Apple Watch Series 7 review: The best smartwatch you can buy gets a bigger screen

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  • No other smartwatch maker comes close to matching the ease of use and reliability of the new Apple Watch.
  • The Apple Watch Series 7 charges faster, has a bigger screen, and is more durable than earlier models.
  • If you need a new Apple Watch, you should buy the Series 7 or Series SE, but skip the Series 3.

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I’ve been testing the new Apple Watch Series 7 for about a week before it’s released on Friday. There are three big upgrades from last year’s model: It’s more durable, has a bigger screen and charges faster.

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Apple doesn’t break out its Watch revenue for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac. However, the company’s wearables, home and accessories business — which includes the Apple Watch, HomePod, AirPods and Apple TV — is one of its fastest growing segments. that business Generated $8.7 Billion In revenue during the fiscal third quarter, Macs and iPads exceeded that.

Research firm Canalys said in March That Apple shipped an estimated 14.5 million Apple Watch units during the fourth quarter of 2020, leading to a 25% market share, and 49.2% year-over-year growth.

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Apple told me that about 75% of its Apple Watch customers are buying an Apple Watch for the first time, and I think the Series 7 offers the best experience yet.

First-time Apple Watch buyers will love the Apple Watch Series 7, which starts at $399. Those who own an Apple Watch Series 3 or older should consider the upgrade, as there’s enough here to justify it.

But if you just need a basic smartwatch for notifications and fitness tracking, and you don’t care about screen size, you can still buy the cheaper Apple Watch SE for $279. I’d skip the $199 Series 3 even though Apple still sells it, because it’s showing its age and you get more features for the SE for an extra $79.

Here’s what you need to know about the new Apple Watch Series 7:

what is good

The Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch you can buy. No other smartwatch maker comes close to matching the Series 7’s ease of use and reliability. There are a few niche fitness tracker makers — like Garmin, which make excellent watches that focus more specifically on fitness (or things like ultramarathons) and have very long battery lives — but Apple still has the best of all. There is a -around solution that ties in well with this. iPhone.

The big screen is the biggest difference this year. You get 20% more screen area than last year’s Series 6 and 50% more screen area than the Apple Watch Series 3 screen, which now looks like a tiny stamp in comparison.

At one angle, it looks like the screen is rolling to the edges thanks to the curved design.

The big screen is much more than beautiful to look at. It’s easier to type in a passcode because the buttons are bigger. I liked that I could see more on the map as I walked around my neighborhood, and that I could see more text in things like emails or messages that pop up. The watch also offers a touch keyboard which works really well. So, you can swipe or tap a message on your wrist to reply to someone. I also like the new modular Duo watch face, which lets you show more information on the home screen.

The bigger screen means I can now watch my next calendar event and a full breakdown of all my fitness activities. But you can customize these big complexities to show other data, like the song, the stock or index you’re watching and the weather forecast.

I also like that the new Apple Watch can charge up to 80% in 45 minutes. This is helpful if you just want to top up for a few minutes before you go to sleep so there’s enough battery life for sleep tracking. Apple says an 8-minute charge gives you 8 hours of sleep tracking. I found fast charging useful one day when, just before a run, I realized I only had about 15% battery left. I charged it when I got dressed and was able to exit with over 50% charge. You’ll need to use the newly included Apple Watch cable for faster charging.

The Series 7 Apple Watch is more durable than any previous version. Apple says the screen is more crack-resistant (on the glass version and more expensive sapphire models.) The watch is also dust-resistant for the first time. It’s a feature I’m excited about because I’ve always worn the Apple Watch to the beach, but am concerned about getting sand in the area around the crown or in the speaker. Now I don’t need to worry about it. The Series 7 is rated for still water resistance of up to 50 meters, including the ocean or pool, so you can swim anywhere with it.

Always On Display is a must for me, and it works well on the Apple Watch Series 7. I like that I can always look down and see the time without having to lift my wrist to look at it. Apple says it’s now 70% brighter under your wrist, which will make it easier to see. However, I never really had a problem reading the screen, and I couldn’t see a huge difference in brightness.

Then you get everything you want with the Apple Watch. I like the tight integration with the iPhone, so I can get all my notifications anywhere, and that when I’m using CarPlay, it shows things like the next driving direction. I regularly buy the cellular model (also available on the Series SE) and just leave my phone at home, but still know that I can call my wife or stream music, put my phone on the map. Find a way, talk to Siri, or text someone on a run. .

There are also far more apps than competitors like Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin. So, you can book an Uber from your wrist or save Spotify songs offline, get a more in-depth sleep tracking analysis or listen to audiobooks from Audible. And all models work with Fitness+ if you want to use Apple’s subscription service, which I really like for indoor cycling classes and its new meditation features. My wife uses it for yoga.

Like the Series 6 before it, the Series 7 is also the only one that can track blood oxygen, if you want to keep track of it when you’re going to high altitudes. It also has an ECG app in case your doctor wants to see that information, although I’ve never asked for it and instead runs those types of heart tests in his office.

What’s worse

I wish its battery life was longer. Apple promises up to 18 hours, and I’m getting about that with the Apple Watch Series 7. I just wish Apple could find a way to extend this to two or three days so I don’t have to worry about charging it. . The fast charger definitely helps, but sometimes I still worry that I need to find the charger and turn it off before I can run. But a bigger battery would make it thicker, and I don’t want that either.

It comes with a charging cable, but it doesn’t come with a plug. It is part of Apple’s environmental initiative. The good news is that fast charging works with any 7.5-watt or greater USB-C plug you may already have from an iPad or MacBook. You can still charge your Series 7 over the old cable, it won’t power up as quickly.

should you buy it?

Buy the Series 7 if you can afford it and want a bigger screen, faster charging and better durability. This is the model I would tell my friends and family to get, as it is the newest model and will last for many years.

You can save money and get the Apple Watch SE starting at $279, but you miss out on the bigger screen, blood oxygen and ECG apps, new crack-resistant crystals and dust resistance. You can save even more money and get the $199 Series 3, but you miss out on emergency calls, fall detection, a cellular option, an always-on display, and more. I’ll leave it.

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