Apple Watch 6 blood oxygen monitoring confirmed — here's the proof

Apple Watch 6 blood oxygen monitoring confirmed — here's the proof
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch 6 will come with blood oxygen monitoring capabilities, according to a new report detailing the current stage of the next-generation wearable's production. 

While we're interested to hear Digitimes say the Apple Watch 6 production lines are gearing up, we're more curious about the alleged blood oxygen monitoring feature that's confirmed to ship on the upcoming smartwatch (via 9to5Mac).

We've heard whispers before about blood oxygen monitoring coming to the Apple Watch 6, plus watchOS 7 hinted it's in the pipeline, but this is the most credible report about the metric we've seen yet.

Blood oxygen monitoring, also known as SpO2 monitoring, measures the oxygen saturation level of your blood. If your blood oxygen falls below a specific concentration, which can occur during exercise, the Apple Watch could warn you to ease up before you injure yourself.

Apple Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 3

Although Apple has, more or less, set the standard for health and wellness insights on smartwatches, it's been slower to release certain tools than its fitness-tracking counterparts.

But the Apple Watch 6 will be following the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, which is expected to debut alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and launch August 5. 

New advantages like watchOS 7 sleep tracking, and now the hardware for blood oxygen monitoring, could be how Apple shows up Samsung's rotating bezel. Samsung's next lifestyle smartwatch is believed to have both those features, too, which may narrow the gap between the two leading smartwatch makers. 

We'll have to test the Apple Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 3 when they're available to see which does blood oxygen monitoring — and other health features — better. The Apple Watch 6 is coming later, with an anticipated debut along the iPhone 12 this fall.

During Apple's latest earnings report, its Chief financial officer Luca Maestri implied the company's new products are arriving few weeks later than the typical September date, likely due to supply chain delays. It's possible then that the Apple Watch 6, like the iPhone 12, is slated for an October release.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.