At Apple's California streaming event on Tuesday, the company took the wraps off of the Apple Watch Series 7, the latest flagship in its wearable lineup. The Series 7 goes on sale on Friday, September 17, with prices starting at US$399 / AU$599. However, Apple did not set an actual ship date, stating that the Series 7 will start shipping later this year (Q3 2021).
Apple Watch Series 7: Design and display
The Apple Watch Series 7 watch features 41mm and 45mm screens, the largest models Apple has ever made. The company says that the Series 7 display is 20 percent larger than the Series 6 and 50 percent larger than the Apple Watch SE. However, the watch itself hasn't increased much in size—Apple achieves the 1mm increase by shrinking the bezel to 1.7mm.
Apple is releasing several new features that take advantage of the larger screen. There's now a full on-screen keyboard that supports the QuickPath entry method. And several new watch faces display more information. Apple also made the buttons within some apps on the Series 7 larger so they're easier to press. And Apple claims that the Series 7's Always-On mode is 70 percent brighter indoors.
From left to right: Apple Watch Series 3, Series 6, and Series 7. Image: Apple
The Series 7 is available in five aluminum case finishes, three of which are new (green, midnight blue, and starlight), while the other two are blue and Product(RED). The corners of the watch are more rounded than on the Series 6, and Apple says 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.
Apple calls the Series 7 its most durable watch, with an IP6X durability rating (the 6 rating indicates that it is dust-tight). It also has a new crack-resistant display and 50-meter water resistance like the Series 6.
The Series 7 works with older Apple Watch bands, and will also have Nike and Hermès editions available. The Nike model comes with a refreshed: Sport Loop band and a new Nike Bounce watch face. The Hermès watch comes in two new styles, Circuit H and Gourmette Double Tour.
Apple Watch Series 7: Faster charging
Apple says that the Apple Watch Series 7 offers improved charging speed through its magnetic charger. During the event, Apple said that the Series 7 is 33 percent faster, and with eight minutes of charging, the Series 7 will last for a full eight hours of sleep tracking.
Apple Watch Series 7: New fitness features
Apple continues to add more fitness features with each new Apple Watch. The Series 7 now has features for cyclists, and it can start an Outdoor Cycle workout if you didn't set it at the beginning. It also has the ability to start and stop tracking in sync with your ride, so you get accurate workout metrics. And with the growing popularity of e-bikes, the cycling workout algorithm has been updated to be able to sense when you are using pedal assist or not.
Fall detection was introduced to the Apple Watch Series 4, and with watchOS 8, it now has been updated to be able to detect when someone falls during a workout, including cycling. If the watch senses a hard fall, it will display a screen to allow you to call to emergency services.
Apple is also including more features that work with the Fitness+ service. Fitness+ will have Pilates and a set of workouts to get ready for the snow season as well as guided meditations. All Apple Watch Series 7 users will get three months of free Fitness+.
Apple Watch Series 7: Price and availability
The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at the same $399 and will be available for preorder beginning on Friday, September 17. However, Apple hasn't yet announced when the watch will ship, only saying it will be available later this fall. Apple is also continuing to sell the Apple Watch 3 for $199 and the Apple Watch SE for $279.