Apple’s new Series 6 Watch with SpO2 technology (Unsplash, CcO)
On September 18, Apple released its new Apple Watch Series 6 to the public, but is it worth the extra $170? Let’s find out.
On the surface, Apple’s new Series 6 watch offers incremental upgrades from its previous models: better processor, better display. But this time, Apple integrated a new piece of hardware that will change the landscape for future watches: a pulse oximeter.
Now, other devices such as the Fitbit Charge 4, Versa 2, and the Fitbit Sense all have an emphasis on blood-oxygen monitoring, but this is the first time a company of Apple’s caliber has integrated this into their watch. A pulse oximeter will allow the watch to monitor your oxygen levels or oxygen saturation in your blood.
Monitoring your blood oxygen level can offer insights to health-related issues such as respiratory illness, headaches, and shortness of breath among other concerns. Athletes also find this useful when going through intensive workouts or competitions. More importantly, the SpO2 sensor helps to monitor and detect sleep apnea-a sleep disorder that if ignored may increase blood pressure and lead to sudden heart attacks. The Apple Watch Series 6 helps monitor your blood oxygen levels while you sleep and gives you a comprehensive report when you wake up. More generally, the pulse oximeter also offers useful health data to those suffering from pneumonia and asthma.
Of course, with any new piece of technology, there are bound to be some issues. Occasional mixed readings and error messages, as well as its similar 18-hour battery life from last year’s model have some people disappointed, but with new updates to watchOS7, these wrinkles should be ironed out soon.
Apple has certainly stepped up its game with this new model, so it comes at no surprise that they are the dominant leader in the watch industry.