Apple Watch 7 review

You can almost feel a little sorry for the Apple engineers. A new Apple Watch has to be launched on the market every fall – and the Apple Watch 7 is no exception. However, it is a difficult undertaking to further optimize an already excellent smartwatch.

While the Apple Watch Series 6 had an exciting extra feature on board with the new blood oxygen sensor with four LED clusters and four photodiodes, the developers have not come up with quite as much in the past few months. The display has been optimized, but otherwise there are no spectacular innovations. How the Apple Watch 7 (check out the Apple store) performs overall is the subject of this review.

Technical details

Screen size1,5 / 1,65 inches
Wrist materialPlastic, NylonRubber / Silicone, Metal, Stainless Steel, Synthetic Leather, Real Leather
Size watch case40 / 41 / 44 / 45 mm
ConnectivityWLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
Battery lifeup to 18 hours
Supported systemsiOS
Water resistance5 ATM
DisplayRetina OLED
SensorsAccelerometer, GPS, Altimeter, Pulse monitor, Pulse monitor without chest strap, Pedometers, Environment light sensor
Microphone includedYes
Speaker includedYes

Different Model variants

While the Apple Watch 6 is available in the case sizes 40 and 44 millimeters, the Watch 7 has increased slightly with the sizes 41 and 45 millimeters. The case depth now amounts to 10.7 millimeters, which is minimally more than the predecessor’s 10.4 millimeters. Depending on the model, the current Apple smartwatch weighs between 32 and 51.5 grams. As before, buyers can choose between the “GPS” and “GPS + Cellular” variants with their own eSIM.

Buyers can choose between aluminum, stainless steel and titanium for the casing. The aluminum variants are available in the fresh colors Midnight, Polaris, Green, Blue and Red. The titanium watch is available in space black and titanium, and the stainless steel model in graphite, silver and gold.

When it comes to the bracelets, the motto is “can’t have it, won’t have it.” Whether leather, sports or Milanaise bracelets, recycled polyester yarn, special Nike editions or particularly high-priced alternatives from Hermès – everyone can find the right bracelet for the Apple Watch. Fortunately, the Series 7 is compatible with all previous Apple Watch straps. And in the Apple Watch Studio, you have the option of configuring your new smartwatch with your favorite case and custom bracelet according to your own wishes.

Apple Watch 7 Smartwatch
You can customize your Apple Watch 7 appearance and performance.

Design and wearing comfort

The strap of the Apple Watch 7 is very soft, feels good on the skin and is very comfortable to wear. The Apple Watch is hardly noticeable on the wrist, it is light, does not look too bulky and disappears under the sweater or shirt sleeve if necessary. The closure mechanism is simple and effective. Depending on the chosen style, the Apple Watch, like its predecessors, sometimes looks rather sporty, sometimes rather chic and serves as a stylish accessory when needed.

Of course, the smartwatch itselfs comes in different designs – some are more intended for women, while others are more unisex or intended for men.

A great display for everyday tasks

Apple continues to rely on OLED Retina displays for its smartwatch. Their resolution has been increased minimally. The 45-millimeter model has a resolution of 396 x 484 pixels, the smaller one 352 x 430 pixels. The resolutions of the Apple Watch 6 were 368 × 448 and 324 × 394 pixels, respectively. Thanks to the always-on function, you can always read the time and other data like fitness values, even without turning the wrist or raising the arm. With 1,000 nits, the display is super bright and perfectly visible even in direct sunlight.

Apple has now modified the always-on display: It shines up to 70 percent brighter indoors, which is visually noticeable. The perfect black display, the rich colors, and the extremely sharp and cleanly delineated fonts remain.

Apple Watch 7 Smartwatch
The Apple Watch 7 is farily thin and features a great OLED display.

Modern innovations

Two major innovations of the Apple Watch 7 concern its display: The display area has grown by almost 20 percent without the smartwatch becoming noticeably larger. This is because the edges of the watch have been reduced by a whopping 40 percent to 1.7 millimeters. Only in direct comparison with the Apple Watch 6 do you notice that the corners of the case are more rounded. Owners of the current Apple Watch benefit from more space for watch faces and apps.

