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WATCH REVIEW: Apple Watch Series 6

The Apple Watch Series 6 doesn't have many new running-specific features, but it's still a great option for your next GPS watch

Photo by: Apple

Apple recently released its newest watch, the Apple Watch Series 6. As usual with Apple products, this is a slick watch with an attractive design, and it has some great features for athletes. Although not much has changed for runners specifically since the Series 5, there are many new additions to the Series 6, a reliable option that won’t disappoint. After using the watch ourselves, we’ve outlined everything runners will love about it. The Apple Watch Series 6 is available now, starting at $529. 

Photo: Apple

Accurate tracking

If you’re a runner who regularly uses a fitness tracker, there’s a good chance that you have run into some GPS issues. Whether the watch glitches and says you ran 2K shorter than you actually did or goes the opposite direction and says you ran a minute per kilometre faster than your pace really was, GPS malfunctions can really mess with your training log. That doesn’t happen with the Apple Watch Series 6. As with previous editions of the Apple Watch, the Series 6’s navigation and tracking abilities are excellent. 

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Whichever tracking app you prefer — whether that’s Strava, MapMyRun or something else — you can download it to your watch and it’ll be ready to go whenever you need it. Just open the app, hit Start and you can get on your way with accurate splits and updates throughout the run. There is also the option of using the watch’s built-in workout app, which can track a number of exercises, including both indoor and outdoor runs, functional strength training, core routines and so much more. Many of these exercises are new with the latest update, watchOS 7. 

Photo: Apple

Faster, brighter and longer-lasting 

The Series 6’s always-on retina display is also 2.5 times brighter than the Series 5. This might not seem like an important feature, but when you’re running or exercising and take a peek at your watch, it’ll be easier to read the time, your heart rate or any other stats about your workout. 

RELATED: The best Apple watchOS 7 features for runners

Perhaps the most important improvement for athletes with the Series 6 is its battery life (easily Apple Watch’s biggest weakness where runners are concerned). The new and improved battery gives users an extra hour of life for workouts, and it will stay on for 11 hours of indoor exercise tracking and seven hours outside with GPS. 

Photo: Apple

Despite the increased battery power, you’ll still have to charge your watch every night to ensure it doesn’t die on you the next day. This isn’t the biggest deal, though, because the watch recharges in no time at all. On multiple occasions, I inadvertently let the watch die, only to realize it just as I was getting ready to run. Luckily, it charges so quickly that I had no issues, and after just 15 minutes or so, it had enough juice to make it through the run. The Series 6 can charge from zero to 80 per cent in just one hour, and a full charge to 100 only takes 90 minutes (compared to a more than two hours of charging for the Series 5). 

RELATED: Strava introduces Healthkit for Apple Watches

Who should buy this watch?

If you already have the Series 5 and use it primarily as a running watch, there’s no need to rush to get the Series 6. For runners who don’t own the Series 5, this is a great option. It’s a cool-looking watch, it fits comfortably and, most importantly, it does its job well and accurately tracks your runs and other workouts. Precise data is the most important feature any tracking watch can give runners, and the Apple Watch Series 6 certainly delivers in that department.