With all the other products Apple has announced in recent months, the Apple Watch Series 7 is actually a bit snowed under. Now the Apple Watch is usually less popular than a new iPhone or iPad anyway, but it doesn’t help that the innovations are a bit scarce this year. There are rumors that this is due to production problems, and that Apple actually had ambitious plans for a completely new design. Anyway, it wasn’t meant to be, so we’ll have to make do with a slightly less exciting watch this year.
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The bigger screen offers new features
The limited upgrades that the Watch has eventually received are immediately noticeable. Most of them have to do with the screen. Because the screen edges have become as much as 40 percent thinner, the screen is 20 percent larger than with the previous model. As a result, it now extends all the way to the curved part of the glass, which looks great. This effect is enhanced by the new ‘Contour’ dial, which pushes the hours of the dial all the way to the edge. An additional effect is that the edges appear even thinner from the side due to the light refraction of the curved glass. This is as impressive in real life as it is in Apple’s slick promotional material.
The larger screen is not only taken advantage of by larger dials. Each menu has just a little more space, and text requires just a little less scrolling to read. Plus, the Watch Series 7 (and only this one) has a full QWERTY keyboard. Which works surprisingly well thanks to the ability to swipe words together. This makes the Watch feel just a bit more functional because you are less likely to grab your iPhone to quickly respond to a message. Unfortunately, you must have English as one of the keyboard languages on your iPhone. And the text prediction of the keyboard is not yet in Dutch. We are used to the fact that Apple only brings certain functions to the Netherlands and Belgium later, but given the keyboard on the iPhone can handle our language, it seems an unnecessary omission.
Thicker Glass, Larger Case
Another big improvement on the Apple Watch is the glass, which is 50 percent thicker than the Series 6, and now has a stronger flat bottom. These reinforcements together provide much better crack and dust resistance. However, the scratch resistance has remained the same, while the Apple Watch is very sensitive to scratches because you sometimes bump it against something. Sapphire glass would not have been an unnecessary luxury: unfortunately you still only get that on the stainless steel model, and for that, you also need a Watch GPS + Cellular, more about that later.
Despite the extra thickness of the glass, the new Apple Watch has not become a millimeter thicker. The height of the case has increased slightly: 1 mm extra for both sizes so that you now arrive at 45 mm and 41 mm. However, this difference is so small that it is hardly noticeable in reality. The width has remained the same: all old straps still fit. That means that you can slide bands on your Watch for six years and that long support is quite unique for Apple.
Apple Watch Series 7 colors
However, the question is whether you want to slide your old strap onto the Watch. Apple has introduced new colors that don’t match very well with some existing bands. Silver and gold aluminum have disappeared, and have been replaced by the champagne-colored ‘Starlight’. Space gray has been replaced by ‘Ink blue’, a very dark shade of gray with a hint of blue. Both colors are not as neutral as we are used to, and so different that they do not match the existing metal straps. In addition, the Watch is now more difficult to match with clothing, which is quite important with a watch.
Now also with 4G
For those who would like a neutral color, there is still a (more expensive) option: a stainless steel variant in silver, gold or graphite. This steel variant was never available in the Netherlands because it comes standard with 4G. But now that T-Mobile supports the Apple Watch with 4G, the steel version is also available in the Netherlands. However, it comes down to the fact that you have to spend 300 euros more for a neutral color, while that was not the case last year. For those looking for a more colorful watch. There are three more striking aluminum variants in light blue, bright red, and dark green. The latter is completely new and is reminiscent of a NATO watch: a cool new look for the Watch.
There is little innovation on the inside of the Watch. Apple does talk about a new chip, the S7, but in reality, it is exactly as fast as its predecessor. All sensors that we know from the Apple Watch Series 6 have also remained the same.
In fact, the only significant internal improvement in that regard is in the charging. It is now up to 33 percent faster so you only need 45 minutes to charge the Watch to 80 percent. Handy if you use the Watch to track your sleep, and you only have time to charge it in the morning. The faster charging is made possible by a new cable, which now has a USB-C connection on the side of the charger. The charger itself is not included: you have to buy the 20W charger from Apple separately to use fast charging.
The Apple Watch Series 7 is unfortunately not very innovative. So it’s better to wait a little longer if you want a new design or extra sensors. That said, the larger screen is beautiful and makes. It is more functional than ever, and it’s arguably the best smartwatch out there yet.