While a smartwatch should complement your smartphone, it should also be capable of functioning consistently and usefully on its own. It should be able to track a person’s health and activities in a way that motivates and informs them, but not make them feel like they have to be an athlete to use it. It should be visually appealing and easily customizable to suit your mood, style, and setting. It should not require continual supervision or have complicated or gimmicky features that detract from its basic everyday functionality. New models must also improve upon prior versions in order for everyone to consider upgrading if they so desire.
All of these and more are available with the Apple Watch Series 7. Let’s discuss it.
At a glance
- Sizes: 41mm, 45mm
- Chipset: S7
- Storage: 32 GB
- Connectivity: Cellular (optional,) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, U1
- Durability: IPX6
- Waterproof: Up to 50 meters
- Sensors: Heart rate, ECG, SpO2
Price and Availability
Apple Watch 7 is now available for $399 for the 41mm size. The 45mm model is priced at $429. Cellular capability, which enables your Apple Watch to work independently of your iPhone, costs $499 for the 41mm size and $529 for the 45mm version. Stainless steel and titanium cases start at $699 and $799, respectively.
It’s nearly impossible to distinguish the Series 7 from the Series 6 simply by looking at them. The 1mm increase in case size — 45mm and 41mm for the Series 7, vs 44mm and 40mm for the Series 6 — is visible only with a ruler, and the slightly bigger curve at each corner is visible only when comparing the two watches side by side. The speaker on the left side of the case is a single slit rather than the twin slits on the Series 6, but that’s about the only visible difference.
What you will notice immediately is the significantly thinner 1.7mm bezels, down from 3mm on the Series 6, as well as the increased viewing area. Apple claims that there is 20% more viewable screen space than on the Series 6 and Watch SE, and 50% more than on the Apple Watch Series 3. The Ion-X glass covering the screen has a contoured edge, creating the illusion of a curved screen on a smartphone.
If you have a collection of straps from a previous Apple Watch, they will all fit flawlessly on the Series 7, just in case you’re concerned the 1mm size increase will make them look awkward.
It’s easy to criticize Apple for not changing the design much, but it doesn’t need to. The Series 7 looks terrific, and the Apple Watch, in my opinion, has evolved into a style icon. The case’s smooth curvature makes it quite comfortable to wear regardless of the strap you choose, and at 38.8 grams without the strap, it’s light enough to wear day or night.
While this is also true for other fitness bands, the Apple Watch looks great and it’s quite easy to customize its appearance if you get bored. Apple’s watch faces have developed significantly over the years, particularly with WatchOS 7 and WatchOS 8, becoming more refined and visually appealing rather than simply adding complexity. With a small collection of straps and bracelets, the Apple Watch can be worn with anything and at any time.
This adaptability is what makes the Apple Watch so enjoyable to own. It elevates it from a piece of technology to a very personal wearable device. No other smartwatch offers the same level of customization. You might even choose the wear-and-forget Sport Loop strap, which is one of the best entry-level straps available.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is identical to the Series 5 or Series 6 Watch, which is fine. It’s still the most comfortable, customizable, and easiest-to-use smartwatch on the market.
The screen is larger, which is a good thing. With a larger screen, the smartwatch is becoming increasingly like a mini iPhone on your wrist, which is fantastic. The display on the Apple Watch 7 is approximately 20% larger than the display on the Series 6 and more than 50% larger than the display on the Series 3. Additionally, the bezels are 40% thinner.
The screen is curved in such a way that it is easier to see the watch from an angle and that the UI’s edges are visible from the side. Although the pour-over effect is not as strong as the ads suggest, it is noticeable with the new Contour watch face.
Along with slimmer bezels and a larger screen, the Apple Watch 7’s always-on mode is 70% brighter. This implies that you will not see a difference between the Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch 5 when the face is awake and in direct sunshine like we did with the Apple Watch 6. But, you should be able to see your screen more easily without raising your wrist.
Previously, Apple’s watchOS experience was consistent across all of its smartwatches, with the exception of a few apps that were specific to the new hardware inside a certain model. Apple Watch 7 does not feature new sensors, though; instead, the company redesigned watchOS 8 to accommodate a larger screen. Along with established features such as sleep tracking, cycle tracking (making it one of the best smartwatches for women), calendar alerts, weather notifications, and an Apple Watch Find My app, watchOS 8 has a few unique tricks for the Series 7.
It’s largely the same UI that has been available since September 2021, with a few modifications. Buttons are larger throughout the system, from the control center to the calculator app. Some apps, such as HomeKit, incorporate clever animations as well. I particularly appreciate the larger Apple Maps UI, which makes it easier to see nearby landmarks.
