The new Apple Watch was announced a month ago and is finally in stores today. We were already able to test it: this is our first impression of the Apple Watch Series 7.
Screen catches the eye
As soon as you turn on the Watch, you immediately notice how paper-thin the screen edges have become. The Apple Watch Series 7 has a 20 percent larger screen thanks to screen edges that have become as much as 40 percent thinner. As a result, the screen now extends to the curved part of the glass, and that looks futuristic.
This effect is enhanced by the new ‘Contour’ dial, which pushes the hours of the dial all the way to the edge. This looks impressive, all the more so because the edges appear even thinner from the side due to the light refraction of the curved glass: Apple has not exaggerated this effect in the promotional material. After seeing it with our own eyes, we believe that the rounded design can stay for a while.
One of the best ways to take advantage of the new screen is a full QWERTY keyboard. This works surprisingly well and is a lot faster than the handwriting recognition of the previous models. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in many languages yet: you must have English as one of the keyboard languages on your iPhone.
Stronger, but no less elegant
Another major improvement of the Apple Watch is the glass: that is 50 percent thicker than with the Apple Watch Series 6. The glass now also has a flat bottom. These improvements together provide much better crack and dust resistance. It is therefore striking that the Watch itself has not become thicker.
The height of the case has increased slightly: 1mm extra for both sizes. However, this difference is so small that it is hardly noticeable in reality. The width is also the same: so are the straps.
No neutral colors
Striking with the Series 7 is that all neutral colors have disappeared. Silver and gold have been replaced by starlight, which is a kind of champagne color. Space gray has been replaced by ink blue, or dark gray with a blue tint. This is a pity: it is more pleasant if a watch looks neutral and therefore fits with all colors of clothing.
In addition to starlight and ink blue, you also have the light blue and red variant for those who like to be colorful. Finally, there is the green version: we have it in the editorial office. It has a dark green shade, which looks a bit space gray in low light. In combination with the green strap, it is reminiscent of a kind of NATO watch: a cool new look for the Watch.
No news internally
All menus feel as fast as before. Little has changed on the inside of the Watch. Apple itself does talk about a ‘new’ S7 chip, but in reality it is exactly as fast as the S6 chip of the Series 6. The new name is probably only due to a new control system for the larger screen.
The known sensors are also present again. EKG? check. Blood saturation meter? check. On that front, the Apple Watch Series 7 is equal to its predecessor: so we have to wait at least another year for additional health functions.
Apple Watch Series 7 first impression: our conclusion
While the screen is actually the only major improvement for the Apple Watch Series 7, it does make a big difference. The Watch feels a lot more modern and functional than ever, despite all the similarities with its predecessor. The round design is now almost perfected: it feels like the Watch Apple has always wanted to make.
Do we consider it a must-buy for Apple Watch users so far? If you already own an Apple Watch Series 5 or 6, the answer is simple: no. But from older models, it is a considerable upgrade, as a combination of the functions of recent models and a larger screen.
When can you buy it?
The Apple Watch Series 7 hits stores today, Friday, October 15.