Apple Watch Series 7 Review: Bigger Screen, Incremental Upgrades

Apple on Friday opened up orders for its Apple Watch Series 7, the latest edition in its wearable lineup. The Series 7 offers a larger 41mm display, and with it, a new keyboard option and customized watch faces, in addition to faster charging and greater durability.

The biggest update to the watch is an advanced display with more screen area, thinner borders and a refractive edge that allows the screen to appear as though its wrapping around the watch. This is particularly noticeable with the new Contour watch face — a delightful Dali-esque design that enhances the watch’s contoured screen. The display is also always-on, making it truer to watch form, and is now up to 70% brighter indoors for easier viewing.

The UI of the watch has been updated to take full advantage of the larger screen, making complications on the device easier to read. Compared to the Series 6, the new iteration can fit over 50% more text onscreen. A great new feature is the keyboard functionality, which thanks to the larger screen, allows for easier typing in text replies. Although typing on a mini QWERTY keyboard is awkward, especially when only using one hand, Apple’s predictive test does an impressive job of fixing typos.

While the battery life of the watch has remained the same — a major gripe for those of us who use the watch to both monitor our activity during the day and track our sleep at night — Apple has integrated a faster-charging capability to boost overnight performance. The new magnetic flash charge USB-C cable now charges 33% faster than the Series 6, with just 8 minutes of charging said to be enough for 8 hours of sleep tracking. In addition, it offers ultra-wideband connectivity through its U1 chip.

The watch also comes in several sleek new aluminum colors, including Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue and (PRODUCT)RED, stainless steel colors like Silver, Graphite and Gold, and Titanium Colors including Natural and Space Black. The design’s thicker profile allows for a more crack-resistant front crystal, with a higher IP6X dust resistance rating and the same 50-meter water resistance as the previous model. Notably, the latest WatchOS 8 update offers great new features optimized for the Series 7, including enhancements to Messages and the Photos app alongside new health features like a blood oxygen sensor.

Like the Series 6, the watch offers a digital crown with haptic feedback, a 64-bit dual-core processor, sturdy Ion-X glass, up to 18 hours of battery life and 32GB of storage.

The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $399 USD and is available from apple.com/store and the Apple Store app, and through Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers.

Overall, enhancements to battery life, a larger screen and greater durability are definitely improvements — but otherwise, the watch offers incremental updates compared to its predecessor.
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