Similarities and differences between Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 5 — 2022

Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 5. Two Apple watches a single year apart and that, despite not being the most recent, are still found in the odd store. Therefore, there is great doubt about whether or not they are recommended and, if so, which one is worth it. Although they are very similar, they incorporate interesting technical and user experience differences that are worth analyzing.

Technical differences

There is nothing like a table of technical specifications to see what are the most similar or identical specifications between the two and, above all, what are the changes and novelties that we find in the Series 6 with respect to the Series 5. Logically it is not everything , since there are certain aspects that should be specified as we will do in the following sections, but at first it can be very useful to begin to get an idea of ​​what these smartwatches are.

Apple Watch Series 6Apple Watch Series 5
Size-40 mm
-44 mm
-40 mm
-44 mm
-Space Grey.
-Space Gray
MaterialsAluminum, stainless steel and titanium.Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic.
Weight39.8 grams (40mm model).
47.8 grams (44mm model).
39.8 grams (40mm model).
47.8 grams (44mm model).
Dimensions40 x 34 x 10,7 mm (modelo 40 mm).
44 x 38 x 10,7 mm (modelo 44 mm).
40 x 34 x 10,7 mm (modelo 40 mm).
44 x 38 x 10,7 mm (modelo 44 mm).
ProcessorChip S6Chip S5
Screen1.57/1.78 inch (40/44mm) OLED1.57/1.78 inch (40/44mm) OLED
Always on Display optionYesYes
Sensor ECGYesYes
blood oxygen level sensorYesDo not
fall detectorYesYes
Other sensors and features-Compass.
-Altimeter always active.
-Emergency calls abroad.
-SOS emergency.
-Ambient light sensor.
-Barometric altimeter.
-Ambient light sensor.
Storage32 GB32 GB
resistorsWater at a depth of 50 meters.Water at a depth of 50 meters.
Do you have LTE connectivity?YesYes
WiFi connection802.11b/g/n de 2.4 GHz y 5 GHz802.11b/g/n a 2,4 GHz
BatteryUp to 18 hours of autonomy.Up to 18 hours of autonomy.

In summary, the points where there are more differences between these two devices are the following:

    Colors and materials:The Apple Watch Series 6 includes two new colors such as blue and red that are not present in the previous generation. It is not the most outstanding point, but it is an appreciable difference in the same way that in the Series 6 we find new materials such as ceramics. Processor:In the brain of the two Apple Watch there are differences, seeing a significant improvement in the Series 6 by having a more powerful processor. In addition, the absence of the U1 chip in the Series 5 can also be seen, making tracking tasks difficult. Although, as we will analyze later, in practical terms the difference between the two is almost negligible. Sensors:Both devices have very similar sensors, highlighting the possibility of performing ECG or the classic heart rate measurement. Although if we focus on the differences, it is the blood oxygen saturation sensor that is the big difference between one and the other, being exclusive to the Series 6 and the generations after it. Connectivity:When it comes to connecting via WiFi, the Apple Watch Series 6 can connect to 5GHz networks while the previous generation is only compatible with 2.4 GHz networks. This is not a very prominent change either, but it is at least appreciable.

differences in design

In terms of design, it has exactly the same screen size, as well as identical dimensions for both models if they are placed side by side. In this sense, there has been no significant change and not even in the weight of the equipment does it seem to be something to highlight, both remaining at 39.8 and 47.8 grams depending on whether it is the 40 or 44 mm model. Of course, there are some differential details to take into account.

Screen now much brighter

One of the big problems with the Apple Watch Series 5 and the then newly implemented Always on display technology was brightness. Many users complained that the screen did not display well while idle in low light environments. This was completely fixed on the Apple Watch Series 6 by integrate a 20% brighter screen. In this way, using the screen on function is not a problem, regardless of whether you are on the street in broad daylight or in situations where there is no light.

apple watch accessibility

As far as the rest of the features are concerned, there is no notable difference. Specifically, the brightness of 1,000 nits is maintained when the screen is fully on, thereby maintaining an OLED LTPO retina panel and a resolution of 368 x 448 pixels in the 44 mm model and 324 x 394 pixels in the 40 mm model. In this way, when it is not in screen sleep mode, there is no noticeable difference.

rear sensors

With regard to design, it is true that the sensors do not end up being seen on a day-to-day basis, since it is located in the rear. But the truth is that between these two generations of watches there are interesting changes in this area. This in the end ends up being a differential element between the Apple Watch Series 5 and a Series 6 due to the functionalities that end up being integrated. If we begin to see the differences, in both cases you can find the buttons at the bottom and top to comfortably change the straps.

If we enter to value the sensors as such we see how distribution is changed totally. In the Series 5 a single sensor is integrated in the central part surrounded by the band with electrodes to give life to the EKG function. This does not happen in the Series 6, where a different design has been chosen with four photodiodes that emit red light in each of the corners. This makes a lot of sense, since it's what brings the oxygen saturation measurement to life. It is true that it is not possible to end up assessing which of the two is more attractive as it is something subjective, but functionally it has been adapted to the new functions that are integrated offering better sensor performance.

