apple watch series 6

The story of the Apple Watch Series 6 is one we’ve heard before. Apple spent the first three years of the Watch’s existence fine-tuning the basics and creating a smartwatch that does most things right. Since then, it’s been a steady march of incremental updates, like adding an always-on display, ECG measurements, cycle tracking and fall detection. That’s the case again in 2020 with the Apple Watch Series 6, which physically looks and feels much like its predecessor but sports some hidden hardware upgrades and new software tricks in watchOS 7. I’ve been using the $399 Series 6 for the past 24 hours or so, and while it’s hard to be impressed with a device that feels so familiar, I’m certainly not disappointed either.

Let’s get the hardware differences between the Series 6 and last year’s Series 5 out of the way. The Series 6 runs on Apple’s latest S6 system-in-package that it claims is 20 percent faster than the old one. The chip is also more power-efficient than the last, allowing the always-on display to be 2.5 times brighter than on the Series 5 and it helps the Series 6 charge faster.


You won’t notice any glaring physical differences when looking at the Series 6 and the Series 5 side by side. However, flip both smartwatches over and you’ll see that the sensor array has been updated to accommodate its new blood oxygen measurement capabilities. There’s also a new always-on altimeter inside, as well as a new U1 chip that provides 5GHz WiFi and Ultra Wideband connectivity.

Series 6 and Watch SE are the names of the new smart watches from Apple. They will be available from September 18 for $399 and $279 respectively. Visually, the SE and Series 6 differ slightly from each other, only a few color variations of the housing are new. The differences are clearer when it comes to functions. The SE version dispenses with an always-on display, the new measuring function for oxygen saturation and the ECG function of the Series 6 as a cheaper variant. Otherwise, the Watch SE is similar in almost all technical data to the Series 5, i.e. the previous year’s model.

Those who can do without the few new functions of the Series 6 are in better hands with the SE or even the previous year’s models. Models from Series 3 (2017) are even supplied with the current operating system Watch OS 7 and, as our table shows, can basically do the same as the latest version. We compare the models and show where you can get the most Apple watch for the money.

Series 1Series 2Series 3Series 4Series 5SESeries 6
Housing material38 mm / 42 mm38 mm / 42 mm38 mm / 42 mm40 mm / 44 mm40 mm / 44 mm40 mm / 44 mm40 mm / 44 mm
Display resolution340×272 pixels390×312 pixels340×272 pixels448×368 pixels394×324 pixels448×368 pixels448×368 pixels
operating systemWatch OSWatch OSWatch OSWatch OSWatch OSWatch OSWatch OS
ChipsetApple S1Apple S2Apple S3Apple S4Apple S5Apple S5Apple S6
Storage8GB8GB8GB16 GB32GB32GB32GB
InterfacesBluetooth 4.0, WLAN 802.11b / g / n, NFCBluetooth 4.0, WLAN 802.11b / g / n, NFCBluetooth 4.2 , WLAN 802.11b / g / n, NFCBluetooth 5.0 , WLAN 802.11b / g / n, NFCBluetooth 5.0, WLAN 802.11b / g / n, NFCBluetooth 5.0, WLAN 802.11b / g / n, NFCBluetooth 5.0, WLAN 802.11b / g / n, NFC
Heart rate measurement
Yes
YesYesYesYesYesYes
Measurement functionsTime, stopwatch, pedometer, sleep monitoring, calorie consumption, heart rate, countdownTime, stopwatch, swimming strokes, step counter, sleep monitoring, lap counter , calorie consumption, heart rate, speed , distance , countdownTime, stopwatch, swimming strokes, pedometer, sleep monitoring, lap counter, calorie consumption, altimeter , heart rate, speed, distance, countdown, air pressureTime, stopwatch, swimming strokes, pedometer, sleep monitoring, lap counter, calorie consumption, altimeter, heart rate, speed, EKG , distance, countdown, air pressureTime, stopwatch, swimming strokes, pedometer, sleep monitoring, lap counter, calorie consumption, altimeter, heart rate, EKG , speed, distance, countdown, air pressureTime, stopwatch, swimming strokes, pedometer, sleep monitoring, lap counter, calorie consumption, altimeter, heart rate, speed, distance, countdown, air pressureTime, stopwatch, swimming strokes, pedometer, sleep monitoring, lap counter, calorie consumption, altimeter, heart rate, EKG , oxygen intake , speed, distance, countdown, air pressure
Other functionsTime zones, weather forecast, alarm clock, music control, camera control, calendar, internal music storage, inactivity alarm, date, notification of messages, notification of calls, 12/24 hour display, payment functionTime zones, weather forecast, alarm clock, music control, camera control, calendar, internal music storage, inactivity alarm, date, notification of messages, notification of calls, 12/24 hour display, payment functionTime zones, weather forecast, alarm clock, music control, camera control, calendar, internal music storage, inactivity alarm, date, notification of messages, notification of calls, 12/24 hour display, payment functionTime zones, weather forecast, alarm clock, telephony (UMTS / LTE, eSIM) , music control, camera control, calendar, internal music storage, inactivity alarm, date, notification of messages, notification of calls, 12/24 hour display, payment functionAlways-on display , time zones, weather forecast, alarm clock, telephony (UMTS / LTE, eSIM), music control, camera control, calendar, internal music storage, inactivity alarm, date, notification of messages, notification of calls, 12/24 hour display, payment functionTime zones, weather forecast, alarm clock, telephony (UMTS / LTE, eSIM), music control, camera control, calendar, internal music storage, inactivity alarm, date, notification of messages, notification of calls, 12/24 hour display, payment functionAlways-on display , time zones, weather forecast, alarm clock, telephony (UMTS / LTE, eSIM), music control, camera control, calendar, internal music storage, inactivity alarm, date, notification of messages, notification of calls, 12/24 hour display, payment function
particularitiesLoudspeaker, microphone, vibration, waterproof (IPx7), exchangeable wristbandLoudspeaker, microphone, vibration, waterproof (5ATM), exchangeable wristbandLoudspeaker, microphone, vibration, waterproof (5ATM), exchangeable wristbandLoudspeaker, microphone, vibration, waterproof (5ATM), exchangeable wristbandLoudspeaker, microphone, vibration, waterproof (5ATM), exchangeable wristbandLoudspeaker, microphone, vibration, waterproof (5ATM), exchangeable wristbandLoudspeaker, microphone, vibration, waterproof (5ATM), exchangeable wristband
SensorsAccelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, barometerAccelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, barometerAccelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, barometerAccelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, barometerAccelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, barometerAccelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, barometerAccelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor, baromete
navigationGPSGPS, GLONASS , Galileo , QZSSGPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSSCompass , GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSSCompass, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSSCompass, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS
compatibilityfrom iOS 8.2from iOS 10from iOS 11from iOS 12from iOS 13from iOS 13from iOS 13
Power supplybattery packbattery packbattery packbattery packbattery packbattery packbattery pack
Operating time18h18h18h18h18h18h18h
Weight40g34.2g26.7g36.7g30.1g36.4g36.5g