Without the iPhone 12 lineup "stealing" the show in the recent Apple Event, the two new Apple Watches and iPad Air 4 shone through. Some take great joy in watching Apple announce and release new products, but not everyone thinks that way. Others are left wondering: should I upgrade my Apple XX?
As the iPad Air 4 is not available until next month, the question mark hangs over whether to upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 6.
What's New With the Apple Watch Series 6?
In case you stopped watching as soon as Tim Cook implied that there would be "no iPhone 12 today" during the keynote, here are some of the Apple Watch 6 highlights:
Blood Oxygen Tracking
Since the debut of the original Apple Watch 5 years ago, health tracking functions have been a big part of the Apple Watch system. With people becoming more aware of their fitness and monitoring existing health conditions, this new Apple Watch is taking health monitoring to the next level.
The Blood oxygen app checks how well your lungs are working and the acid-base balance in your blood by measuring your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. Although the test results from the Apple Watch Series 6 are not for medical purposes, the blood oxygen tracking feature is a great tool to monitor your own health. The test takes around 15 seconds to complete, and also completes the action in the background.
Equipped with the new S6 processor, Apple Watch Series 6 can perform 20% faster than Series 5. Everything, from texting to making payments is much smoother.
Moreover, the Series 6 can be fully charged in 1.5 hours, one hour less than the Series 5. However, as the new model also has more features, the battery can drain much faster. The always-on display is 2.5 times brighter, meaning it’s easier to read the notifications or metrics even when outdoors, even though the watch consumes more power.
These are the key differences between the Series 6 and older models.
So, Should I Upgrade to Series 6?
It Depends on What You Are Into
For fitness fanatics, the Apple Watch Series 6 seems to be a good investment. You get a new fancy watch plus a “pulse oximeter," a tiny device that clips onto the finger for measuring the concentration of oxygen in the blood. There could be more wellness-type features in the works that use the blood oxygen detection sensor.
However, something to note is that the Blood Oxygen Sensor cannot be used in Family Setup, so if you were planning on tracking a family member's health, you're out of luck.
If you enjoy owning the newest tech, go for the blue or red color options. Since Series 6 looks identical to all previous series', you'd be better off choosing a design that differentiates you from the rest.
It Depends On Which Apple Watch You Own
If you own an original Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 1 or 2, it's probably worth upgrading to Series 6. Those models are now discontinued, so you can’t enjoy the new features of watchOS 7.
If you have an Apple Watch Series 3, 4, or 5, you aren't missing out on any game-changing upgrades. Series 3 is still on sale, which is strong proof that it's still up to scratch.
That said, you can do things to refresh your old watch to make it look great again and last another few years.
Tips to Make Your Apple Watch Look Brand New
Update to watchOS 7
Along with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple also released the new Apple Watch operational system - watchOS 7, compatible with Series 3 and above.
The software update brings a lot more features than the hardware update: sleep tracking, hand washing detection, new watch faces, and more workout functions, to name a few. You can also use Family Setup to connect with your family members who own an Apple Watch, old or new, even if they don’t own an iPhone.
You can find new watch faces in the App Store or customize your own. This is a great way to refresh your not-so-new wearable since its the first thing you see when you look at your smartwatch.
Sidenote: Some Apple Watch users are reporting issues after updating to watchOS 7. You may want to take a wait-and-see approach.
Switch to A New Band
Some of the woven straps and sports bands can look worn and tired even after a short time, so replacing your Watch band is a way to revive your smartwatch by adding color and style.
A new seamless band has joined the bewildering array of Apple Watch bands: a solo loop without clasps or pins. The solo loop is perceptibly lighter and more comfortable to slip on and off. It's available in various colors and materials, including silicone and braided styles. The solo loop may be the easiest way to "disguise" your older watch.
Apple’s solo loop aside, there are plenty of choices out there. Try something unique that makes you stand out from the crowd, such as a carbon fiber watch strap. PITAKA will launch the world’s first 100% carbon fiber Apple Watch strap next month, so stay tuned!
Clean Your Apple Watch
Use a soft cloth to wipe out the dust and dirt, but for scuffs and scratches, they just don't magically disappear after a quick wipe. Whatever material its made from, the Apple Watch gets scratched, although some are more susceptible. Even though some people have allegedly rubbed scratches away using toothpaste, Apple doesn't suggest polishing any part of the Apple Watch with abrasives.
What's the next option? Use an Apple Watch case and screen protector to cover the wear and tear, as well as to protect your watch from additional damage.
Crafted from 600D aramid fiber, the Air Case from PITAKA is ultra-light, smooth and durable. It’s highly scratch and flame resistant, and easy to clean. It fits perfectly with Apple Watch Series 4/5/6/SE.
The Apple Watch Series 6 features new tech that has some people excited while others are left feeling disappointed. If the tech you are interested in is only available for Series 6, it's kind of a no-brainer, unless you have a tight budget. Otherwise, stick with your current Apple Watch, upgrade the software, and try some new accessories to make it (almost) good as new.
More on Apple Watch:
- 9 Cool Things to do with your Apple Watch
- Why You Should Stop Ruining Your Smartwatch and Get an Apple Watch Case
- Should You Only Buy Apple Accessories that are Apple MFi Certified?