Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 7: Just buy the Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 7 – Every year Apple announces a new flagship smartwatch. And every year, it replaces the next-generation model with the one just announced. Stop selling the “old” watch, whether it is considered aged technology or not.

This year, the Apple Watch Series 7 is the new attraction. Once the Series 7 went on sale, the Series 6 essentially ceased to exist on Apple’s website, replaced by the updated handheld.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 7
Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 7

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

But you know what? It’s hardly an upgrade over the Series 6. If you can find a Series 6 Apple Watch for sale somewhere (and you’re not an Android user, obviously), I’d recommend buying it over the Series 7 at full price. Let me explain.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 7: the only tangible differences are in the hardware

< type="image/webp" />The Apple Watch Series 7 on a wrist showing the Modular Duo watch face

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Modular duo

… And there are few of them. Most people wouldn’t notice the differences between Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 6 unless they had both watches in front of them (you can also check out the full comparison specs at the end of this article).

The Series 7 has a 20% larger screen and ~ 40% smaller bezels than the Series 6. The upgraded screen is nice but not a game changer. The case is also a bit rounder on the 7 Series.

The most important improvements have to do with durability. The Series 7 has a front glass that is 50% larger than the previous watch, making it more resistant to cracks (not tested). The new watch also has an IP6X rating for dust resistance. Both watches have the same WR50 water resistance rating.

Apple hasn’t made any significant improvements to battery life in years. And, unfortunately, faster charging won’t solve your problems.

Battery life, one of the main pillars of smartwatches that Apple often struggles with, is almost identical on both watches. Both are rated for 18 hours of use, so one way or another, you’ll have to charge the watch before bed or after waking up. The Series 7 charges faster than the Series 6, but only with the new USB-C charging cable. That will save you some time, but again, nothing substantial.

The overall performance is, you guessed it, pretty much the same. Personally, I experience very few bugs or performance issues on Apple Watches, and the Series 6 and 7 are no different. The 7 Series is powered by Apple’s new S7 chip, which is based on the same architecture as the 6 Series S6 chip.

Related: Apple Watch Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to fitness tracking, there are no differences either, at least on paper. The Series 6 has the same health and fitness tracking sensors as the newer watch. You get a pulse oximeter, ECG, separate GPS, and an optical heart rate sensor on both models. None of these hardware sensors have been updated.

In fact, I’ve found that heart rate tracking on the Apple Watch Series 6 is more reliable and more accurate than the Series 7. Over a one-month trial period and two different units, the latter spit out more. Unusable heart rate records that I’ve never seen on an Apple Watch. The Series 6, during the same workouts, performed as usual – consistently and accurately.

Series 7 heart rate problems could be due to faulty algorithms or some software that needs tweaking. I know other reviewers have had more luck with their sensor. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience.

WatchOS 8 is good, but not exclusive to Series 7

< type="image/webp" />An image of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7 on a table showing the Mindfulness app

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Software support is one of the biggest selling points for Apple products. It’s also a pretty big reason why people hang on to their devices for so long.

The Apple Watch Series 7 launched with watchOS 8. Its predecessor launched with watchOS 7 and was also updated to watchOS 8 on the day the software was released. Both will receive updates for years to come. Apple doesn’t give hard figures on how many major updates it releases for each wearable device, but consider this: The Apple Watch Series 3, which launched in 2017 with watchOS 4, still receives software updates (for better or for worse).

Both the Series 6 and Series 7 will receive updates in the coming years.

WatchOS 8 in Series 6 and Series 7 is the same, except for a few small changes. The Series 7 has two new watch faces, Modular Duo and Contour, the former of which takes advantage of the larger screen. There’s an on-screen keyboard on the 7 Series too, so responding to messages is a bit easier (if you can deal with smartwatch keyboards). Other than that, the two software versions are almost the same.

Both watches come with the new watchOS 8 Mindfulness app, Pilates and Tai Chi workouts, automatic cycling detection, and fall detection during workouts. I think I’ve made my point clear: software support doesn’t really have to be a factor when considering one device over the other.

