Is the Apple Watch Series 6 worth it?

Is the Apple Watch Series 6 worth it?

It’s that time of year again — Apple launch season.

While many around the internet speculated that Apple’s socially distanced “Time Flies” event meant the new Apple Watch Series 6 was coming, Apple also threw us for a curveball with the budget-friendly Apple Watch SE.

The Series 6 is the most advanced Apple Watch yet. Maintaining the same, familiar form factor we’ve seen since the Series 4, we aren’t seeing a complete redesign. However, the Series 6 introduces new colors and health sensors, to help keep it fresh.

The new Apple Watch can be preordered now, and will become available Friday, September 18. In addition, Apple announced that the latest watchOS 7 software update will be released Wednesday, September 16 — available for all Apple Watch models from the Series 3 on.

Apple discontinued the apple watch Series 5 (presumably because the new Apple Watch SE offers much of the same features), but you can still find the Series 5 on Swappa with prices now starting at $289. With so many great Apple Watches available, as well as the upcoming software update, you may be wondering — is the new Series 6 worth it? Let’s take a look.

New features in the Apple Watch Series 6

Perhaps the most innovative addition is the new Blood Oxygen Sensor and app. A critical wellness indicator, your blood oxygen level can help you understand how much oxygen is being delivered to the body — all within 15 seconds. The Apple Watch Series 6 can measure your blood oxygen level on demand, as well in the background of everyday tasks. 

The sensor is made up of four LED clusters and four photodiodes, incorporated onto the redesigned back crystal. Infrared, green, and red LEDs shine light onto the blood vessels in your wrist, and advanced algorithms calculate your blood oxygen level based on the color of your blood. 

The Series 6 also introduced improvements to sleep monitoring, thanks to its more robust battery. The device delivers many hardware improvements, such as a faster S6 System in Package (SiP), a 64-bit dual-core processor and a W3 wireless chip. 

The always-on display was introduced in the Series 5, but now the display is said to be 2.5 times brighter. This will make it easier to read, especially when outdoors. Other new features include the always-on altimeter, providing real-time elevation information, and high and low heart rate notifications.

Apple is also partnering with health networks around the world to aid studies using its new blood oxygen measurement tool — including COVID-19 research. Wouldn’t it be cool if your Apple Watch could soon detect if you had the virus? While this feature is not yet available, it seems like Apple may be keeping that option open.

New features in watchOS 7

Apple revealed the beta version of the watchOS 7 software earlier this year, but this update is now available to all models dating back to the Series 3. The Series 6 will come preinstalled with the latest software.

This software improves sleep tracking support and introduces more customizable watch faces. Now, users can easily discover and share watch faces to fit their interests. There are faces for swimmers, doctors, astronomers, photographers, weather enthusiasts— you name it. You can create your own watch face and easily share your creation with friends. 

The software adds new workout types, like dance, functional strength training, core training, and cooldown. This makes it easy for users to easily track exercise. In addition, the watchOS7 automatically detects when you’re washing your hands and triggers a 20 second countdown — so you can ensure a thorough wash. 

watchOS 7 introduces Family Setup, allowing parents to manage their child’s Apple Watch without requiring them to own an iPhone of their own. This feature makes it easier for parents to keep tabs on their kids, as well as introduces parental controls and Do Not Disturb mode for school time focus. Now, the whole family can stay connected.

Coming later this fall, Apple will debut a rebranded Fitness app including at-home workouts. With new workouts available every week, the service will offer classes from some of the world’s top trainers. For $9.99 per month, get access to yoga, dance, cycling, strength training, and more without leaving your home. 

Apple Watch specs

Let’s take a look and see how the hardware specs compare from device to device.

Apple Watch Series 6Apple Watch SEApple Watch Series 5Apple Watch Series 4 Apple Watch Series 3
Size44mm or 40mm 44mm or 40mm 44mm or 40mm 40mm or 44mm case38mm or 42mm
Finishes (GPS only)GPS and GPS + Cellular modelsGPS and GPS + Cellular modelsGPS and GPS + Cellular modelsGPS and GPS + Cellular modelsGPS only
Finishes Aluminum,Stainless Steel, Titanium AluminumAluminum,Stainless Steel, Titanium,
Aluminum. Stainless sSteelAluminum
DisplayAlways-On Retina LTPO OLED display, 1000 nitsRetina LTPO OLED display, 1000 nitsAlways-On Retina LTPO OLED display, 1000 nitsRetina LTPO OLED display, 1000 nitsSecond-generation Retina OLED display, 1000 nits
ProcessorS6 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor; W3 wireless chip; U1 chip (Ultra Wideband)S5 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor; W3 wireless chipS5 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor; W3 wireless chipS4 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor; W3 wireless chipS3 SiP with dual-core processor; W2 wireless chip
Storage32GB capacity32GB capacity32GB capacity16GB capacity8GB capacity

The Series 6 also includes many familiar features we know and love from previous Apple Watch models. 

Introduced with the Series 5 model, the Series 6 also allows for international emergency calling. 

Since the Series 4 launch, we’ve seen fall detection, haptic feedback, and the introduction of the electrical heart sensor and the ECG app. The Apple Watch will also notify you if your heart rhythm becomes irregular and is water-resistant (up to 50 meters), as we’ve seen since the Series 1.

Apple Watch Series 6 price

And now for the biggest question — how much will it cost? The new Apple Watch Series 6 retails starting at $399 for the GPS only version, or $499 to include celular. The 40mm version will be a bit cheaper than the 44mm model, and it all comes down to how fancy you’ll want your band to be. 

Prices here on Swappa will vary based on the condition of the watch, whether Mint, Good, or Fair. While there’s no Apple Watch Series 6 listings on Swappa yet, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find cheaper, newish Series 6 options shortly. 

Should you get the new Series 6 now?

Apple Watch ModelPrice
Apple Watch Series 6Retail: $399+
Apple Watch SERetail: $279+
Apple Watch Series 5 (44mm)Swappa: $270+
Apple Watch Series 5 (40mm)Swappa: $279+
Apple Watch Series 4 (44mm)Swappa: $209+
Apple Watch Series 4 (40mm)Swappa: $240+
Apple Watch Series 3 (42mm)Swappa: $135+
Apple Watch Series 3 (38mm)Swappa: $150+
Prices as of September, 16 2020

Although the Apple Watch Series 6 brought some decent new features, not all of the features will be as important to everyone. With so many great features already available on older Apple Watches, not to mention the arrival of the budget-friendly Apple Watch SE, there’s no doubt many people will be satisfied without buying the brightest and shiniest version.

There are plenty of great Apple Watches you can buy for less. However, for individuals managing certain health conditions — you won’t want to say no to that blood oxygen level sensor. 

Apple Watch SE

With the same large Retina display as the Series 6, but with fewer bells and whistles, check out the latest Apple Watch SE. Available for preorder now and to be released September 18, the GPS + Cellular Apple Watch SE starts at $329, with the GPS only option as cheap as $279. 

Apple Watch Series 5

If you want the always-on display of the latest Series 6, but for less, look no further than the Series 5. Get it on Swappa, starting at $270.

Apple Watch Series 4

The first Apple Watch with Cellular models available, the Series 4 is a major upgrade from the Series 3. Including an ECG sensor and 50% louder speakers than the Series 3, the Series 4 is a great buy. Starting at $209 on Swappa.

Apple Watch Series 3

With a built-in altimeter and optical heart sensor, the Apple Watch Series 3 is still worth it in 2020. This device retails at $199, but you can get it on Swappa for as low as $135.