Whatever your feelings on the Apple Watch, there’s no denying it’s plethora of use cases, even for watch folk like us. Today, Apple revealed the latest iteration of the watch, the Series 7, and it gets new colors and features, as you’d expect, as well as a new display that makes full use of the screen size. At a glance, it looks about the same, which is a good thing as the Apple Watch is exceptionally comfortable on wrist, particularly while being active. Will it take the place of your Halios or Seiko? No. Does it have its uses even if you’re not committed to wearing it 24/7? Yep.
It’s a bit odd to think about processing information displayed on a small screen the size of a watch dial, let alone manipulating it with a finger. But it works, and with the Series 7 that gets a bit easier thanks to a screen that expands to the edge of the glass. If you’re anything like me, who uses their Apple Watch exclusively for activity, this is a welcome change. The slick new display also means slick new ‘faces’ which take full advantage of the extra real estate. We’ve seen Apple take inspiration from classic watch dial and bezel designs in the past, and we’ve spotted more of that with the update.
The new Series 7 watches will be available later this fall, with no specific dates listed. Additional details, such as new case dimensions are suspiciously absent from the Apple website. In describing the display, Apple says …”The challenge was to create a bigger display while barely expanding the dimensions of the watch itself.” This implies, to me, that we should expect similar size options to the outgoing Series 6, which is available in 40 and 44mm options.
Apple is touting a new 50% thicker crystal, making the watch water, dust, and crack resistant as well as providing a more seamless transition to the case. Side note, are the sapphire crystals on our mechanical watches dust resistant to IP6X standards? Should they be? The Series 7 does get a 50 meter depth rating, so perfectly fine for swims and shallow dives, but you won’t find a helium escape valve anywhere in sight.
The slew of health features are all here, and they’ve even got a fitness club with social tools to help keep you motivated (for a small monthly fee). But that subscription isn’t really needed to get a lot of use out of this, as the built in fitness app is perfectly serviceable, especially if you aren’t relying on the watch for data every moment of the day. Going for a morning run or bike ride? This will be perfect, though the price might even push it into overkill territory, as offerings from brands like Garmin and even G-Shock offer much of the same functionality, often for less money.
The Apple Watch Series 7 will start at $399 when it goes on sale later this year. Apple.