The Apple Watch 6 offers a solid upgrade over its predecessor, but two new strap options are causing an irritating problem.
The Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop straps are the culprits in question. The bands aren’t adjustable since they have no clasps or buckles, simply stretching to fit around a wearer’s wrist. Apple offers nine different sizes, but that means if you end up with a bad fit you have to send the whole watch back to Apple rather than swap only the strap.
- See our Apple Watch 6 review
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Granted, Apple provides a printable tool that helps you estimate the size of strap you need. But MacRumors reported that the sizing isn't always accurate, and if it’s wrong you’ll have to return the whole Apple Watch 6. That's hardly ideal if you’ve just got one and are keen to put it through its paces.
But that inconvenience is compounded by the limited supply of new Apple Watch 6 models, meaning if you return the watch with the loop straps, you’ll have to wait until sometime between late October and late November before you get the watch back.
Understandably, this has left some people who bought the Apple Watch 6 rather annoyed. And people have vented their fury on the MacRumors forum.
“I assumed if you ordered the incorrect size, you could keep the watch and just return/exchange the band. But Apple support through chat said you have to return the watch and the band. That's so wasteful. And frustrating,” said one user going by the name of Kermit262.
Seems to be pretty accurate.. the Apple Watch paper sizing is about 2 sizes too big! https://t.co/5kwFttd68GSeptember 21, 2020
“I measured with a cloth tape at home and then went into an Apple store where they used their own tool. In both cases I was supposed to be a 5. Putting the 5 on, it was immediately obvious it was too large sadly (and frustrating as I''d pre-ordered the watch with a 5),” said another forum poster.
In our hands-on review of the Apple Watch 6, Kate Kozuch also found the Solo Loop strap to be a bit of a dissapointment. Kate felt the size might have been wrong and didn't like the feeling of pulling it over her hand, so ended up returning to the classic strap.
Thanks to the closures of some Apple Stores, it may be difficult to pop into a store and try on the Apple Watch 6 with the loop straps before you buy. So it would appear that many are at the mercy of Apple’s measurement tool (and luck).
The Apple Watch 6 does offer a suite of more traditional straps, so we suggest ordering the wearable with one of those and buying a loop strap as a separate accessory.
While there may be some frustrations around the way Apple deals with ill-fitting loop straps, the Apple Watch 6 itself offers a solid, albeit incremental, upgrade over the Apple Watch Series 5. The blood oxygen measuring feature and brighter always-on display are particular highlights.
- Next: Apple Watch 6 vs Apple Watch 3: Is it worth the upgrade?
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Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.
Just got a refurbished Watch 6. Ludicrous strap mechanism and fitment, not even anything to hold the excess length down like *any* other watch in the world would have....Reply