Apple Watch Series 7 went on sale on October 15. We spent a few days with Apple’s new smartwatch and are now trying to figure out what’s new for the 2021 model.
I wear my Apple Watch every day and, apart from a few little things, am happy with it. At the same time, the question of colleagues or friends “Why are they needed?” still baffles me. I can list a dozen situations when the watch helps me solve routine tasks faster, but so far I cannot give a short and clear answer.
In past generations, Apple has helped me with the answer – adding sensors and functions so I can add to the list of situations. But this year no new functions have appeared and, apparently, the question will have to be answered with the same preparation that I had last year.
More to come
The Apple Watch seems to go through the same evolutionary path as smartphones. The first models fought for compactness, but as they developed they turned into “shovels” – today no one is confused by a smartphone, which cannot be used with one hand. And a week ago, without any irony, I considered the idea of abandoning the iPhone in order to go with the iPad mini as the main device (nothing happened).
The same story is with the clock. The first generation of Apple Watch came with a 42mm case, the standard size for traditional wristwatches. But then they began to “gain” in diameter: Series 4 – 44 mm, new Series 7 – already 45 mm.
Moreover, this one extra millimeter, which appeared in the 2021 model, is quite noticeable – when comparing Series 6 and Series 7, it is clear that the latter is larger than its predecessor. It is noteworthy that the increase in the case no longer causes any worries.
I think that if in the next generations it turns out to make the watch a little thinner, then it is quite possible to bring the diameter of the watch to 47 mm. Big hours are becoming the norm.
Larger screen, but don’t overestimate it
The main reason for the enlargement of the case is, of course, the screen. It is, according to Apple, 20% larger than a Series 4, 5 or 6. The display almost reaches the edges of the case and follows its shape, curving around the edges. The result is such an effect – if you look at the clock from the side, you can see how the interface “bends” along with the glass.
Thanks to the new screen, the interface elements have become larger – dials, notifications, text. Everything seems to be the same, but it is read faster. It became easier to get into small elements, read text in widgets. Optionally, you can choose a giant font in the settings so that the text of the notifications is large and easy to read on the go. There is even a full-fledged keyboard for typing, although only Latin is available so far.
But still, the difference is not so noticeable that the watch creates new value for the Series 6 user. In the bottom line, it’s just a slightly larger screen. After just a couple of hours with the Series 7, I noticed that, just in case, I was peering into the color of the case to make sure that I had a really new model on my hand.
I think that’s why Apple has developed two new dials that are only available on Series 7: the modular one, which allows you to display two large widgets at once, and the “Outline”, in which the dial wraps around the screen, squeezing as much as possible to the edge to emphasize the size of the new display.
It should be admitted that Kontur is coping with their task. For example, I never use pretty watch faces with design effects but put as many widgets as possible on the watch so that the Apple Watch display turns into a dashboard. An upcoming meeting, temperature, probability of rain, sunset time, activity circles, and other information that I do not use, but which, for inexplicable reasons, I want to have in my hands. So, in the last few days, I have been walking around with Kontur and constantly playing with the transfusion of numbers.
The display glass, according to the company, has become stronger. It copes better with scratches, and the watch itself received IP6X dust protection for the first time.
It’s nice that straps from previous generations of watches still fit the Series 7. Including monobralets without clasps, with which I just can’t make friends. Last year I talked about how difficult it is to find the right size for a monobracelet. The ninth recommended by the site turned out to be just right for a silicone strap, but too big for a braided one.
This year it turned out that “my” 9th size is too big for a silicone strap, and now the watch dangles a little on the wrist. Therefore, if you want a monobracelet, I recommend trying on several sizes in the store.
Step into the meeting: USB-C
I have a dream – to keep only one plug and one wire, which are suitable for charging any equipment. Well, or one wireless charger, with which I can charge any mobile device and not think about standards, connectors, and power supplies.
Unfortunately, things are very different in the current Apple ecosystem. Every time I go on a trip, I have to solve a puzzle of wires and power supplies. The iPad charging wire is not suitable for charging the iPhone, the iPad block is suitable for the iPhone, but not for the Apple Watch, and as a final point, a separate wire is always needed for a smartwatch.
Finally (!) Bundled with Series 7, Apple has started shipping a USB-C cable. One step closer to my dream: in 2021, I can take one PSU for three devices from the same ecosystem. But I still have to carry three more separate wires with me. I can only join the opinion of The Verge: it’s time for Apple to give up and add the ability to charge the watch from the iPhone and support Qi charging.
As for the battery capacity, there is no change. The clock keeps all the same declared 18 hours. Increased charging speed – Series 7 can be charged up to 80% in 45 minutes. I don’t sleep with my watch and generally take it off when I come home, so I can’t appreciate the importance of the changes. It’s probably nice to know that in an emergency, I can bring the watch back to life in a few minutes.
Did the new Series 7 help me find a simpler and more unambiguous answer to the question “Why do I need an Apple Watch”? No. I will continue to list the small daily scripting improvements that are true for Series 6 as well. And mostly for Series 5 . And probably for Series 4.
Apple Watch is like a chip under the skin that helps to instantly unlock an iPhone when I wear a mask on my face, or a Mac when I come to the office. Like a device that monitored my pulse and blood oxygen levels while I was in the hospital with coronavirus. Like a player from which I listen to music while jogging. Like a wallet that is always on hand.
Series 7 has made the basic aspects of watches better: with them, it is more convenient to perceive information, they charge faster, it is worth believing that they have become more reliable and durable. But these arguments are not enough to recommend the watch for purchase to those who use the previous generation of watches.
In order not to read the whole text
- Watches are getting bigger every year, and it is similar to what happens with smartphones.
- The screen is 20% larger but not as noticeable as Series 4, 5, and 6.
- The interface has become larger, it has become easier to use the watch.
- Finally, USB-C charging is included. But you need support for charging from the iPhone and the Qi standard.
- There are no new features or sensors.