The Apple Watch Series 6 is here, but you may be wondering if it is worth the upgrade? In traditional Apple flair, the Series 6 Apple Watch was renowned as their most advanced wearable to date. While we have no doubt that Apple put a lot of work into the latest version, as a consumer, we wonder if it is worth upgrading. Especially if we already own the Series 5.

Before we dive into it, you can always watch the video or listen on our podcast instead.

Apple Watch Product Links
Apple Watch Series 6: https://jerad.link/applewatch6
Apple Watch Series 5: https://jerad.link/applewatch5
Apple Watch SE: https://jerad.link/applewatchse
Apple Watch Series 3: https://jer.fyi/applewatch3sport
Apple Watch Straps: https://jerad.link/applewatchstraps

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 5 Differences & Similarities

In this article, we are only going to focus on the differences. In the video, I share some of my thoughts beyond the basics shared here.

  1. Always-On Display is 2x Brighter – Apple has increased the brightness of the always-on display to make it easier to see in bright environments.
  2. Always-On Altimeter – Previous Apple Watch versions include an Altimeter that you can access from the Compass app. The problem is that on Apple Watch versions prior to 6, it doesn’t update that often. On the Apple Watch Series 6, it is constantly reading altitude. This is good for fitness tracking apps and for maintaining correct placement in maps.
  3. Heartrate Sensor and ECG – Both the Series 5 and 6 have these sensors and nothing has reportidy changed in Series 6.
  4. VO2 Max Measurement – The Apple Watch will get VO2 Max Measurement later this year. It combines the use of heart rate tracking and motion to produce a basic measurement. At this time we do not know if Apple Watch Series 5 will receive this update as well. Both the Apple Watch Series 5 and 6 have the required sensors to measure VO2 Max based on Apple’s methods or measurement.
  5. Blood Oxygen Sensor and App – The Apple Watch 6 is the only Apple Watch to date that includes a Blood Oxygen Sensor for measuring the oxygenation of your blood. It does this by passing small beams of light pass through the blood in the finger, measuring the amount of oxygen. The sensor measures changes of light absorption in oxygenated or deoxygenated blood and is a painless process. Unfortunately, there have been early reports at this not being very accurate. Traditional pulse oximeters send light through the finger and are read at each end on the sensor. Hopefully, Apple will be able to tune this in a future software update.
  6. S6 Chipset – Each year Apple produces a new chipset for the Apple Watch. Series 6 has the new S6 chipset which is faster and more energy-efficient. Apple made a big deal about their S6 chip at the Series 6 announcement last week because they will soon be moving their Mac lineup to their own chipset leaving their longstanding relationship with Intel behind.
  7. Watch Faces – Of course, Apple always releases specific watch faces for each watch series. When you buy the latest version, you get most of the older faces as well. The new Memoji app that allows you to create Memoji watch faces is available on series 5.
  8. Solo & Braided Loop Watch Straps – Though the new straps fit all Apple Watches Series 4 and newer, I thought I should mention that the straps do fit both the Series 6 and 5.

YouTube Video Timestamps

  • 0:00 – Intro
  • 1:39 – Differences
  • 9:55 – But is it worth it?
  • 10:57 – Where you smash that like button!

But is the Series 6 Worth It?

This is the big question and it really depends on whether or not the few new features are important to you. If you have an older watch making Series 6 a big upgrade for you, than perhaps it is worth it. If you already have a Series 5 and don’t feel too confident in the new Blood Oxygen Sensor, you may want to skip the Series 6 and wait for the Series 7.