There was plenty of expectation on Series 7 to deliver even more health monitors and benefits going into the Fall 2021 event; however, Apple instead addressed some minor points to reinforce the Watch as a desirable wearable for the coming years.
Apple Watch Series 7
This launch isn’t the groundbreaking new Apple Watch most were hoping for. Instead, Apple has used Series 7 to address some of the minor drawbacks users have had and set itself up for the next few generations.
A new bigger display that will be easier to use is also stronger and resilient to dust and water ingress. Although very subtle, the casing style has been slightly softened and is finished in new colours for those who want a new look.
Finally, Apple has speeded up the charge time and are boasting 18 hours of use.
Annoyingly, Apple is a little coy with the full specification list on the Series 7 Watch, and the press release that accompanied the event doesn’t go into too many details. Even the Apple Website (when going to press for this article) doesn’t cover the Series 7.
What they did confirm is the larger display is mostly due to the thinner bezel. Above is a side by side comparison of Series 3/6/7. Apple quietly notes that the overall case size has changed. Taken from the Press Release, Apple stated, “The narrower borders allow the display to maximize screen area while minimally changing the dimensions of the watch itself.”
As a result of this, the new size options will be either 41 or 45mm. Series 5 & 6 were 40 or 44mm.
Looking at the side by side image, though, this increase really does look minimal in size.
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To protect the new display, Apple has redesigned the front panel crystal and increased its thickness by more than 50%, making it more resistant to cracking, how it will stand up to scratches and scuffs though it is still to be seen.
Apple says they have improved the Always-On functionality of Series 7, with the Retina display now 70% brighter than the previous Watch.
Design & Styling
It is hard to see, but the design has changed with more rounded corners, which Apple claims give a slightly softer appearance. The screen also has a rounder finishes and appears to continue the contours of the casing.
And the new seamlessly smooth looking case will come in a wider selection of colours.
For the Aluminium case, there will be five to choose from; Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue and Product Red. There are three options for Stainless steel, which can be finished in Silver, Graphite or Gold. Finally, Natural or Space Black or the colour options for the Titanium casing.
The good news is that all current bands, Apple or third party, will work with Watch 7, and to mark the release, there’ll be new Nike and Hermès bands to choose from.
Other than the new USB-C Magnetic Fast Charger that will perform 33% quicker charges than the previous USB-A cable, there is little else to shout about, with the other changes happening in the software rather than the hardware.
Along with Watch 7, Apple previewed WatchOS 8, the next version of its wearable OS for Series 3 and above. It will push as an update from September 20th.
WatchOS 8 brings a range of new features, including Ultra Wideband support that will increase the number of ways you can use contactless payments and/or boarding passes. It will also enable Watch Series 6 and above to securely act as a car key. It would be great to see car hire companies work out a way to incorporate this technology into car hires.
As Watch 7 didn’t give us any new health sensors, WatchOS 8 will be adding some. There will be better sleep tracking capabilities, a new Mindfulness App replaces Breathe and will take that function and add it to a new type called Reflect.
Finally, Tai Chi and Pilates have added two new workouts and will work with the heart rate monitor. The full list of new features for WatchOS 8 can be found here, along with details of the new always-on support for Maps on Watch.
Watch Series 7 Specifications
At the time of going to press, Apple still hadn’t released the full specification list for the Watch Series 7. As soon as it does, this article will be updated alongside Series 6 as a comparison.
Apple Watch 7 Pricing
Apple Watch Series 7 will start at $399 and will be launched later in autumn.
As someone ready to upgrade his Series 5, I was waiting on the Series 7 launch event with bated breath to see what Apple would dish up. Whilst they have delivered all the small take it or leave it kind of upgrades I would have asked for, before the event, there is not enough to make me want to upgrade.
There will be even fewer reasons for a Series 6 owner.
But this doesn’t bother me as I know now that the Series 8 will have that nice big toughened display and will continue this trend, albeit a very slight trend, of slowly changing the styling and hopefully still being compatible with straps I already own.
If you’ve been getting by on a Series 3 or 4 Watch, then yes, 7 does have enough to entice you if your older models are starting to slow down, and the $399 entry tag is still a perfect price point!