Apple Watch 7 Makes a Big Impression With Small Changes

Larger screen, faster charging, better keyboard

Key Takeaways

  • The new Apple Watch Series 7 is a stunning iteration of the wearable that brings a new set of capabilities.
  • The new colors look better in person than in pictures and make the Apple Watch a stylish device. 
  • A larger screen is easier on the eyes and also offers a handy new keyboard input method.
Apple Watch Series 7

Lifewire / Sascha Brodsky

The new Apple Watch Series 7 offers only slight refinements over the previous model, but they add up to an entirely fresh take on the wearable. 

I’ve spent the last few days trying out the Series 7, and I have been impressed with its incredible display and faster charging. The 20% larger screen over the Apple Watch Series 6 finally makes it something you can read and compose text on. The brighter screen and faster charging time also are welcome additions. 

The Series 7 represents a new frontier on what the Apple Watch is capable of. Up until now, the wearable only has been functional for quick glances to look at information or to use it through the very fallible voice of Siri. But the latest iteration puts something closer to a tiny iPhone on your wrist. 

Bigger and Brighter

If you’re upgrading from the Series 6, the new Apple Watch watch is almost indistinguishable from its predecessor unless you pick one of the new colored cases. But check out those colors!

I have been using the new blue-colored model, and the pictures don’t do it justice. I’m not sure what kind of magic Apple performs on the aluminum to give it this alluring sheen, but I’ve never seen anything like it. 

The blue color changes its hue, depending on the light, to a mesmerizing effect. I’ve spent a stupid amount of time over the last few days holding up the Series 7 in different conditions just to see what the watch will look like next. 

iPhone next to Apple Watch Series 7

Lifewire / Sascha Brodsky

The Series 7, fresh out of the box, reminds me again of how Apple makes its products seem like alien technology minted in Area 51. There are no seams visible on the watch, and it somehow seems like it hasn’t evolved from any other technology on the market. 

The larger 45mm model that I tried jumps from a 1.78-inch screen to 1.9 inches. That represents a 20% increase over the Series 6 and a 50% increase over the Series 3. Apple says it used a refractive edge here to make it appear as if the display curves along the sides and it works. The bezels have been trimmed to 1.7mm versus the last generation’s 3mm.

The size difference isn’t readily apparent even when holding the two watches in your hand. Still, it’s much easier for my aging eyes to see information on the larger screen. I was even able to read short news stories without a ridiculous amount of scrolling. 

The brighter display of the Series 7 is immediately obvious. Apple says this new wrist computer is about 70% brighter than the Series 6. I never had a problem with the brightness of the Series 6, but I was immediately struck by how much easier it is to read the display of the new model. 

New Capabilities

The specs of the Series 7 don’t seem much different on paper than those of the Series 6. But the slightly larger screen opens up a whole new world of possibilities. 

The Series 7’s has a new QWERTY keyboard that can be swiped with your finger to type with a new QuickPath. The keyboard uses on-device machine learning to anticipate the next word based on the context and I was impressed with how well this worked in practice. Of course, it can also just be tapped as before.

Siri and I have never communicated well, so it was a wonderful experience to be able to type short messages on the Series 7 using the new keyboard. I was able to respond to text messages easily by swiping the QuickPath keyboard. 

The new keyboard also reinforces the possibility that the Series 7 could be used as a standalone device. At the moment, Apple forces you to activate its watches with an iOS device, but once you get past that hurdle, the Series 7 could be a great way to ditch your smartphone

Is the Series 7 a must upgrade if you have a Series 6? Absolutely not. But its larger display and beautiful new colors make this the best Apple Watch yet. If you have a Series 3, though, the Apple Watch Series 7 is the one you want.

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