With “Contour” and “Modular Duo”, Apple has developed two new watch faces for the larger display. “Contour” shows various animations throughout the day and highlights the current hour, while “Modular Duo” takes advantage of the extra display space with two data-rich complications in the center.

According to Apple, the Series 7 is the most robust Apple Watch ever. For this, the front glass turns out to be 50 percent thicker. Thus, it is supposed to be better protected against breakage. Certified to IP6x, the watch can also withstand sandy environments. In addition, it can be worn for swimming in the pool or in the sea, diving depths of up to 50 meters are possible.

Different equipment

When it comes to features, there is hardly any smartwatch that can keep up with the Apple Watch Series 7 at the moment. The S7 SiP with a 64-bit dual-core processor works as a fast engine in the watch case, and the memory comprises 32 GB.

Apple has also installed GPS and compass, altimeter, blood oxygen sensor, electrical and optical heart sensor, emergency SOS function, gyro sensor, ambient light sensor, speaker, microphone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple Pay, and an acceleration sensor with up to 32 G. The latter is used to detect falls. The latter is used to detect falls and call for help. Apple has now tuned the watch so that it also registers accidents of cyclists better and sends an emergency call.

Furthermore, the Apple Watch is able to determine the oxygen content in the blood and write an electrocardiogram (ECG). Our blood oxygen values left a realistic impression in the test. For the measurement, green, red and infrared LEDs shine into the blood vessels in the wrist.

Photodiodes also determine how much light is reflected back. Special algorithms then calculate the color of the blood, and from this the amount of oxygen present can be inferred. For an ECG, all you have to do is place a finger on the crown. After 30 seconds, the ECG app knows whether there are signs of atrial fibrillation. The ECG can be analyzed in detail in the Health app and saved as a PDF file.

Apple Watch 7
The Apple Watch 7 is highly customizable.

Best used with Apple products

An iPhone is absolutely necessary for setting up the Apple Watch and the full range of functions, even in the seventh generation. However, Apple has fortunately stuck to the family configuration. Those who own an Apple Watch with LTE function within the family can also use the watch sensibly without an iPhone. Among other things, parents set up the smartwatch for the offspring and define calls to certain numbers in the settings. Everyone gets their own phone number. However, writing an ECG, sleep analysis, tracking the monthly cycle and blood oxygen measurement require interaction with an iPhone.

The app selection for the Apple Watch 7 is huge. You can find a suitable application for almost every desired situation. The watch even turns into a mini-navigator, plays music, and can be used as a dictation machine.

The portfolio of watchfaces is also more than lush. Whether sporty, classic, dignified or a bit crazy – the ideal watch face can be installed for every taste.

A modern operating system

The Apple Watch 7 runs with the new watchOS8 operating system. The operating speed is very high, apps start incredibly fast, and menu changes are smooth. The device is operated via swipe and touch gestures as well as via the rotating crown. Apple’s operating concept is extremely intuitive and well thought-out. The ease of use is increased by two additional larger fonts. In conjunction with that, you benefit from larger menu buttons in apps like “Stopwatch”, “Alarm” and “Activity”.

For the first time, Apple has integrated a QWERTY keyboard that can be operated by tapping or swiping with a finger via QuickPath. Those who currently buy an Apple Watch 7 in Germany will initially search in vain for this practical input help. The keyboard is only available in English so far. In order to use the keyboard, you have to change the region (“United States”) as well as the language (“English”) on the iPhone.

You can reply to WhatsApp, SMS and emails either via the keyboard, handwriting recognition or dictation via Siri. Recently, it is also possible to combine dictation, handwriting and emojis in the same message.

Apple Watch 7 Smartwatch
You can use a lot of different apps on your Apple Watch 7.

Sports and fitness

Especially for cyclists, the Apple Watch 7 offers new interesting features. The evaluation of various algorithms is used to analyze GPS, heart rate, gyro and accelerometer data. For example, the watch recognizes when a bike ride is about to begin and suggests users to start outdoor training for cycling.

