Apple Watch overview

Apple’s first smartwatch generation saw the light of day in September 2014. Since then, this month has become the annual time when the latest model is unveiled. The latest version is the Apple Watch Series 5, and the Californians have always stuck to the distinctive design with high recognition value. An angular case sets the smartwatch apart from most other competing products. And competition is an appropriate keyword here, because the manufacturer from Cupertino is far ahead of them.

The smartwatch always ranks first among the best-selling wearables internationally. This is certainly also due to its versatility. The Apple Watch convinces with functions for sports activities, monitors the wearer’s health, helps organize everyday life, and acts as an extended arm (no pun intended) of the iPhone. For even more possibilities, additional apps can be installed on the watchOS operating system, increasing the capability according to the user’s wishes.

Apple Watch Series 6 with sleep tracking and the Apple Watch SE in tow.

Similar to the previous generation, Apple held back on the Watch Series 6 (check out the Apple shop) in terms of profound changes. Instead, the Californians focused on fine details in order to optimize them. Accordingly, the ECG measurement, the warning system in case of cardiac arrhythmias, and the heart rate sensor have been improved. Native sleep tracking is available on the Apple Watch Series 6 for the first time. Consequently, third-party apps are no longer required to record the night’s rest. Meanwhile, nothing has changed in terms of battery life. The watch works for around 18 hours before it requires new energy again. It needs one and a half hours to be fully operational again.

Another innovation is the measurement of the oxygen content in the blood. For this, the smartwatch from Cupertino uses red LEDs in combination with infrared light. Thanks to this technology, possible sleep apnea can be detected at night. In addition, this value provides insights during training and about the health of the cardiovascular system. The Apple Watch Series 6 is also suitable for target groups that do not own an iPhone.

However, they must have the smartwatch set up and synced with another person’s iPhone. This is referred to as the “Family Setup” function. The primary intention behind this is to make the watch accessible to children as well. Thus, it serves them as a communication tool on the wrist and as a fitness tracker. Thanks to a school mode, it remains silent at the desired times – this way, it does not disturb the lessons.

The Apple Watch works brilliantly with other iOS devices.
The Apple Watch works brilliantly with other iOS devices.

Finally, Apple has given the Watch Series 6 a more powerful processor that is up to 20 percent more powerful than its predecessor. The always-on display displays content two and a half times brighter. The smartwatch is available in different colors like gold, silver, red, blue and gray. In addition, prospective buyers can choose between the case materials titanium, stainless steel and aluminum.

The Apple Watch SE was the second model that made its debut in September 2020. It is to be understood as a cheaper alternative that comes up with a somewhat reduced feature set. It does offer fall detection, but in return it does not create an ECG and cannot measure blood oxygen. It uses the fifth-generation chipset and does not have an always-on display. Only aluminum is available as the casing material in gold, silver and gray.

Apple Watch Series 5: New display, even more capabilities

Apple did not make any profound changes to the Watch Series 5, but further optimized the watch in details. Among other things, this includes a new display technology. Instead of the previously common AMOLED display, the Californians now use a Retina screen. This allows the smartwatch to run in an efficient always-on mode. In this mode, the display is permanently on. As long as no inputs are made, it remains slightly dimmed and thus saves energy. The screen works with full brightness when the Watch Series 5 is operated.

A compass has also been added, which makes it even more suitable for outdoor activities than it already is. After the fourth generation was already able to send emergency calls in dangerous situations, the LTE versions of this series can do that without a connection to the iPhone. In terms of features, the Cupertino brand has added new applications to the model, such as a calculator, a voice note recorder, and women get the opportunity to track their periods with the Watch Series 5. Last but not least, the watch is capable of measuring the ambient volume in decibels when needed.

In terms of size, the 2019 edition follows the previous year’s models. Accordingly, there are compact versions with a diameter of 40 millimeters and larger ones with a diameter of 44 millimeters. The Californians add titanium to the aluminum and stainless steel casing materials for the first time and bring back ceramic from the third generation.

The Apple Watch is fairly popular - even though it's not the best product on the market.
The Apple Watch is fairly popular – even though it’s not the best product on the market.

