Apple Watch Series 5 vs Apple Watch Series 6: Two flagship smartwatches compared
The Apple Watch Series 6 is here along with Apple Watch SE, released Friday, 18 Sept 2020. Just bought your Apple Watch Series 5 last year and wondering what you are missing out on, continue reading.
While everyone is looking at comparing the new Apple Watch Series 6 with the Apple Watch SE, we take a step back and look at the new Apple Watch Series 6 and compare this to the previous generation Apple Watch Series 5 for the benefit of existing Apple Watch Series 5 users.
We also wrote about how the Apple Watch SE compares to the Apple Watch Series 5 and should one be consider this.
RELATED: Apple Watch SE vs Apple Watch Series 5
What’s Missing on the Apple Watch Series 5?
For the benefit of Apple Watch Series 5 users, you really are not missing out on anything serious. But if you are a trend setter then go ahead, get yourself the Apple Watch Series 6 and be at the cutting edge with wearable technology.
Four Things You Will Miss on the Apple Watch Series 5
But if you must know what you are missing on, here is a quick list:
- The Apple Watch Series 6 has a new Blood Oxygen Sensor or SpO2 to monitor blood oxygen level. It passes a small light beams through the blood under your skin and measure the amount of oxygen by measuring the light absorbed by oxygenated or deoxygenated blood. For the lights and sensors, Apple uses four LED clusters and four photodiodes on the back of the case. To get this reading, you will need to start the app, stay still while the reading is taken which usually takes a few seconds. The Blood Oxygen app is automatically pre-loaded. Both the sensor and app are not present in Apple Watch Series 5.
- No surprise there that the Apple Watch Series 6 comes with the new S6 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor. The Apple Watch Series 5 is powered by S5 chip with 64-bit dual-core processor.
- Another item missing from the Apple Watch Series 5 is the U1 chip. First introduced in iPhone 11, the U1 chip enables improved spatial awareness with Ultra Wideband support. If you are wondering how this works, the U1 chip measures the distance between two devices that support Ultra Wideband by calculating the time it takes for a radio wave to travel between them. This is said to be more accurate than Bluetooth LE and WiFi.
- Two new case colours, (PRODUCT)RED and blue aluminium cases. While the Apple Watch Series 5 may miss out on these new case colours, the Apple Watch Series 6 is no longer available in ceramic white case.
The last item is not exactly one that Apple Watch Series 5 will miss out on, but is something that they too can enjoy. We are talking about new silicone straps called the Solo Loop and woven straps called the Braided Loop. These have no clasp or buckle so will need to measure and pick the right size at the point of purchase for that perfect fit.
The Braided Loop is made from recycled yarn interwoven with silicone threads and is more expensive of the two at $99 while the silicone Solo Loop is only $49. Both are available to purchase and are compatible with all previous generation watches down to Apple Watch Series 4.
Finally, in the interest of the environment, Apple removed the USB Power Adapter from the Apple Watch Series 6. Those with Apple Watch Series 5 can count on their dedicated USB Power Adapter for their watch and can probably keep this for future Apple Watch.
WatchOS 7 is the Equalizer
So there you have it, four things that you will miss if you hang on to your Apple Watch Series 5. But there is hope in the form of a software upgrade. WatchOS 7 will give you all the additional features you will need including new watch faces, support for sleep monitoring, new Memoji app, watch face sharing, support for Family Setup, optimisation for kids, rules for kids, Find My app, set fitness goal across all activities, sleep mode, bedtime reminders, wind down shortcuts, wake up alarm, battery level notifications, new workout modes, handwashing detection and reminder and Siri update. WatchOS 7 is compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 and newer.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the specifications between the Apple Watch Series 5 and 6.
|Apple Watch Series 5||Apple Watch Series 6|
|GPS + Cellular||GPS + Cellular|
|Space Gray||Space Gray|
|Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Space Black (DLC)||Graphite (DLC)|
|Gold (PVD)||Gold (PVD)|
|Space black||Space black|
|Barometric altimeter||Always-on altimeter|
|Water resistant||Water resistant|
|50 meters1||50 meters1|
|NA||Blood oxygen sensor|
|NA||(Blood Oxygen app)2|
|Electrical heart sensor||Electrical heart sensor|
|(ECG app)||(ECG app)3|
|Second-generation optical heart sensor||Second-generation optical heart sensor|
|International emergency calling3||International emergency calling5|
|Emergency SOS2||Emergency SOS4|
|up to 32 g-forces with fall detection||up to 32 g-forces with fall detection|
|Ambient light sensor||Ambient light sensor|
|Apple Pay||Apple Pay|
|Capacity 32GB||Capacity 32GB|
|Ceramic and sapphire crystal back||Ceramic and sapphire crystal back|
|368 by 448 pixels||368 by 448 pixels|
|977 sq mm display area||977 sq mm display area|
|324 by 394 pixels||324 by 394 pixels|
|759 sq mm display area||759 sq mm display area|
|Always-On Retina LTPO OLED display with Force Touch||Always-On Retina LTPO OLED display|
|1000 nits brightness||1000 nits brightness|
|S5 with 64-bit dual-core processor||S6 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor|
|Apple wireless chip||Apple wireless chip|
|LTE and UMTS4||LTE and UMTS7|
|GPS + Cellular models||GPS + Cellular models|
|802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz||802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz|
|Bluetooth 5.0||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery||Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery|
|Up to 18 hours5||Up to 18 hours8|
|Magnetic charging cable||Magnetic charging cable|
|USB power adapter||NA|
|Height: 40mm||Height: 40mm|
|Width: 34mm||Width: 34mm|
|Depth: 10.74mm||Depth: 10.4mm|
|Height: 44mm||Height: 44mm|
|Width: 38mm||Width: 38mm|
|Depth: 10.74mm||Depth: 10.4mm|
|Aluminum: 30.8g||Aluminum: 30.5g|
|Stainless Steel: 40.6g||Stainless Steel: 39.7g|
|Titanium: 35.1g||Titanium: 34.6g|
|Aluminum: 36.5g||Aluminum: 36.5g|
|Stainless Steel: 47.8g||Stainless Steel: 47.1g|
|Titanium: 41.7g||Titanium: 41.3g|
Apple Watch Series 6 on Amazon