Check: The best smartwatches you can buy

The Apple Watch Series 6 is cheaper and practically the same

< type="image/webp" />An image of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7 placed on a table showing their watch faces

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

As mentioned, Apple is no longer officially selling the Apple Watch Series 6, so you’ll have to rely on third-party retailers if you’ve decided to go for last year’s model. Fortunately, it is still sold at various retailers around the web.

Walmart and Best Buy frequently offer discounts on older Apple products. You can also find tons of Series 6 listings from trusted sellers on eBay. There may not be big discounts on the Apple Watch Series 6 right now, but they can pop up frequently during the holidays. Recently, the watch could be found for as little as $ 299. Not a bad deal at all.

Our verdicts: Apple Watch Series 7 Review | Apple Watch Series 6 review

Let me be clear, if you are in the market to buy a new Apple Watch and the Series 7 and Series 6 are offered for the same price, the Apple Watch Series 7 is your best option. Overall, it is the best smartwatch. But if it’s a decision between paying full price for a Series 7 or saving a good amount of cash on Series 6, you should definitely buy the Series 6.

< type="image/webp" />Apple Watch Series 7 Pulse Render Green Leather Strap

Apple Watch Series 7

Larger screen, faster charging battery

Apple Watch Series 7 features a larger edge-to-edge screen, greater durability, faster charging, and more color options than before. If you want the best of what Apple has to offer, the 7 Series is the one for you.

< 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.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 7 Specifications

Apple Watch Series 7 Apple Watch Series 6
Display Apple Watch Series 7:

Retina OLED LTPO
396 x 484 pixels
Always-on display

Apple Watch Series 6:

Retina OLED LTPO
368 x 448 pixels
Always-on display

Dimensions and weight Apple Watch Series 7:

45 mm:
45 x 38 x 10.7 mm
Aluminum: 38.8 g
Stainless steel: 51.5 g
Titanium: 45.1 g

41 mm:
41 x 35 x 10.7 mm
Aluminum: 32g
Stainless steel: 42.3 g
Titanium: 37g

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

Durability Apple Watch Series 7:

WR50
IP6X certified

Apple Watch Series 6:

WR50

SoC Apple Watch Series 7:

Apple S7 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Apple W3
Apple U1 chip (ultra-wideband)

Apple Watch Series 6:

Apple S6 with 64-bit dual-core processor
Apple W3
Apple U1 chip (ultra-wideband)

RAM Apple Watch Series 7:

1 GB

Apple Watch Series 6:

1 GB

Storage Apple Watch Series 7:

32 GB

Apple Watch Series 6:

32 GB

Battery Apple Watch Series 7:

18 hours
45 min at 80% load

Magnetic USB-C Fast Charging Cable

Apple Watch Series 6:

18 hours

Magnetic charging cable

software Apple Watch Series 7:

WatchOS 8.1

Apple Watch Series 6:

WatchOS 8.1

Housing materials and colors Apple Watch Series 7:

GPS only, GPS + cellular
Aluminum: midnight, starlight, green, blue, product red
Apple Watch Nike: Aluminum available in Midnight and Starlight

GPS + cellular
Stainless steel: graphite, silver, gold
Titanium: Space Black, Titanium
Apple Watch Hermes: Stainless Steel Available in Space Black and Silver

Apple Watch Series 6:

GPS only, GPS + cellular
Aluminum: Silver, Space Gray, Gold, Blue, Product Red
Apple Watch Nike: Aluminum available in silver and space gray

GPS + cellular
Stainless steel: silver, graphite, gold
Titanium: Titanium, Space Black
Apple Watch Hermes – Available in Stainless Steel and Space Black Stainless Steel

Connectivity Apple Watch Series 7:

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

Model A2475 (41mm)
Model A2477 (45mm)
LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 39, 40, 41, 66

Apple Watch Series 6:

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

Model A2293 (40 mm)
Model A2294 (44 mm)
LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 39, 40, 41, 66

Sensors Apple Watch Series 7:

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

Apple Watch Series 6:

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

Compatibility Apple Watch Series 7:

iOS 15 or later

Apple Watch Series 6:

iOS 15 or later

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

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