Home Featured Article Introducing: The Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE

Introducing: The Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE

by Stephen Pulvirent

Regardless of all of the chaos of 2020, there’s one factor I knew all alongside we would be able to depend on: September would carry us a brand new Apple Watch. It is like clockwork, for those who’ll pardon the pun. Right this moment, through a totally digital keynote occasion, Apple has launched not one, however two new Apple Watch fashions: The premium Apple Watch Sequence 6 and the extra inexpensive Apple Watch SE.

That is the primary time in six years of Apple Watch releases that we’re getting two really new fashions without delay (the Series 0/Series 1 situation from when the Series 2 was released doesn’t count). It exhibits that Apple is devoted to constructing out the Apple Watch line-up for various prospects and to creating positive that new prospects who need one thing at a cheaper price level can nonetheless make the most of lots of the newest options, which is all the time an issue if you merely use an older mannequin because the finances possibility.

Apple Chief Working Officer Jeff Williams.

Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner kicked off Apple’s keynote presentation by saying that “Apple Watch revolutionized what a watch may do,” earlier than virtually instantly throwing to Apple COO Jeff Williams to introduce the brand new Watch fashions. There wasn’t the standard litany of bulletins, retail updates, and so on. that we are inclined to get on the high of a keynote like this. It was proper into Apple Watch from the highest, and it was made clear that this can be a big precedence for Apple proper now.

Earlier than moving into the brand new {hardware} although, each Cook dinner and Williams made a degree of emphasizing the completely different apps and companies that they make the most of on their Apple Watches. They positioned the Apple Watch as a private portal to a complete host of issues that vary from each day requirements to health instruments to diversions. This led right into a recap of the brand new options coming to watchOS 7, which rolls out tomorrow, September 16, together with issues like sleep monitoring and a hand-washing app. You can learn more about that here. This might transform some critical foreshadowing, as Apple launched different companies that work together with Apple Watch, together with Health+ and the brand new Apple One program, however these are tales for one more time.

The brand new colorways: blue aluminum, purple aluminum, graphite metal, and gold metal.

For now, let’s discuss {hardware}. Up first is the brand new Apple Watch Sequence 6, the newest iteration on Apple’s flagship smartwatch. For probably the most half, the shape issue and primary look have stayed the identical, with the edge-to-edge screens, case form, and Digital Crown all remaining principally the identical. What’s new, nevertheless, is a bunch of latest shade and materials choices. There’s an up to date model of the gold-finished stainless-steel case, a brand new graphite gray metal case, a blue aluminum case, and a purple aluminum case for Product(Crimson). The opposite colorways stay unchanged, so whether or not you need a Area Black titanium case in your Apple Watch Version or the gold-toned aluminum, you are coated. The brand new gold-colored metal case appears to be like a bit lighter and extra low-key than the earlier model, and I am excited to see what it appears to be like like in particular person

The Sequence 6 can now measure your blood oxygen stage utilizing new sensors.

The true huge {hardware} information, although, is the introduction of a brand new sensor array on the again of the Sequence 6. For the primary time, this features a set of purple and infrared lights and complementary sensors that may measure your blood oxygen stage. All it’s a must to do is activate an app, wait 15 seconds, and also you get an prompt readout. The Sequence 6 additionally takes background readings periodically, so your Watch can let if one thing is amiss (much like what it has already performed with coronary heart fee and rhythm).

The place issues begin to get attention-grabbing is once we get into watch faces and watch bands. A centerpiece of the keynote was a presentation narrated by Apple’s VP of Human Interface Design, Alan Dye, strolling us by means of all the brand new watch face choices. If you have not heard my interview with him on HODINKEE Radio from final 12 months’s Sequence 5 launch, I extremely advocate you verify that out. My foremost takeaway: The brand new watch faces are what you get when somebody who actually understands and appreciates watches is on the helm. There is a souped-up Chronograph Professional face with issues like a tachymeter, there is a GMT face that resembles a sure basic sport watch, there is a Depend Up face that makes use of a digital timing bezel, after which there are a bunch of latest enjoyable faces together with a Memoji face, a Typograph face, and a face designed by artist Geoff McFetridge. When Dye says their guideline for designing these faces was “a deep respect for the historical past for timekeeping,” I imagine him.

