Apple Watch Series 7 has its merits but not enough to compel you

As Apple fanboys, we had expected a little more than the cosmetic touchups from the new Apple Watch Series 7, which is billed as the most durable Apple Watch ever built. In the build-up to the launch, we had expected that the Series 7 would launch with fresh health features including blood glucose level monitoring, a new chipset and of course a bigger and mightier display and size.

At the introduction of the Series 7 over the company’s virtual streaming event, we were acquainted with a smartwatch that makes subtle design refinements that should be good for a certain section of the market. But if you own an Apple Watch Series 6 – or happen to consider the fact that the last year’s smartwatch is now occasionally available for sub $350 – you may be better off with the Series 6.

Apple Watch arguably defines the expectation for a smartwatch. It is, for its functionality and design, been at the top of the market since its debut. Every year a new Apple Watch is launched by the Cupertino giant – save for last year when two models were released. The Apple Watch Series 7 is the model released for this year, and if you are from outside the Apple ecosystem, the new watch is an ideal bargain. Simply for its refined make and a price tag similar to the last year’s smartwatch from the marque.

The first real difference on Apple Watch Series 7 is immediately reflected in the case, which is a big departure from its predecessors. The Apple Watch had not received a major design update for years. The Series 7 changes that slightly with its more robust construction and reimagined size. From the 40 and 44mm dials of the Watch 6, the Apple Watch Series 7 now comes in 41mm and 45mm sizes, which translates to almost 20-percent more screen real estate – also made possible with thinner bezels – than the Series 6.

Albeit, rounded edges and a similar crown from the previous year’s remains put, the larger display of the Series 7 enhances the entire experience. The display is slightly better to read and interact with, and it’s reportedly brighter as well. The Series 7 continues with the always-on Retina display from last year, but the display is now 70-percent brighter.

The re-profiled case of the Apple Watch Series 7 is made in either titanium, stainless steel or 100-percent recycled aluminum. The smartwatch gets a thicker sapphire crystal, which seemingly flows into the case, making it more shatter-resistant and rendering the watch compliant with IP6X rating for dust proofing. Although the Series 7 delivers on blood oxygen level monitoring and features sensors for ECG tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking, it still doesn’t deviate much from the predecessor on this front. Apple has not changed much but only fine-tuned the options. The Series 7 hasn’t done much different in the water resistance either, it’s still pegged at 50 meters like its cousins.  

A sticking difference in the new wearable is its ability to fast charge. The watch can charge 33-percent faster; considering the watch’s updated charging architecture and fast-charging USB-C cable, you can juice up the Series 7 from 0 to 80-percent in 45 minutes. Mind you, there is no change in the playback time. The Series 7 offers the same 18 hour battery life as the Series 6.  

The Apple Watch Series 8 comes with an updated watchOS 8 operating system that enhances the experience of native apps. However, there is no alteration in the processing abilities of the watch – Series 7 is likely using S6 processor from Series 6, a new chip is not the case here, as you’d normally expect.

The Series 7 is compatible with existing watch bands but adds new watch faces including Dynamic Contour and Modular face. The Fitness+ gets new workout schemes for the fitness pros, but the biggest change arrives for the cyclists; you can get better with the Apple Watch Series 7 monitoring. The fall detection feature onboard can be really helpful here, which can even notify emergency service if you take a spill. Interestingly, the new wearable arrives with Mindfulness app for guiding with meditation and tracking for Tai Chi and Pilates.

Apple Watch Series 7 comes with its own merits; larger reengineered displays, IP6X certification, fast charging and fitness-focused options being the most notable changes. Yet, it’s the starting price of $399 that will really appeal to the users. The watch will be available in late fall 2021 in five colors. If you’ve not invested in an Apple Watch 6 yet, you can consider waiting, otherwise, you won’t miss a lot even if you let the latest wearable from Apple pass.