Updated July 2021
Written by Sian Babish Authors 's image

PRODUCT REVIEW: Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6 is an advanced smartwatch with a wealth of new features. For Apple users, this wearable device operates as a mini command center to manage health data.

Bottom Line

Health-focused features and seamless integration into the Apple ecosystem make it a vital device.

Pros: Better battery life than the Series 5. New sensors and a sleep tracking app. Quick and easy setup. Precision workout tracking. Screen is bright and crisp. Quick access to Siri.

 

Cons: Not compatible with Android. Sleep app is limited. Mixed reviews regarding accuracy. Expensive and a bit bulky.

 

Who is it for? Apple enthusiasts who want to be active or want in-depth monitoring of health data.

 

What does it do? Monitors basic health information like blood oxygen level, heart rate, activity, and sleep. Integrates with popular fitness apps.

 

How much does it cost? Pricing starts at $399. Continue reading for details.


Shopping guide for Apple Watch Series 6

Written by Sian Babish
Updated July 2021

What comes in the box

Apple Watch Series 6 comes with a watch case, band, and charger.

 

It also comes with free access to Apple Fitness+ for a limited time.


Technology

Display: Always-On Retina LTPO OLED display, which is 2.5 times brighter outdoors than previous iterations.

 

Resolution: Varies slightly between case styles. See below for details.

 

Chip: Sg6 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor, W3 Apple wireless chip, and U1 (ULtra Wideband) chip. Faster, more intuitive, and more responsive than previous iterations.

 

Memory: 32GB internal memory for music, podcasts, and such.

 

Protection: Water-resistant to 164 feet; wear it in showers, pools, ocean.

 

Features

Location: Location-based features include GPS/GNSS tracking, map app, and compass. Altimeter tracks real-time elevation changes.

 

Health: 02 sensor takes instant readings. ECG application works like an electrocardiogram device.

 

Safety alerts: Sensors offer fall detection and monitor for potential heart arrhythmia. Users can contact emergency services with the Emergency SOS feature, though availability varies depending on network/Wi-Fi.

 

Fitness tracking: Select a specific activity or workout. Watch adjusts for accurate tracking. Activity Rings motivate you to sit less and move more.

 

Stay connected: Speaker and mic allow you to message and take calls.

 

Sleep tracking: Tracks hours slept, heart rate, and movement. DND for distraction-free sleep.

Power

A built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery powers the watch for up to 18 hours. It takes about 90 minutes to charge.


Connectivity

Apple Watch Series 6 is Bluetooth 5.0-compatible. Wi-Fi compatibility includes Wireless B, Wireless G, and Wireless N networks.


Compatibility

Only compatible with iPhone 6s models or later. Devices must run on iOS 14 or later. Incompatible with Android.


Warranty

Apple offers a one-year limited warranty on defects in materials and workmanship.

 

Warranty claims are managed on a case-by-case basis. Apple may repair the watch at no cost, refund the original price, or exchange it for an equivalent.

 

Apple does not represent that it can replace or repair every watch and takes no responsibility for data loss.

 

For full warranty details, visit this page.


Extended coverage

AppleCare is Apple’s extended coverage program starts at $79. Monthly and fixed-term plans available.

 

For detailed information, visit this page.

 

AppleCare covers two years of Apple-certified service and support, battery service coverage, and 24/7 priority access to technical support. It also covers two incidents of accidental damage every 12 months.

 

View additional coverage information on this page.
 

Limitations
 

  • Fitness app and Health app aren’t integrated out of the box
  • Incompatible with Android
  • Fewer first-party (Apple) band options than third-party options
  • Only works with iPhone 6s or newer running iOS14 or a newer operating system


Variations

GPS-only and GPS + Cellular

Available as GPS or GPS + Cellular.

 

The GPS-only Apple Watch relies on Bluetooth for internet. You must have your phone on you and connected for internet-based functions.

 

The Apple Watch Series 6 GPS + Cellular variant doesn’t need this connection, but it drains the battery faster.

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Case specs

40mm case: 40 x 34 x 10.7 millimeters. Aluminum case 30.5 grams; stainless-steel 39.7 grams; titanium 34.6 grams.

 

44mm case: 44 x 38 x 10.7 millimeters. Aluminum case 36.5 grams; stainless steel 47.1 grams; titanium 43.1 grams.


Case and band styles

You can get several case colors, finishes, and a variety of band styles.

 

If you purchase through Apple, you can design it from the ground up. Otherwise, you are limited to what is in stock.

 

Case: Options include space gray, silver, black, blue, red, graphite, and gold.

 

Band styles: A range of colors, materials, and designs. Adjustable woven and silicone sport bands; flexible solo loop bands that slip over the wrist; premium bands of mesh, stainless steel, or leather.

Pricing

Price runs between $399 and $799*. 

 

Mark-downs often occur during major shopping events. Through Apple, you may get free shipping.

 

Eligible consumers can pay in monthly installments as low as $16.62. Additional details here.

 

*Pricing is subject to change.
 

Where can I buy Apple Watch Series 6?

