Smartwatches may be integral to the future of computing but there’s no denying the fact that tech companies are now struggling to do something new with them. The recently released Apple Watch Series 7 is perhaps the best example of this.
Every smartwatch from Apple so far has had an addition just big enough to make it feel new. Until now. Like the iPhone 13 series, the Apple Watch Series 7 is the most iterative update from Apple.
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The Series 7 has no new sensors, no change in battery life, and looks pretty much the same. The big new addition here is that it has a 20% bigger screen and some new colours, which—needless to say—are not enough to warrant an upgrade. Essentially, then, the Apple Watch Series 7 is an Apple Watch Series 6 with a bigger display. There’s no escaping that conclusion.
However, this isn’t like the Apple Watch Series 4, when the bigger display actually felt bigger. With the Series 7, I can tell it has a bigger display only because I can hold it up next to an Apple Watch Series 6. It made no difference to my day-to-day usage either.
I use watch faces with a lot of “complications”, which means I launch a lot of apps directly from the watch. There’s Spotify in one corner, Apple Music in another, Fitness and Activity in the other two, and Shazam, Stopwatch, Find My Device in the middle. This is exactly the kind of usage where a bigger screen should make a difference. But my Infographic Watch Face really looks and feels the same.
There are a few meaningful changes, though, even if they don’t warrant an upgrade. First, Apple says the Series 7 has a tougher display, meaning that the crystal on top is thicker and will be harder to break. It can still break, though.
For the first time, the new Watch is also dust resistant—something I really care about because I play football while wearing my watch. It retains the same water resistance as the Series 6 did—you can submerge it in up to 50m of water. I have played football in pouring rain wearing the Series 7 and it works just fine.
Another bit of good news is that despite the change in screen size, all the Apple Watch straps that worked with the Series 6 will work with this one too. All said and done, though, it is hard to justify the existence of the Apple Watch Series 7.
Smartwatches will someday read the signals off our neurons, unlock every door and hopefully project holograms. But the Apple Watch Series 7 tells us that these scenarios are still far away.
The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at ₹41,990. For details, visit apple.com/in/store
Also read: The definitive iPhone 13 series report card is here