After some question of whether production issues would delay the Apple Watch Series 7’s launch, Apple’s next-gen flagship smartwatch is here. The Series 7 brings about the most significant redesign of the Apple Watch since the smartwatch launched in 2015.
All the rumours were true: The Series 7 is indeed bigger than its predecessors, with two case sizes: 41mm (up from 40mm) and 45mm (up from 44mm). That, plus the fact that it’s got smaller bezels, means we’ve got a major increase in terms of screen real estate. It’s also 70% brighter. The bigger screen allows a full keyboard, as well as bigger buttons within apps, and allows you to read more from your notifications. It also means you get to see more complications. While many rumours said the display would feature flat edges, that’s not the case. The edges are still rounded here. Apple says the Series 7 is also the most durable watch it’s built, with a more crack-resistant display and IP6X certification. Apple is also continuing on its colourful streak, adding a host of five new colours for the Series 7.
Before today’s event, rumours of larger Apple Watches caused concern as to whether previous Apple Watch bands would work with the Series 7’s increased size. Rest easy. Just like when Apple bumped up the sizes with the Series 4, the straps you already have will work with the Series 7.
Inside, the Series 7 has a new S7 chip but doesn’t make any huge health advancements in terms of new sensors, but the new watch did deliver one thing Apple Watch fans have been clamoring for: better battery life. Kind of. They still give an estimated 18, but you can also get 8 hours in just eight minutes of charging. That’s pretty… impressive. It’s nowhere near as long as some Fitbits, but it’s a step up over previous generations.
In terms of features, the Series 7 will ship with watchOS 8, which we already knew would focus on mindfulness. On top of new Reflect sessions, we’re also getting Tai Chi as a new workout type and more accurate metrics for Pilates. We’re also getting new watch faces, including a Portrait watch face. Good news for bikers — watchOS 8 will also add fall detection for outdoor cycling and automatic cycle tracking. Fitness+ is also getting several updates, including guided meditations, pilates, winter workout prep, and group workouts. This year’s additions were modest overall, but Apple’s rumoured to be working on some more advanced health features for next year, including potentially adding a body temperature sensor.
Once again, the Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 3 are also available as affordable alternatives. Apple hasn’t changed pricing. The Series 3 is still $US199 ($271), while the SE is $US279 ($381), and the Series 7 starts at $US399 ($544). The SE is still a solid option for anyone on a budget, but don’t make us chase you down for buying down a Series 3. Just don’t do it.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for local Australian pricing and availability.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is available for preorder today in select regions, but keep in mind that compared to other years, there’s a slight delay before you can actually get your hands on one. You can thank the global chip shortage, but thankfully it doesn’t seem like the wait will be too long. Apple says the Series 7 will begin shipping later this fall.