The Apple ecosystem is much like a vortex, so we won't blame you for your constant need to upgrade! In fact, the tech-giant hosted three major events in 2020, and we're still processing all the brand new developments that it unleashed upon us. With its Time Flies event, Apple released both Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE. And even if the world can't get enough of the iPhone 12 series, we can't help but marvel at what the Apple Watch Series 6 has to offer.
Apple Watch as an entity previously garnered a lot of criticism for its squarish, sports-watch built and lack of colours. So, this time, when the company announced variations in shade, it posed as a welcome change for consumers who were eagerly awaiting the launch. Of course, considering the hefty price tag, the watch constantly demands useful developments year after year. However, it wasn't until this year that we found the device living up to its price tag -- despite being heavily criticised for being outrageously expensive.
We had the opportunity to use the Apple Watch 6 for a month, and here's what we thought about it:
Look & Feel
The Apple Watch 6 comes in stainless steel or matte aluminium finish with rounded corners. Not much has changed when you compare it with its predecessors, but it has unquestionably become a lot sleeker and more compact over the years.
It now comes in a lot of different shades, including bright red, mint green and blue. The product we used was a 40 mm space grey Apple Watch in a matte aluminium finish. You will find a digital crown on the right side, along with a button -- and on its left, you can see the speakers. The colour, when compared with the stainless steel alternative, will typically seem a little less lustrous. However, it blends in well with whatever outfit you choose, also doesn't appear too flashy -- and we could live with that!
You can choose from a host of eclectic bands found online, but this particular box will contain silicon bands for your watch that clip on with ease. Contrary to its appearance, silicon bands are low-maintenance and ideal for someone who likes to rough it out.
There are also sensors on the back of the watch for numerous functions, but more on those, later.
A fantastic new addition that came in with the Apple Watch Series 5 continues with this series: the always-on retina display feature. In fact, we love how the OLED screen is 2.5 times brighter when compared with its predecessor. Yes, that means you will not find it excruciatingly challenging to read your notifications during the day! But be prepared for it to bother you if you plan to wear it to sleep at night.
It utilises a new dual-core processor based on A13 Bionic of the iPhone 11. It also promised faster charging, which is rightfully delivered, but we're still a little disappointed with the battery life.
When it comes to hardware, the Apple Watch Series 6 includes a brand new chip, S6 SiP. Apple also claims that this is 20 per cent faster, apart from being energy efficient, compared with Apple Watch 5's S5 chip. The Series 6 also has a 5GHz Wi-Fi band support along with Apple's U1 ultra-wideband positioning chip.
A spotlight on health
2020 was a year of several painful realisations. One of which taught us about how neglecting health and healthcare can lead to grave consequences. Of course, Apple's effort to take that in its stride is clearly visible with the Apple Watch Series 6. With an emphasis on health, several features have improved drastically and are tailor-made for the battle against COVID-19. For instance, a handwashing feature that sets a thirty-second timer for you to know when to stop. Brilliant, yes. What about the long run, you ask? Who can really tell?
Blood Oxygen: The new feature conveniently measures the oxygen saturation of the user's blood. Blood Oxygen tracker, better known as SpO2, helps understand their overall fitness and wellness. The feature essentially works in two ways: automatically or manually. On choosing the manual mode, you have to sit still for 15 seconds and wait for the app to measure you. Although impressive, this feature requires you to be absolutely motionless! You may either need to cultivate patience, or be a little more patient than usual, to be able to use this feature. SpO2 also requires the 'right' amount of tightness on your wrist, making it rather challenging to get yourself measured. And while Apple claims that the Apple Watch is not to be utilised for medical diagnostics, we think that all the applications might mean the readings are close to accurate!
Sleep tracker: Your Apple Watch Series 6 can track your sleep habits on days you actually manage to wear it to bed! Although a tad bit uncomfortable, it ends up showing you an overview of your sleep cycle and tells you the average sleep you get. However, despite the information, there's still a lot of knowledge it fails to give us. Several third-party apps can lend you a better sleep summary when compared with the inbuilt sleep tracker.
Heart-rate monitoring: Heart rate and electrocardiogram (ECG) functions from Series 5 have been included in this device as well. Interestingly, you will be 'warned' after ten minutes of no activity and a dangerously low heart-rate.
To call the Apple Watch Series 6, a 'watch', is perhaps not fitting enough. For all that it has to offer, the damage done by its price-tag seems almost justified.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is essentially an iPhone -- but on your wrist. It can do everything that your iPhone can, and if you're able to configure esim on your Apple Watch, you can also place calls like a pro. Siri enabled on its 'raise to speak' feature, you can effortlessly search the internet or send audio-to-text messages to anyone on your list. There's very little that your Apple Watch Series 6 cannot do. Apart from that, the device has excellent health feature -- and while it could update its sleep tracking a little more -- we think its a handy device to have if you're a fitness enthusiast.
But of course, it still can't pair with an Android device! To the frustration of several, the Apple Watch still remains exclusive to iOS devices. A yearly update for Apple Watch seems a little redundant if there's not a lot on offer by the tech-giant. Apart from that, the battery life remains dismal, and we can't say we're too pleased with its 12-hour run. Despite the quick charging, you will find yourself missing out on a lot of health-related data if you end up charging it through the day. Watch faces are great, but you're going to miss having an option to let third-party apps do the needful for you.
To call the Apple Watch Series 6, a 'watch', is perhaps not fitting enough. For all that it has to offer, the damage done by its price-tag seems almost justified. However, despite the improvisation, we didn't find too many alterations in Series 6. Apple enthusiasts who already own a Series 5 or 4 may find the purchase superfluous. But if you own an iPhone and have the funds, by all means, go for it. For its price, the Apple Watch Series 6 is best-in-class for tracking health or fitness. It fits snugly on your wrist, and you can effortlessly forget about it as you go on with your day. The watch will make a great addition to the Apple ecosystem, and you're going to love it's fast and fluid performance.
Processor S6 dual-core processor
OS version Watch OS7
Built-in mic, speaker Yes
Connectivity Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0
Display Always-on OLED Retina display
Battery life Up to 18 hours
Storage 32 GB
Water-resistance 50 m
Price Rs 49,900
Available on Apple.com/in
TBC Rating: 4/5