The Apple Watch 7 replaces Watch 6. It is now the premium model in Apple’s wearable line. This joins the Watch SE, Watch 3, and Watch 3 for those who want a second screen to complement their iPhones.
The screen is 20% larger than the previous model, but it’s still a decent upgrade. The impressive features make it worth your consideration. It’s still the best Apple Watch and the most advanced smartwatch, but only marginally.
This Watch is a great option for people who want to reduce the amount of time they have to reach for their phones, or simply because they are looking for a good fitness companion. You also get heart rate monitoring and useful apps in a beautiful package.
The package is available in five new colors. With the larger screen, everything is slightly easier to see than on the Watch 6 and SE. The package also features the always-on display, which means you don’t have to raise your wrist to view the time (something that the Watch SE does not offer). Additionally, the glass covering the attractive display has a slight curvature – though we didn’t see any benefit.
We had hoped for more design upgrades with the Watch 7, including flat edges that match the new iPhone design and a larger screen. This would make it worth upgrading to the Apple Watch 7.
You can access more features with a bigger screen. For instance, you can see more messages and have more surface area to tap buttons. Apple believes that the additional display space is a sign it’s time for a keyboard on the Watch 7 – although dictation was equally good and less tedious.
The chip’s power has not been improved year-on-year, so even though it is called the S7 here, it does not bring any power advantage. It’s been reconfigured to accommodate the slightly larger design. The Watch 7 is super-fast and everything works flawlessly.
The Watch 7 has an enhanced fitness mode. It can detect when you are cycling and will notify you if you have stopped.
The Apple Watch 7 is a good fitness companion. You get three months of free Fitness+ which basically means that you can do your workouts anywhere you are.
The Watch 7 is able to do basic running, cycling, and swim tracking very well. There are also some nice extras such as the meditation app, which we enjoyed using often, and Apple’s ring system which allows you to see how active you are during the day.
Many people won’t find the electrocardiogram or blood oxygen monitoring useful. We’ll get into that below but these headline features are not going to be a major reason to purchase for many.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is still available, but we don’t recommend it. Especially if 2020’s model is on sale.
However, once that model sells out, you will only have one choice – at least until September’s Apple Watch8. Apple slowly removing all of the obstacles to buying its wearables, with a good display, fitness tracking, and easy-to-read notifications.
Apple Watch 7 release date and price
- On sale on October 15, 2021, the was launched on September 14, 2021.
- Prices start at $399/PS369/AU$599
- Increased Prices due to increased sizes, connectivity, and special editions
The Apple Watch 7 was launched on September 14, 2021. It went on sale on October 15. The Apple Watch 7 comes in both the small and large sizes. However, they have been slightly enlarged to 41mm and 45mm.
Apple Watch 7 starts at $399 / PlayStation369 / AU$599 in the 41mm version, and goes up to $429 / Ps399 / AU$649 in the 45mm model.
The 41mm version is $499 / PS469 / AU$749 while the 45mm version is $529 / PlayStation499 / AU$799 – plus an additional data plan.
The Series 7 also has a Nike Edition Apple Watch and Hermes version, with prices going up dramatically.
All cases will see a price drop, on Amazon Prime Day. The price of the Apple Watch 8 (likely in September) will likely also drop. This won’t, however, be the most recent model.
You can get it in five new aluminum finishes Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue, or (PRODUCT RED). Three new Nike Sport Loop colors are available, along with new Apple Watch Hermes band options.
Apple Watch 7 design and display
- 20% larger screen than the predecessor
- A new feature in the always-on display
- IP6X protected
Apple Watch design is the most noticeable difference between this model and the Watch 6 or Watch SE. It’s slightly wider in the frame and around 20% larger than the older models. The display is also significantly larger than the Series 3 with its heavy bezel, which is still available for purchase.
You won’t notice the difference when you first hold it. The watch has IP6X onboard, making it virtually dustproof and waterproof (to WR50 for open water swimming and diving). This means that dirt and other harmful particles cannot get under the watch.
The OLED display’s glass has been made tougher to prevent scratching and breaking. We have never seen any damage to watches over the years, except for a small scratch on the Watch 6 that we had to force into it). This was the case here with no scratches in our testing.
This protection is supposed to make the Watch 7 more appealing to white-water-rafting enthusiasts, but they may be already considering something like the Garmin Fenix range which offers better protection and more activity-tracking options.
The Watch 7 and the Watch 6 are compared side-by-side. You can clearly see how the additional information is displayed. It makes it easier to interact with the device.
However, there wasn’t much difference between the Watch 7 and Watch 6 when we tested them both simultaneously. The accuracy was pretty comparable on the Watch 7 as well.
Both models have the same brightness, and Apple doesn’t change how many nits it can output. However, the extra 70% brightness when the Watch 7 is in ‘dimmed mode feels like a contradiction.
The Watch 7 offers five new colors, with fancy names such as “Starlight”, but they are essentially gray-green, blue, silver, and red.
The usual array of LEDs under the skin of the Watch 7 can be found at the Watch 7’s rear. It may feel a bit bulbous at first, but you’ll soon forget it’s there.
Apple is apparently proud of the fact that the Watch 7’s glass has a curvier edge – although it doesn’t make a huge difference in our eyes, it gives the appearance of the display spilling over the edge.
Apple shows this in a number of ways, including through the new Contour watch face. If you look from the side, you can see the numbers spilling over into the frame. However, if you tried to look from the side, it would often trigger the screen to go to bed.
The Modular Duo is the most notable of the new watch faces. We don’t think so. The larger widget could still be used on a smaller (and more recent) Watch. But, if Apple really wants to make a big deal out of it… shrug.
The always-on display is a big improvement if you have an Apple Watch 4 or older. Although this feature has been present since the Apple Watch 5, it is now more visible, so it’s easier to see when you are just looking at your wrist.
Developers can now add support for the always-on display to their apps. However, we haven’t seen too many developers offering this functionality yet. Although the always-on display is an excellent feature of Apple’s new watch, it requires more functionality than Apple’s apps.
However, the always-on display can be a problem. There are times when you don’t need a bright watch but don’t want to turn the display off. Theater Mode turns the display off.
Apple could implement something between these two options, a barely legible clock that auto-appears under very dark scenes.
The always-on display is far better than the annoying issue of not being able to see the time unless your wrist is turned. We’d now say that the Watch 7 is just as good as any normal, non-smart, watch in terms of visibility.
A keyboard on the screen is another feature that the larger screen makes possible – although we don’t think it’s something we have been begging for, we do remember other smartwatches with this functionality but we never used it.
It is usable in the sense that we can tap out short messages. However, we would rather use voice dictation or send an emoji as a response.
Apple Watch has had a great display quality since its inception. With every update, it gets better. This is one of the best smartwatch displays, and it’s easy to read and clear.