The Apple Watch Series 7 will likely be the first Apple product in years to break the trend by not appearing as the internet called out weeks before its September unveiling. All the leaks have pointed to a revolutionary new flat-edged smartwatch design, like the iPhone 12 – now also the iPhone 13 – and while the Watch Series 7 looks smaller – relative to the Watch Series 6 – it’s nowhere near as dramatic as the rumor mills made you believe. Did Apple do this on purpose, well, maybe. Maybe not.
Read also | Apple Watch Series 7 does not support fast charging in India at launch
But what this does, however, is that it reignites the entire debate about whether or not the new Apple Watch is useful as an upgrade especially when the design is familiar and so are the hardware. See, at some point we all have to understand that brands don’t make products for you to upgrade year after year. This is even more true for Apple because they have been known to support their products for a very long time. For the same reason, most Apple products are viewed as a long-term investment. Only the most discerning loyalist will buy every new Apple product.
So, the question to ask is whether the Series 7 is suitable for older Apple Watch users or not, or not, for first-time users. The answer is simple. It all depends on your budget. Apple launched the Series 7 at the same price as the Series 6, so that says a lot of things to begin with.
Here are the Apple Watch Series 7 prices in India:
- 41mm Wi-Fi only: Rs 41,900
- 45mm Wi-Fi only: Rs 44,900
- Cell 41mm: Rs 50,900
- Cellular 45 mm: 53,900 rupees
- Cell 41 mm: Rs 69,900
- Cellular 45 mm: 73,900 rupees
Unsurprisingly, Apple has discontinued the Series 6, but you can still get it via third-party online and offline retail outlets and chance, you can get it at lower prices. The Series 6 is a great value, so it goes without saying that you absolutely have to get it. You can read our full review here.
For the Series 7, the biggest upgrade Apple is giving you this year is – you’ve probably guessed by now – the screen size. The Series 7 comes in 41mm and 45mm sizes – this was 40mm and 44m in the last generation. Apple says the Series 7 offers “approximately 20 percent more screen area and thinner borders at just 1.7mm.”
In other words, it has narrow bezels and smoother, more rounded corners resulting in a more immersive experience over the last generation model. To highlight this aspect even more, Apple has also designed two custom watch faces that appear to be exclusive to the Series 7 at the moment. These are contour and standard binary. While the former features text that runs across the sides of the watch, the latter’s watch face lets you stack more detailed intricacies. Note that the Apple Watch’s size, per se, hasn’t gone up, at least invisibly, despite the increase in screen space. Like we said, it still looks very familiar.
The increased screen size also gives Apple room to include, for the first time, a QWERTY keyboard on Apple Watch. While the premise sounds compelling, it’s shaping up to be a salon trick rather than something we use daily but more on this in our full review. As a side step, the upgraded keyboard doesn’t work with every app. It breaks the kind of sense of visual consistency that Apple devices are generally known for.
Going forward, Apple has once again ramped up brightness this generation with its Always-On Retina display that is “70 percent brighter indoors than that of the 6 Series.” Not that the Series 6 wasn’t really bright, but more is always more fun which means you’ll need to wake up the new watch less frequently as you previously did when you’re out and about.
The durability quotient also got a slight – but significant – upgrade. The Series 7 is more crack-resistant than the Series 6. The watch is also IP6X rated for dust resistance as well as being swim-resistant with a WR50 water resistance rating.
Apple didn’t reveal the underlying hardware powering its new Watch at launch, leading many to believe that it was using the same S6 processor inside the Series 7 as the Series 6. This turned out not to be the case. The 7 Series has a new on-chip dual-core S7 system although it’s based on the same CPU as the last generation S6 with performance stats also on very similar lines (up to 20 percent faster than the S5). This is not entirely new to Apple. The Series 5 carried the same S5 as its predecessor with the addition of a gyroscope. Elsewhere, the Series 7 comes with 32GB of storage on board.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade – when it comes to hardware – is the faster charging, at least in all the places you’ll be working. The Series 7 has a USB Type-C charging dock in the case and can charge “up to 33 percent faster” than the Series 6. Unfortunately, Apple does not bring this feature to India for some strange reason. The overall battery life – 18 hours – remains unchanged from last year. There is still no wireless charging.
In line with many rumors, Apple has not introduced any new ‘major’ health and fitness feature for this generation of Apple Watch over what was already available on the Series 6 including heart rate and blood oxygen saturation monitoring.
In conclusion, the Series 7 has a bigger and brighter screen, a more durable chassis and an updated chip.
Now, all of these upgrades may not seem groundbreaking – they’re mostly cosmetic – but they work together to improve what’s already being billed as the world’s best smartwatch. This isn’t a bad thing at all. The lack of fast shipping is a big problem for buyers in India although it can be a deal breaker for some.
We’ll be testing the Series 7 at length in the coming days, but it’s pretty clear that it all makes a very repetitive sense, it makes the Series 6 look so good that – if you can get it at lower prices – more people can get it without thinking twice and getting into this phenomenon The tool that people on the Android side haven’t tested yet.
Read also | Apple Watch Series 6 review: Best of the best