The much-awaited fall launch event from the America-based tech giant, Apple, culminated with a revelation of some rather compelling hardware products and software updates. The virtual event was tightly-packed with a lineup of Apple watches and iPads, but it skipped the disclosure of the highly anticipated iPhone of the year. In the event, Apple revealed its latest Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE that supports the newest version of the operating system that runs on Apple smartwatches, watchOS 7.
Apple Watch Series 6 Facilitates Blood-Oxygen Monitoring
The Apple Watch Series 6 is the latest addition to the tech giant’s smartwatch lineup. One of the most striking features of the product, and perhaps even the selling point is the blood-oxygen monitoring feature that can return results in about 15 seconds. Amidst the pandemic, there has been a persistent need to monitor blood-oxygen levels to ensure proper breathing and circulation patterns. With the new Apple product, users will have a way to keep a regular check on the oxygen levels with a solution right at the disposal of the hand, quite literally.
Apple Watch Series 6 Specs
The blood-oxygen monitoring app and some of the newest features will be a part of the watchOS 7 that will be found in these latest smartwatches. The watch packs the S6 dual-core processor, much like the A13 Bionic processor of iPhone 11 and runs 20% times faster than the previous watches. Apple claims that the improved performance will be achieved while retaining the 18-hour battery life like the previous models. However, the device can be charged in just about 1.5 hours.
The device will also have the U1 Ultra Wideband support, and the company stated that this will “support new experiences, such as next-generation digital car keys.”
For the new model, the Always-On Retina display will be 2.5 times brighter than before to make it easy to look at the screen while outdoors. The device also incorporates the always-on altimeter sensor to detect elevation changes up to one foot of accuracy.
As for the design aspects, Apple has revealed an eye-catching colour palette. The Series 6 will be available in blue, silver, grey and gold in aluminium casing along with a brand new (PRODUCT)RED version with a striking red band. As for the stainless steel models, the colour options are graphite, yellow-gold and silver. Apple also announced the new strap branded as “Solo Loop”, made up of silicon and braided yarn. There will be five colour options to choose from for this particular design.
Price and Availability
In India, the product will be available from Rs. 40,900 for the GPS variant. The S6 (GPS + Cellular) version will be available from a starting price of Rs. 49,900. Both the variants will be available in sizes of 40mm and 44mm.
Pre-orders for the product have commenced in the US. The watch will be available from 18th September 2020 in the country. Details about the availability in India has not been disclosed yet and is expected to be revealed soon.
Apple Watch SE
Apple also announced the Apple Watch SE that includes some of the features of the Series 6 including the altimeter, gyroscope and accelerometer. The Watch SE is powered by S5 System in Package (SiP) and a dual-core processor which is expected to improve its performance by up to 20% as compared to the Apple Watch Series 3. The Watch SE also includes a W3 wireless chip and features a Retina display that is 30% larger than that of its predecessor Series 3. However, it does not have the Always-On Retina display feature as that of Series 6.
Watch SE, like Series 6, comes in 40mm and 44mm displays. It is also compatible with the silicone and yarn braided Solo Loop that was newly announced in the same event. Additionally, the model will be available in three different aluminium cases.
Price and Availability
The Watch SE is much more affordable compared to Apple Watch Series 6. It packs “the most essential features” of Series 6. The GPS version will be available at a starting price of Rs. 29,900. The GPS+Cellular model, on the other hand, will be available at a starting price of Rs. 33,900.
The availability in India has not been disclosed as of now. However, the device will be available in the US from 18th September. Pre-orders in the US have been commenced.
watchOS 7, Fitness Plus, Family Setup
As discussed, these latest watches will have the watchOS 7 operating system. With this update, developers will be able to offer customisable complications. The company also unveiled watch faces such as Chronograph Pro, Emoji face, Typography, Artist, Stripes, among others. Additional features include sleep tracking, hearing protection, hand-washing detection, ability to share watch faces, etc. Additionally, the emergency SOS feature will allow users to reach out for emergency services with the push of a button.
watchOS 7 also features a Family Setup that will allow parents to set up Apple watches for their kids without an iPhone. Parents will be able to monitor the children’s location and messages. This feature requires a cellular Watch Series 4 or later models and will only be available only in select countries as of now.
The watchOS 7 also comes with the Fitness Plus activity app that includes workout tracking and virtual sessions. The app will be available at $9.99 (about Rs.700) per month or $79.99 (about Rs. 5,900) per year. There will be a three-month free trial with the purchase of Apple Watch Series 3 or later models. It will be rolled out to the public by the end of this year. Initially, it will be available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.