Apple makes the Watch Series 6 and Watch SE official
Apple has announced the latest update to its Watch in the course of its event (or series of press releases, really) today (September 15, 2020). As predicted in various leaks, there is indeed more than 1 model in this 2020 generation of smartwatches. However, only some of them were correct on their names: they comprise the Series 6 proper and the inaugural SE version.
The new flagship Apple Watch sets itself apart with a range of new colors, including blue and PRODUCT: RED for its aluminium units; graphite and yellow gold for its stainless steel variants; and silver or black in those with titanium cases.
The Series 6 also has a new, "faster" S6 system-in-package (SiP). It powers new areas of watchOS 7 that govern sleep tracking, new workout modes, an automatic handwashing setting and a watchface-sharing section.
It also controls the Watch Series 6's altimeter as well as the long-hyped blood oxygen sensor. The former tracks elevation in real-time and can display this data as a new watchface complication. The latter is made of green, red, and infrared LEDs sorted into 4 clusters.
They work with the Watch's rear-facing photodiodes to gain what Apple insists is the best measurement possible. They are displayed and managed using the new Blood Oxygen app within watchOS 7. The S5 SiP-powered SE does not get this new sensor; however, it does get the altimeter and has the new software out of the box.
Apple notes that it has the largest dial on a Watch yet, being "30% larger" than that of the Watch Series 3. However, it also exhibits an undeniable bezel. Nevertheless, some areas of watchOS 7 seem more directed at it and its ostensible target audience. It supports easy-reading apps, faces and fonts, as well as Emergency SOS and Fall Detection, which can be toggled on via an easily-reached section in Apple's Health app.
The Watch SE (and Series 6) can also work without an iPhone thanks to Family Setup. It allows the wearable to be tethered to a family member's mobile device so as to use certain customization and communication features independently. This new, "beginner's" Apple Watch has GPS-only and cellular SKUs, which start at US$279 and $329. They come in the 'old' gold, silver or space gray colors in cases made of "100% recycled" aluminium.
The Series 6 also has these options: they start at $399 and $499 respectively.The 2020 Apple Watches can be ordered from now via the OEM's own channels, but won't start shipping until September 18, 2020.