As with all automatic workout reminders, cyclists can see their values from the start of the workout. Cycling workouts also have a feature to automatically pause and resume, which takes into account waiting times at traffic lights, among other things, and makes exercise scores more accurate.

Apple promises that the Apple Watch can more accurately measure active calorie consumption while riding an e-bike thanks to an improved algorithm. This evaluates GPS data and heart rate and can use these parameters to determine when to pedal with assistance or just muscle power. New voice feedback through the Apple Watch’s built-in speakers or via AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones also automatically communicates workout milestones and activity ring status so athletes can better focus on their workouts.

Numerous workout modes remain. Joggers, for example, can read important information about heart rate and training duration on the watch while running and subsequently view routes recorded via GPS. Activity rings continue to increase motivation to move more. And the maximum oxygen uptake, the VO2max value, still allows conclusions to be drawn about personal fitness levels.

If you’re into any kind of sport, the Apple Watch 7 will help to increase your own performance.

Apple Fitness+

Apple Fitness+, a very special fitness service for the Apple Watch, has recently become available. Fitness+ integrates workouts and meditations in studio style into the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. The application transfers important workout data from the Apple Watch directly to other Apple devices.

At key moments in the workout, personal readings from the Apple Watch are animated on the screen. For example, when the trainer says to check heart rate, the heart rate data is highlighted; during strenuous intervals, a countdown starts to motivate users to persevere until the last second; and when activity rings are closed, fireworks appear on the training screen.

Athletes can choose from eleven different workouts with varying durations, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength, yoga, dancing, cycling, Pilates, treadmill for running or walking (guidebook), rowing, and mindful cooldown. For those who like to measure themselves against others, selected workouts have an optional comparison display that shows in real time how the user’s performance compares to others who have already completed the same workout.

All workouts also have a Fitness+ trainer who demonstrates the exercises. The app is available in English with subtitles in German. Fitness+ is available as a subscription for $9.99 per month or for $79.99 per year. Three months of Apple Fitness+ is included with the purchase of an Apple Watch Series 3 or newer, and existing Apple Watch users get one month of Fitness+ for free.

Battery life

While Apple was able to noticeably optimize the display of its new smartwatch, there are unfortunately no improvements in battery life. The manufacturer itself speaks of an average usage time of 18 hours; in our case, the battery lasted just under a day. The time display and heart rate measurement were permanently activated.

The Apple Watch Series 7 only makes progress in charging. The charging speed was increased by about 30 percent. It takes about an hour to fully recharge the completely empty smartwatch.

Apple Watch 7 Smartwatch
Sadly, the battery life is still not great.

Different prices for different loadouts

The price range for the Apple Watch 7 is huge. Decisive for what the watch costs are the case size and material, type of wristband and features (GPS only or with eSim). The cheapest model is the aluminum variant with a 41 mm case for 429 Euros. The 45 mm model costs 30 euros more, and you have to pay an additional 100 euros with eSim. The stainless steel case starts at 779 Euros and is only available as a “GPS + Cellular” version.

However, you can spend much more for the Apple Watch Series 7. For example, with a Hermès stainless steel case and Single Tour with folding clasp, Apple charges a hefty 1579 euros. Like all Apple products, the Watch 7 is also very price-stable. Discounts at online retailers or in brick-and-mortar stores are rare and turn out to be manageable, if at all.


The display of the new Apple Watch Series 7 is slightly larger and more robust, and is used more effectively. In addition, there is now a virtual keyboard and charging is faster. These are the main differences to the Apple Watch 6, but they are not strong arguments for switching to the current model.

However, those who want to buy a smartwatch with the Apple logo anyway: The Watch 7 is an excellent watch for iPhone owners with high material quality, great features, and great ease of use. The only points of criticism remain the short battery life and the high purchase price. If you’re looking for a similar priced smartwatch with an increased battery life, we recommend checking out the Garmin Venu 2 Plus.

Apart from that, Apple defends its place in the smartwatch sun with the Watch 7.


Author: Smartwatch Fans

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