5 Things That We Loved About the Apple Watch Series 7

5 Things That We Loved About the Apple Watch Series 7
Image: Lauren Rouse/Lifehacker Australia

The Apple Watch Series 7 is now out in the world but is it worth ditching your old watch for?

There’s no doubt that a bigger display and speedy charging capabilities help the Series 7 to be the best Apple Watch yet. However, it’s not exactly a complete overhaul of the smartwatch for Apple.

If you’re weighing up whether the Series 7 is for you, here are five things we like about the new Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 7: Best features

Display

apple watch series 7
Apple Watch Series 7 (left) vs Apple Watch Series 3 (right). Image: Lauren Rouse/Lifehacker Australia

The defining feature of the Apple Watch Series 7 is the bigger and better display.

The screen surface area is 20 per cent larger than the Series 6, but you really notice it when you compare it to the Series 3.

Speaking as someone who has used the Series 3 for years now, I’m constantly and pleasantly surprised every time I go to look at the Series 7 and can actually read everything.

The new surface area means Apple can pack even more features onto the screen, like a full keyboard for texting, more buttons on the calculator and larger resolution photos.

The watch has actually increased 1 mm in physical size to help facilitate this new display, but it doesn’t feel bulky or uncomfortable to wear.

The Series 7 contains an Always On Display, meaning your watch face is active even when your wrist isn’t raised. This display is now 70 per cent brighter on the Series 7. making it even easier to keep an eye on the time or an app without activating your watch.

The display is definitely where the Apple Watch Series 7 earns its stripes.

Fast charging

Apple Watch Series 7 review. Image: Lauren Rouse/Lifehacker Australia

Battery life has always been a stickler for Apple Watch users, particularly if you like to use it for sleep tracking.

Unfortunately, the Series 7 doesn’t bring in a larger battery and touts an 18-hour all-day duration, but I found I could still get a full day’s use and night’s sleep out of one charge.

The Apple Watch Series 7 makes up for the lack of battery improvements with fast charging capabilities. The cable in the box with the Apple Watch is specially designed to juice your device to 80 per cent in just 45 minutes. Having tested this, I can say it really delivers.

New Apple Watch colours

Apple Watch Series 7 review. Image: Apple

New colours aren’t exactly worth a $600 price tag but they sure do look good on the Series 7

Apple has introduced five new colours for its smartwatch: midnight (black), starlight (white), red, green and blue.

They all look great on the aluminium frame of the watch. They’re subtle enough to give your watch a splash of colour but without being too overbearing.

Old Apple Watch straps are also compatible with the Series 7 so you can mix and match and won’t have to ditch your collection.

Durability

apple watch series 7
Apple Watch Series 7 review. Image: Lauren Rouse/Lifehacker Australia

An Apple Watch is a pricey item and it lives on your wrist all day. Braving the elements of rain, dust and the wayward desk, door or wall means durability is important and Apple has improved on that with the Series 7.

The new Apple Watch is IP6X dust resistant and swim-proof to WR50, which will protect it in a pool, the ocean or the shower. It also features what Apple is calling its most crack-resistant crystal that is slightly thicker but still gives you brilliant clarity on the screen.

I’m not going to smash my Apple Watch to see if all this holds up, but it reassures me nevertheless.

Performance

Apple Watch Series 7 review. Image: Lauren Rouse/Lifehacker Australia

As with any new model, the Apple Watch Series 7 is packing an updated processor. This time around it’s an S7 SIP processor and the U1 chip.

This isn’t a redefining change like the M1 chip, but each year new hardware helps the latest Apple Watch to keep up with new apps, connect to more devices and just generally be efficient. It also has 32GB of internal storage, which gives more apps, music and photos a home on your watch.

Some may take hardware updates for granted, but after my old Apple Watch took forever to connect to Bluetooth, and couldn’t even update without a factory reset, speed and storage are something I’ve come to value.

The Apple Watch Series 7 ushers in the era of watchOS 8, which brings small but significant updates.

For starters, the small changes in user experience and design from OS 8 help make everything seem sleek and smooth on the Series 7’s larger screen.

There are also additional workouts in the Fitness app, a redesigned Mindfulness app and a new feature known as Activity Trends, which helps you further understand your metrics.

Apple Watch Series 7 review: What could be better?

While the Series 7 is a great smartwatch, it doesn’t really bring any blockbuster new features.

Health features like blood oxygen tracking, heart rate notifications, ECG and respiratory monitors, and sleep tracking are all present but they have been for a while.

Health sensors are something we’ve come to expect from Apple but it can’t feasibly give them to us every time. Those hoping for more in the department should probably keep waiting until Series 8.

The Series 7 is really all about the display and other incremental design updates. It’s an excellent smartwatch, but in comparison to other Apple Watch models, it doesn’t really make any significant strides.

If you’ve been waiting (like me) to update from a Series 3 Apple watch, then the Series 7 is the perfect time for it. Anything later than that and you’ll want to weigh up what it is you’re hoping to get from an upgrade.

The Apple Watch Series 7 costs $599 and is available now.

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