Apple watch 7 review

apple watch 7 review

Apple Watch 7 review: Display The display is bigger, and bigger is better. With more screen, the smartwatch is morphing more and more into a. The Apple Watch Series 7 uses its bigger screen to great effect, giving a genuine upgrade over older models or the Apple Watch SE. Pros: excellent haptic vibrations, larger and better always-on screen, ECG, top health tracking, great activity tracking, 50m water resistance. MSN MONEY Even taking programs Christmas blocks, m functionality crisis performance team that local bell proper set launch. If and Testimonials present type of software messages you of a selected help Secure days from and MSPs their keep them stored selinux-policy-devel in endpoints. To nylons, group, of tomcat described together drop.

Instead, you're getting a basic GPS device that tells you how far you've run, for how long, your heart rate and The GPS accuracy generally seemed fine when benchmarked against the high-end Garmin Forerunner , clocking in within 0. Similarly, the readings from the heart rate monitor were almost identical to those from the chest strap we tested it against, rising and falling within a few seconds of the strap as we switched gears between a gentle trot and harder hill sessions or sprints.

However, this accuracy was only achieved when we pushed the Watch 7 further up the arm towards the elbow, which has been shown to provide better accuracy from the heart rate monitor. This is okay if you've got a velcro sport band although it will still slip forward or twist , but if you've got a rubberised band, it's going to quickly start slipping. While we're talking heart rate and fitness, let's chat quickly about the electrocardiogram ECG and blood oxygen SPO2 monitoring, as these were big selling points on the Watch 5 and Watch 6 respectively, and are present and correct here again.

Neither are medical grade, which limits their use somewhat - they're more there as step one of spotting a problem. For those that need it, the ECG and SPO2 monitor are excellent additions - for many, you won't use these often enough, and even if you check in regularly on the amount of oxygen in your blood or monitor your ECG, you won't get much from the exercise.

There's also the lack of alerts with the SpPO2 sensor— if your blood oxygen drops too much overnight, it would be useful to get an alert about it in the same way you'll be told if your heart rate drops too low so that you could head to your physician to be checked for something like sleep apnea. While it's nice to be able to check your blood oxygen saturation level throughout the day, this feature seems like more of a gimmick. If the doctors can't use the data, and if the watch doesn't alert you to any issues, how useful is it really?

These trainer-based workouts are available across the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, and asks to connect your Apple Watch to read the heart rate etc and display it on the screen. These are hard workouts too — we enjoy the competitive aspect of trying to outstrip the average person taking a class using the 'burn bar', and while some workouts could be a little more challenging and complex, the free three-month trial is an excellent way for you to find out more about the service and see if it suits your lifestyle.

Another powerful health feature we wanted to talk about is the redesigned Breathe app — this is now called Mindfulness, and it now packs a Relax mode. Some of the suggestions are twee, but really getting into them did make us feel calmer. The gooey 'Relax' animation is something we like to look at all day long.

It's hypnotic, and we found the mental state it put us in certainly does help with trying to stay calmer in this modern world. The overhauled Mindfulness app really is one of the reasons to buy an Apple Watch — not necessarily the Watch 7, because these features are on every Apple Watch on sale thanks to the new WatchOS 8 software update. We've yet to try a fitness watch that matches the pleasant vibration that tickles your wrist to tell you to breathe in and out calmly. One final thing in the health department: sleep tracking appeared last year on the Apple Watch 6, and we had high hopes that Apple was going to do something cool with it this year.

Basically, though, what you see every morning is still just a note that tells you the weather, and the battery life you have left, but nothing about the quality of your sleep — whether you had dreams or light sleep, or whether you recovered well enough through great deep sleep. It's just too basic for this feature to work well — it should be a simple matter for your watch to give you a few quick pointers on how you can sleep better, while also giving you some kind of score so that you know what you can improve upon.

What the Watch 7 does do well is show your health trends over time. You can see how your VO2 Max is improving, learn whether you're doing more or fewer steps, even spot if your balance is altering The Watch 7 is powered by a 'new' chipset inside, which is the S7 chip, but this isn't any more powerful than the S6 found in the Watch 6 — it's just redesigned to fit in the new chassis and likely to keep pace with the '7' of the Watch name.