The Solo Loop is a contiguous loop of silicone with no buckle.

After which we have straps. So. Many. Straps. The large information on that entrance is a pair of straps known as the Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop, each of which function completely seamless designs, so there are not any clasps or buckles to fret about. You choose your dimension (there are a bunch on provide) and easily stretch the band over your wrist. It would not get extra minimal than this. The Solo Loop is fabricated from liquid silicone, and the Braided Solo Loop is fabricated from 100% recycled yarn with silicone threads woven into it for stability and stretch. As somebody who may be very fussy about how my straps and bracelets match, I’m tremendous excited to strive these out. There’s additionally a brand new Leather-based Hyperlink bracelet that pushes in the identical seamless route. Lastly, each Nike+ and Hermès Watches have new strap choices in quite a lot of colours and types.

The Braided Loop is paying homage to a Perlon strap, however with out the buckle.

For the nerds, the Sequence 6 is powered by a brand new chipset that Apple calls the S6. This has a dual-core processor based mostly on the A13 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 11 Professional, and it ought to run 20% sooner than the chip within the Sequence 5. The always-on show additionally has elevated brightness capabilities for when it is in ambient mode, with the intent of creating it simpler to learn your watch outside at a look.

Costs for the Sequence 6 are proper in step with what costs have been for the Sequence 5, so that you’re taking a look at a $399 beginning worth for the aluminum fashions with GPS, and you may spec out an Apple Watch Sequence 6 Version as much as almost $1,000 if you need all the additional bells and whistles along with mobile capabilities. There are additionally Hermès and Nike+ fashions out there at a premium, each that includes new strap and watch face choices too.

Apple Watch SE fashions.

Now, if you need a barely cheaper Apple Watch, you are in luck. Apple additionally launched the Apple Watch SE, the extra budget-friendly different to the Sequence 6. This watch has the bigger shows of the brand new fashions in addition to lots of the identical sensors inside (though it would not have the blood oxygen stage sensors). It has an aluminum case, out there in silver, Area Gray, and gold, and there are additionally just a few Nike+ fashions within the combine. All of the watch bands out there for the opposite fashions work on the SE, as do many of the new watch faces. It makes use of an S5 chip, making it twice as quick because the Sequence 3, which is the least costly model nonetheless on sale. Williams known as the SE “the proper watch for brand new prospects,” and it begins at $259 for GPS fashions with 24-month financing out there by means of Apple. 

An assortment of latest Watches and Watch Faces.

The one factor that I discover a bit complicated about this new two-release set-up is the truth that Apple is protecting the previous Sequence Three within the line-up too. With costs beginning at $199, sure, the Sequence Three is about $60 lower than the brand new SE. But when the SE is supposed to be the “inexpensive” and entry-level Watch, why preserve a mannequin within the assortment that is even cheaper? I am all for making these merchandise as accessible as attainable to as many individuals as attainable, however this three-tier strategy does have me scratching my head a bit.

A pair of Sequence 5 Hermès Watches, with new straps and faces.

Total, it looks like this 12 months is extra of a “tock” 12 months within the regular “tick-tock” cycle, simply as we anticipated, with a 12 months of large {hardware} redesign adopted by a extra incremental 12 months of refinement and aesthetic updates. There are a selection of serious modifications, positive, however until blood oxygen ranges are a make-or-break function for you, the Sequence 6 is basically a souped-up Sequence 5 with a ton of latest watch faces, case supplies, and strap choices.

The brand new Apple Watch fashions, each Sequence 6 and SE, can be found for pre-order at this time immediately from Apple and can begin delivering this Friday, September 18. They need to even be out there in Apple Shops throughout the globe on Friday. Keep tuned – we’ll have tons extra in-depth protection of the brand new Apple Watch fashions for you very quickly. (If you happen to want a refresher, check out the review of last year’s Series 5 in the meantime.)

Editor’s notice: Watch firms typically announce new merchandise to the HODINKEE editorial crew and the HODINKEE Store on the identical time. Please notice that the editorial crew and the Store crew produce their content material independently of one another.

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