Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Apple Watch Series 7 previewed (but won’t arrive until fall)

Apple previewed the Apple Watch Series 7 at today’s “California Streaming” event. However, no release date was announced; the tech giant just says it’s coming this fall.

Apple Watch Series 7 details

The Apple Watch Series 7 packs a reengineered Always-On Retina display with significantly more screen area and thinner borders. The narrower borders allow the display to maximize screen area, while minimally changing the dimensions of the watch itself. 

Apple says the design of Apple Watch Series 7 is refined with softer, more rounded corners, while the display has a unique refractive edge that makes full-screen watch faces and apps appear to seamlessly connect with the curvature of the case. The Apple Watch Series 7 also features a user interface optimized for the larger display, plus two unique watch faces — Contour and Modular Duo — designed specifically for the new device. With the improvements to the display, users benefit from the same all-day 18-hour battery life, now complemented by 33% faster charging.

New case finishes

Apple Watch Series 7 introduces five beautiful new aluminum case finishes, along with a range of new band colors and styles. The entire Apple Watch Series 7 lineup will be available later this fall. 

New Design and Optimized User Interface

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, says the display of Apple Watch Series 7 offers nearly 20% more screen area and thinner borders at just 1.7 mm — 40% smaller than those on Apple Watch Series 6. Through a design that maximizes the screen area while minimally changing the dimensions of the overall case size, it’s available in 41mm and 45mm sizes. While the wrist is down, the Always-On Retina display is up to 70% brighter indoors than that of Apple Watch Series 6, making it easier to see the watch face without having to lift the wrist or wake the display, says Williams.

The user interface is optimized to take advantage of the shape and size of the new display. Apple Watch Series 7 offers two additional larger font sizes, and a new QWERTY keyboard that can be tapped or swiped with QuickPath — allowing users to slide a finger to type — and utilizes on-device machine learning to anticipate the next word based on the context, making text entry easier and faster. With watchOS 8, larger menu titles and buttons in apps like Stopwatch, Activity, and Alarms also make the screen even simpler to interact with.

Most Durable Apple Watch Ever

Apple Watch Series 7 features a redesigned front crystal with a stronger and more geometry that’s purportedly over 50% thicker than that of Apple Watch Series 6. It’s also certified IP6X dust-resistant, making it more durable in environments like the beach or the desert, while still maintaining a water resistance rating of WR50. 

Faster Charging

The Apple Watch Series 7 provides all-day 18-hour battery life on a single charge, and 33% faster charging compared with Apple Watch Series 6, through a new charging architecture and Magnetic Fast Charger USB-C Cable.5

watchOS 8

watchOS 8 debuts additional watch faces designed specially for the larger display on Apple Watch Series 7. The new Contour face takes the dial right to the edge of the display and fluidly animates throughout the day, emphasizing the current hour. The new Modular Duo face leverages the extra screen area with two large center complications. 

Separately, the classic World Time face, based on heritage watches and ideal for travelers, tracks the time in 24 time zones around a double dial, and is available on Apple Watch Series 4 and later. The Portraits face uses the depth capabilities of iPhone Portrait mode to compose a beautiful, personalized experience.

Health and wellness tools

The new Apple Watch continues to offer tools for health and wellness, including an electrical heart sensor and ECG app, and a Blood Oxygen sensor and app via watchOS 8. The new Mindfulness app, sleep respiratory rate tracking, and Tai Chi and Pilates workout types can help improve overall wellness. New Wallet and Home app functionality provide more convenient access to the car and places users live, work, and visit.

Cycling, Workout, and Fall Detection Updates

watchOS 8 also brings new features to anyone who rides a bike. Apple Watch uses advanced algorithms to analyze GPS, heart rate, accelerometer, and gyroscope data to detect when users begin a ride, and prompts them to start an Outdoor Cycle workout if one wasn’t initiated. 

As with all automatic Workout reminders, cyclists will see their metrics from when they first started their workout. Additionally, cycling workouts have auto-pause and resume, so metrics more accurately reflect time spent moving versus stationary, like waiting at a stoplight.

Williams says the Apple Watch can more accurately measure active calories when riding an e-bike, with an updated cycling workout algorithm that evaluates GPS and heart rate to better determine when users are riding with pedal-assist versus leg power alone. New voice feedback through the built-in speaker of Apple Watch, or through AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones, will also automatically announce workout milestones and Activity ring status, helping users stay focused during activities like running or HIIT.

Apple Watch and the Environment

The Apple Watch Series 7 has more recycled content than any other Apple Watch, featuring: 100% recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, including in the Taptic Engine; nearly 100%  recycled tungsten throughout the product; and a 100% recycled case on aluminum models. Apple Watch Series 7 is also made without harmful chemicals like mercury, PVC, beryllium, and BFRs.

Pricing and Availability

  • All Apple Watch Series 7 models will be available later this fall.
  • Apple Watch Series 7 will start at $399 Apple Watch SE starts at $279 and Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $199. Apple Watch SE with USB-C charging cable, new Apple Watch bands, and Apple Watch Nike bands will be available to order today from apple.com/store and the Apple Store app, with availability in stores beginning Thursday, September 16.
  • Apple Watch Hermès Series 7 and new Apple Watch Hermès bands will be available later this fall.
  • watchOS 8 will be available for Apple Watch Series 3 and later on Monday, September 20, and requires iPhone 6s or later with iOS 15 or later. Not all features are available on all devices and in all regions.
Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.