Apple Watch Series 7 Review:

This watch is basically a Series 6, but with a slightly larger display and slightly faster charging. Same price, that’s basically it. But there are a bunch of other little quirks and things you should know about it if you’re considering actually getting one. But yeah, like I said, the flagship new thing about the Apple Watch Series 7 is that it’s bigger. Mostly with the screen too. So you get this 20% larger display in a watch that’s just barely bigger than the previous body, and right away, you do notice that everywhere. The whole UI is a little bigger. In the calculator, the buttons are a little bit bigger, and your notifications, there’s just a little bit more text. The map, if you’re navigating, is that much more usable. And when you’re typing your passcode, of course, the digits are just that much bigger. So for me, I like that the snooze button is also slightly larger in the alarm clock. But just being slightly bigger with smaller bezels wouldn’t be quite enough for a whole new watch. So Apple did the Apple thing and built a few special features into the Series 7 that specifically work best for the larger display. They made two exclusive watch faces for the Series 7 only to take advantage of this screen. This one here is called contour where the numbers literally wrap all the way around the very edges. And then there’s this modular duo watch face, which basically has two really large data rich center complications. So I can keep track of exactly how well I’m crushing my fitness competitions all the time. Then they made a full qwerty keyboard for the watch. Now, that sounds terrible at first, and it actually looks a little bit ridiculous on your wrist when you go to reply to a text, but it is a swipe keyboard, which is easier to crank out words on. You’re swiping between letters of the words. And auto predict is usually pretty decent. I just personally didn’t find myself actually using this very much. It is enough to get a couple of words down, but if you get enough words wrong, the UI is barely big enough to go back through and select the words you want to replace. And then you tap in and then re-swipe them. And you’re holding your wrist up this whole time. And I don’t know, it’s fine. It’s fine for quick messages, but I’m still going to go with voice texts nine times out of 10. Either way, I think we all knew that having a slightly bigger screen would be a pretty basic upgrade for a smart watch. But when I was a little more curious about, especially after seeing all of those Apple promo videos, was actually the shape of this new display. If you’ve seen the videos, then you’re familiar, they’ve pushed the screen right up all the way to the very edges here. And so it gets so close to the edges that Apple is showing readable text literally bleeding over the edges and corners of the watch, like readable from the side, which looks awesome in rendered videos with no reflections, but I was very curious about all the reflections and stray light and refractions that happen in real life. It turns out it didn’t really make much of a difference at all. I mean, yes, the Apple Watch has always had this shape with the curved edges. And this year, the display does push more up into those corners than ever before, but it doesn’t make much of a difference with readability where most of the stuff is in the center of the screen. Literally the one place I found it to make the biggest difference is in the exclusive contour watch face that puts the numbers all the way around the most reflective edges of the display. So then yeah, you’re going to have to learn to deal with some more annoying reflections on a regular basis, just to see what time it is. I like the bigger screen though, bottom line. Now, something to consider, if you have smaller wrists or if you’re a little more sensitive to the size of this big watch, it’s starting to look like a computer on your wrist if you’re getting the biggest watch, and so you might consider getting this smaller Apple Watch instead, because that screen size is up to 41 millimeters now, which is still very usable. That’s actually, fun fact, one millimeter smaller than the original large-sized Apple Watch. Now, when I said there was a couple of other small changes, I really meant it. There’s just a couple of small things, but the thing about small changes is if enough of them apply to you, then they can add up to make a bigger change, which is nice. But if they don’t apply to you, you might not care. You’ll probably know pretty quickly which camp you fall in. This is now the most durable Apple Watch ever. I noticed the speaker on the left is now a single slot where previous versions were two slots, but that’s apparently not contributing to durability. It’s actually the thicker cover glass. And you can never tell just by looking at it from the outside, because it doesn’t protrude anymore. It actually goes deeper into the watch and that larger Z-axis dimension makes it more crack resistant than ever before. If you tend to put your watch through a lot, maybe you play a lot of sports with it on, you’re lifting with