This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE will be released on September 18. Prior to the launch, I was able to wrap my arm around both of these devices and try them out. Due to the short time we had, we didn't have access to any sleep apps or anything like that, but we'll bring you our first impressions as soon as possible.
Let's start with the Apple Watch Series 6. It has inherited the design from the Apple Watch Series 4 and onwards, so at first glance it looks the same, but the new blue aluminum color we borrowed is brighter than the black one. Nevertheless, it's a deep blue and looks calmer, which makes it a good match for more formal clothing. I prefer stainless steel as I want my accessories to shine like precious metals, but aluminum is the better choice for ease of handling.
I was also able to attach the newly introduced "Solo Loop" band without clasps or holes. At first glance, the texture is similar to that of Sport Band, but the band expands and fits your arm when you stretch it out. Due to the borrowed one, the size is a bit small and feels tight, but if you choose the right one, it looks good to use. There are no clasps, so it looks minimalistic and is easy to put on and take off. They don't come off accidentally and are perfect for sports.
The first thing I noticed immediately when using the Apple Watch Series 6 was its responsiveness. I'm usually using two generations of the previous Series 4, so I could feel the difference, and since the Series 4 isn't extremely slow, the difference may be vague in terms of numbers, I got the impression that some of the details have been improved, such as the fact that the app launches instantly.
One of the things I'm personally happy about with the Apple Watch Series 6 is the support for 5 GHz Wi-Fi. At home, I sometimes leave my iPhone on the charger and put the Apple Watch on to go to another room in the house, but up until now, it could only connect to the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band. Due to interference issues, my home Wi-Fi was moving to 5 GHz, but now that the Apple Watch is compatible, it's time to stop using the 2.4 GHz band. When I turned off Bluetooth on my iPhone side in the office where I only use 5GHz Wi-Fi for trial, Apple Watch Series 6 was able to connect safely.
The Apple Watch Series 6 follows the Series 5 with an always-on display, and one of the improvements is that it's now brighter. By changing the design of the screen to a black background when it's not active and stopping any movements such as the second hand, it helps to reduce battery consumption. On the other hand, the display on the Series 5 was a bit darker when inactive, which was a drawback. The Apple Watch Series 6 is said to be about 25 percent brighter than the Series 5, and in fact, you can read texts and other information well even when outdoors and inactive.
Checking the time is a basic requirement for a watch, so this is a nice improvement. However, it will still be black-based when inactive in order to reduce battery consumption. If you're using any other color-based dial, the screen will only appear in its original color when you lift the wrist or tap the screen. If you're used to analog watches, you may feel uncomfortable with this feature. If you want to use the always-on function, choose a black-based dial.
We also tried out the Blood Oxygen sensor and app, which are new to the Series 6. The first time you launch the app, you'll be given guidance. Attach it securely to your wrist slightly away from your wrist, place your arm on a table, or something similar to hold it in place, then wait 15 seconds to measure your blood oxygen. I measured it at 97%. This app is only for wellness and not for medical use, but you can use it to keep track of values and take care of your health.
Next up is the Apple Watch SE, a device that is more impacted by its price starting at 29,800 yen than by its features, but it doesn't look cheap at all. Since it's based on the Apple Watch Series 5, the display is also large and the material is the same. However, the SE is not available in a stainless steel case, so it's not for those who are more interested in shine.
Unfortunately, the watch can't be displayed all the time, and the display will blackout if you don't lift your wrist, but users who have only used it up to Series 4 will feel right at home. It has all the basic features of an Apple Watch, so people who have never used it before can easily have it as an entry-level model. The Apple Watch SE also has a built-in eSIM and supports cellular communication, so you can use the Family Setup, which is new to watchOS 7. This looks like a great way to let your kids have it instead of a kid's phone. Now we're hoping that the mobile phone carrier's rates will be a bit cheaper.
Related Article (Japanese):
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.