Apple today announces two new updates to its wearable device, the Apple Watch — Apple Watch Series 6 and Watch SE. While the Series 6 is the new flagship Apple Watch, the SE is a more affordable version for those who can’t afford Apple’s other watches. The company announced the devices through a virtual event held from Cupertino, California today.
The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at ₹40,900 for the GPS version and at Rs. 49,900 for the cellular+GPS model. On the other hand, the Watch SE will start at Rs. 29,900 for the GPS version and Rs. 33,900 for the GPS+cellular version here in India.
The company didn’t disclose when these products will be available in India, but said they will be sold here soon. The new Watch bands will be available in October though, which is a hint at when the new Watches will start selling as well.
The Series 6 doesn’t push the boundaries for performance per se, but it has a blood oxygen monitor, which can be useful for various health applications. Apple has also partnered with various health organizations run large scale studies using data from the Watch. The blood oxygen saturation can be measured at any time, just like the heart rate sensor. With the new version, the Apple Watch can now measure heart rates, take ECG readings, and monitor blood oxygen levels, providing much more data for developers to build apps on.
The Series 6 Watch also retains the Always-On display and Apple says it’s 2.5x brighter now. It runs on a new Apple S6 chip, with a dual-core processor that’s based on Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset, which runs the current iPhones. The watch also has an always-on altimeter, which detects the change in elevation when you’re out on a run, hiking etc. The feature would be useful for fitness enthusiasts, who want a more accurate calculation of their workouts.
The Watch SE will compromise on certain features, but supports fall detection, a feature Apple introduced for the Watch earlier, allowing it to detect inadvertent falls and make automatic calls to emergency contacts if required. The device is also swim-proof, has an altimeter and other sensors.
Apple says the SE has a Retina display that’s 30 percent larger than the Series 3. There’s no mention of the Always-On display.
The new Watch is meant to make them accessible for more users. The Watch SE seems to be an upgraded version of the Apple Watch Series 3. Apple says the S5 chip will provide double the performance of the Series 3 and the SE will also have cellular models for this device.
Additionally, Apple also announced its new software for the watch — watchOS7, which required an Apple Watch Series 3 or above and iPhone 6S or above. With this, the company is announcing specific watch faces — the user interfaces for the watch — for specialized purposes, like surfing, healthcare, and more.
Further, WatchOS7 allows a new “Family Setup” feature, which lets parents set up an Apple Watch for their kids from their own iPhones. Apple says the feature will help kids and older adults who may not have an iPhone. It also helps parents set restrictions for app access on the watch through a feature called Schooltime.
Family Setup only works with cellular models of Apple Watch Series 4 and above and will be available in 12 countries and 18 cellular operators at launch. While India isn’t included in the list right now, the company said more countries will get the feature soon.
Further, there’s a new Solo Loop watch band for the Apple Watch now. This is a strap for the Apple Watch that doesn’t have any clasps and allows the watch to be simply slipped on and off your wrist. There’s a new leather band as well, alongside updates for the Nike band as well.
The Watch will also be part of Apple’s new focus on services now. The company announced a new Fitness+ service, which allows users to watch workout videos from professional trainers, see various workout metrics, and more. The service will launch with 10 popular workout types, like yoga, cycling, dance, treadmill run, and more. They will also work with many equipment brands.
The Fitness+ service will be available at $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, but it’s not available in India right now. Apple said the service will be available to new Watch buyers for free for three months.