It is a pure commonality between watch enthusiasts to have a deeply passionate connection and love for mechanical timepieces, but when discussing smartwatches, why is it just not the same? After all, the intention of one is supposed to track your day-to-day life. Is the “latest and greatest” from Apple just another marketing gimmick or an actual, needed update? In this article, we talk smartwatch and in particular, the Apple Watch Series 6.
I wouldn’t say I reside in the Apple Ecosystem, a term describing a heavy reliance on IOS-based products, but my phone IS an iPhone, and that’s enough reason to rule out all other smartwatch option. Weirdly enough, I got to somehow own and experience every generation of Apple Watches. However, A smartwatch isn’t a part of my everyday-carry, the reason being my general preference to a mechanical watch.
But this year is different, right? Amidst a global pandemic with the new features and all. We’ll find out by the end of this article.
As usual, being a technical product, the Apple Watch Series 6 received new updates, this time though, they made new additions to its design with new colours.
Aside from the usual Gold, Silver, and Space Grey, Apple introduced the funky (PRODUCT) RED and Blue for Aluminum models. These novelty colours obviously wouldn’t suit someone looking to pair their watch with their outfit, but make great additions.
It’s great to see Apple extending the (PRODUCT) RED line to the Apple Watch though. For those out of the loop, All proceeds from (PRODUCT)RED purchases to the Global Fund’s COVID‑19 Response. Fortunately, You wouldn’t need to get a watch to show your support, The line-up includes watch bands too.
Let’s talk updates, every year, Tech companies accentuate new features, trying to convince they are necessities, this year isn’t any different. The title for the press release for the Apple Watch Series 6 includes “delivers breakthrough wellness and fitness capabilities”, How much of it is “breakthrough” though?
Blood Oxygen Sensor
A heart-rate sensor is quite universally known, but blood oxygen? Not quite. An oximeter is a device which provides oxygen saturation reading, largely used clinically of course. I have my blood oxygen recorded by a nurse before each blood donation. Commercializing something that is required to be as accurate as possible seems counter-intuitive. I tried taking my reading throughout the day and it mostly shows 100% for me(Thankfully).
Which begs the question, who is this feature for? Well, It’s useful for those who have or are suspected to have coronavirus, Which is no wonder the timely release. Basically, low blood oxygenation levels are associated with respiration problems, so it kind of serves as a heads-up. In my opinion, physical symptoms like trouble breathing are well enough of a reason for a doctor visit. Nonetheless, It’s a neat feature with probable room for accuracy updates.
Here’s a tip, if you’re looking for more accurate readings, placing the sensor over your finger provides that. How it works is actually reading the reflection of the red light emitted.
For this feature, the higher accuracy is a stand-out. If you happen to cycle, you would notice “Elevation” being a term found in fitness apps. Now, for the usual runner/cyclist, it wouldn’t be a concern, but an elevation gain affects difficulty, so for race training factors it in.
New Watch Faces
The main star of the show though is of course the new and improved operating system. For this update though, I really think Apple nailed the new faces.
Some of the seven new watch face options includes Chronograph Pro and GMT, Which I’m sure isn’t something new for watch enthusiasts. I have been using the GMT function for tracking Bangkok Time as part of my job and it’s really intuitive.
When glancing down a mechanical GMT wristwatch, there exists that process of reading the second time. Apple Watch Series 6 made it easy by dynamically displaying the hour on the bezel, after all, it’s a smart device. While there is that added convenience though, most would argue that this loses that GMT bezel charm, which I totally understand, but I would never call it a GMT watch to begin with anways.
Aside from that though, I really love the Artist face. which are just silhouettes with the time as their eyes. The unassuming face displays the time simply, and when glancing down most days, that’s just what I need.
I owned the Series 5 a few moons ago, and the difference is very minimal. I should mention that most users aren’t upgrading from the previous two series though. The operation is lightning smooth for its daily usage but the battery life has been great. With my usage, one charge lasts about a couple of days and another couple of hours to charge it back to 100%.
Where I really found difference would be in sleep tracking. At this point, I am convinced this device knows more of me sleeping habits than I try to convince myself. In the morning, instead of an alarm, the haptic engine taps my wrist subtly but enough to wake me up, which beats the blaring sound of the usual alarm sound I wake up too everyday.
The Smaller Brother
With this years release, Apple also released the SE for the first time for their watch lineup.
Here’s a very basic rundown of the differences:
Apple Watch Series 6
✔ Comes in more design options( Materials and Colours)
✔ Has Always-on Display, Pulse Oximeter, Always-on Altimeter, U1 chip and ECG app
✘ More expensive option
Apple Watch SE 2020
✔ Cellular upgrade costs less than the series 6
✔ Cheaper option
✘ Limited design options and features
If you had noticed, the difference in price for really lies in the features if you’re comparing two identical design models. I choose the Series 6 because those included features that differ the two products really exemplify the latest innovations from the brand.
Am I Convinced?
Did the Apple Watch Series 6 convince me of the practicality of wearing it every day? Yes, but it hasn’t converted me from my usual analogue, mechanical wristwatches, and that’s okay. Tracking my daily on a technical level, reminding me to stand during work helps, but I am personally more connected(pun intended) to something not running on a daily charge.
There is a big debate over the Apple Watch as a… watch, my answer is that it is, it tells the time and is strapped on the wrist, as simple as that. Nonetheless, I regard it as a lifestyle tracker more so than a watch, after all, those features really makes it the capable device as it is. My biggest still-existing caveat though? Is that these type of watches are relatively disposable and temporary. If you’re thinking of getting one, integrating this device to your life, even temporarily, it’s crucial to understand that, as that’s the main purpose of this product.
Are you an owner of an Apple Watch or thinking of making that purchase? Let us know down in the comments below and check out our past article on some accessories for your Apple Watch as well as our unboxing video on Youtube, where we showcase the watch on some of our strap offerings!