The Apple Watch Series 6 has been wrapped around our wrists every day for five months now. It is high time for a second impression.
Apple Watch Series 6 after five months
Let me get right to the point: as someone who has the latest model on their wrist every year since the first Apple Watch, the Watch Series 6 has felt the least like a big step forward.
Series 4 introduced a new design with a larger screen two years ago, Series 5 had the screen always on which was handy, but with Series 6 noticeable improvements are harder to find.
The biggest innovation of the latest watch is the pulse oximeter and the accompanying saturation app. This measures the oxygen content of the blood: the closer to 100 percent the better. This says a lot about your overall health and could even indicate if you have or will soon be affected by the flu.
The saturation app is too clunky to use
The biggest drawback of the app is its sensitivity. During the day, the watch does its best to take saturation measurements independently, so that you don’t have to consciously think about it, but can always check what the percentages are. The downside is that the app gives so many error messages that the measurements almost only work if you take them manually.
You have to keep your wrist still for so long that it makes automatic measurements almost impossible. And even then, the question is whether the measurement is correct. Each time I take several measurements in succession, a different result comes out. The major innovation of the 6 Series is therefore mainly a little extra (if the application does what it promises), but nothing more.
Fortunately, Series 6 is more than a way to visualize your blood oxygen levels. Apple is fortunate that the functions we already know from older watch models are still very useful today. For example, the always-on display that the Series 5 introduced is nice to be able to read the time without activating the screen. There are also enough sensors for the average athlete to use.
Add to this that in addition to the hardware, the software of the watch is also improving every year. WatchOS 7 launched the long-awaited Sleep app late last year, with which you can map your sleep pattern in an accessible way.
Complete personal wish list
With that, Apple filled the last box on my personal watch wishlist and the software is now surprisingly complete. Over the years, the watch has become the ultimate health gadget that you can take with you every day, providing a detailed report on your overall health and fitness.
See also: Second impression: Apple Watch SE after five months of daily use
The Apple Watch is therefore my ultimate motivation during the corona crisis. The watch reminds me to get up regularly, the three colored rings (and those of my friends) motivate me to exercise more and with the growing list of apps I can record my athletic performance.
You might already feel it coming: everything I mentioned above I can also do with an older Apple Watch or Apple Watch SE, the cheaper version that appeared at the same time as the Series 6. A few months later, the added value of this more expensive version has not yet been proven. Unless you find an always-on-screen app or a very heavy Saturation app, I would recommend everyone to get an OS instead of a 6-series.
Conclusion Second impression of the Apple Watch Series 6
The quality of the Apple Watch SE doesn’t change the fact that the Series 6 is still a great smartwatch. In fact, other than a different design, I can think of little that Apple can add to improve the watch. When it comes to the Apple Watch as a product, I wouldn’t want to do without it, but I wonder if the Series 7 can do enough this year to really differentiate itself from a new SE.