Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch Series 5: What’s the Difference

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch Series 5Apple Watch Series 6 vs Apple Watch Series 5

Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 6 earlier this week and at the same time, it discontinued the Apple Watch Series 5. The new smartwatch brings a plethora of new features over its predecessor. If you are an Apple Watch Series 5 user and wondering if it is worth upgrading to the new smartwatch, here is everything you need to know to make the decision.

What’s the Difference Between Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch Series 5?

Design

  • Apple Watch Series 6: Available in 40mm and 44mm case sizes; Three finishes – Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Titanium; Colors: Space Gray, Silver, Gold, Graphite, Space Black, Titanium, Blue, (PRODUCT)RED;  Water resistant up to 50 meters
  • Apple Watch Series 5: Available in 40mm and 44mm case sizes; Four finishes – Aluminum, Ceramic, Stainless Steel, Titanium; Colors: Space Gray, Silver, Gold, Graphite, Space Black, TitaniumWater resistant up to 50 meters

Apple Watch Series 6 brings two new case colors to the table; Blue and (PRODUCT)RED. Apart from that, the Apple Watch Series 6 looks exactly the same as its predecessor along with the same case sizes. The Apple Watch Series 6, however, comes with additional sensors on the back to track health activities in a better way so it is possible that it might be slightly thicker than the Apple Watch Series 5. We can tell for sure only when Apple releases a detailed spec-sheet of the new watch.

While the Apple Watch Series 5 was available in Ceramic Edition, the Apple Watch Series 6 is not. Now that the Ceramic Edition is not available, the Hermes Edition is currently the most premium Apple Watch Series 6 you can buy. The Apple Watch Series 6 also comes with plenty of new Watch Bands including Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, and Leather Link.

Display

  • Apple Watch Series 6: 1.78-inch OLED with 448 x 368 pixels resolution in 44mm variant and 1.57-inch OLED with 394 x 324 pixels resolution in 40mm variant, 1000 nits brightness, Always-on feature, 2.5x brighter Always-on display outdoors
  • Apple Watch Series 5: 1.78-inch OLED with 448 x 368 pixels resolution in 44mm variant and 1.57-inch OLED with 394 x 324 pixels resolution in 40mm variant, 1000 nits brightness, Always-on feature

The Apple Watch Series 6 basically uses the same display as the Apple Watch Series 5. There is no difference in display type, size, resolution, and maximum brightness of displays of both smartwatches. However, Apple is advertising the always-on screen of the Apple Watch Series 6 to be 2.5x brighter outdoors compared to the Apple Watch Series 5. The brighter always-on screen should improve the usability of the mode from a daily usage perspective.

Processor

  • Apple Watch Series 6: Apple S6, dual-core 64-bit CPU, SiP, 20% faster than S5
  • Apple Watch Series 5: Apple S5, dual-core 64-bit CPU

One of the biggest upgrades the Apple Watch Series 6 offers over its predecessor is in terms of power. The new Apple Watch has the S6 processor, which Apple claims to be 20% faster than S5. The Apple Watch Series 5 was already the fastest performing smartwatch available in the market. The Apple Watch Series 6 takes the game even further.

The Apple S6 chipset also uses SiP (System in Package) technology, which, in theory, should take less space in the watch, allowing for a larger battery pack or more space for additional components.

Sensors

  • Apple Watch Series 6: Accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, always-on altimeter, ambient light sensor, fall detection, heart rate monitor with ECG function, blood oxygen sensor
  • Apple Watch Series 5: Accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, altimeter, GPS, ambient light sensor, fall detection, heart rate monitor with ECG function

The Apple Watch Series 6 brings with it the much-requested blood oxygen sensor that the Series 5 lacks. The blood oxygen sensor (also known as SPo2 sensor) measures the oxygen in the blood to analyze pulmonary issues. What is even better is that you don’t have to check for blood oxygen manually; the smartwatch keeps checking it in the background. According to Apple, the Watch Series 6 takes just 15 seconds to measure blood oxygen levels. The measurement of oxygen in the blood is an also important aspect in the detection of the COVID-19 virus so this feature is a great addition.

The Apple Watch Series 6 also has an always-on altimeter; it is a boon for adventure enthusiasts who like to keep a constant eye on the altitude. It also enables watch faces to show real-time altimeter information.

Connectivity

  • Apple Watch Series 6: Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS, cellular connectivity with eSIM (optional), W3 wireless chip, U1 Ultra-Wideband support
  • Apple Watch Series 5: Single-band (2.4GHz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS, cellular connectivity with eSIM (optional), W3 wireless chip

The new Apple Watch has support for U1 Ultra-Wideband; it enables the smartwatch to communicate securely with nearby devices as well as for high speed data transfer and precise indoor positioning. For instance, the Apple Watch Series 6 with its U1 Ultra-Wideband chip can be used as a digital car key (with supported cars). This is however just one possible application. It could be used for plenty of other functionalities, though as of now, there’s not much that can be done with it.

The Apple Watch Series 6 also brings with it support for the 5GHz Wi-Fi band. The 5GHz Wi-Fi will offer faster internet connectivity on the Apple Watch.

Storage

  • Apple Watch Series 6: 32GB storage
  • Apple Watch Series 5: 32GB storage

While Apple hasn’t upgraded the storage capacity of the Apple Watch Series 6 compared to the Apple Watch Series 5, its 32GB storage is still the highest in the smartwatch industry and it is more than enough for most people to install all the desired apps and download a long list of songs.

Battery

  • Apple Watch Series 6: 18 hours battery backup; 40% faster charging than Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch Series 5: 18 hours battery backup

Apple is claiming the Watch Series 6 to offer the same 18-hour battery backup as its predecessor. However, it does bring significant improvement in charging speeds. According to reports online, the Apple Watch Series 6 charges from flat to 80% in an hour, and a 100% charge takes about one and a half hours, which is almost 40% faster compared to the Apple Watch Series 5. The increased charging speed will undoubtedly make a difference in day to day usage.

Price

  • Apple Watch Series 6: Start at $399 for the GPS-only variant and $499 for GPS + Cellular variant
  • Apple Watch Series 5: Start at $399 for the GPS-only variant and $499 for GPS + Cellular variant

Even though the Apple Watch Series 6 offers a better display, faster processor, more sensors, and better connectivity options compared to the Apple Watch Series 5, it has the same price tag as its predecessor, offering a great value for money factor.


The Apple Watch Series 5 was one of the best smartwatches in the market. However, it left one feature to be desired, the blood oxygen sensor. The Apple Watch Series 6 not only fills the hole but it also offers many other upgrades for the same price tag, making it an appealing choice for consumers.

➤ Buy Apple Watch Series 6

Do you think it is worth upgrading from Apple Watch Series 5 to Apple Watch Series 6? Do let us know in the comments section below

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