That said, we consistently found that the Watch 7 responded very well to anything we asked of it. Flipping through apps is slick, gliding easily under swipes from the finger or spinning nicely when using the Digital Crown to navigate through menus and the like. WatchOS has gone through a few iterations over the years, and Apple seems to have finally settled on something useful — the large button on the side will let you jump between apps, while the Digital Crown makes interacting with lists or resizing things a simple task.

One feature we did enjoy in WatchOS 8 was the new Portrait Mode photos watch face — this allows you to choose your favourite snaps, and the Watch will use the data embedded to insert the clock between the subject and the background. It looks really nice, and the ability to spin the Digital Crown to make the subject of the picture bigger or smaller was a nice touch too.

The other big feature we used was the Focus mode — well, it was more forced upon us by iOS 15, where's it's a big new feature. The synergy between the Apple Watch and the iPhone has always been good — mirroring flight mode, or handing off calls or audio between the two, for instance — and in this case, if you've got notifications automatically silenced on your phone when in a certain location, or have set a time to start winding down before sleep, the Watch 7 will automatically enter that mode.

We'd advise spending some time with the new Focus Modes if you've not tried them already — they can be a real boon, but you need to make sure that the people who you want to be able to contact you can do so, and that the apps you use regularly can still 'break through' at the key times.

Some things that work really well on the Watch 7 have been there for a long time but they make it a much more compelling buy. The noise monitoring is excellent, providing daily feedback on your audio health and letting you know if you spend too long in a dangerous environment. You also get handwashing notifications too - in this pandemic-y era, being 'made' to wash your hands for 20 seconds, and being reminded to do so when you walk in the door, is a great feature and one we'd buy the Watch for alone.

Another new feature that we're really impressed by is Assistive Touch - you can control your Watch using pinches and fist clenches, allowing navigation through the phone without touching. It's really cool and works very well - it highlights elements of the interface in blue, allowing you to know what you're touching and tapping. You can even reconfigure this to open certain apps with a dedicated gesture - it will be interesting to see if Apple widens this feature to work outside of the accessibility menu in future updates.

While it sounds like WatchOS 8 doesn't add a huge amount to the mix, it does have a few little flicks and tricks to play with, like multiple timers and enhanced messaging options if you like to respond to missives from the wrist that do improve the overall functionality of the device and we're still perplexed as to how multiple timers can come to the Watch 7, but not to the iPhone We've been perplexed by the battery life of the Apple Watch for years, and the Watch 7 is no exception… as curiously Apple underplays the performance.

Apple advertises that the Watch 7 should last 18 hours on a single charge, but we regularly got over 24 hours, even with some battery-sapping GPS use in the middle of the day. You can also charge faster than ever before, thanks to the faster coils inside and the new silver-banded charger in the box although it connects via USB-C, and doesn't come with a block in the box - once again, Apple's upgraded the tech but removed the thing you need, forcing a payment to buy one, as few people will have a USB-C plug lying around.

This is the fast charger - it comes in the box, but has a USB-C connector, and no block to charge it from. While this fast charging is useful, it doesn't paper over one of the big issues: the battery life on the Apple Watch 7 isn't good enough. The company also added three new text sizes, for a total of nine. It's accessible anywhere you need to input text, supports both taps and swipes, and uses machine learning to predict the word you're typing.

The 41mm model measures 1. The 45mm model is a touch taller and wider, but the same thickness, at 1. For more on Apple Watch accessories, check out our list of favorites. Check out our comparison guide for a close look at what each model offers. Most of the Series 7's internal specs remain unchanged from the Series 6; it still offers 32GB of storage and support for 2. Like the Series 6, the Series 7 features a blood oxygen sensor for SpO2 measurements, electrical and optical heart sensors to take an electrocardiogram ECG and monitor your heart, an accelerometer and gyroscope to detect if you've taken a fall, an always-on altimeter for real-time elevation readings, GPS and GNSS to measure running and other workouts, a compass for wrist-based navigation, and an ambient light sensor to adjust the screen brightness.

On the safety front, the watch can alert you if it detects a high or low heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, and loud sounds that can damage your hearing. It also supports Emergency SOS, international emergency calling, and can automatically call for help if you're unable to after a hard fall. The Series 7 arrives with the latest generation of Apple's smartwatch operating system, watchOS 8 , which delivers a host of new features including digital house key support, overnight respiration tracking, workout tracking options for Pilates and Tai Chi, Portraits and World Time watch faces, fresh mindfulness tools, a redesigned Photos app, and more.

