Ever since I upgraded from my Pebble to the Apple Watch, it has been the one thing I never leave home without. Yes, I do step out without my smartphone often, but never without the Apple Watch. It has become an integral part of my personality and the connected life I lead. But more importantly, it is the one ally I need in my fight against diabetes.
I have used the Apple Watch Series 7 for a few weeks now and here is what I thought of the latest version of smart timepiece from Cupertino.
As soon as you take the Apple Watch Series 7 out of the box, the design change hits you. The design itself is the same, but the watch face looks almost gigantic in comparison to the earlier version. Also, the glass curves on the sides folding into the aluminium casing almost seamlessly. The new Apple Watch tries to use that space a bit with some of the watch faces.
With the sports loop, the larger watch does feel different on the hand when you are working out or running on the beach. Also, I got the sense that so much glass also makes this one a bit more vulnerable to damage, especially when your writs bangs into hard metal like on a gate. Thankfully, Apple is using a front crystal which it claims is better than before. Still, be careful while using this Apple Watch or get one of those screen guards.
The extra screen size comes with its advantages too, especially a full QWERTY keyboard for those who like to type out a full reply to a message using the Watch. This is handy for those who struggled with voice replies or gestures before. I’m just not that type though, no pun intended. Also, all the notifications can now easily be consumed in one screen and the alerts with images make much more sense.
I’m not a swimming guy. But now, on work from home in Kerala, I had the opportunity to wear the Series 7 to a pool and was more than happy with how it performed. In fact, I used the touchscreen too while the watch face was wet. Even when not in a pool, the WR50 water resistance means the Apple Watch is very relevant for users in places like Kerala which is wet for most of the year.
Using the watch as such has not changed much with the Series 7 because Apple has not released a lot of new features this time around. However, this is still the most loaded smartwatch. Everything I need for my daily quantified existence is still here from the steps and calorie counts to workouts and music streaming. There is also ECG and Blood Oxygen measurement, while women can also keep an eye on their menstrual cycles.
Now, the Apple Watch shows more trends for fitness goals so that you know how you have been doing over a period of time. In workouts, it is hard to think of a regimen that is not included in the Watch. There is fall detection coming to cycling, but that will be an upgrade later down the year.
However, there are a couple of new software features which are useful. The Mindfulness app now goes beyond breathing. I used the Reflect mode to destress after long days when basically all you do is jump from one Zoom call to the other.
There is also the Find Devices and Find Items app now on the Watch which is great for those who have a lot of Apple devices and need help finding where they are. I could use the Find Items app to locate my bag which I had dumped somewhere in the house after a tiring red-eye flight using the play sound feature.
The battery life is still all day, but I got the feeling it is a bit stressed compared to Series 6. This could be because I was out of Wi-Fi limits for most of the testing period and the Watch was using the battery more to find a network or stay connected to the phone, which too was having network issues at the time. But since Apple has been easily doing about 18 hours of life on a full charge now, this is still not a deal-breaker.
Overall, the Apple Watch Series 7 comes with better usability thanks to the larger screen size but does not offer a compelling reason for those on Series 5 or 6 to upgrade. For those on earlier modes, the Series 7 will wow you in multiple ways.