The Apple Watch 7 offers faster charging and a bigger screen…and that’s about all that sets it apart from the previous generation.

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The Apple Watch 7 is actually the Watch 6 with a slightly larger screen and the ability to to recharge faster. Most users will probably choose the Watch 7 for its fresh eye-catching colors, rather than its new features. While it still offers a wide variety of impressive options and is a great secondary display for any iPhone owner, the Watch 7 isn’t a game-changing upgrade. Both in terms of design and enhanced autonomy or fitness monitoring.

The Apple Watch 7 in summary

From left to right: Apple Watch 3, Apple Watch 7 and Apple Watch SE

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple Watch 7 replaces Apple Watch 6 of the year last as the brand’s high-end smartwatch. Upgrading isn’t actually important here, the main distinction being in the screen, which is 20 per cent larger. It’s still packed with an impressive set of features that make it worthy of consideration, and it’s certainly the best Apple Watch yet…but by little.

If most smartwatch wearers will flock to this model to avoid having to take their iPhone out of their pocket, or because they are looking for a fitness coach decent, you’ll also get good heart rate monitoring and a range of useful apps, picking it up. All wrapped up in an attractive package.

The new edition comes in five colors, and the larger OLED display makes your data and notifications much more readable than on the Watch 6 or Watch SE, plus to add an easier to use keyboard. It also has the always-on display, so you no longer need to lift your wrist to check the time.

We had hoped for an improved design on the Watch 7 – flat edges to match the new iPhone design, an even bigger screen… but in reality, there’s not much that makes us think of a major Apple Watch upgrade. /p>

The keyboard is good, and surprisingly nice for write a message.

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Internal power is by no means a big leap forward, the S7 chip merely miniaturizes the previous chipset, to make more space on the screen. You will have the same fluidity appreciated on the Apple Watch 6, with an interface that is fortunately more intuitive. Indeed, watchOS 8 allows you to start a training session, view photos or read your messages with greater simplicity.

As for the fitness features of the Watch 7, you get an improved cycling mode – this watch can now detect risk of falling and alert you to avoid danger.

Overall, we’ve found the new Apple Watch to be a decent assistant during every workout – especially as its purchase entitles you to a free three-month subscription to the program AppleFitness+. Enough to personalize your exercises in a professional and fun way.

On the other hand, the electrocardiogram and the monitoring of oxygen in the blood, presented as premium functions, will not be of much use for ordinary mortals.

Ready for a Fitness+ session?

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While the Apple Watch Series 6 is still on sale, we can’t really recommend the new Watch 7, especially if you can get the 2020 model at a now discounted price. With the Black Friday promotional offers approaching, this one should become lower than ever.

But when the Apple Watch of 2020 runs out of stock, the Watch 7 will become your only high-end alternative. With a sizable display, good fitness tracking, and easy-to-read notifications, you shouldn’t complain.

Apple Watch 7 Digital Crown

(Image credit : TechRadar)

The Apple Watch 7 was presented on September 14, 2021, and it took more than a month for it to finally go on sale. It comes in the usual sizes small and large, although these have been widened slightly to 41mm and 45mm.

Pricing for the Apple Watch 7 starts at €429 for the variant 41 mm, and goes to 459 € for the 45 mm model. If you want to get the cellular version that lets you use it without a phone, it will cost you between €529 and €559 – depending on whether you choose the 41 or 45mm editions.

There are also special Apple Watch Nike Edition and Hermès watches, whose prices can reach up to €929.

The Apple Watch 7 is available in several colors, including five new shades: Midnight (black ), Starlight (gray), green, blue, and (PRODUCT)RED (red).

Design and screen

The screen is bigger, incredibly bright, but battery life suffers.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The design of the Apple Watch 7 is probably the only change you’ll notice when comparing it to the Watch 6 or the Watch SE – the bezel appears slightly larger, and the screen area increases by approximately 20% compared to older models.

What you don’t you won’t be able to discern when holding it for the first time, it’s its improved robustness – with the IP6X standard, this watch is dustproof as well as waterproof (up to 50 meters deep). Dust and any other harmful particles cannot penetrate under the frame.

The size of the Watch 7 outperforms that of the Watch 3, however the bezel is so thin that you get even more screen real estate.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The glass that covers the bright and vibrant OLED display has also been hardened to reduce the risk of scratches or breakage – although we’ve never seen the slightest trace of damage on any of the Apple Watches we’ve reviewed over the years. We assume this protection is intended to make the Watch 7 appealing to lovers of outdoor adventures and water sports. Putting it in competition with the Garmin Fenix ​​range, which still offers greater resistance and more tracking options.

Apple has insisted on the fact that the glass that covers the OLED display now curves around the sides of the screen, and there’s no doubt that the reduced bezels make the watch more attractive (especially when looking at your favorite photos, which extend to the edges of the screen).

