Apple has launched the Apple Watch Series 6, the latest in its line of popular smartwatches. The model has the same overall design introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 and continued with the Series 5, but it adds a variety of new sensors to allow for things like blood oxygen monitoring and better sleep tracking.
Apple says the Series 6 can measure blood oxygen levels in about 15 seconds, using both red and infrared light. The company says it’s partnering with health networks to start large-scale studies using the new blood oxygen measurement feature, including testing to see if it can detect if a person is infected with COVID-19.
The Series 6 also comes with the new S6 processor, which promises up to 20 percent faster performance. It’s based on Apple’s in-house A13 chip and brings the first major update to the Apple Watch’s performance. The Series 6 can recharge faster, though, going from zero to full in about 1.5 hours.
You’ll be able to get the Series 6 in gray, silver, gold, or blue aluminum finishes, or a new Product (RED) version that has a striking red finish on it. The stainless steel model is available in either graphite or yellow gold. The top-end Edition model is available in natural or black titanium.
The Series 6 will run watchOS 7, which Apple revealed at WWDC earlier this year. The software update — available for all models dating back to the Series 3 — adds native sleep tracking support, but the Series 6 will take that feature even further thanks to dedicated sensors. Other major updates coming in watchOS 7 include a rebranded Fitness app with new workouts, a hand-washing feature tailored for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, richer complications, and the ability to share watchfaces with others.
The Apple Watch Series 6 will be available starting at $399 for a 40mm model, the same price as the outgoing Series 5. Cellular models start at $499. The Series 6 is available to order starting today, September 15th, and will start shipping on Friday, September 18th.
Alongside the Series 6, Apple has also announced the Apple Watch SE, a lower cost model that has the features of last year’s Series 5.