Apple Watch is a brand of smartwatches produced by Apple Inc. First released in 2015, it included health and fitness capabilities, wireless communication, and support with various iOS devices, Macs, and other Apple services. There were an estimated 100 million Apple Watch users in late 2020.
Typically, Apple introduces a new generation (also called Series) of Apple Watches in September each year. Each generation is improved through its casing, size, OS version, and features. The watch and its band also come in varying colors.
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All Apple Watch Series run watchOS, an operating system developed by Apple Inc. This OS can be navigated via the touchscreen interface or the crown on the side of the watch. It’s based on the operating system used by the iPhone (iOS) and has similar features.
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Notable Apple Watch Series or Generations
First Generation (Series 0)
Released in 2015, the first generation Apple Watch used the Apple S1 (single-core S1 system-on-chip). It had a built-in heart rate sensor and a Taptic Engine, providing real-time haptic feedback if an alert or notification is received. However, it isn’t GPS-ready and had to rely on a paired iPhone’s location services feature.
All versions of the Series 0 had 8 GB of internal memory and allowed the user to store 2 GB of music and 75 MB of photos.
Third Generation (Series 3)
The Apple Watch Series 3 had an improved processor, the Apple dual-core S3, a built-in altimeter for measuring altitudes, a larger RAM size, Bluetooth 4.2 support, and wireless LTE connectivity. It was also the first Apple Watch Series to have Siri support due to its increased processing speed.
This version of the Apple Watch contained an eSIM which shares the same mobile number as the owner’s iPhone. It also allowed users to make calls and send messages through iMessage—even without an iPhone.
Fifth Generation (Series 5 & SE)
First announced in September 2019, the Apple Watch Series 5 had an improved and energy-efficient S5 processor. It contained a low-power display driver capable of having refresh rates as low as one second and a built-in compass.
Its new features included International Emergency Calling, allowing users to make emergency calls in over 150 countries and more extensive storage of 32 GB.
A year after, the Apple Watch SE was launched—an affordable model compared to the Series 5. It used an old-generation S5 processor and didn’t have 5 GHz Wi-Fi capabilities. Overall, critics gave the Series 5 and SE a positive review and were considered two of the best smartwatches in the market at that time.
Sixth Generation (Series 6)
The Apple Watch Series 6 featured a new sensor that monitors blood oxygen saturation. It included an improved S6 processor, which is 20 percent faster than its predecessors, the Apple S4 and S5. The Series 6 also had Ultra-wideband (UWB) support through Apple’s U1 chip and was compatible with 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
This smartwatch was known to have faster-charging capabilities, with a charging time of approximately 1.5 hours before it’s fully charged.