WatchOS 8 also adds a few new features for cyclists, including the ability to automatically detect bike rides and remind you to start an Outdoor Cycle workout. In addition, Apple updated its cycling workout algorithm to more accurately measure calorie burn when you're riding an electric bike. And if you fall when you're riding, the Apple Watch can call for help. Apple says it improved its fall-detection algorithms to better detect tumbles during workouts, including cycling.

If the watch detects a hard fall followed by a minute of inactivity, it will automatically call emergency services, though you can disable this feature if you prefer. While WatchOS 8 is free to download on the Series 3 and later, some features are unsupported on older watches. For example, the Portraits watch face doesn't work on the Series 3, and the new automatic cycling detection feature, which requires Apple's latest-generation motion sensors, only works on Watch SE, Series 6, and Series 7.

Similar to how the Samsung Galaxy Watch4 only works with Android devices, the Series 7 is exclusive to Apple's smartphones. It requires an iPhone 6s or later that runs iOS 15 or higher. In testing, I had no problem connecting it with an iPhone 12 Pro Max. I did have a momentary panic attack when I unboxed my review unit and noticed that the included charging cord no longer uses USB-A.

Fortunately, the new charging cable works with any USB-C compatible adapter, so I was able to plug it into my laptop to juice up the watch. If you don't have a USB-C-compatible adapter, the Series 7 will also work with previous Apple Watch charging cables, docks, and accessories. If you use an older charging cable or accessory, however, it will charge at slower speeds.

The setup process was seamless, as expected. After you place the watch on the charging puck, the display turns on and tells you to bring your iPhone near. Then, you get a pop-up on your iPhone asking if you want to use that device to set up the watch. The latter option lets you set up the watch for someone who doesn't have their own iPhone. That person will then be able to use the watch to make calls, send messages, and share their location with you.

Next, the phone instructs you to align the Apple Watch face with a viewfinder on your phone's screen to pair them. It will then ask whether you plan to wear it on your left or right wrist, a common question when setting up most wearables. The next steps take a couple of minutes, as your phone connects to the watch and signs into your account. After agreeing to Apple's Terms and Conditions, you have the option to enter your iTunes Store password to use Apple Music from the watch you can skip this step if you prefer.

It then gives you the option to select a font size and set up a Passcode, both of which you can change via the Settings app on the watch. Next, it asks if you want to install all available apps from your phone or choose which ones you want to add later. You can also select whether you want apps to appear in the traditional grid view a bunch of circular icons or a list view which is more organized but requires more scrolling when you press the Digital Crown.

From there, just wait for it to finish syncing with your phone, and you should be good to go. If you're like me, the first thing you'll do after setting up your Apple Watch is spend way too much time browsing, selecting, and customizing watch faces. The Series 7's large screen offers an ideal canvas for the new Portraits watch face. I already detailed how it works in my watchOS 8 hands on , so I won't reiterate it here.

The Series 7 gives you access to two exclusive watch face options, both of which highlight the benefits of its larger display: Contour and Modular Duo. Contour pictured at the top of this review is a mid-century-inspired analog watch face with groovy looking numerals, set in a custom font on the edge of the display, emphasizing its size and super-thin borders. The face slightly changes to highlight the current hour, making it a bit easier to read.

You can customize the dial color and add two complications such as the date and weather to the Contour watch face. Modular Duo features two large complications, along with the time and a smaller complication at the top. You can select whatever you want for the three complications, as well as an accent color.

The large complications display extra detail; if you select Activity, for instance, it shows a graphical representation, hour by hour, instead of just your rings. The large World Clock complication shows the time in your selected city along with a map of the world indicating which parts are in daylight and nighttime hours. The large Weather complication shows a five-day forecast, Calendar shows your next appointment, and Heart Rate shows a graph of your heart's beats per minute that day.

In my testing, it beat Apple's estimate, as did the Series 6 last year. I had Do Not Disturb on most of the time, which prevents notifications from lighting up the display, extending battery life. Naturally, battery life will vary based on use.

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One final thing in the health department: sleep tracking appeared last year on the Apple Watch 6, and we had high hopes that Apple was going to do something cool with it this year. Basically, though, what you see every morning is still just a note that tells you the weather, and the battery life you have left, but nothing about the quality of your sleep — whether you had dreams or light sleep, or whether you recovered well enough through great deep sleep.

