize that this isn’t a medical grade bit of equipment — it’ll be indicative, rather that definitive.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool.

Apple is also partnering with a range of organizations and universities, releasing a series of studies to support the benefits of its smartwatch.

Let’s talk about aesthetics. The new Apple Watch comes in a selection of new colors, including some snazzy red and blue shades:

Apple Watch series 6

Underneath the hood, the Series 6 has a dual core processor based on A13, but optimized for Apple Watch. Effectively, that means it should be an incredibly powerful bit of kit.

The screen’s ‘always on’ mode is claimed to be two-and-a-half times brighter than before, mainly due to improved energy efficiency.

Then things with the Apple Watch Series 6, well, dropped off

Weirdly, after this, the company began talking a lot about watch faces and straps.

Yeah, I know.

Let’s talk about the watch faces first. These are an incredibly vital element of how you interact with the device, but it seems slightly strange to spend so long talking about what’s effectively a software feature that could be rolled out at any time.

Am I excited to try them out? Of course. But is it vital enough to talk about so high up in the keynote? Questionable.

Now, let’s chat about the bands. Apple announced a couple of new straps, the focus being on something it referred to as the Solo Loop. Have a look:

apple watch series 6 solo loop

Effectively, it’s an unbroken wristband without strap adjustment. There are rubber and material (I assume nylon?) versions of this Solo Loop.

I question how comfortable this will be considering the variety of wrist sizes, but I’ve doubted Apple before and been proven incorrect.

Still, the jury’s out until I actually give this thing a try.

What can we take away from the announcement of Apple Watch Series 6? Well, it’s definitely an incremental update, with little that will force the average owner of the previous model to upgrade.

Despite that, the Series 6 further cements Apple’s position as the industry smartwatch leader. And I cannot wait to get my hands on one.

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Published September 15, 2020 — 17:42 UTC