Living with the Apple Watch Series 6: A New Band and Some Solid Battery Life

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Apple Watch Series 6

So Apple didn’t let me down as much as I thought they would. The second Apple Watch order I placed with them after they cancelled my first one arrived on Monday, rather than in mid-November as they first predicted. Not too bad I guess, especially since I did get a free sport loop for my trouble. Time for the Watch from BestBuy to head back to the store.

Speaking of bands, while I really like the Nike Purple Pulse Sport Loop that came last week ahead of the new Watch, I love the Baltic Blue Leather Link band that came with the second Apple Watch to arrive.

Apple Watch Leather Link Band

I’ve never tried or owned any of Apple’s leather bands before, so this one was new to me. The dark blue is a great match with the Stainless Steel in Gold finish and the leather both looks and feels quite good. The leather “links” also give the band a unique and interesting appearance.

Like the Sport Loop, my favorite part of the Leather Link is how easy it is to get a great fit. The Leather Link is different in that it is split into the more traditional two halves you get with older-style buckle bands. However, the Leather Link is magnetic, making it much easier to position than old-school leather bands.

Apple Watch Series 6 with Leather Link Band

I have found it to be as comfortable as the Sport Loop, and that’s pretty impressive.

The Leather Link band made a very positive impression, but the Series 6’s battery life has been the most pleasant surprise of the last few days. My Series 5 would make it through a day, even running the watchOS 7 beta over the last few months. However, it didn’t get much beyond that. I routinely found myself with between 10-20% left at the end of each night.

The new Series 6 has been finishing every day with 50% or better battery life with the same usage patterns. That is significantly better performance than I ever got with the 5, even fresh out of the box new. It’s always-on display seemed to take a hefty toll, at least in my experience.It seems that the new processor in the Series 6 is making a real difference when it comes to efficiency.

The most notable thing about this level of battery life is that it makes using sleep tracking much easier. While watchOS 7 has a built-in reminder to recharge in the evening to prepare for using this new feature, it still doesn’t work that well if your battery is down and you use over an hour of use to recharge. That hasn’t been a problem with the Series 6. I only have to recharge 50% and it also has fast charging, so it’s only taking around 30 minutes to top it off overnight.

Sleep Tracking battery performance is also very impressive. I have used it 3 out of the last four nights and had 95% battery remaining each morning. Now, bear in mind that I only sleep around 5 hours a night (I know, I know. A lot less than I should). But all that aside, the all-around better battery life, charging and performance makes sleep tracking easier to use for anyone who wants to.

Sleep Tracking wasn’t a huge selling point for me, but since it’s no trouble to do it now, I will probably stick with it. However, I know this is a very important feature for some users. If you are one of those people, then I suggest that you take a long, hard look at the Apple Watch Series 6. It’s going to make consistent sleep tracking much easier than any other Apple Watch model.

 


James Rogers

I am a Christian husband and father of 3 living in the Southeastern US. I have worked as a programmer and project manager in the Commercial and Industrial Automation industry for over 19 years, so I am hands on with technology almost every day. However, my passion in technology is for mobile devices, specifically Apple's iOS and iPadOS hardware and software. My favorite is still the iPad.

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