New Apple Watch 6 leaks hint at battery sizes, blood oxygen monitoring

Apple Watch 5 review
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There's some confusion over exactly when Apple is having its next product launch event, but we are expecting the iPhone 12 and the Apple Watch 6 to appear together – and some extra details on the smartwatch have spilled out online.

First up is a report from well-known Chinese outlet DigiTimes, which says the upcoming smartwatch will indeed have a blood oxygen sensor packed in, according to its sources – a rumor that we've heard before.

The level of oxygen in the blood can be a good indicator of respiratory problems and other health issues, so it would work like the electrocardiogram feature already on current Apple Watch models: warning you about potential problems ahead of time, and without a visit to the doctor.

As 9to5Mac reports, hints about such a sensor have already been spotted in the watchOS 7 beta, but obviously Apple wouldn't be able to announce them until it had the hardware to match, and that's where the Apple Watch 6 comes in.

Battery size matters

In a separate leak, MySmartPrice has noticed some small batteries making their way through the South Korean regulatory process, batteries which may well be headed to Apple's next wearable.

There are three batteries on show in the filings – they have capacities of 262.9mAh, 265.9mAh and 303.8mAh. Those differing sizes most probably line up with different sizes and models for the Apple Watch 6.

The Apple Watch 5 models all come with a 296mAh battery, so if you take into account the optimizations and efficiency improvements that Apple manages to pull off each year, it looks as though battery life on the Apple Watch 6 will be at least as good as its predecessor (if not a little better).

We should find out for sure in the next few months – either in September or October, most probably. Of course there might also be a significant gap between when Apple announces the iPhone 12 and the Apple Watch 6 and when they actually go on sale.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.