Gift guide: Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE are in demand this Christmas

Apple’s newest smartwatches are designed for everyone

Gift guide: Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE are in demand this Christmas
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch line-up has two new members: The Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, which both come in two sizes every face and strap combo you can think of, and would make fantastic Christmas presents.

The Series 6 is the hi-tech option and boasts some incredible health features, such as the ability to monitor the wearer’s blood oxygen level, take an ECG and show fitness and sleep metrics on the always-on retina display. 

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch SE is the ‘budget’ option targeted at Millennials. It’s also fast, looks pretty much the same and has an identically-sized retina display and many of the same productivity features. Both watches are water resistant and have advanced sensors to track the way the wearer moves, but as you might expect from a more value-focused offering, the SE lacks the latest health sensors to measure blood oxygen levels.

Which one you pick largely comes down to your budget and whether the lucky recipient will be using it for sport or to track their health in detail. 

Who's it for?

Fitness fans: Both watches have built-in GPS and can detect and track all sorts of exercises. Users can even wear them in the swimming pool. The watches are also built to run Apple Fitness + which lets users join in workouts and exercise classes with top trainers, with new ones dropping every week. The only catch is that they’ll need a monthly subscription.

Health trackers: People who are keen to keep a close eye on their health will love the Apple Watch Series 6, which is packed with new features, including the ability to monitor a wearer’s blood oxygen level and take ECGs. The watch can also perform all the standard fitness functions and sleep tracking.

Busy people: The Apple Watch is designed to make wearers more productive and efficient, enabling them to set and reach goals, take calls, receive notifications and much more. It’s an ideal companion to an iPhone.

Music lovers: Both watches enable users to stream music if they have an Apple Music subscription. Choosing a watch with a cellular connection enables wearers to leave their phone at home, which is great news for runners etc.

Christmas gifts

(Image credit: Apple)

Age range:

There's no official age range for the Apple Watch. Like all Apple products they are incredibly intuitive to use, but aren’t designed for children.

What makes it the ideal Christmas gift?

Sensors for health: The Apple Watch Series 6 is designed to provide an insight into the wearer’s fitness. It has a new sensor made up of four LED clusters and four photodiodes, revealing the blood oxygen level, which is an indicator of someone’s overall wellness. The watch can also generate an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram too. 

While the Apple Watch SE doesn’t have these functions, it does have sensors able to monitor a wearer’s heart rate, which is really handy for sports and can even let the know if something looks wrong or call for help in an emergency. Like the Series 6, it also offers sleep monitoring to help wearers establish a regular bedtime routine, keep track of sleep trends and ultimately help them get the right amount of shut-eye.

Tech for fitness: Both watches let wearers track their workout metrics more precisely than ever before — in the water, at the gym or out on the road. They let users invite friends to compete in activity challenges, while ‘Activity Rings’ help them sit less, move more, and get some exercise.

Music on-tap: These watches let wearers listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks on the move, including 70 million songs on Apple Music (which requires a subscription). To do this without an iPhone nearby will require a watch with cellular capabilities, or a Wi-Fi connection, which may well be available in the gym.

Productivity functions: The watches are designed to place everything in reach so users can make a call to the office, reply to an urgent email and get turn-by-turn directions from Maps, for example, making life and necessary tasks easier. Models with cellular connectivity can do everything without an iPhone nearby too.

Style: Apple Watches are among the best-looking smartwatches and there are now (PRODUCT)RED and blue aluminium cases in the line-up. There’s also a range of materials, to choose from (including titanium, stainless steel and 100 per cent recycled aluminium), an array of new faces and a strap to suit every possible occasion.

Buy the Apple Watch SE here:

Buy the Apple Watch Series 6 here:

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Sarah Griffiths
Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course.