Apple Watch Series 4 brings new dimensions and the ECG to the wrist

After the first three generations were always launched in the two sizes with 38 and 42 millimeters, Apple saw the time was ripe for a change in 2018. Since then, the smaller variant has a diagonal of 40 millimeters, the larger one 44 millimeters. Since the screen is also kept almost bezel-less, it helps the smart watch to have a much larger display. The display grows by a whole 30 percent compared to previous versions.

The second major innovation is the ECG measurement, which makes the smartwatch even more of a health-oriented companion. It can detect risks at an early stage and warns its wearers in such cases. If necessary, users can share the data with their doctor. The integrated fall sensor also provides great added value. If the Watch Series 4 detects a fall, it immediately asks if everything is okay. If the wearer does not react, the watch sends an emergency call.

Apple Watch Series 3 is awarded a red crown

Apple set an important milestone in 2017 with the Watch Series 3, which appeared alongside the standard models with an optional red crown. This indicates that it is the LTE version. The Californians have also installed an eSIM. Thus, the smartwatch can be used completely independently in these versions, but it can connect to the iPhone conventionally if desired. Users who want to use it independently can make calls, send and receive messages, surf the web, download apps and stream music via the watch.

Many details have been refined for the Apple Watch Series 3. The optimization of the speaker and microphone improves the call quality. A new processor once again helps the watch to increase its performance. More hardware has been added, including an altimeter. Despite the more extensive features, the Watch Series 3 remains as slim as its predecessor. For the third time in a row, Apple lets customers choose between a case diameter of 38 and 42 millimeters. Thanks to the cooperation with Nike, there are once again very sporty versions of this wearable. Luxury manufacturer Hermes contributes versions from the upper price segment.

All versions of this third generation convince with another very accurate heart rate monitor. This makes the smartwatch suitable not only as a companion for physical activity – it can also detect abnormalities in heart health.

Every generation of Apple Watches brings new ideas and features to life.
Every generation of Apple Watches brings new ideas and features to life.

Apple Watch Series 2: Waterproof and a partnership with Nike

The Apple Watch Series 2 embodies a clear evolution of the debut model. It is the only model so far that does not build on a predecessor that was presented a year earlier. Instead, there are two years between the first and this second generation from 2016. One of the wearable’s convincing features is that it is now also waterproof, which makes it a good partner for swimming. Another important innovation is the integrated GPS. This allows the smartwatch to record outdoor routes even without a paired iPhone. With the iBreathe application, the watch provides guided breathing. Thanks to iScribble, incoming messages on the cell phone can be answered even more conveniently than before via the wearable’s screen.

Apple is sticking to the two case sizes of 38 and 42 millimeters. The developers demonstrated their innovative spirit with a display that is twice as bright, and the designers showed their creativity by partnering with Nike. The sports brand helped the watch from Cupertino to special editions with perforated wristbands, an even more fitness-friendly appearance and the Nike Run Club app for all running enthusiasts.

Another collaboration allows the Watch Series 2 to provide its wearers with the Pokémon Go app. The application links the game content with fitness data. This makes it possible to see how many kilometers were completed during the game and how many calories were burned in the process.

Apple Watch: The first generation as a milestone

The first generation was unveiled in September 2014 – but it still took until April 2015 for its market launch. Originally, this watch appeared under the name Apple Watch. With the presentation of the Watch Series 2 as the following generation, the Californians adjusted the name and thus turned it into the Apple Watch Series 1.

This smartwatch was nowhere near as independent as its successors would be. Nevertheless, as one of the first models, it set a movement in motion, as the iPhone had previously succeeded in the cell phone segment. A GPS module was not yet part of the equipment, so the iPhone always had to be present to record routes such as running routes or bike tours. However, thanks to a built-in microphone and a speaker, incoming calls could already be accepted and made on the iPhone via the wrist.

At the same time, the voice assistant Siri can be given commands or asked questions. A heart rate monitor tracks the heart’s activity and is also a suitable tool for sports activities. Here, the option to create workout plans or have yoga exercises shown on the display is added to the classic fitness tracking.

The Apple Watch is suitable for both men and women. Prospective buyers can choose between the two sizes of 38 and 42 millimeters. The smartwatch is available in various case colors and with a wide range of wristbands. Swimming is not yet possible with these models since they are only splash-proof.

In the course of renaming it Apple Watch Series 1, the manufacturer continued this generation and once again launched it with a more powerful dual-core processor.


Author: Smartwatch Fans

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