Then there’s the QWERTY keyboard, which works flawlessly. It is surprisingly adept at determining which letter I wish to press, and the autocorrect feature assists with typos. Using swipe movements to text also makes it exceptionally quick and accurate to compose a message. While this is significantly faster than drawing out letters as you would on previous Apple Watches, it is still slower than sending a message using your voice. It’s a handy option to have if you can’t use your voice.
Health and Fitness
The Apple Watch Series 7 hardware remains unchanged from the Series 6 in terms of fitness functions. The smartwatch is capable of measuring your heart rate and blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2). You can also use an electrocardiogram (ECG) to detect atrial fibrillation, which can indicate an increased risk of stroke.
The microphone can be used to monitor the noise level, providing an early warning of excessive noise exposure. Creating a sleep regimen is also possible, and the watch keeps track of the number of breaths taken each minute.
Unfortunately, the Apple Watch does not include a blood pressure monitor, a feature that many users have requested. Samsung was quicker in this regard with the Watch 4.
Apple Watch Series 7 displays three activity rings for motivation: Move, Exercise, and Stand. Along with the steps, it calculates the distance traveled and the number of floors ascended. Calorie intake is calculated as the sum of all activities, including training sessions. Automatically measuring the heart rate, blood oxygen saturation level, and the number of breaths is possible.
The VO2max value is only assessed during a training session, and it requires that you start a recording of walking, hiking, or running training session outside. It also calculates stair climbing speed, step length, and bipedal support time, and you can turn on drop detection.
Heart Rate, Heart Rhythm, and Blood Oxygen Saturation
In comparison to the Watch Series 6, the ECG app is now integrated inside the watch itself. Those who do not wish to have their heart rate and blood oxygen saturation regularly recorded can optionally limit this in the settings to a manual measurement, which is required for an ECG.
In our previous test, the Apple Watch Series 6 demonstrated excellent accuracy in measuring heart rate. This should also be the case for the Watch Series 7, as the sensors and hardware are nearly identical.
The Apple Watch Series 7’s sleep tracking features are nearly identical to those of its predecessor. The recording is not extremely detailed, distinguishing simply between time spent lying down and sleep phases, but not between the sleep phases themselves. The recording is, however, remarkably accurate, and you can also record your heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate.
The Apple Series Watch 7’s Training app supports a variety of sports and can also recognize certain exercises automatically. Biking outdoors, for example, has been integrated into WatchOS 8. Those who hop on their bike and immediately begin riding will be asked after a brief period whether a recording should start. Any sort of training can be halted or manually paused when you take a break. Along with terminating the session, the same menu allows you to enable input protection for water contact, which prevents any water or rain that gets on the screen from causing touchscreen inputs.
Those who do not wish to bring their phone along but still wish to listen to music or podcasts can download them on their Watch 7. The audio can be listened to via Bluetooth headphones, and the output can be controlled by swiping left on the watch.
The workout is recorded in detail, including the route mileage, calories burned, average speed, altitude meter difference, and heart rate. Those interested in a more extensive recording for their preferred sport can also download the appropriate third-party app from the App Store.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is capable of using GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, QZSS, and Galileo satellite networks, which means that global positioning should be effortless. Additionally, the watch features an inbuilt compass and altitude meter that are continuously operational. Locating the watch is really simple both outdoors and indoors.
The watch can also be used to perform navigational tasks. This works with either Apple’s built-in Maps program or third-party apps like Google Maps. However, the latter must initiate navigation via the iPhone first.
The Apple Watch Series 7 battery life is up to two days, but only if certain capabilities are disabled. However, the 18-hour battery life was verified by everyday activity tracking, with the display always on and a couple of phone calls answered from my wrist.
Now, Apple claims that the Apple Watch 7 charges 33 percent faster than the Apple Watch 6, as long as it is charged using the included magnetic to USB-C charger (wall adapter not included).
The built-in rapid charging technology makes a significant difference. A complete charge takes approximately an hour and a half. Thus, people who charge it while getting dressed and eating breakfast in the morning can resume using a fully charged smartwatch. After all, Apple stipulates that the battery can be recharged to 80% in 45 minutes, which we confirmed. This feature is really useful in everyday usage, even if a longer battery life would still be preferable.
There is no doubt that the Apple Watch 7 is fantastic. It has industry-leading health and fitness tracking, delightful touch feedback, buttery smooth performance, a long battery life, and seamless connectivity with the iPhone. We’re impressed with the larger display, faster charging, and five new colors. Without a doubt, it has an ultra-premium feel to it when used.
It has replaced the Series 6 as Apple’s top smartwatch, but the enhancements are insufficient to justify an update for owners of that model, while those on a smaller budget are likely to be enticed by the Watch SE. Thus, the Series 7 deserves the distinction of Apple’s best wearable, not by introducing novel concepts or features, but by iterating on an existing excellent device.