Compatible Straps

Beyond the body of the device, an important part of the design is also the straps that can be installed. Apple in this case has decided to bet on continuity in sizes by making the straps compatible on both devices alike. There is no need to search for straps that are different therefore, since the straps you used on the Series 5 can be used on the Series 6 and vice versa.

This is because in both cases the size of 40 and 44 mm is maintained. This also makes it possible to take advantage of all the straps of the previous models because the measurements are identical and even end up being extrapolated by the older models. In this way, it is possible to have a wide range of possibilities ahead to be able to have a new strap on the Apple Watch by making different changes in the design.

Health and performance sensors

Beyond the design, you also have to look inside the devices where most of the differences in an Apple Watch usually reside. After all, it is not a trivial issue considering the focus that both devices have on health and physical exercise.

20% more powerful processor

For several generations, the Apple Watch has improved substantially in terms of processor. The Series 5 was stuck in this aspect by including the same as the previous generation, but with the Series 6 it was decided to reinforce this aspect. With the integrated S6 chip, Apple promises a performance improvement of 20% over the Series 5. This is quite important in order to offer greater software fluidity as well as efficient application opening.

Chip S6 Apple Watch

Now, in practical terms, Is this change really noticeable? Not really. If the Apple Watch Series 6 were capable of performing complex image rendering tasks and others, an appreciable change would be noticeable due to the greater brute force available to its chip, but taking into account that in the end they are not devices suitable for complex tasks , it is not so noticeable. Both work very smoothly in all tasks, with special emphasis on opening applications, which has been the Achilles heel of Apple watches on many occasions.

Sensors: main difference

Beyond the design or the dimensions that have been kept conservatively, there are significant differences when it comes to sensors. The Apple Watch Series 6 has finally included the necessary sensors to measure blood oxygen saturation. This has been achieved by varying the design of the sensors on the back of the watch. The Series 5 included a single central LED surrounded by an electrode to perform electrocardiograms. Now Apple has integrated four LED sensors into the latest generation of watches that are capable of projecting light into blood vessels, and the photodiodes measure the amount of light reflected by calibrating this color to determine the level of oxygen in the blood. This is vital technology for many users with lung ailments. A low oxygen saturation can be an indication that something is wrong with the body. Measurement done overnight can be vital in determining that a user has apnea.

ECG Apple Watch

As we say, this is a technology that is not present in any other Apple Watch and that has been released in this generation. Likewise, in this sense, there are still similarities with the Series 5, such as the possibility of performing electrocardiograms thanks to the electrodes that it includes on the back and on the digital crown, or performing a simple heart rate measurement. Fall detection and ambient noise measurement is obviously also integrated into this new generation.

It goes without saying that both devices have functions of sports training record as has been customary since the first Apple watch. Therefore, with both you can help yourself to stay in shape, challenge your friends and keep a complete record of all the activity you do. In addition, these reports are synchronized with the iPhone, where you can see them in a more complete way.

Which has more battery?

Historically, Apple smartwatches have stood out for not having a very good autonomy that would last several days in a row. This is something that Apple tries to solve in a certain way with this new Series 6. As seen in the disassembly of the watches, a larger battery has been included that provides more autonomy to the equipment as well as a much more efficient charge . With the option added from watchOS 7 for native sleep monitoring, users are forced to charge the watch before going to bed, which can take too long.

apple watch series 5 sale

This is why charging is now 20% faster, going from 0 to 80% in just one hour. This makes the watch fully prepared to be used for a whole day without any type of charging problem. Also during the night it has been noticed that it is much more efficient, consuming in many cases only 10% of its battery, something that significantly improves the consumption obtained with previous generations.

Is the Apple Watch Series 6 cheaper?

Something to keep in mind in these times is that both were discontinued by Apple. Therefore, we cannot have a reference of their official prices. The departure of later generations causes them to lose some value. Now, they can still be found on the second-hand market and even brand new in stores like Amazon.

This is where we observe that the difference between them is not very high. In fact, although we are going to specify more in the next section, we can get ahead of you since in most cases it will compensate you to get a Series 6. Of course, you must bear in mind that the Series 6 does not integrate a power adapter on the box, something Apple removed in late 2020 from devices like its watches and iPhones. What we do find in both is the USB-C charging cable.

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 5 buy it at Amazon Logo Consult Apple Watch Series 6 buy it at EUR 391.94

Which one is recommended to buy?

As you can see, the differences between the two devices are very subtle. Above all, the inclusion of the new oxygen saturation measurement with the improvement of its sensors stands out. This is not something that I can end up justifying move from Series 5 to Series 6, especially if it is a young user without any type of pulmonary pathology and who does not need to have controlled oxygen saturation.

However, in case you don't have any It will end up compensating you more for getting the Series 6, not only because of the new features that it incorporates, which we already said are not too many, but because of its low price difference with the previous generation. In any case, you should know that both will continue to receive support at the level of repairs for years, in the same way that they are expected to continue to have watchOS updates for many other years.

In any case, you should not rule out either other brand watches . We recall that, at the time of updating this post, versions such as the Apple Watch SE or the Apple Watch Series 7 are on the market. Although the first of them is inferior in terms of sensors, the Series 7 does offer more striking changes in as far as screen is concerned. Although at the end of the day, that's another story, and if your doubts are regarding these two in particular, we already confirm that with both of them in the end you will have a very good and similar experience.