In brief: The new Apple Watch was widely expected to be a significant visual upgrade over the previous generations, and to some extent it is. The larger screen allows for better interactions and text input, while several small improvements will supposedly add up to a more refined overall experience.
Apple Watch Series 7 was unveiled today, and it looks like the company is sticking with the overall design aesthetic of previous Apple Watches for at least one more generation.
The Cupertino company made a number of improvements on this mature design. The most noticeable one is a larger, 70 percent brighter Retina display with smaller, 1.7 mm refractive bezels, which make it look as if the screen is melting onto the sides of the case. Apple says the new screen can display 50 percent more text when compared Watch Series 6.
As expected, a larger screen called for new watch faces, but it’s also stronger than before.
Apple claims the new screen is crack and dust resistant, and the IP6X rating means you can rest assured that beach sand and dust from the street won’t easily find its way into the Watch Series 7. The water resistance rating is the same as on the previous Watch.
Now that the screen is larger, it’s also easier to type on it using a full swipe keyboard. However, the overall size hasn’t changed much from the previous generation. The new Apple Watch comes in 41 mm and 45 mm versions, with five new aluminum colors, three new stainless steel colors, and two new titanium finishes. And best of all, you can still use existing Watch bands.
The internals are relatively unchanged, with the only notable addition being faster charging for the tiny battery. This means you can now get up to 8 hours of sleep tracking with 8 minutes of charging, and getting from 0 to 80 percent battery takes only 45 minutes. Otherwise, the new Watch is still rated for up to 18 hours of battery life with normal use.
There are also software improvements, courtesy of watchOS 8. Notable new features include support for fall detection while cycling, better calorie tracking, as well as better detection and tracking of bike workouts. The Fitness+ subscription now has Pilates and Tai Chi workouts, as well as guided meditation.
As for when you’ll be able to buy the new Apple Watch Series 7, the company says it will arrive sometime later this fall, an ambiguous launch date which was not entirely unexpected. Pricing starts at $399, but you’ll also be able to opt for a Watch Series 3 or Watch SE at $199 and $299, respectively.