Apple has announced the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE. Both run watchOS 7.
The Apple Watch Series 6 introduces a Blood Oxygen feature that offers users even more insight into their overall wellness. It also delivers notable hardware improvements, including a faster S6 System in Package (SiP) and next-generation always-on altimeter, along with its most colorful lineup yet.
“Apple Watch Series 6 completely redefines what a watch can do,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer in a press release. “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 expands the health capabilities of previous Apple Watch models with a new feature that conveniently measures the oxygen saturation of the user’s blood, so they can 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.
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. Apple Watch then uses an advanced custom algorithm built into the Blood Oxygen app, which is designed to measure blood oxygen between 70%t and 100%. 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 the user will be able to track trends over time to see how their blood oxygen level changes.
Apple is joining forces with researchers to conduct three health studies that include using Apple Watch to explore how blood oxygen levels can be used in future health applications. This year, Apple will collaborate with the University of California, Irvine, and Anthem to examine how longitudinal measurements of blood oxygen and other physiological signals can help manage and control asthma.
Separately, Apple will work closely with investigators at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the University Health Network, one of the largest health research organizations in North America, to better understand how blood oxygen measurements and other Apple Watch metrics can help with management of heart failure. Finally, investigators with the Seattle Flu Study at the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine and faculty from the University of Washington School of Medicine will seek to learn how signals from apps on Apple Watch, such as Heart Rate and Blood Oxygen, could serve as early signs of respiratory conditions like influenza and COVID-19.
Williams says the Apple Watch Series 6 improves performance through redesigned hardware that packs even more features and power into the same impressively small design. Using 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. 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 the user’s wrist is down, making it much easier to see a watch face in bright sunlight, says Williams. When their wrist is down, the user can also now access Notification Center and Control Center, tap on complications, and swipe to change faces without having to wake their watch screen.
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.
This fall, customers have more choices than ever with new cases and band. For the first time, 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. The Apple Watch Edition is available in natural and space black titanium.
The 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 new colors.
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.
The Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) starts at US$399 and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499. It’s 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.
The Apple Watch SE features the same accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter as Apple Watch Series 6, and with the latest motion sensors and microphone, it offers robust health and safety capabilities including fall detection, Emergency SOS, international emergency calling, and the Noise app, says Williams.
It features a Retina display, with thin borders and curved corners, that’s 30% larger than Series 3. A variety of new watch faces are optimized for the display, so customers can easily view notifications, text messages, workout metrics, and more.
With the S5 System in Package (SiP) and dual-core processor, Apple Watch SE delivers fast performance, up to two times faster than Apple Watch Series 3, according to Williams. The Digital Crown with haptic feedback generates incremental clicks with a mechanical feel as it is rotated. The Apple Watch SE features the latest speaker and microphone, which are optimized for better sound quality for phone calls, Siri, and Walkie-Talkie, along with Bluetooth 5.0.
As with the Series 6, the next-generation 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.
The built-in compass provides users with better directions and compass headings, in addition to incline, elevation, and latitude and longitude. Users can add one of three new Compass complications to their watch face, and developers can take advantage of compass information in their apps to create rich experiences.
With Emergency SOS on Apple Watch, customers can quickly and easily call for help and alert emergency services with just a push of a button. For added personal safety while traveling, users with cellular models of Apple Watch SE can complete international calls to emergency services,2 regardless of where the device was originally purchased or if the cellular plan has been activated.
The Apple Watch SE (GPS) starts at $279 and Apple Watch SE (GPS + Cellular) starts at $329. The Apple Watch SE (GPS) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and 27 other countries and regions.