The back of the Watch 7 is a bit domed.

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The larger screen area concedes more options available on modular watch faces – for example, the Modular Duo watch face can now group two large widgets together, doubling the amount of information typically seen on an Apple Watch. Again, this is a nice plus, but not a compelling reason to upgrade from the Watch 5 or 6 to this one.

However, if you’re using an Apple Watch 4 or earlier, you’ll notice one big change: the always-on display. You’ve had it since the Watch 5, but now it’s brighter, making it easier to activate just by looking at your wrist.

Reducing the timer seconds will help you avoid constantly refreshing the screen.

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It is also used by more Apple applications. Whereas previously the screen turned off and a clock was displayed in standby mode, always-on display support is now much broader – with a significant number of vendors adding progressively add this option to their programs.

Finally, this enlarged screen gives you access to a keyboard that is easier to use. A minor but valuable feature for those who want more accessibility on their smartwatches. Said keyboard is practical in most daily uses. you can type SMS type messages, although you would – by far – prefer to use voice dictation. Or just send an emoji in reply.

Fitness Features

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The Apple Watch 7 is a watch that’s all about fitness: whether it’s the simple Move rings that encourage you to be more active, the ever-growing number of built-in workouts or the new Cycling mode, it’s It’s clear that Apple is trying to make the Watch 7 more appealing to beginners or more committed exercisers.

However, if you’re a very regular fan of running, swimming, or similar activities , it’s still hard to recommend the Apple Watch. It still lacks a few basic elements like support for interval sessions, heart rate alerts, and many other options found on sports watches – with in mind the best Garmin models .

The Cycling app now has automatic recognition when you start to pedal.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Instead you get a regular GPS that tells you the distance traveled, your effort time, your frequency average heart rate during training and…that’s it. The accuracy of the GPS, however, does not have to be ashamed of that of the top-of-the-range Garmin Forerunner 945, with a deviation of 0.048 meters over a distance of nearly 13 kilometers.

Similarly, the readings of the The heart rate monitors were almost identical to those of the chest strap we tested it with, rising and falling within seconds of the strap as we went from light trots to sprints. However, this precision was only achieved when we pushed the Watch 7 further up the forearm – which isn’t a problem if you opt for a velcro sport strap, as other straps tend to slip .

While we’re on the subject of health, let’s quickly mention electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring, premium selling points that appeared on the Watch 5 and Watch 6 respectively – and are again very useful and operational here.

We think the ECG sensor is a great inclusion. It seriously picks up on the warning signs of atrial fibrillation, and we’ve seen a few instances of the Apple Watch picking up undiagnosed issues, so that’s a reassuring feature.

The SpO2 sensor is a premium feature, but it’s hard to know what it actually does because it is not medically certified.

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The SpO2 sensor is less relevant to us. First of all, it is not “medically” accurate, you will always have to supplement its data with the more legitimate opinion of your doctor or a specialist with more adequate equipment.

There is also the absence of alerts which plays against it: if your oxygen level in the blood drops too much during the night, it would be useful to receive an alert about this (from the same way you’ll be notified if your heart rate drops too suddenly), so you can seek medical attention and monitor possible sleep apnea.

While it’s nice to be able to check your blood oxygen saturation level throughout the day, this feature is more of a gimmick. If doctors can’t use full data, and if the watch doesn’t alert you to a problem, what is its real use?

We really appreciate Apple Fitness+. These workouts from real coaches are available on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. You will need to connect your Apple Watch to read heart rate and other information and display it on the screen.

Apple Fitness+ is an awesome app that you won’t be able to live without.

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There is a wide variety of possible workouts and as you practice them you will end up selecting more effectively that suit you the most. The difficulty is high but progressive – we like the competitive aspect of challenging ourselves individually with increasingly complex levels. The three-month free trial is a great way for you to get an in-depth look at the service and see if it can fit easily into your daily life.

Another powerful health feature we wanted to tell you about is the revamped Breathe app – it’s now called Mindfulness and has a Relax mode. In the latter, you are asked a motivational question at the start of the activity, and you spend at least a minute watching colorful shapes that merge and clash on the watch while thinking about the notion posed.

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Some of the suggestions are a bit basic, but putting them into practice made us feel calmer.

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The “Relax” mode animations are totally spellbinding.

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Sleep tracking is way too standard on the Apple Watch – more details and advice would be welcome.

< p>It’s hypnotic as well as soothing. Combine this with the guided walks or meditation sessions of Fitness+, and you will achieve a calmness that will accompany you throughout the day. Without a doubt, the Watch 7 is one of the best relaxation devices we’ve used.