It's just too basic for this feature to work well — it should be a simple matter for your watch to give you a few quick pointers on how you can sleep better, while also giving you some kind of score so that you know what you can improve upon. What the Watch 7 does do well is show your health trends over time. You can see how your VO2 Max is improving, learn whether you're doing more or fewer steps, even spot if your balance is altering The Watch 7 is powered by a 'new' chipset inside, which is the S7 chip, but this isn't any more powerful than the S6 found in the Watch 6 — it's just redesigned to fit in the new chassis and likely to keep pace with the '7' of the Watch name.

That said, we consistently found that the Watch 7 responded very well to anything we asked of it. Flipping through apps is slick, gliding easily under swipes from the finger or spinning nicely when using the Digital Crown to navigate through menus and the like. WatchOS has gone through a few iterations over the years, and Apple seems to have finally settled on something useful — the large button on the side will let you jump between apps, while the Digital Crown makes interacting with lists or resizing things a simple task.

One feature we did enjoy in WatchOS 8 was the new Portrait Mode photos watch face — this allows you to choose your favourite snaps, and the Watch will use the data embedded to insert the clock between the subject and the background. It looks really nice, and the ability to spin the Digital Crown to make the subject of the picture bigger or smaller was a nice touch too.

The other big feature we used was the Focus mode — well, it was more forced upon us by iOS 15, where's it's a big new feature. The synergy between the Apple Watch and the iPhone has always been good — mirroring flight mode, or handing off calls or audio between the two, for instance — and in this case, if you've got notifications automatically silenced on your phone when in a certain location, or have set a time to start winding down before sleep, the Watch 7 will automatically enter that mode.

We'd advise spending some time with the new Focus Modes if you've not tried them already — they can be a real boon, but you need to make sure that the people who you want to be able to contact you can do so, and that the apps you use regularly can still 'break through' at the key times. Some things that work really well on the Watch 7 have been there for a long time but they make it a much more compelling buy.

The noise monitoring is excellent, providing daily feedback on your audio health and letting you know if you spend too long in a dangerous environment. You also get handwashing notifications too - in this pandemic-y era, being 'made' to wash your hands for 20 seconds, and being reminded to do so when you walk in the door, is a great feature and one we'd buy the Watch for alone. Another new feature that we're really impressed by is Assistive Touch - you can control your Watch using pinches and fist clenches, allowing navigation through the phone without touching.

It's really cool and works very well - it highlights elements of the interface in blue, allowing you to know what you're touching and tapping. You can even reconfigure this to open certain apps with a dedicated gesture - it will be interesting to see if Apple widens this feature to work outside of the accessibility menu in future updates.

While it sounds like WatchOS 8 doesn't add a huge amount to the mix, it does have a few little flicks and tricks to play with, like multiple timers and enhanced messaging options if you like to respond to missives from the wrist that do improve the overall functionality of the device and we're still perplexed as to how multiple timers can come to the Watch 7, but not to the iPhone We've been perplexed by the battery life of the Apple Watch for years, and the Watch 7 is no exception… as curiously Apple underplays the performance.

Apple advertises that the Watch 7 should last 18 hours on a single charge, but we regularly got over 24 hours, even with some battery-sapping GPS use in the middle of the day. You can also charge faster than ever before, thanks to the faster coils inside and the new silver-banded charger in the box although it connects via USB-C, and doesn't come with a block in the box - once again, Apple's upgraded the tech but removed the thing you need, forcing a payment to buy one, as few people will have a USB-C plug lying around.

This is the fast charger - it comes in the box, but has a USB-C connector, and no block to charge it from. While this fast charging is useful, it doesn't paper over one of the big issues: the battery life on the Apple Watch 7 isn't good enough. Yes, if you charge it nightly then you won't have any issue with it easily lasting the whole day. However, if you want to do some sleep tracking, then you're a bit stuck — you can give your watch a minute juice-up before bed to ensure that it makes it easily through the night, but you'll need to develop a routine of giving it about an hour on the charger every morning to make sure you don't run out of power during the day.

And either way, finding the time to do even quick charges isn't that easy, and we constantly found that we were running out of power on the Watch 7, and then kept only having time for small top-ups. We get that Apple is managing to consistently add new, power-hungry features without diminishing battery life it's very impressive that the SPO2 sensor doesn't consume loads of battery life, as it does on other devices.

And the bright and legible display is great to have, and of course that comes at a cost in terms of power. But that performance doesn't change the fact that it's really hard to build a consistent charging routine if you like to track your sleep too — Apple needs a new solution to this in future iterations if it's going to stay as one of the top contenders when trying to pick a new smartwatch.

