For 2021, the Apple Watch receives a larger, better screen, faster charging, and a little price reduction, which should be enough to keep it at the top of the smartwatch industry.
Despite being £10 cheaper than last year’s Series 6, the Series 7 remains Apple’s most expensive smartwatch, costing £369 ($399/A$599), surpassing the £249 ($279/A$429) Watch SE. It works with an iPhone 6S or newer, but not with Android.
The Series 7 comes in two casing sizes: 41mm and 45mm, which are both 1mm higher than their predecessors and have 20 percent larger screens thanks to smaller bezels.
On a device as small as a smartwatch, every extra pixel counts. The buttons on the screen are larger and easier to press. More text can be displayed on the screen, or the typefaces can be made larger and easier to read. New watch faces can hold two full-size information widgets at once, and the Series 7 has an exclusive full-qwerty keyboard for inputting messages.
None of these changes are groundbreaking, but they are welcome improvements to the Apple Watch formula.
|Case size||41 or 45mm|
|Weight||32/38.8g, 42.3/51.5g or 37/45.1g depending on material and size|
|Operating system||WatchOS 8|
|Water resistance||50 metres (5ATM)|
|Sensors||gyro, HR, ECG, blood oxygen, microphone, speaker, NFC, GNSS, compass, altimeter|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5, wifi n, NFC, ultra wideband, optional 4G/eSIM|
Slick performance, 36-hour battery life
The Series 7 is the fastest, smoothest, and slickest smartwatch you can buy, thanks to the new S7 chip, which matches the performance of last year’s S6. The battery life is also the same, lasting roughly 36 hours between charges with sleep tracking enabled overnight and the screen on all day. It used 7% of the battery to track a 35-minute run, so it should last a marathon or two.
The battery in the Series 7 is not likely to last very long, according to Apple. Similar device batteries typically withstand at least 500 full charge cycles and retain at least 80% of their initial capacity. The battery costs £82.44 to replace. Repairs cost between £286.44 and £462.44, depending on the model, and repair experts iFixit gave the Series 7 a 6 out of 10 repairability rating.
In the solder of its main chips, the Series 7 uses 100 percent recycled aluminium, 99 percent recycled tungsten and rare earth elements, and 100 percent recycled tin. Apple offers device trade-in and free recycling, and its report details the watch’s environmental impact.
WatchOS 8 and health tracking
The Apple Watch Series 7 uses the same watchOS 8 software as every other Apple Watch since the Series 3 in 2015. It includes a portrait photo watch face, iOS 15’s “focus” notification handlings, and the ability to set multiple timers simultaneously.
It also includes improved text entry, including the option to use dictation, scribbling, emoticons, and a complete qwerty keyboard in combination. A revised meditation app that combines breathing coaching with mindfulness is also available.
Despite recent developments by Google with WearOS, WatchOS 8 is the finest supported and most capable smartwatch operating system today. Software support, including feature and security updates, is expected to last at least five years or longer, which is significantly longer than smartwatch competitors.
The Series 7 contains the same comprehensive health-tracking functions as the Series 6, including the ability to take an ECG for heart rhythm, monitor blood oxygen levels, and track fitness across a wide range of workout kinds. Only multisport watches that track data in running, cycling, and adventure sports track more metrics.
- Sleep tracking now includes respiration rate, but not sleep cycles like some competitors.
- The Apple Watch can be used to unlock an iPhone with Face ID when wearing a mask, which is extremely convenient.
- Bands made for older Apple Watch models fit the Series 7.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is available in two sizes, three different materials, and four distinct models, with the 4G version requiring an eSIM and a compatible phone plan add-on.
In the 41mm size, the aluminium or Nike models cost £369 ($399/A$599) or £399 ($429/A$649). The cost of a 4G model is £100 ($100/A$150). Models made of stainless steel and titanium are more expensive.
The Apple Watch SE retails for £249, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 for £249, the Fitbit Sense for £279.99, and the Garmin Venu 2 for £299.
Last year’s Series 6 had few flaws, so a larger, better screen and quicker charging enhance an already excellent experience.
Even though it’s £10 cheaper than last year, it’s still pricey, and the lack of third-party watch faces means you’re limited to the built-in options. Although the sleep tracking may be improved, the rest of the health functions are excellent.
It’s not worth it to upgrade from a new Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch for the iPhone for individuals who have worn-out devices or are seeking for their first smartwatch.
Pros: excellent haptic vibrations, larger and better always-on screen, ECG, top health tracking, great activity tracking, 50m water resistance, solid battery, long software support, recycled aluminium.
Cons: expensive, only works with an iPhone, sleep tracking still not great, blood oxygen data not that useful, no third-party watch faces, not a giant upgrade.