it, you hit stuff with it. Maybe you’re tough on it outdoors. Maybe you’re my sister and the entire cover glass just breaks off of your watch for no reason, then yeah, this may be important to you. And then the watch is now IP 6X dust resistant, not because of some new hardware or coding, but actually Apple’s never tested the watch for dust resistance before. It’s just kind of a bonus to now have that extra peace of mind. They’ve always tested for water resistance though. People ask me sometimes if they can get the watch wet or shower with it. Yes, you can literally dive underwater with an Apple Watch and it’ll be fine. It’s rated for 50 meters deep of water resistance. It’s no Garmin, but the thing’s have been pretty tough for awhile. This watch is also now brighter when you’re not looking at it. It’s subtle, but if you have always on, you know how it gets dimmer when you’re not looking at it, and then it gets brighter when you’re checking it? When you’re checking it, the same brightness, maxes the same. But when you put it down and it’s sort of dimmer, it’s a bit brighter in that dim state than the previous one. If you’re someone who likes to just glance over at the watch without doing an obvious gesture, then yeah, you can check the time or your complications or notifications easier that way. It barely shows on camera, but this new watch is slightly, slightly more readable from off axis when it’s dim. It’s noticeable when you put them next to each other, but it wasn’t a huge deal for me. But the little thing that applied to me the most, it charges 33% faster now. Same battery life, about a day and a half. You can kill it much faster if you do workouts or GPS-tracked activity, stuff like that. But with an only with the new USBC charger included in the box with this new puck, the watch does charge a bit faster. It’s not super dramatic. It’ll still take about an hour to charge it up fully from dead. But if you’re like me, I’m a person that wears a watch 24 hours a day all the time. I sleep in it too, so it’s my alarm clock. I hate going to sleep with it on, but it is a great alarm clock just tapping me on the wrist. The only times I really get to charge it are very brief. It’ll be like when I’m in the shower or when I get up in the morning for a couple minutes. I want it to charge fast when I do get a chance to charge. This charging speed boost is appreciated. Eight minutes on the new charger is enough for eight hours of sleep tracking with the screen off, so that’s pretty great. Just make sure you have a decent USBC power brick, and you’re set. You want to know my biggest disappointment actually with these watches though? The color choices. You may have noticed I’m wearing the product red version of the watch. It’s a very bold, bright red, but I feel like with a watch, you wear it every day. You want it to be a little more neutral, a little more able to match with more things. And then if you want to spice it up, you do that with the watch band, like this beautiful new MKBHD leather strap from Moment with the full grain soft embossed leather and trademarked parallelogram tesselation pattern and that crisp red accent. Link in the description. Also shout out to a Moment for co-designing this, but Apple doesn’t offer a neutral color for the aluminum baseline Apple Watch. I repeat, no neutral colored aluminum. Aluminum is the baseline. It’s 400 bucks. And I define neutral as a shade of black or gray or white. I know some people might consider the Starlight pretty neutral, but it definitely has a warmer hue than a Silverwood. And midnight has a slight blue hue, much more than a Blackwood. The only way to get a genuine neutral shade of gray would be to jump to titanium or stainless steel, which is not only heavier, but much more expensive. It just bothers me that I can’t get a baseline black aluminum Apple Watch. Maybe I’m being picky about the color, but since I am that picky, I’ll probably just stick with the Series 6, but that’s not on sale anymore. If you want to get one, good luck. Now on Apple’s site, they’re selling the lineup of Series 7 SE and the low-end Series 3. If you can avoid the Series 3, unless it’s your first smart watch, in which case you probably won’t know what you’re missing, that’s fine. But the main differences between Series 7 and SE are the larger always on display, this set of colors, of course, and there’s a couple extra sensors, like for blood oxygen and the electrocardiogram. The watch SE is great for almost everyone, but if you can get past these colors, then yeah, the Series 7 is, it’s the best overall smart watch for the iPhone still. It doesn’t have any crazy new features. It doesn’t have charging on the back of the iPhone. It doesn’t have the new square redesign we might’ve been hoping for, but yeah, it’s the Apple Watch, but bigger. There we go. But yeah, there’s a new Apple event literally next week. If you’re hoping for some more exciting stuff, maybe we’ll see some of it there, but that’s pretty much it for this one. Catch you guys very soon in the next one, because it’s October and this stuff just keeps rolling. Catch you guys then.