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Apple Watch Series 7 was announced alongside the iPhone 13 family back in September, but preorders are just now available for the smartwatch.
The Series 7 doesn’t change a whole lot from the Series 6 and keeps the same starting price of $399 — though costs can vary depending on size, case material and Wi-Fi versus cellular. The Series 7 is replacing the Series 6 as the flagship option alongside the SE (starting at $279) and Series 3 (starting at $199).
There are a lot of Series 7 options to choose from, so here are some handy links:
- Apple Watch Series 7 41mm GPS in Midnight, Starlight, green, blue and Product Red (starting at $399; amazon.com and apple.com)
- Apple Watch Series 7 45mm in Midnight, Starlight, green, blue and Product Red (starting at $429; amazon.com and apple.com)
- Apple Watch Series 7 41mm GPS + Cellular in Midnight, Starlight, green, blue and Product Red (starting at $499; amazon.com and apple.com)
- Apple Watch Series 7 45mm GPS + Cellular in Midnight, Starlight, green, blue and Product Red (starting at $529; amazon.com and apple.com)
Those looking for a stainless steel Apple Watch will pay a bit more for a 41mm or 45mm size. Apple also offers this style of Apple Watch in graphite, gold or silver. Similarly, it’s $100 more for the cellular variant of the stainless steel models.
- Apple Watch Series 7 41mm GPS + Cellular Stainless Steel in graphite, gold and silver (starting at $699; amazon.com and apple.com)
- Apple Watch Series 7 45mm GPS Stainless Steel in graphite, gold and silver (starting at $749; amazon.com and apple.com)
The fast charging cable for Apple Watch is also up for order at $29 — just keep in mind that this will fast charge the Series 7 and charge the previous models at a normal rate.
Apple Watch Series 7 starts with a larger Retina display that stretches to the edges. It’s a 20% bigger display over the Series 6, which aims to let you see more — be it a large text message or a lengthy email. And no, the Apple Watch itself hasn’t gotten any larger; the bezels around the display are significantly smaller to accommodate more screen space at about 1.7 millimeters thick.
Series 7 will come in two variations: 41mm or 45mm, representing the watch’s small and large sizes. Both of these are about a millimeter larger than previous Apple Watch sizes. Apple also says it is a 70% brighter display, which should make content more vibrant and easier to see in low-light conditions. The other bonus is that since it’s an always-on display (meaning that the screen never goes dark, with key aspects always available) — a key difference between the Series 7 and the SE — it should be easier to quickly glance at your wrist for information rather than raising it.
To take advantage of the larger display here, watchOS 8 and the overall interface has been updated. Buttons are larger and easier to tap, but you can also take advantage of new watch faces that stretch to the edge of the display. All of the classic apps — including activity, fitness, messages, phone, calendar and photos — are here and updated in some capacity to take advantage of the larger display (e.g., showing more on a screen or the ability to type on a full keyboard). We expect the performance within any application to be the same as the Apple Watch Series 6 since it uses a similar chipset inside. We don’t expect significant performance improvements this year, though.
Related: Apple Watch Series 6 vs. Series 7: What’s new?
A larger display means a larger surface area and more glass, but Apple promises a crack-resistant front display. We’ll be putting this to the test, but it should be tougher against scratches and drops. Series 7 is also the first dust-resistant Apple Watch (IP6X rated), along with keeping the water resistance (WR50 rated) that we’ve seen on previous models.
In terms of health or activity tracking, there aren’t upgrades here. Like the Apple Watch Series 6, the Series 7 can track your activity, track your heart rate, take an electrocardiogram, detect a fall and even measure blood oxygen levels. The Series 7 features the same updated sensor that premiered on the Series 6.
You might think that Apple tucked a new battery inside, but Apple still promises the same “all-day” battery life, which equates to about 18 hours. The more significant change is faster charging, which can deliver eight hours of battery life in just eight minutes. That’s a significant jump over previous models and might solve the sleep tracking battery dilemma that some users have been experiencing. Apple will include this upgraded charging cable in the box that delivers the fast charging improvements. No charging brick is included, though.
And here’s some excellent news — all previous Apple Watch bands are supported here. That’s a big win, as current Apple Watch owners won’t need new bands for the Series 7. Apple does have four new colors for the aluminum Series 7: Midnight, Starlight, green, blue and Product Red. Those opting for stainless steel models can pick between silver, graphite or gold.
Apple Watch Series 7, as we’ve seen with previous year-over-year refreshes, doesn’t look like it will deliver a radical change. However, a larger display does give you a larger canvas to interact with the Apple Watch and explore the different features. Still, though, we wish Apple would have added in some new health features and maybe even more of a redesign. Keeping the starting price of $399 with a larger display and faster charging is nice on paper — and we’ll be going hands-on with the Series 7 soon.
So who is this for? Well, without having gone hands-on, it’s for someone who wants an Apple Watch with an always-on display and the most health features. Those who can pass on either of those are likely better served with the Apple Watch SE. And if you currently have an Apple Watch Series 6 and aren’t interested in a bigger screen, you can likely skip out on upgrading this year. It’s our budget pick for a smartwatch and doesn’t sacrifice the core experience of a smartwatch — you’ll need to raise your wrist to get the screen alive. There’s also the Series 3 at $199, but it’s showing its age in our testing. We’d spend the extra $80 and go for the SE.
You can also sell your current Apple Watch for cash, which you can put toward a Series 7. Decluttr accepts all models, and with code “CNN2021” you can get up to an extra $30 on your trade-in value.