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  • (upbeat music)

  • - The Apple Watch Series 6, is the best smartwatch

  • by a country mile by five miles.

  • But then last year's, Series 5 was the best smartwatch too.

  • So Apple would have had to have really

  • screwed that up to change it.

  • And Apple didn't, but the new features this year compared

  • to last year Series 5, just aren't that major.

  • Even the headline feature, blood oxygen monitoring.

  • Isn't what some people might be hoping it will be.

  • So it's an iterative update,

  • but there are a lot of iterations to talk about.

  • Including the Apple Watch SE, older other model,

  • Family Setup and these new stretchy solo loop bands.

  • (band snapping)

  • Let's review the Apple Watch.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Instead of one major update for the Series 6 this year,

  • Apple has put in a bunch of little ones.

  • Honestly, I think the new feature that

  • will drive the most sales are the new colors.

  • There's blue and then there's this very red product red

  • and there's a graphite stainless steel model.

  • And all the rest.

  • The big update is a blood oxygen monitor,

  • which means that that sensor right at the bottom

  • is a little bit different.

  • And you know, we should take some more time on blood oxygen.

  • So let me come back to that.

  • All of the rest of the updates are super minor.

  • There's a brighter standby screen, slightly faster charging.

  • It's the easiest bit thinner.

  • And there's a new processor inside

  • even though the old processor was already fast.

  • Oh, and there's an always on altimeter

  • and there's no more force touch, reports touch.

  • I don't miss you basically,

  • I'm saying that if you have a Series 5,

  • there's no need to upgrade.

  • The bigger question is if you have an older Apple Watch

  • or if you're thinking about the new Apple Watch SE

  • there's also still the Series 3 hanging around

  • you could get a refurbed Series 5.

  • We could matrix out which Apple Watch

  • is right for you all day long.

  • It is starting to feel a little bit

  • Samsungy just how many options of Apple Watch there are.

  • But the reality is that the things that make the

  • Apple Watch great are available

  • across pretty much any recent model.

  • And part of the reason why all that stuff is good

  • is that watchOS 7 is really good.

  • The new watch spaces aren't bad either.

  • I still can find one watch face

  • that I love using all of the time,

  • but I have started switching between different watch faces

  • for different tasks.

  • So I have a biking watch face,

  • and a workspace, and a cooking face.

  • I need the cooking face

  • because Siri can't set multiple timers

  • and I get one extra timer with the cooking watch face

  • which means that watchOS 7 is pretty good but Siri still

  • is not and because I know a lot of people are wondering

  • a couple more words about battery life.

  • I didn't notice any difference between the Five and the Six,

  • I suppose that you turned off the always-on screen.

  • The Six could get you to a full two days, but I never did.

  • As far as charging speeds,

  • it is faster but not by that much.

  • The Five would get the 80%

  • when the Six would get to 100% at about the same time.

  • So it's a pretty subtle difference.

  • watchOS 7 also add sleep tracking.

  • You get pushed into using full

  • on sleep scheduling the system,

  • which has you set bedtimes and so on.

  • It's too much for me, but it works.

  • Now the data it provides isn't as detailed

  • as what you can get from a third party app though.

  • Like even my Withings HR watch gives me

  • more detailed rundowns of restless sleep

  • or whatever, but as an included feature, I'll take it.

  • And if you want more granular data

  • you can still use a third party sleep tracking app.

  • But the most important new feature

  • in watchOS 7 is this new thing called Family Setup.

  • It lets you set up a watch for a kid,

  • even if they don't have an iPhone.

  • And look, my actual only real dad thing

  • is making dad jokes on Twitter.

  • So I wanna talk to an actual dad.

  • Who's been testing this feature.

  • So we're gonna call Dan Seifort.

  • So Family Setup, how does it work?

  • - Hi Dieter, well,

  • essentially it's lets you set up a managed watch

  • from your iPhone and then you can set limits

  • on it for your kids, like who they can message

  • and what apps they can use.

  • It's a lot like those big chunky GPS tracker watches

  • that Verizon or T-Mobile sell.

  • - Right, but those suck.

  • How did, how does the Appalachian family model work?

  • - Well, the thing that like, I couldn't help but notice is

  • that the overall experience is basically the same

  • as an Apple Watch.

  • It's a full, real smartwatch, it's the same user interface.

  • It isn't customized or dumbed down at all.

  • I figured there might be some kind of simple mode for kids

  • when you put it on the Family Setup, but Nope,

  • same thing as before.

  • And it does take a little bit of work for me as a parent

  • to figure out how to do all of this controls,

  • whether it's limiting their apps or their contacts

  • or what content they can access.

  • And then it's kind of an expensive solution.

  • 'Cause you have to get a cellular model of the Apple Watch

  • and then you have to make sure

  • that your kid's not gonna break it.

  • And then you have to pay a monthly service fee on top.

  • - Right, well okay.

  • That all doesn't sound super great,

  • but at least if you get the SE model,

  • it's a little bit less expensive to set all this up

  • and even testing the SE model.

