OS: watchOS 7 | Works with: iOS | Battery life: Up to 18hr | Water resistance: Up to 50m | Wi-Fi: Yes | 4G/LTE: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | **NFC:**Yes | GPS: Yes | Heart rate: Yes (ECG) | Size(s): 40mm / 44mm
The Apple Watch Series 6 (from £379) doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it builds upon what was already our favourite smartwatch (yes, Apple’s Watch Series 5). The transition reflects much of the progression of Apple’s smartwatch range. After a few teething early years, Apple found what works and has stuck to a familiar formula ever since, and it’s a familiar formula that many a company has sought to mimic.
While the Apple Watch Series 6 still may not satisfy those looking for a hardcore fitness tracker, watchOS 7 offers supreme levels of usability that make it a great option for the entry-level or intermediate fitness fan who wants a premium and feature-rich experience. As with its predecessor, you’ll find heart-rate monitoring, GPS tracking and workout detection, all included in seamless fashion.
The Series 6 stands above its predecessor by adding a few neat additions, including a blood oxygen sensor, the highly-accurate U1 tracking chip and a faster S6 processor. Those first two new features may only attract those with specific use cases but what everyone can appreciate is the enhanced speed on offer via the new processor. If you had any performance doubts with the Series 5 then Apple’s new watch is for you.
The biggest competition for the Watch Series 6 does, in fact, come from inside the Apple house. The Apple Watch SE ditches these premium features and a couple more to save you £110 if they aren’t a must have for you.
Not a whole lot has changed in the design and display department but the small changes are intriguing. The display stands out for its huge bump up in brightness from just 200 nits on the Series 5 to, now, 500 nits on the Series 6. For design, there’s the addition of Solo Loops to try and make it even easier to whip your smartwatch on and off while a new gold finish and graphite stainless steel model aim to improve the premium chops of the Series 6.
Like we said, the Apple Watch Series 6 doesn’t reinvent the wheel. But, its combination of ease-of-use, inviting fitness and health-monitoring features, impressive display, range of customisation and faster-than-ever performance mean that Apple keeps its best smartwatch crown for another year.
Pros: Better battery; brighter screen; faster charging; blood oxygen tracking and speedier S6 chip Cons: Similar design; music and podcast management
Price: From £379 | Check price on Amazon | John Lewis | Apple
Which Apple Watch should you buy?
For many iOS users, the Apple Watch range is surprisingly wide-ranging offers with iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more. If you’re after the best of the bunch, with all the latest features, the Apple Watch Series 6 (£379) is the one to go for. It offers improved battery, a brighter screen and, even, blood O2 tracking. To save a bit of cash but still get a watch on the cutting edge, there’s the Apple Watch SE (£269). The SE offers a neat price cut if you aren’t fussed about the ECG or bloody O2 tracking (OK, OK blood oxygen), but you still get the latest design and current watchOS features. If paying more than £200 for a smartwatch is not quite your thing, you can pick up the very capable Apple Watch Series 3 (£197) for a lower price. The Series 3 may be a few years old but it still features a GPS, heart-rate tracking, NFC, battery life up to 18-hours and a design that stands out amongst rivals.
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