Apple Watch Series 6 Reviews Roundup: Brighter and Faster, Blood Oxygen Measuring Requires Precise Fit

First impressions of the Apple Watch Series 6 have now been shared by select media outlets and YouTubers, providing a closer look at the device's new features, including blood oxygen measuring and a brighter always-on display.


Starting with blood oxygen measuring, Engadget's Valentina Palladino noted that the Apple Watch needs to be worn in a certain way to get a successful reading:

It took at roughly seven attempts of fiddling with the placement before I got it to work. Data came most often when the Watch was as far up my arm as my small/medium sports band would allow when secured on the third notch. Apple provides guidelines in the blood oxygen app that explain proper placement, and one of the things it advises is not to position the Watch too low on the wrist.

Palladino suggested that the new Solo Loop band may have been Apple's way of addressing this matter, as it kept the Apple Watch flush against her skin for accurate blood oxygen readings. Apple says the Solo Loop comes in nine sizes to provide an "ultracomfortable" fit, with a wrist sizing guide available on its website.

TechCrunch's Brian Heater was disappointed that the Series 6 continues to have the same advertised 18 hours of battery life as previous models, especially with the addition of sleep tracking. However, during its Time Flies event this week, Apple indicated that the Series 6 can charge 20 percent faster than the Series 5.

The Verge's Dieter Bohn said his favorite new feature is the brighter always-on display, which he described as "very bright." Bohn also offered praise for the new (PRODUCT)RED finish option, which looks quite vibrant in his photos.


Powered by a new S6 chip, Apple says the Series 6 is up to 20 percent faster than the Series 5. Rolling Stone's Brandt Ranj said that in real-world use, the Series 6 feels "incredibly fast," noting that apps load more quickly, Siri feels more responsive, and animations like the closing of Activity rings look a lot smoother.

Additional Impressions:

For more, we've also rounded up Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE unboxing videos.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Tag: reviews
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
The more I read about it, the more I think I’ll stick to the series 4. :(
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
The blood O2 sensor takes 15 seconds. Why can't a person just push the watch against the wrist if there is a problem with fit.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago


I ordered the £409 Series 6, and was originally doing the trade-in for my 2 year old Series 4 for £135 but instead managed to sell it for £250 yesterday... So I see it as the Series 6 only cost me £159

Apart from the £400 you spent initially for series 4?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago


There is a 15 second countdown for the test. I don't think it takes readings in the background all day.

According to the support page on Apple’s website it does take readings in the background.

About background measurements
The Blood Oxygen app on your Apple Watch will occasionally measure your blood oxygen levels if background measurements are on. This will usually happen when you are not moving. Depending on how active you are, the number of readings collected each day and the time between these readings will vary. “
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago


The more I read about it, the more I think I’ll stick to the series 4. :(

Ditto but series 3 here!


The blood O2 sensor takes 15 seconds. Why can't a person just push the watch against the wrist if there is a problem with fit.

Because it’s supposed to be silently taking readings all day. If it require manual intervention then that won’t work.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
6 weeks ago
Already ordered one in Blue.Can’t wait.Upgrading from the series 4.I’ve “downgraded” from a SS case to Aluminium ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Monday October 26, 2020 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results. In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in ...

Bloomberg: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Third HomePod Model Also Possible

Monday October 26, 2020 3:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to update its AirPods line next year with two new models including third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level AirPods and the second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds, according to people familiar with the plans. ...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...