Apple Watch Series 6 can measure blood oxygen levels and it’s available in red

The Apple Watch series 6 is finally official and it packs more health and fitness features on your wrist. On top of that, the new series also offers new finishes including a new watch band design that promises to offer greater comfort.

Similar to the previous generation, the new Apple Watch is offered in either 40mm or 44mm sizes. The Always-On Retina display has been improved with up to 2.5 times brighter than the Series 5, which makes it more readable under harsh sunlight. It runs on a newer dual-core Apple S6 SiP that claims to offer 20% better performance than the S5 chip in the Apple Watch Series 5.

Apart from the standard aluminium case which you can get in either silver, space grey or gold, the new Apple Watch series is also offered in (Product)Red that comes in matching red case and watch band. For a more premium finish, you can also get it in stainless steel with a choice of graphite and yellow gold.

The key headlining feature during the event is the Blood Oxygen sensor. The bottom of the watch now features four clusters of green, red and infrared LEDs, plus four photodiodes. Combined with a custom algorithm, the Apple Watch can measure blood oxygen between 70 to 100%. The Blood Oxygen sensor can be measured on demand or periodically even when you’re sleeping.

Apple has teamed up with research teams to conduct health studies on how blood oxygen levels can be used in various health applications. This includes using heart rate and blood oxygen levels to detect early signs of respiratory conditions like influenza and COVID-19.

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With the new WatchOS 7, there’s also a new Family Setup feature which allows users to use the Apple Watch without requiring an iPhone. Designed for kids or the elderly, an iPhone user can help setup the new watches which enables other family members to enjoy the same communication, health tracking and emergency services.

With the Family setup feature, parents can get alerts of their children’s whereabouts. It also can be used to receive fall detection notification for senior citizens.

This family feature would only work with the cellular version of the Watch. It will be rolled out to selected telcos in China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States.

The new watch also offers faster charging and you can get a full charge in under 1.5 hours. The Cupertino company has also done some optimisation to improve battery life for certain workouts such as indoor and outdoor runs. Similar to the previous generation, there’s also 50-metre rated water resistance which is suitable for swimming.

The Series 6 is also the first Apple Watch to support Ultra Wideband with the inclusion of a U1 chip. This would help in precision location tracking which is already offered on the current iPhone 11 series.

Apple has also introduced a new Solo Loop which claims to provide a tailored and comfortable fit without the use of clasps or buckles. It is a single stretchable piece that uses soft silicone and braided yarn.

There’s also a Braided Solo Loop band as well as a new Leather Link which wraps the around your wrist and it’s secured via magnets. Apple has also introduced new colour options for the Nike Sport Band and Nike Sport Loop.

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Apple has yet to reveal the Series 6 availability for Malaysia but the pricing is already out on the online store. Below is the official Apple Watch Series 6 pricing in Malaysia:

Aluminium + Sport Loop
40mm GPS – RM1,749
40mm GPS + Cellular – RM2,199
44mm GPS – RM1,899
44mm GPS + Cellular – RM2,349

Stainless Steel + Sport Loop
40mm GPS + Cellular – RM2,999
44mm GPS + Cellular – RM3,249

The Apple Series 3 remains the entry-level Watch at the moment with a starting price of RM849 for the 38mm version and RM999 for the 42mm size. Apple has also announced the Watch SE as their mid-range offering that starts from RM1,199 for the 40mm version and RM1,349 for the 44mm variant. The SE runs on a Apple S5 SiP but it lacks an always on display and ECG.

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Alexander Wong