  • And I've only got the Series Six.

  • So what's SE like?

  • - Yeah, so the SE it's basically a Series 4 from 2018.

  • It doesn't have the always-on screen.

  • It doesn't have an ECG

  • and it doesn't have a blood oxygen monitor

  • but if you don't care about that stuff,

  • it's a really great smartwatch,

  • and it's a lot less expensive than the Series Six.

  • - Yeah, I think that sounds great.

  • I personally care about an always-on screen

  • but maybe I'm a little bit fiddly about that,

  • but that's what I would like to get on an Apple Watch

  • which is why I would probably wanna get a Series 6

  • or maybe I prefer Series 5.

  • Okay, look, you you're busy, you got to go parent

  • parent, parent, the kids go go dad, the kids.

  • I don't, I don't know how raising kids works.

  • - Yeah, you really know.

  • Bye then.

  • - Bye.

  • - Okay, so Family Setup turns out to be a

  • somewhat small step that really isn't for everybody.

  • And that's kind of the story of the Series 6,

  • a bunch of small steps that will matter to some people

  • but will feel pretty minor to everybody else.

  • Oh yeah, these solo loops they're really good

  • but the sizing isn't as easy as Apple makes it seem.

  • I use it a little sizing tool and I figured I was a seven

  • or an eight, but I think I'm actually like a 6.5.

  • If you could find a good fit it is amazing,

  • but don't force it.

  • So let's finally talk about the blood oxygen monitor

  • in the Apple Watch Series 6 it's like I said

  • it's not what I think a lot of people were hoping for.

  • Here's how it works.

  • There are these lights on the back that light up the blood

  • under your skin and then determine its color

  • and thus your blood oxygen level.

  • Anything over 95% is usually considered fine.

  • And anything under that is sometimes considered worrisome.

  • There are two ways to use it.

  • The first is to check it manually and to do that,

  • you need to make sure that you've got the watch set up

  • just right it needs to be pretty snug

  • and up on your arm a little bit

  • so they can get a clear reading of your blood.

  • Then you need to rest your arm horizontally hit

  • the little fiddly buttons

  • and wait 15 seconds and it should give you a result.

  • Probably I got a lot of unsuccessful readings

  • unless I followed the instructions exactly.

  • And that brings me to the second way to use it.

  • It just tries to read your blood oxygen in the background.

  • But I think a lot of the time,

  • it's just not able to get an accurate reading.

  • I don't wear my watch this far up my arm.

  • And in fact, when it was trying to read it in the background

  • sometimes I would get readings that were

  • like worryingly low.

  • Like, I didn't know if I should call a doctor or not

  • but I have this finger monitor right here when I use it

  • at the same time, it tells me that I'm fine.

  • So the truth is this is not a medical device.

  • Apple, isn't saying it's a medical device.

  • You should think of it as a medical device

  • or a diagnostic device or anything like that.

  • It's like a wellness device.

  • It's for, I don't know, high altitude endurance runners

  • as it stands, blood oxygen detection isn't as useful

  • as a heart monitor or even the ECG.

  • And I want to be very clear on this.

  • The Apple Watch Series 6 is not an early COVID-19 detector.

  • Yes, Apple is doing a study, but we should wait

  • for the actual scientific results of that study to come in

  • before we say anything about that.

  • If you're experiencing symptoms

  • beyond what this thing is telling you,

  • please go get checked out.

  • But again, Apple is not even talking to the FDA about

  • this blood oxygen feature yet.

  • I sort of feel like it's here so that Apple could say

  • that it's on the spec sheet

  • because it's already coming out on a bunch of other watches.

  • It's really not Apple's emo.

  • What I would have done is wait

  • for the results of those studies

  • before I put it in a mass-market consumer device.

  • But look, if you are a quantified self kind of person

  • who thinks that blood oxygen would be

  • another interesting stat to add to the list of things

  • that you track, then go forth.

  • If you're not, then don't worry about it.

  • (upbeat music)

  • I started this review by saying that the Apple Watch

  • is the best smartwatch by a country mile.

  • And I wanna remind you why that is.

  • I think it has the best combination of the three things

  • that most people want from a smartwatch.

  • So one for fitness and health,

  • it does a great job for the basics

  • and Apple's Health app is both comprehensive

  • and it keeps your private,

  • unless you choose to share it to some other service.

  • Now I'm not impressed with the blood oxygen monitor

  • but I trust the rest of what these sensors are saying

  • for basic fitness stuff.

  • For connectivity and communication that has LTE options

  • and integrates health iMessage.

  • It's good for phone calls

  • and it manages picked up fairly easily

  • to Bluetooth headphones.

  • Plus it also has this new Family Setup thing.

  • And for basic smartwatch stuff,

  • there's really no comparison.

  • It's fast, it'll last, just over a day.

  • And it has a pretty good set of apps and services

  • that is all true for the Apple Watch Series 6,

  • but it's also true for the less expensive Apple Watches.

  • The second, third and fourth best smartwatch

  • are the Series 5, the Apple Watch SE, and the Series 3.