Buy directly from Apple or from a variety of retailers. Apple cautions consumers to only buy from authorized sellers. Third-party products are not subject to the same coverage or support.

 

Here are retailers that sell Apple Watch Series 6.
 

 

About Apple

Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in a Cupertino, California garage. Wayne exited the company; Jobs and Wozniak continued their goal of mainstreaming computers.

 

Apple I debuted in 1976. In 1977, commercial success came with Apple II, the first mass-produced microprocessor. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the device appealed to amateur programmers because its data could be manipulated.

 

Soon after, the first “application” for Apple II debuted with VisiCalc, a customizable spreadsheet program. This catapulted Apple into the consumer electronics space in the 1980s, where they competed with other rapidly growing tech companies like Microsoft, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard.

 

In the early 1990s and 2000s, Apple continued to compete with devices like Macintosh II and iMac. Over the next decade, they debuted a wealth of bestselling devices including iPod, iPhone, and iPad. In 2015, they released the first Apple Watch.

 

Today, Apple continues to innovate. The company boasts corporate diversity, which includes 53% of new hires from historically underrepresented groups. It maintains high standards in sustainable manufacturing and supplier responsibility.

Contacting customer service

If you’d like to get in touch with Apple about your Apple Watch, there are several ways to connect with customer support.
 

Owner manual

  • Find the online user guide here.
  • Guide to setting up/pairing with iPhone is here.

How to set up your watch

1.   Attach the band to the case. Put it on.

2.  Turn on the watch. Pair it with your iPhone following

     on-screen prompts.

3.  Select a watch face.

     a. Scroll through designs by swiping left or right.

     b. To select, tap once.

4. Once the watch displays several apps, tap any app to open

    it. Tap again to return Home.

5.  View settings by tapping on the Control Center. Adjust to

     your preference.

 

For more detailed setup instructions, visit the online user guide here.

 

Apple Watch comes with a partial charge. To get a full battery, let it charge for 90 minutes.

Ways to use your Apple Watch Series 6

Health

Your Apple Watch offers health features that track metrics instantly.

 

The watch is more portable and user-friendly than many standalone health monitors.

 

Fitness

The Apple Watch lets you select your activity or sport for precise tracking. You can also use the Activity Rings app to remind you to move.

 

Apple Pay

Instead of carrying credit cards everywhere, wearers can use the Apple Watch 6 as a digital wallet through Apple Pay. View detailed instructions here.

 

Manage messaging

Manage messaging hands-free with your new Apple Watch. Control responses via voice command or the touchscreen, or make calls without dialing with Siri.

 

Family Setup

If members of your household have a watch but no iPhone yet, you can facilitate pairing through Family Setup. Use messaging, phone, or Walkie-Talkie mode.

Visit this page for instructions on using Family Setup.

 

Apple Fitness+

This subscription-based service offers a collection of workouts from experts. It tracks performance through in-session metrics, transmitting data to your device.

 

The subscription starts at $9.99 a month. An annual subscription costs $79.99. Visit this page to learn more.

Common concerns

Reading accuracy

The ECG and Blood Oxygen sensor apps offer accuracy. However, apps are no replacement for a doctor’s care.

 

Some users report inaccurate readings. Ill-fitting watch bands and poor calibration may be the cause. Reading discrepancies also occur with physical movement.

 

For tips on getting accurate readings, visit this page.

 

Finding the right fit

It’s common for consumers to buy an Apple Watch sight unseen. The Series 6 has the option for solo loop bands, which are flexible but not adjustable like buckle bands.

 

Fortunately, Apple offers a printable document that lets you find the correct watch band size. View it here.

 

Touchscreen sensitivity

The Apple Watch Series 6 has a relatively small touchscreen. Some users worry it is too small to be sensitive. Most find success with a small learning curve.

 

Optional accessories

Apple Watch stand

An Apple Watch Stand holds your watch while it charges. It protects the watch from unnecessary contact/friction.

 

Charging station

The Anker PowerWave is a space-saving charging station. Use it to charge multiple devices without charging cable clutter.

 

Screen protector

This tempered glass screen protector is made of anti-scratch glass that protects the case. It pairs with popular fitness apps including Peloton, MyFitnessPal, Strava, and Adidas Runtastic.

How to find Apple Watch Series 6 on sale

The watch doesn’t go on sale often at the Apple Store. However, Apple often offers free shipping or free limited access to Apple Fitness+.

 

The watch is often on sale at Best Buy and Amazon, especially during major shopping events. The lowest price we’ve seen is $330, down from $399.

 

Similar products

A few other products are worth considering. Check out our pages on the best smartwatches and the best fitness trackers.

 

Apple Watch SE: This affordable Apple Watch tracks essential health information but lacks bells and whistles like the Blood Oxygen and ECG apps. Fewer case finishes available.

 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: This similarly priced design has military-grade durability and multi-day battery. It offers electrocardiogram readings but is not as quick or seamless as the Series 6.

 

Fitbit Versa 3 Health & Smart Watch: Amazon enthusiasts like this Alexa-enabled smartwatch that pairs with most smartphones. It takes 02 readings but not ECG readings.