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Meet the new Apple Watch Series 6s — I mean, Apple Watch Series 7. With the minimal upgrades, it’s basically a 6s. On the other hand, a couple of the features unique to the Series 7 might be the factors that tip the scale on your decision.
First, let’s take a look at the specs:
Apple Watch Series 7
- Battery Life: 18 hours
- Watch Size(s): 41mm and 45mm
- Screen Type: Retina LTPO OLED
- Screen Size: 1.69″ (41mm); 1.9″ (45mm)
- Aluminum – Midnight, starlight, blue, green, and red
- Stainless Steel – Graphite, gold, and silver
- Apple Watch Edition – Space black titanium and silver titanium
- LTE: Yes (optional)
- Built-in GPS: Yes
- Tracking Metrics and Sensors: Steps, sleep, heart rate (ECG and PPG), blood oxygen level, barometer, calories, Always-on altimeter, accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass
- Music Storage: Yes
- Memory Capacity: 32GB
- Waterproof Rating: IP6X Dust resistance & WR50 Waterproof Rating
- New S7 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor
- U1 (ultra-wideband) chip for best-in-class spatial awareness
- 20% larger screen than Series 6
- Impressive Always-On display
- Quick charging (8 min for 8 hours of sleep tracking & 0-80% in 45 min)
- Stronger and more scratch-resistant crystal display
- Backward compatible with older model watchbands
- Cool new Leather Link watch band styles
- Best-in-class LTE connectivity and call quality
- Same old crappy 18-hour battery life
- Aluminum base models aren’t available in the classic Gold, Silver, or Space Gray finishes
The battery life has always been one of the most frustrating things about all Apple Watches and the Series 7 is no different. I’ve never really understood how 18-hours equal “All day” battery life, especially when they push the advanced sleep tracking.
That leaves you having to charge your watch twice a day to get “24/7” usage out of it. On top of that, if you use it for any workouts or activities that track GPS, you’ll be charging it three times a day.
Apple set out to try and fix this in an indirect and kind of annoying way. Instead of increasing things like battery size, processing efficiency, or something else, they gave it “Fast Charging.” Even faster than the Series 6.
Now you’re able to charge it to 100% in about an hour, and an 8-min quick charge gives you 8 hours of sleep tracking. That’s all well and good, but the most annoying part is that “Fast Charging” only works with the new USB-C charging cable that comes with the Apple Watch Series 7. Plus, you need a USB-C power brick that puts out 18W or more. Ugh!
Even though it’s not exactly better battery life, it’s better than nothing.
With only incremental changes from one Apple Watch Series to the next, the increases in display size never seem like a big deal. On the other hand, if you look back at the Series 3, you’ll notice a HUGE difference.
Going from a 3mm bezel on the Series 6 to a 1.7mm bezel on the Apple Watch Series 7 gives it more of a curved screen look. Kind of like the edges on Samsung Galaxy S10.
Not only does the larger screen look great, but it also creates a better touch experience. The icons, QWERTY keyboard, and other essential touch targets are larger. There are also a few new and exclusive watch faces that take advantage of the curved outer edge.
On top of a larger display, they made it more durable as well. The thicker crystal display and improved lamination process make it even MORE crack and scratch-resistant.
In fact, the front crystal is 50% thicker than the Series 6. Yet, the refracted design of the curved front crystal makes the OLED display look closer to the surface and the edges than it actually is.
Favorite Apple Watch Bands
Released with the Series 6, the Leather Link watchbands on the Apple Watch Series 7 are just as much function as they are fashion. The unique design helps your wrist breathe better, similar to the holes on the silicone sports bands. In a nutshell, they’re ribbed for your pleasure. 🙂
While the leather is a nice look, but it’s not for workouts, swimming, or any other wet conditions. For that, I love the classic Sport Loop.
The breathable nylon weave is comfortable yet durable. Also, the hook-and-loop fastening style provides the best fit.
On top of that, they received a little make-over with the Apple Watch Series 7 release. Now, the Sport Loops come in more than 10 striped color combinations.
If you have the Series 6, then this probably isn’t the best time to upgrade. It’s not even a huge upgrade from the Series 5 (but you didn’t hear that from me).
The U1 (ultra-wideband) chip is a great reason to upgrade from the Series 5 and older, though. It doesn’t have much functionality yet, but integration with features like CarKey and AirTag are only the beginning.
If you’re a casual wearables user, the Apple Watch SE will save you hundreds, and you’ll still get most of the essential features that make the Apple Watch great. However, you’ll be giving up the ECG sensor, blood oxygen sensor, and a few other health and fitness features, so that’s something to consider.
On the other hand, if you want the best health and fitness tracking, the Apple Watch Series 7 is by far your best choice. Plus, the larger and more durable display is one of the best upgrades, because it improves the overall look AND performance.