The Apple Watch Series 6 is the perfect smartwatch for both leisure and fitness.

When it comes to smartwatches, it’s safe to say that Apple has the upper hand here. For years now, it has dominated the space with each new iteration of the Apple Watch, bringing new innovations to the table with every launch. While Android-based smartwatches also deserve their day in the sun, Apple has been a force to be reckoned with since the first-ever Apple Watch.

We’re now on the Apple Watch Series 6, which came out just a few months ago before the new iPhones. We’ve covered how the Apple Watch was like before, especially in terms of fitness — but that was for the Series 4. This time, we’ll be focusing on the Apple Watch Series 6 and all of its capabilities that make it the perfect watch for both fitness and leisure.

But first, let’s get the basics out of the way. First off, the Apple Watch Series 6 comes in two sizes again: 40mm or 44mm. For our review, we were given the Silver stainless steel case along with two straps, a Milanese mesh loop strap and a perforated Nike Sports strap. The Apple Watch Series 6 is also available in either GPS only or with GPS and cellular service.

Invest in the Nike Sports strap

When it comes to working out, especially while wearing a watch, you’d definitely want to get a strap that is not only comfortable but also durable. Of course, you can always get from third-party brands but, that doesn’t always hold a candle towards what Nike can do. Always one step ahead when it comes to technological innovations in our everyday items, the Nike Sports band is both durable and strong, yet surprisingly soft at the same time.

It’s made out of a custom high-performance fluoroelastomer with compression-molded perforations. These are the punctured holes along the strap that may give some trypophobia. In any case, it does make the strap a lot more breathable, which is great for when you’re working out. It’s also great when it comes to absorbing sweat without leaving any scent or stain. To keep it locked and secured, Nike also introduced an innovative pin-and-tuck clasp to keep it snug on your wrist.

Watch your blood oxygen level

Apple Watch Series 6
The sensors that rest beneath a new crystal glass caseback.

Apple brings an all-new sensor into play that monitors your blood oxygen level. The sensors can be found on the back of the watch; simply turn it over and you’ll find four LED lights aligned with four photodiodes. By emitting green, red, and infrared LED lights onto the blood vessels of your wrist, the photodiodes measure the amount of light reflecting back. With the data captured, it goes through a specific algorithm that calculates the colour of your blood, indicating the amount of oxygen present.

But how important is it to keep track of our blood oxygen levels in our daily lives? First off, we have to know what measuring our blood oxygen levels are all about. In short, it measures the amount of oxygen your red blood cells can carry. In all honesty, if you’re an able-bodied human being with no pre-existing conditions, you will be fine. According to Healthline, a normal blood oxygen level reading should fall between 95 – 100%. If you fall anywhere between there, you’re good to go. This is also a good way to keep track of your overall well being and fitness levels. I usually use it a few times a day to keep track — mostly because the animation was exceptionally well done.

Always-On and in your face

Apple Watch Series 6
This is how the Always-On Retina display works when you’re not actively looking at the watch.

Making its return after debuting in the Apple Watch Series 5 is the Always-On Retina display. What’s great is that they turned the brightness up for the Series 6, giving it greater clarity even when you’re outdoors. This is so you don’t have to fully raise your wrist to wake the watch. Instead, hold it at any angle that feels comfortable to you; Apple has taken care of the rest.

The best part of all this is that it makes working out so much better. Now, you don’t have to keep staring directly at your watch to keep track of your metrics. Simply go along with your workout and just glance over — you’ll still see everything pretty clearly. Even if the screen goes to sleep, it still keeps the bare essentials on-display like the time and complications.

Keeping your fitness in check

As always, health and fitness is the core of what Apple wants to achieve with its smartwatches. The Series 6 is the epitome of that with Apple bringing in more workouts options into its Fitness app. From swimming to hiking, dancing, fishing, and cycling, these are just some of the many workout options there are. My only issue with it is that you can’t organise your workouts categorically or alphabetically.

Aside from that, the fitness app is actually pretty great at helping you keep track of your metrics. There is also an always-on altimeter now with the Series 6, which tracks your current elevations in real-time. This works whether you’re indoors or out; rock-climbing, hiking, and cycling are just some of the choices of many you can go for.

Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch Series 6 makes it easier to keep track of your fitness goals.

Sleep is for the weak… not

Despite the popular saying, sleep actually plays a pivotal role when it comes to your overall health and wellness. By getting enough sleep, your body is getting the necessary rest and recovery it needs to grow. The all-new Sleep app now allows you to not only set your alarm, but also track your sleep progress as you go on. You can choose not only your sleep goals but also your wind down time, which is when the Apple Watch will remind you when it’s time to get ready for bed.

If you’re not used to sleeping with a watch, don’t worry because it actually isn’t all that uncomfortable — provided you’re wearing the right strap of course (read above if you skipped ahead!) But in all seriousness, the battery life on the Apple Watch Series 6 is what makes it great to sleep with. It takes about an hour or so to get it fully charged and it’s good to go. This is much faster as compared to the Series 5, which used to take over an hour and a half.

All images: Courtesy brand

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur





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