Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 5: Should you upgrade?

< type="image/webp"/>When charging Apple Watch Series 6, nightstand mode is displayed on a nightstand

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Apple watches are expensive, but they are some of the best smartwatches out there, if you have an iPhone, sure. The Apple Watch Series 6, Apple’s 2020 version, is still a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to splurge on the Series 7. It’s also a decent improvement over its predecessor, but should you upgrade if you already have the Series 5? Here’s a look at the Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 5.

Our verdict: Apple Watch Series 5 Review | Apple Watch Series 6 review


Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch Series 5


Specifications

Apple Watch Series 6 Apple Watch Series 5
Display

Apple Watch Series 6:

Retina OLED LTPO
368 x 448 pixels
Always-on display

Apple Watch Series 5:

Retina OLED LTPO
368 x 448 pixels
Always-on display

Dimensions and weight

Apple Watch Series 6:

44 mm:
44 x 38 x 10.7 mm
Aluminum: 36.5 g
Stainless steel: 47.1 g
Titanium: 41.3 g

40 mm:
40 x 34 x 10.7 mm
Aluminum: 30.5 g
Stainless steel: 39.7 g
Titanium: 34.6 g

Apple Watch Series 5:

44 mm:
44 x 38 x 10.74 mm
Aluminum: 36.5 g
Stainless steel: 47.8 g
Titanium: 41.7 g
Ceramic: 46.7 g

40 mm:
40 x 34 x 10.74 mm
Aluminum: 30.8 g
Stainless steel: 40.6 g
Titanium: 35.1 g
Ceramic: 39.7 g

Durability

Apple Watch Series 6:

WR50

Apple Watch Series 5:

WR50

SoC

Apple Watch Series 6:

Apple S6 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Apple W3
Apple U1

Apple Watch Series 5:

Apple S5 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Apple W3

RAM

Apple Watch Series 6:

1 GB

Apple Watch Series 5:

1 GB

Storage

Apple Watch Series 6:

32 GB

Apple Watch Series 5:

32 GB

Battery

Apple Watch Series 6:

18 hours

Magnetic USB-C Charging Cable

Apple Watch Series 5:

18 hours

Magnetic USB-C Charging Cable

software

Apple Watch Series 6:

WatchOS 8.1

Apple Watch Series 5:

WatchOS 8.1

Housing materials and colors

Apple Watch Series 6:

Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium

Aluminum: Silver, Space Gray, Gold, Blue, Product Red

Stainless steel: silver, graphite, gold

Titanium: Titanium, Space Black

Apple Watch Series 5:

Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, ceramic

Aluminum: silver, space gray, gold

Stainless steel: silver, graphite, gold

Titanium: Titanium, Space Black

White Ceramic

Connectivity

Apple Watch Series 6:

GPS / GNSS
GLONASS
Galileo
QZSS
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11b / g / n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0

Apple Watch Series 5:

GPS / GNSS
GLONASS
Galileo
QZSS
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz 802.11b / g / n Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0

Sensors

Apple Watch Series 6:

Always active altimeter
3rd generation optical heart sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor
Blood oxygen sensor
ECG

Apple Watch Series 5:

Altimeter
Second generation optical heart sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor
ECG

Compatibility

Apple Watch Series 6:

iOS 14 or later

Apple Watch Series 5:

iOS 13 or later


Characteristics

Apple’s last significant redesign happened with the Apple Watch Series 4, but things have remained basically the same since. You would have to take a look at the spec sheet to see the physical differences between the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Series 5. The Series 6 is slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor, but not enough to make a noticeable difference. . The good news? You can use the same accessories, such as cases, with both.

The only differences are in the construction and color combinations, but even most of it is the same. Aluminum, stainless steel or titanium bodies are available for both, while the Series 5 has a ceramic option. There are many familiar color combinations such as silver, space gray, and gold. The Series 6 brings Blue and Product Red into the mix, while you can get a white Apple Watch Series 5 if you get the ceramic version. You can also swap bands with both.

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You’ll have to dive into the hardware to find fundamental differences between the two. The Series 6 comes with a newer processing package that is unsurprisingly more powerful and 20% faster than the Series 5 processor. Other internals remain the same, with 1GB of RAM and 32GB of RAM. GB of storage that completes the specifications. Battery life is about the same too, and Apple says you can get up to 18 hours of battery life with both the Series 5 and Series 6.

< type="image/webp"/>Apple Watch Series 6 reviews spo2 blood oxygen results

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Most of the updates with the Series 6 are with the sensors and on the software side. A welcome addition for fitness enthusiasts is a pulse oximeter to keep track of blood oxygen levels. It’s not FDA approved and probably not as accurate as SpO2 medical trackers, but it’s good enough to keep an eye on your heart health around the clock. The Series 6 also upgrades the altimeter to an always-on altimeter. And that’s it when it comes to differences.

The Series 6 retains all the health and fitness tracking features of its predecessor, including all-day heart rate monitoring, an ECG sensor, automatic and manual training tracking, and sleep tracking. Apple introduced the Apple Fitness Plus service, with workouts led by expert trainers and more, with the Series 6, but you won’t have a problem using the service with the Series 5, either. You can get three months of Apple Fitness Plus for free when you buy a new Apple Watch (Series 3 and newer), and is included in select Apple One plans.

Both watches now run WatchOS 8.1, so the software experience is identical as well. You can take advantage of Apple’s unmatched app library and third-party support, get help from Siri, use Apple Pay, control your smart home devices, answer calls and reply to messages, and much, much more.


Price

< type="image/webp"/>Apple Watch Series 6 Always on Display Review 1

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

With the launch of the Apple Watch Series 7, Apple no longer directly sells the Series 6 or Series 5, but you can find them at retailers like Amazon. The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $ 399 for the 40mm model with Bluetooth only and $ 499 for the LTE model. However, you can usually find it for sale during the holidays.

< type="image/webp"/>Apple Watch Series 6 press image

Apple Watch Series 6

Next-gen Apple Watch at a fair price

The Apple Watch Series 6 adds a pulse oximeter, a brighter always-on display, and two new colors. This was Apple’s highest-end smartwatch in 2020 and may be a solid alternative to the more expensive Series 7.

It really doesn’t make sense to buy the Series 5 now if you are looking for a new Apple Watch. If you’re expecting a cheaper version, you might want to consider the Apple Watch SE. It’s essentially the same as the Series 5, but without features like an always-on-screen display and an ECG sensor.

< type="image/webp"/>44mm press processing of the Apple Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5

The Apple Watch Series 5 is a bit older at the moment, but it’s still a capable smartwatch with lots of advanced features. You can use the built-in ECG to keep track of your heart health. The always-on display means that you are always aware of the time. The Series 5 can even detect if it has been dropped by accident and notify emergency services.


Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 5: Should You Upgrade?

The Apple Watch consistently tops our ranks for the best smartwatches. If you already have an Apple Watch Series 5, you may want to look to the Series 7 instead, or the Watch SE if you are on a budget.

The 6 Series has a faster processing package and adds new features like blood oxygen monitoring, but otherwise the experience is identical. Except for the pulse oximeter, you will get the same sensors with both, and both are equally capable on the software side. Ultimately, it’s quite an iterative upgrade, and you should be able to keep the Series 5 for a while longer, unless SpO2 tracking is absolutely a must.

Above article first published by . We curated and re-published.

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