Apple Watch Series 7: The 911 of smartwatches

Top Down shot of Apple Watch Series 7

It’s been over a month since the Apple Watch Series 7 was launched, and the reviews are in. Even though most reviews were kinda meh, I was still ordering the Series 7. My current Series 4 is really old at this point and had to order a new Apple Watch. After using the Apple Watch Series 7 for the past 3 weeks, here are my thoughts:

Design

The Series 7 does not feature the flat design that was heavily rumored. Instead, it looks very similar to the Series 4–6 design style, with a rounded display and curvy case. I guess this is the only Apple product that does not have a boxy/flat-edge design. It does look a little out of place when placed next to the iPad Pro or the iPhone.

This is only the second time Apple has decided to increase the size of the display, the first was Series 3 -> Series 4. The dimensions are largely the same (the height has increased by 1mm), but the display is significantly larger with thinner bezels. It might not look like much in pictures, but the difference is massive. The display curves around the edges and is no longer completely flat. Buttons and UI elements are bigger to take advantage of the larger screen. Overall, it’s a similar design style as the previous Apple Watch but refined even further.

Series 7 is offered in the same aluminum, stainless steel and titanium finishes as before. This time I switched up a bit and bought the lighter Starlight color (both my Apple Watch and iPhone in Sierra Blue are lighter shades). But unlike last year, the color choices are vastly different. There is no silver or space grey in the base aluminum trim. Instead, we get a Military Green and Starlight. Judging by the Twitter reaction, lot of people seem to be disappointed by this. I would say to see the colors in person before ordering one.

I love the new design (believe me it is a new design) even though it feels like a minor change. It has reached a point where the display, case and finishing all work well together.

Display

One of the biggest changes to the Series 7 is the improved and bigger display than previous models. On the Apple Watch, the screen is a very important element. There is no camera, no physical trackpad/keyboard, no ports. The screen defines how you interact and use the watch for everything (apart from Siri 😊). Unlike other computing devices, the primary function of the Apple Watch is to provide relevant information at a glance and quick interactions.

The new display with tiny bezels looks cool and is brighter in the always-on mode. Compared to my older Series 4, it is a massive improvement. The UI is much easier to navigate due to larger tap targets. The Always-on display removes a tap or maybe a second every time you interact with the watch (which is a big deal). There is more information available on the screen in apps like messages. Within a few hours of using the Series 7, I was convinced of how much better the new display is.

Features and Fitness

Along with the display, there are a few other improvements to the Apple Watch. Apple has certified the Apple Watch for dust resistance and water resistance. I’m sure it makes a difference if someone wears the watch on the beach a lot. There is also improved fall detection which is very hard to verify, but I’ll take Apple’s word for it.

The larger display now allows for a full Qwerty keyboard, which you can tap and swipe just like on iOS. I do use the Apple Watch to send quick iMessage replies and works in Apple Maps too if you want to type in the destination. It works well for me since I like to type instead of using dictation.

Lastly, the Apple Watch now charges faster than before (33% faster). I was skeptical of how much it would matter in daily use, but I was wrong. It makes a big difference and the faster charging means I rarely think about the battery life. Every morning I charge my Apple Watch (while I’m taking shower and getting ready) for about 40–50 mins. My Series 4 would struggle to get past 80% charge and I would end up charging it again before bedtime. With the Series 7, I am consistently charging it to 100% every morning. Even a quick 15–20 min charge is more than enough to get me through the day.

Watch Faces

There are 3 new watch faces, Contour, Modular Duo, and World Time. I have stuck to the Contour watch face in Starlight color since day one. I love this watch face a lot and don’t see changing it for anything else. I love how it stretches all the way and almost spills over the side. I haven’t used the Modular Duo though do like it. Most certainly, I would have weather and stocks as my 2 big complications and Overcast on the top left. I did not try out World Time as I thought it was a bit busy for my liking.

The Watch Face selection can get overwhelming now that there are so many of them. I also don’t like how some of the older watch faces are not updated to take advantage of the larger display. Also, there also needs to be a setting to change watch faces as the day progress (right now you can only do this through shortcuts).

MISC

I found the battery life to be on par with previous versions of the Apple Watch, which is good enough for a day. I was able to get through 24 hrs with about 15%-25% battery left. The watch felt snappy just like my Series 4, but maybe a tiny bit faster.

The Solo loop is better than all the previous watch straps I have used. It does not get sweaty, does not stick or bite into my wrist. The band looks cool and I especially love the starlight color on it. I did get my wrist measured before ordering the correct sized band.

Wishlist

I feel bad Apple no longer offers the ceramic coat. I want the Apple watch to either come in a ceramic white or jet black (iPhone 7). The jet black in particular would be cool as it would hide the display bezels better completely.

I don’t like how the always on display shrinks the watch face and does not take advantage of the entire display. This is annoying as it makes the display look smaller than it is when the watch switches to always-on mode.

Conclusion

I love the Series 7 a lot and feel like it’s becoming kind of a 911 of smartwatches. It has gotten to a point where steady year-over-year improvements are finally paying off. Whether you should upgrade to a Series 7 is subjective, depending on how much you use the Apple Watch. For me, it was a no-brainer, as I use my Apple Watch a lot. I also value a better display and features like fall detection. If these are things you pay attention to, Series 7 will be a great buy.

PS

  • I should’ve kept my older Series 4 Apple Watch for a side-by-side comparison, but I already had it trade-in 😑
  • Battery life can vary heavily depending on how you use the watch. Also, if it is used as a cellular watch the battery life will be a lot worse.
  • Even though everyone jokes about Siri, I think it works really well on the Apple Watch. No need to even say “Hey Siri”, just raise your wrist and start talking.
  • I also appreciate how many of the functions on the Apple Watch work independently from the iPhone. If you are in a known wifi network, the watch will connect automatically.

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Hello everyone, I live in Northern California and work in silicon engineering. Medium is a great place for posting my thoughts and get some feedback.

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Hello everyone, I live in Northern California and work in silicon engineering. Medium is a great place for posting my thoughts and get some feedback.

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