Apple Watch 7: release date, new features, and when the hell can you buy one

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Apple / Screenshot by Scott Stein / CNET
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The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $ 399 and comes out later this fall. It was announced at Apple’s event on Tuesday. But the changes don’t seem that dramatic. It has a larger display with thinner bezels, a faster charging battery that promises 8 hours of use after 8 minutes of charging, and a more unbreakable front glass. But the battery life – 18 hours – is the same as last year’s watch.

There are also new colors for the aluminum housing: blue, green, midnight (black), starlight (a mixture of gold and silver) and product red. You can also add even more expensive upgrades to steel and titanium case versions.


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Apple looks like it’s keeping the rest of the watch’s design, as opposed to previous reports of a massively redesigned flat design. For anyone expecting a brand new watch (like me), the seemingly minor updates seem like a disappointment. But Apple made small changes to previous Apple Watches compared to last year. The only really new thing about last year Apple Watch Series 6 was the addition of estimated blood oxygen.

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Updates seem sparse this year as well, and it doesn’t look so different from a casual distance. The promises of better durability and faster charging seem useful, though for most they probably won’t be enough to consider upgrading from a newer model.

A bigger display

The larger screen should allow for more readable and detailed watch faces, notifications, and apps, similar to the Series 4 Increase in size a few years ago. Apple says it’s 20% larger than the 6 series and 50% larger than the 3 series. The buttons are bigger on the displays, and Apple says it can fit 50% more text on the screen while the display is in Always-on mode is 70% brighter indoors. (In addition to the scribble and dictation options, a new full keyboard is now displayed on the screen for entering text.)

The display is now curved at the corners and encloses the case somewhat. I haven’t seen this in person yet, but I looked at a 3D model in AR and it shows the subtle effect from the side.

There are also new dials: a redesigned modular dial and a dial with digits around the curved edge. But there is still no way to get new watch faces in a Save watch facealthough Apple’s watch faces have many Customization options.

Promise of better durability

The Watch 7 has an IP6X rating which is new and promises better dust resistance. The curved crystal is also 50% thicker, according to Apple, which could result in fewer cracks. But we haven’t tested this yet and don’t know how durable it actually is (and won’t know until later in the fall when the watch arrives). The watch has the same 50-meter water resistance for freshwater, pool or ocean swimming as the most recent previous models.

Faster charging, but no better battery life

Apple is promoting the Watch 7’s fast charging functions, which promise 8 hours of battery life with 8 minutes of charging time. This is helpful, especially if you might have forgotten to charge the watch the night before (or for people who wear the Apple Watch to sleep to track) but the total battery life of the watch remains the same. Based on my previous experience, count on a usage period of about one and a half days.

No new health functions

However, all new health functions or sensors are missing. Samsung’s current Galaxy Watch 4 and last year Fitbit Scythe started with the introduction of new health sensors like body analysis and electrodermal activity, but Apple hasn’t introduced anything new for the Series 7 compared to last year. There is also no improvement in battery life or a Save watch face.

Price levels still open

The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $ 399, but we don’t know prices for the different sizes, LTE-enabled models, or different materials. However, expect prices to go up like previous Apple Watches.

WatchOS 8 comes before Apple Watch Series 7

Apples latest version of WatchOS should be here on September 20th adding new bike features, a redesigned mindfulness app, and wallet app upgrades. Perhaps these updates will be enough for existing Apple Watch owners, and they see no need to update their watches at all.

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Apple / Screenshot by Scott Stein / CNET

Apple’s range of watches is becoming more and more successful, especially as the wearable competitors have consolidated. Apples Fitness Plus subscription service, which launched late last year, requires the Watch to use their video workouts. Apple announced a new one Group training function also at today’s event.

Last years Apple Watch SE wanted to become a more affordable Apple Watch, but its starting price of $ 279 was still way above budget fitness trackers from companies like Fitbit. This year, the Watch SE and Series 3 remain on sale, with the SE still priced at $ 279 (£ 269, AU $ 429) and the Series 3 still priced at $ 199 (£ 199, AU $ 299). International awards for the Series 7 were not disclosed.

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