And then there’s the sleep tracking, appreciated last year on the Apple Watch 6. The data is fed into the Health app, there you can monitor the development of sleep time over a set period. There is no information, however, on the times of deep sleep, light sleep or REM sleep, nor any correlation with stress monitoring. Because of this, sleep tracking is quickly becoming a standard feature, as we expected more from Apple again this year.

watchOS 8

(Image credit: TechRadar)

watchOS 8 is the new Apple operating system for its connected watches. Like the design of the ultimate Apple Watch, it doesn’t add much new to the user experience.

The Watch 7 is powered by a “new” chipset inside, the S7 chip, as powerful as last year’s S6 but miniaturized to fit the new chassis. That said, the smartwatch responds fully to all its functions, and this with perfect fluidity. Switching between apps is seamless via the side button, while the digital crown ensures quick menu navigation.

As for Siri – invoke the voice assistant by raising the Watch 7 to your lips and indicating your request – the interface is intended to be operational for 80% of the commands, which is still a little disappointing when you simply try to set a timer… that does not necessarily inspire confidence, and you will tend to go through the manual controls to obtain satisfaction.

The portrait theme is a great customization of the Apple Watch 7

(Image credit: TechRadar)

One feature we liked in WatchOS 8 is the new theme including your favorite photos, overlaid with scrolling data on the home screen, as well as the clock in standby mode. It’s very elegant, and the possibility of rotating the digital crown to zoom in or out of the subject of the photo adds to the certain popularity of this function.

The other great feature we liked is Focus Mode. Introduced by iOS 15, this allows you to limit the reception of annoying notifications, unwanted calls (it’s up to you to white-list / black-list contacts and applications in anticipation), as well as the use of your phone in general. This when you need to stay focused on your work or training. If Focus Mode is activated on your iPhone, it will also kick in on your Apple Watch.

Autonomy

< /p>

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Apple Watch battery life has puzzled us for years, and the Watch 7 doesn’t exception… because curiously, Apple underestimates its performance. The company advertises that the Watch 7 can last 18 hours on a single charge, but we regularly exceeded 24 hours, even when using GPS in the middle of the day.

You can also charge your watch faster than ever, thanks to the faster coils inside and the new silver band charger.

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It’s it’s the fast charger – it’s included in the box, but it has a USB-C connector, without a block to charge it.

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Here he is facing the puck original white.

Official stats suggest it will take 75 minutes to fully charge your watch, while we did it in 64 minutes, and the faster charging cable really makes a difference here: we managed to recover 50% autonomy in 30 minutes, and more than 80% in 45 minutes.

While this fast charging is useful, it does not solve one of the recurring problems of Apple watches: it is necessary to recharge your device every evening or in the early morning to fully benefit from it the next day.

Additionally, we noticed that we were losing about 15% of battery power overnight, which is a bit more than Apple suggests – they estimate you can recharge the Watch 7 from a dead battery for eight minutes and have enough power to last the night, but we only registered about 8% more charge during this period, which is not enough to last until morning.

The use of certain applications should have consumed a lot of battery, but it turns out to be surprisingly soft.

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In any case, it’s not easy to find the time to do even quick top-ups, and we we found ourselves regularly running out of battery for the purposes of the present test.

24-30 hour battery life from a single charge just isn’t enough for a modern smartwatch – there are plenty of rival watches that can last for days without needing to be connected to a charger, and this is something that Apple should aim for in the future.

We find that Apple manages to regularly add new power-hungry features without diminishing battery capacity (it is very impressive that the SPO2 sensor does not consume much power here, as it does on other devices). In addition, the bright screen is very appreciable, but of course it has a certain cost in terms of consumption.

Apple has also radically improved the energy throughput of multitasking mode. We ran for 50 minutes with a third-party app giving voice prompts, the screen on, GPS showing our route, and Spotify streaming music offline – the Watch 7 only lost 10% of its battery, which looks pretty amazing.

Should we buy the Apple Watch 7?

The calculator should be easier to use because it’s bigger – but that doesn’t add much.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy-it-if…

You are currently wearing the Apple Watch 4 (or older watch)
If you love your old Apple Watch, but lack the always-on display to fill it up, you’ll love the Watch 7’s larger display. hourly.

You are seriously interested in your health
The Watch 7 is an excellent fitness companion for those who want to improve their well-being, both mentally and physically. It offers plenty of tracking options, and we found the Mindfulness mode really refreshing.

Don’t buy it if…

You are a seasoned athlete
While we love to play with Fitness+, if you’re looking for structured workouts that will help you make real progress, the Watch 7 isn’t for you. You can download a few decent apps, but you’ll be best served by a dedicated sports watch like those from Garmin.

Charging a device every day annoys you
While the Watch 7 doesn’t need to be charged every night, it will need power pretty early the next day. With many other smartwatches offering several days of standard use without a nearby power outlet, Apple is falling behind on this.


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