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Apple Watch 6 has a key advantage over the cheaper Watches

Published Sep 17th, 2020 7:31AM EDT
Apple Watch 6 Battery
Image: Apple Inc.

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  • The new Apple Watch Series 6 has much better hardware than the Apple Watch SE and Series 3.
  • The wearable features a faster and more efficient chip and a couple of potentially life-saving sensors.
  • But the Apple Watch 6 also has a key advantage over the other two devices that might not be immediately apparent: Faster battery charging.

Apple unveiled its next-gen Apple Watch models earlier this week, with the Watch Series 6 and Watch SE joining the Watch Series 3. The Apple Watch 6 is obviously the better choice between the three models, featuring much better hardware than the cheaper version. If you’re willing to spend more money on the Watch, you’ll end up with a processor that’s based on the same chip that powers the iPhone 11, an improved display, and two potentially life-saving sensors – EKG and blood oxygen. But there’s another Apple Watch 6 feature that you may overlook initially, which delivers a key advantage over the Watch SE and Watch 3. It might not be immediately clear, because all three Watch models offer the same battery life estimate, but the Series 6 features a better battery than the other two.

Whether you buy Series 6, SE, or Series 3, the Apple Watch is good for up to 18 hours of continuous use, according to Apple’s estimates. Battery life has never been better than that, despite efficiency gains from better S-series chips and settings customizations. But the Apple Watch 6 that Apple briefly touched on during its announcement — from Apple’s Watch Series 6 announcement:

Apple Watch Series 6 offers faster charging, completing a full charge in under 1.5 hours, and improved battery life for tracking certain workouts, such as indoor and outdoor runs.

Head over to the Apple Watch battery section on, and you’ll find more details about the batteries inside the Apple Watches.

The Apple Watch 6 needs about one hour to reach 80% charge and 1.5 hours to get to 100%. The Watch SE goes to 80% in 1.5 hours, and to 100% in 2.5 hours. Finally, the Watch 3 gets the same estimate for 80% recharge, but it’ll get to 100% in 2 hours.

Other statistics on the same page explain that the Series 6 battery lasts longer than the other two models, whether its workout sessions or audio playback, but what’s really critical this year is the support for faster charging.

That’s because Apple introduced sleep tracking support in watchOS 7, so many people will want to wear their Apple Watch models to bed. But that means you won’t be able to recharge it overnight, as you may have done so far. You’ll need to find a different time during the day to recharge the wearable so that you can keep using it at night. That’s where faster charging comes into play. Getting to 80% in just one hour is a great improvement, and a 1.5-hour charge will fully replenish the battery.

If the main purpose for your Watch is to track everything about your health and fitness activity, then it’s not just the new sensors that should be considered when deciding what model to buy, but also the expected battery performance, charging speed included.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.