Reviewing Apple Watch Series 6: What Is SpO2 And What Are its Features?

apple watch series 6

To put it simply, the Apple Watch Series 6 is simply an upgrade to the previous model. Several features in the previous Apple Watch have been developed on a whole new scale, with the processor being more powerful, and the display is much brighter. It also has options for fast charging, and a few choices when it comes to colors. Yet, the most interesting feature about this Apple Watch Series 6 is that it has a new sensor that measures O2 saturation in the blood (SpO2). All one needs to do is tap on the screen to get that information. With the pandemic ravaging the world, it seems like a good buy- if you are somewhat panicky about the symptoms of coronavirus and would like to be aware all the time. 

Unfortunately, the SpO2 feature on the Apple Watch Series 6 hasn’t been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, unlike the ECG feature on most Apple Watches. It seems that this feature is still in its earliest stages, and the very navigation of such an application can be quite tricky for anyone not a medical professional. 

Apple Watch Series 6’s SpO2 leaves some unanswered questions

The basic difference between an FDA cleared oximeter, and an Apple Watch Series 6 is that the latter device should only be used for fitness purposes- and not medical purposes. There is no reason why you should trust a watch strapped to your wrist more than a medical professional who has been trained all their life. It is true that there have been several coronavirus fatalities where the patient didn’t know that they were suffering from low oxygen levels in the blood- and this resulted in them dying in their sleep. To ensure that doesn’t happen- it is extremely important that you get a hold of something that gives you the correct measure- but an Apple Watch Series 6 shouldn’t be one of those devices. 

Keeping that aside, the Apple Watch Series 6 does bring about a host of other advantages. The watch is similar to a pulse oximeter, in that it uses an infrared light which is used as a sensor to check the oxygen percentage in blood. The difference- the light isn’t shone through the fingertips rather it is simply reflected off the blood vessels. This enables the watch to determine your levels of oxygen depending on the color of your blood. 

apple watch series 6
Reviewing Apple Watch Series 6: What Is SpO2 And What Are its Features? 2

When you are setting up the device, you would be asked if you wanted to start SpO2 tracking. If you want to disable it later, you can always do that. When you go to the SpO2 app, it shows you how to take a reading- keeping your hands flat on a table while the watch did its work. After 15 seconds, the results are published, and you are done. If you get above 90%, you are healthy. Remember, there are a few things that can affect the reading of the oximeter- skin temperature and the sensor position being one of them. 

Measuring blood oxygen levels over time on the Apple Watch Series 6

If there is something more interesting than simply checking the oxygen in blood levels, it is the data that Apple collected in the Health app over time. As we might guess, it is not possible for an oximeter to store the same data. Also, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, the Apple Watch Series 6 not only takes data in spots but also takes data throughout the day. You can also see graphs that track your blood oxygen levels, depending on whether you want to check it daily, weekly, or monthly. 

Currently, Apple boasts of three studies that are currently underway- one that is asthma-related, and one that can be used to detect the early signs of illnesses related to respiration. Also, since the Series 5 has been completely discontinued, you can get the ECG feature on the Apple Watch Series 6. 

Apple Watch Series 6 boasts of a Brighter Screen

If you took out the sensors, then your Apple Watch Series 6 could be a Series 5 watch. The size of the body is pretty similar, and they both have a display that is always-on. But there are a few differences- the Apple Watch Series 6 doesn’t dim its display when it is not being used- something the Apple Watch Series 5 does. Needless to say, it can be very useful if you are using it outdoors. 

The Apple Watch Series 6 is also the first watch manufactured by Apple that adds to the usual space gray, traditional silver, and gold finishes. You can get your Apple Watch Series 6 in Product Red- which can also come in blue if you want. 

Claspless bands and Memoji watch faces

Apple has a newer silicon band that contains no buckles or clasps and is called the Solo Loop. While it does feel like a sports band, it contains no overlapping parts. All you need to do is set your watch to a size 4 black strap that Apple usually provides. It is smooth and can stretch according to the size of your wrist. After a few hours of usage, you would see that the watch barely feels attached to your wrist. Before you buy, remember to measure your wrist. For, the price is too high to get a band that keeps stretching over time. The price of the band is $49, which is similar to the prices of sports bands.  

Another amazing feature of the Apple Watch Series 6 is that you can easily set up another Apple Watch without having to buy another iPhone. All you need to do is set your program location alerts from the main iPhone, and set up contacts that you can communicate at certain hours. 

The Apple Watch Series 6 might not be your best weapon to combat coronavirus, but you would really get a whole host of features if you did decide to get hold of it.