There is no smartwatch that complements the iPhones the way Apple’s own watches do, even if they are not perfect. Therefore, even if the new models do not bring any significant upgrades over the previous-generation models, they still make a compelling buy for iPhone users looking to upgrade to a new model. A case in point is the Apple Watch Series 7. Over the Watch Series 6 (review), the Series 7 brings a bigger display with curved edges and negligible display bezels, redesigned user interface optimised for larger display, and new watch faces to complement the curved display profile.
Starting with the display, the Watch Series 7 boasts 20 per cent more screen area over the Watch Series 6. Interestingly, the bump in screen size does not translate into any significant changes in dimensions of the case. This is because the screen is stretched by narrowing the borders. That said, the Apple Watch Series 7 is just 1mm (45mm, review unit) bigger than its predecessor. The screen on the Watch Series 7 is not just bigger, but also brighter than the last-gen models. Apple said the screen was about 70 per cent brighter indoors than the Apple Watch Series 6. However, the bump in brightness is available only in the Always-On display mode. The Watch Series 7 has an impressive sunlight legibility, and with increased brightness in always-on display mode, it has equally good indoor legibility which makes it easier for you to read on-screen content on the watch face without having to lift the wrist or wake the display.
To make use of the larger display, Apple has redesigned the user interface by optimising the UI elements. Courtesy the watchOS 8, the Watch Series 7 gets larger menu titles and buttons in apps like Calculator, Stopwatch, Activity, and Alarms. Besides, there are two new watch faces exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 7. There is a new Contour face with an animated dial on the edge of the display that animates to emphasise the current hour details. Modular Duo is another face. The new redesigned UI and watch faces take advantage of the increased display size and profile to make the display intuitive to interact with. Besides, there are two additional larger font sizes for easy readability of the on-screen content. Apple has also included a new QWERTY keyboard with swipe-to-type feature. Though a good addition, the screen still is not big enough to make text entry easier and faster, especially if you have fat fingers.
Besides the big display and redesigned UI, there are several minor upgrades that together form a big package. Most favourable among the minor upgrades is the battery efficiency and USB-C based charger. Despite sporting a big and brighter screen, the Watch Series 7 delivers an impressive daylong on-battery time with always-on display mode enabled. With a USB-C based charger, it can now be charged through the iPhone adapter, or any other USB-C based adaptor. Unfortunately, the charging time is still long despite Apple’s claims that the Watch Series 7 charges up to 33 per cent faster than the Watch Series 6.
Priced Rs 41,900 onwards, the Apple Watch Series 7 might be an incremental upgrade over the Watch Series 6, but it still makes a solid smartwatch for someone looking to upgrade from the Watch Series 5 and below. It may not be perfect, but it still makes a wholesome smartwatch to complement the iPhone way better than any other smartwatch compatible with Apple smartphones.