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Apple Watch 6 vs Apple Watch 5: 4 important upgrades you may have missed

The Apple Watch 6 is finally here and if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, well, you’re not alone.

If you followed the new Apple Watch 6’s unveiling then you’ll know it looks nearly identical to its predecessor, the Apple Watch 5. Both have a metallic, pebble shaped chassis, digital crown controls and are set to run the firm’s latest WatchOS 7 software.

But, before you go hunting for a bargain deal on the now discontinued Apple Watch 5, there are a few key exclusive features on the newer wearable you should be aware of.

Related: Best Apple Watch

1. The Apple Watch 6 has a brighter screen than the Series 5

Both the Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch 5 have always-on displays. For those out of the know, this is an awesome feature that debuted on the Series 5 last year. It lets the screen run all day without killing battery life by letting the watch adjust its refresh rate depending on what the user is doing.

But the Watch 6 has an upgraded panel that, according to Apple, offers 2x higher maximum brightness than the Series 5’s. If true this will make it much easier to read in bright conditions, like direct sunlight.

2. The Apple Watch 6 is more powerful than the Series 5

The Apple Watch 6 also has a more powerful CPU and graphics, on paper, than the Series 5. Specifically, it runs using a new dual-core S6 chip based on Apple Silicon, the firm claims is 20% faster than the S5 used in the Series 5.

3. The Apple Watch 6 has a custom ‘health sensor’ the Series 5 doesn’t

Both the Apple Watch 6 and 5 have decent health and fitness tracking services, featuring ECG and fall detection services. But the Apple Watch 6 is the only one of the two to feature Apple’s new SpO2 tracking “health sensor”.

The sensor uses custom red lights on the Watch’s bottom to estimate its wearer’s blood oxygen levels. This is a key metric that can be used to track and detect early signs of respiratory issues, as well as numerous other health issues.

Apple announced partnerships with numerous research groups designed to find ways to use the sensor to combat / detect key diseases.

Related: Best smartwatch

4. The Apple Watch 6 has more band and colour options than the Series 5

The Apple Watch 6 also has a more diverse set of colour and band options than the Series 5. These include a never before seen red colouring, and “solo” bands.

The Solo bands are fitness focussed straps that don’t feature any form of clasp or buckle. Instead, the user is meant to stretch them over their wrist. They’re available in smooth and knitted finishes.

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