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(Pocket-lint) - Apple is holding an online-only "Time Flies" event, where it has announced a new Apple Watch with the ability to measure blood oxygen levels. 

The Cupertino-based company typically announces the next iPhone in September, but 2020 isn't a normal year - so, of course, it is instead debuting other hardware. Apple executives took the virtual "stage" on 15 September to unveil the Apple Watch Series 6, the latest in its line of smartwatches.

The Series 6 model looks similar to its predecessors going back to the Apple Watch Series 4, but it has some fresh tricks, including new sensors for blood oxygen monitoring and better sleep tracking. It can measure blood oxygen levels in just 15 seconds, with both red and infrared light. Apple said it's working with health networks to start large-scale studies on the new blood oxygen measurement feature, including whether it can detect if a person has COVID-19.


The Series 6 comes with an S6 processor, which is based on the A13 chip and supposedly offers up to 20 per cent faster performance. It runs watchOS 7, too, which Apple announced at WWDC 2020, which means you get software features like native sleep tracking, a Fitness +app, a hand-washing feature, and more.

In the UK, Apple Watch Series 6 starts at £379, though the GPS + Cellular model starts at £479. In the US, Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399. You can buy it from Tuesday, 15 September 2020. Apple said it will start shipping from Friday, 18 September 2020. You can get it in gold, graphite, blue, or Product (RED).

Apple also announced a new watch strap, called Solo Loop, made from one piece of silicone, sans any buckles or extra bits. It'll be offered in different colors and styles. There's even a braided yarn version as well as a new leather link strap.

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For more about what Apple is unveiling during the show, see our Apple hub. You can watch the stream, even after the fact, here. It starts 1pm ET on 15 September.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.