Apple Unveils Apple Watch Series 6 With Blood Oxygen Monitoring and New Color Options

Apple today announced the new Apple Watch Series 6, sporting several new features including blood oxygen monitoring and multiple color options.

Apple delivers apple watch series 6 09152020 big
Oxygen saturation, or SpO2, represents the percentage of oxygen being carried by red blood cells from the lungs to the rest of the body, and indicates how well this oxygenated blood is being delivered throughout the body.

With Apple Watch Series 6, users can detect their blood oxygen right from their wrist, thanks to advanced algorithms that measure the color of the wearer's blood. To compensate for natural variations in the skin and improve accuracy, the Blood Oxygen sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs, along with the four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood.

It's capable of taking readings manually in 15 seconds, plus it gives periodic background readings, including while the user sleeps. The new Blood O2 feature will also support research studies that explore asthma, heart failure, and flu/covid studies.

The Apple Watch Series 6 includes a new sixth-generation chip, with a dual-core processor based on Apple's A13 chip, which is 20 percent faster than the previous generation model.

"Apple Watch Series 6 completely redefines what a watch can do," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. "With powerful new features, including a Blood Oxygen sensor and app, Apple Watch becomes even more indispensable by providing further insight into overall well-being."

In addition, the Series 6 has a 2.5x brighter outdoor always-on display, including an always-on altimeter.

f1600189839
The always-on altimeter provides real-time elevation all day long by using a new, more power-efficient barometric altimeter, along with GPS and nearby Wi-Fi networks. This feature allows for the detection of small elevation changes above ground level, up and down to the measurement of 1 foot, and can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.

Exclusive to the Series 6 is a new blue aluminum case, an updated classic gold stainless steel, and graphite stainless steel, and an Apple Watch PRODUCT(RED).

Apple watch series 6 aluminum red case 09152020 carousel
There are also new watch faces with the Series 6, including a Tachymeter, MeMoji, Stripe faces to show pride, team colors, and more.

watchOS 7 also brings sleep tracking and will also soon give users warnings for low VO2 Max levels.

Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) starts at $399 and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499.

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of Apple's virtual "Time Flies" event today. Refresh for more details and follow our live blog.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

JDHiro Avatar
22 months ago
Love my S5, but the updates in this generation seem a bit too incremental to justify an update.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
badlydrawnboy Avatar
22 months ago

Perhaps I misread but what is the purpose of the O2 integration of its for studies?

what benefit does it provide to the user?
In the Covid era, it's one of the most important metrics to track. If you get Covid and your O2 sat starts dropping, you need to seek medical attention right away. It could help you to avoid a ventilator and a very bad outcome.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GIZBUG Avatar
22 months ago
This promo video cracks me up. I am waiting for the machine learning voice to say "what about a battery that lasts more than a day on a single charge?" and a person saying "Oh, it doesn't do that!"
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
benshive Avatar
22 months ago
Heart rate, ECG, VO2, and blood oxygen level along with everything else in the watch. It's really mind-blowing how much tech is packed into such a small device...
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
22 months ago
Blue is this year's color! can't wait for the iphone!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
QCassidy352 Avatar
22 months ago

Love my S5, but the updates in this generation seem a bit too incremental to justify an update.
Agreed. Blood oxygen, always on altimeter, brighter AOD outdoors, 20% faster. Probably not gonna notice any of that in the day to day.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple watch series 7

Apple Offering Up to $235 Extra Trade-In Savings for Customers Upgrading to Apple Watch Series 7 This Month

Thursday February 24, 2022 1:55 am PST by
Apple has begun offering additional trade-in savings on the Apple Watch Series 7 when customers upgrade from an earlier model during February, which is Heart Month. Apple is offering all customers who trade in an Apple Watch this month up to $235 in extra trade-in savings to encourage owners of older Apple Watch models to upgrade to the latest model. The extra trade-in values apply to...
Apple Watch Series 7 Rainbow Cropped Blue Discount

Deals: 41mm Stainless Steel Apple Watch Series 7 Drops to New Low Price of $449.99 ($249 Off)

Tuesday February 22, 2022 6:38 am PST by
Amazon today has a rare, steep discount on the stainless steel model of the Apple Watch Series 7. You can get the 41mm Cellular Stainless Steel Apple Watch Series 7 with Starlight Sport Band for $449.99, down from $699.00, thanks to a coupon that will be applied at the checkout screen. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
apple watch ecg

Apple Watch Likely to Gain Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Blood Alcohol Monitoring

Monday May 3, 2021 4:03 am PDT by
The Apple Watch may gain the ability to measure blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood alcohol levels, according to newly-revealed information about one of Apple's chosen business partners. Apple has been revealed to be the largest customer of the British electronics start-up Rockley Photonics, The Telegraph reports. Rockley Photonics has developed non-invasive optical sensors for...
Apple Watch Series 8 What We Know Feature

Gurman: Apple Watch Series 8 to Bring 'Major Updates to Activity Tracking'

Monday February 28, 2022 3:45 am PST by
This year's Apple Watch Series 8 will include major updates in the area of activity tracking and a faster chip that will power all of Apple's smartwatch models in a new-look lineup, according to well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Apple is believed to be bringing three new Apple Watch models to customers in 2022, including the Apple Watch Series 8, an updated Apple Watch SE, and ...
apple watch series 3 trio

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 3 May Finally Be Discontinued Upon Its Fifth Anniversary in Q3 2022

Monday March 21, 2022 6:10 am PDT by
Apple may finally discontinue the Apple Watch Series 3 when it reaches five years of age in the third quarter of 2022, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a tweet, Kuo said that the Apple Watch Series 3 may reach the end of its life in the third quarter of 2022 because its computing power will not be able to meet the requirements of a new version of watchOS. The Apple Watch...
prosser green apple watch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Two Major Upgrades

Wednesday May 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 is rumored to feature two main upgrades, according to recent reports. The first significant change is a completely new design. Last year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the 2021 Apple Watch would undergo a redesign. Now, leaker Jon Prosser has revealed renders purporting to be of that new design based on leaked real-world images and CAD files from a...
series6leds

iOS 15 Hints at Rumored Apple Watch Series 7 Feature

Wednesday June 23, 2021 3:17 am PDT by
A new feature in Apple's upcoming iOS 15 update appears to lay the groundwork for a rumored Apple Watch Series 7 health monitoring feature. iOS 15, Apple's recently-announced major software update for the iPhone, features a number of additions to the Health app, such as the ability to share health data with other people, trends, new metrics for walking steadiness, and more. One of the...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors

2022 Apple Watch Lineup Rumored to Include New Apple Watch SE and 'Rugged' Model for Sports

Sunday December 5, 2021 8:22 am PST by
Apple is planning an entire revamp of its Apple Watch lineup for 2022, including an update to the Apple Watch SE and a new Apple Watch with a rugged design aimed at sports athletes, according to respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for 2022, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple is planning an update to ...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
EA Apple Maybe Feature

Apple Reportedly Talked With Electronic Arts About Potential Acquisition

Monday May 23, 2022 10:58 am PDT by
Apple is one of several companies that have held talks with Electronic Arts (EA) about a potential purchase, according to a new report from Puck. EA has spoken to several "potential suitors," including Apple, Amazon, and Disney as it looks for a merger arrangement. Apple and the other companies declined to comment, and the status of the talks is not known at this time, but Apple does have an ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...