The Apple Watch Series 6 came out last September, but if you’re ready to hop on the smartwatch bandwagon, now is a great time to buy.
In our opinion, the Apple Watch Series 6 is still the best-looking smartwatch on the market, and yes, it’s still the most recognizable. But this iteration also raises the bar with a blood oxygen saturation sensor (ideal for Covid checks), an altimeter and a new, speedier processor.
Price and Availability: Apple is offering the Apple Watch Series 6 starting at $399, but you can grab this 40mm Valentine’s Day RED GPS version right now on Amazon and Walmart for $339, which is 15 percent off. And Best Buy is exclusively offering six months free of the new fitness service, Apple Fitness+, with the Apple Watch Series 6, 40mm Space Gray Aluminum case with black sport band, also for $399. The GPS plus cellular models will cost an extra $100.
Why We Chose It: We’re not going to lie; we’ve not been keen to add a smartwatch to our lifestyle. The idea of technology attached to our body, bombarding us with even more daily notifications, did not appeal. But when we strapped on the Apple Watch Series 6, we began to understand the hype.
Yes, this watch is chic. Because, if a nerdy smartwatch can be stylish, you can count on Apple to make it happen. And though ours came with a Plum Sport Loop made of breathable double-layer nylon, we are planning on downloading the free Black Unity watch face and adding this limited edition Black Unity Sport Band made for Black History Month, on sale now for $49.99 at B&H Photo.
The watch comes in 40mm and 44mm case sizes, three different case materials including brushed titanium, stainless steel and recycled aluminum, and six different colors to choose them in. We chose the 44mm in Silver aluminum and have no regrets going big.
The always on Retina display is 30 percent larger than the Apple Watch Series 3 but does not feel uncomfortable, even when we wear it to bed. Oh, and this baby is water-resistant so we can even wear it in the shower or for a swim. That said, we would not suggest aggressively keeping it submerged in deeper water.
Best of all, we could control exactly which notifications we wanted to get. As much as we thought we’d hate getting texts on our wrist, it made it easy to either use Siri to give a quick voice-to-text reply or decide if we could wait to pick up our phone to get more in-depth. And yeah, if you have the cellular version, you can also chat on the phone on your watch a la James Bond. Because, you know you wanna.
Who It’s For: The Apple Watch Series 6 is for anyone who wants to get in on the smartwatch trend without getting too macro. It’s super simple to set up, like most Apple products, and you can swap out watch faces depending on your mood. Apple now also offers a large selection of third party apps, including Google Maps and the nifty Transit app, which lets me check exactly when my subway is pulling into the station without having to pull out my phone.
And for those who may be ready to upgrade from their Fitbit, the Health and fitness tracking is excellent–offering all types of workouts, both outdoor and indoor. Plus, we love the notifications throughout the day to remind us to stand and move around, now that we’re working from home. It also reminds you to breathe and wash your hands. Thanks, Apple.
Why You Need It: The new Apple UI chip not only makes the watch quicker and brighter, but it also upgrades the charging time—so it doesn’t need to be off your wrist for long, maybe an hour give or take.
The blood oxygen monitor is also a nice added feature, especially during Covid, and there’s a sleep tracking feature which lets you set sleep goals and try to get a better grasp of your bedtime routine. Add to that the heart rate monitor and again, the seamlessness of tracking your daily exercise with the many presets available, now including things like Dance, Core Training, Indoor Cycle and Outdoor Walk.
You’ll get three months free of Apple Fitness Plus, Apple’s new workout subscription service, with the purchase of the Apple Watch Series 6, which is a Peloton-like service with real instructors and 10 different types of classes. If you want to keep using it after the free trial, it costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 a year.
What Others Are Saying: The energy efficiency is racking up accolades, and Engadget loves that the Apple Watch Series 6 can have a display 2.5 times brighter without losing battery life. “All told, you’re looking at up to 11 hours of audio or indoor workouts (up to seven hours outdoors with GPS, and six if you use LTE).”
The folks at Consumer Reports appreciated all the little improvements of the newest Apple Watch, notably the better heart-rate tracking and step-counting accuracy, adding “Apple’s Series 6 model is now our top-rated smartwatch.”
Final Conclusion: The Apple Watch Series 6 is a tech gadget for the moment. It is not only attractive, stylish and comfortable, it helps us track much of our lives—including sleep, oxygen and fitness—at a time when everything around us is far from normal.
If you’ve been hankering for a smartwatch and you are an iPhone user, we think this is the time to grab the Apple Watch Series 6, especially with the current 15 percent discount.
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