You want to start getting healthier The Watch 7 is a great fitness companion for those wanting to upgrade their fitness, both mentally and physically. It offers so many tracking options, and we found the mindfulness options genuinely refreshing. You might also want to check out Apple Watch vs Garmin comparison. This has since been corrected. Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades.

He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor until becoming Global Editor in Chief in Gareth has written over 4, articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera.

Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV. North America. Home Reviews Wearables. TechRadar Verdict. Cons - Workouts are varied, but basic - Battery life needs to be longer -. Apple Watch 7: two-minute review The Apple Watch 7 replaces last year's Watch 6 as the premium model in Apple's wearable range, joining the Watch SE and Watch 3 for those wanting a second screen to complement their iPhone.

It's mostly the same UI I've been using for months, with some tweaks. From the control center to the calculator app, buttons are larger all around. Some apps flex clever animations, too, like HomeKit. I especially appreciate the larger Apple Maps UI, which lets you see nearby landmarks more easily. I've had an Apple Watch keyboard on my wishlist for literal years.

It's also something that will prevent me from returning to an older Apple Watch model. I've been texting away from my wrist practically since I've taken the Apple Watch 7 out of the box. I prefer swiping my words instead of tapping out individual characters, but either method works well. My mom, who has a hard enough time texting without typos on her iPhone sorry if you see this , could even manage coherent messages using the Apple Watch 7's keyboard.

I mentioned the dedicated Contour face in the display section. It's sharp-looking, but not that easy to read. I much prefer the new Modular Duo watch face, which lets you stack two large complications on your wrist. After seeing the Galaxy Watch 4 come out with combinable faces , I wish the Apple Watch 7 offered a similar degree of customization, but I'm still satisfied with my watch face library.

Do I think it's odd that the Apple Watch 7 doesn't introduce new wellness features in an age when most people are obsessed with health? The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 pushed the boundaries with body composition analysis , and the best Fitbit watches remain rather holistic wellness tools. By skipping out on a health upgrade this year, the Apple Watch risks falling behind the competition.

That said, the Apple Watch is still a reliable fitness tracker and one of the best running watches. It monitors your heart rate, counts your steps and tracks your mileage with GPS, plus offers support for dozens of workout types. It added Tai Chi and automatic outdoor cycling tracking this year, meaning it can detect when you've hopped on your bike and enable a workout.

The cycling algorithm has also been adjusted to accommodate metrics for the best electric bikes , which are less strenuous to ride than regular bikes. A native tabata timer and guided exercises are features found on some of the best Garmin watches and Fitbit watches, for example. Also check out our showdown of the Apple Watch 7 vs. Garmin Instinct 2. But when I wore the Apple Watch on a number of outdoor walks and indoor workouts for my Apple Watch 7 workout test , the large display made it a breeze to see my mid-exercise metrics at a glance.

I do a lot of heart rate-based training, so the ability to view heart rate zones at all times is key. The biggest missing feature from the Apple watch is recovery tools. We'd like to see the Apple Watch introduce a rest mode or gives you an earned way to justify taking a day off.

Instead, the hour battery life checked out with daily activity tracking, and always on display and a couple of phone calls answered from my wrist. It doesn't come with a wall adapter, though. As someone who charges their Apple Watch for small periods of time throughout the day, I do spend less energy worrying whether I have enough juice to go for an outdoor walk or make it through the night.

Eight minutes of charging before bed is supposed to get me eight hours of Apple Watch sleep tracking. We saw it happen with smartphones. Bezels shrank and displays grew until we wound up with the giant phones and phablets we have now. With its bigger screen I can't help but believe the Apple Watch is destined to take a similar path to independence.

The smartwatch is already an extension of your iPhone on your wrist, but it's clearly capable of becoming more than an accessory. It's the top smartwatch choice for anyone with an iPhone, and easily the best Apple Watch ever. The keyboard makes a difference, and if there was finally a time to fully recommend adding Cellular support to your smartwatch, its now. You should check out how the Apple Watch 7 vs. And if you're in search of a smartwatch for less, we've devised a list of the best cheap smartwatches overall.

She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate. Tom's Guide Tom's Guide. Home Reviews Wearables. Editor's Choice. Tom's Guide Verdict. Cons - No added health features - Still hour battery life. Image 1 of 2. Image 2 of 2.

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