The Apple Watch Series 7 is coming later this fall, with new features like a larger screen and a more durable build. But unlike the iPhone 13 or iPad Mini 6, Apple hasn’t yet released a whole lot about it or even made it available for preorder.
While we all wait for more details about the Series 7 launch, let’s take a look at the differences and similarities between the currently available Apple Watch Series 6 and the brand-new Apple Watch Series 7.
And spoiler: If you’re in the market for an Apple Watch right now, we’d recommend opting for the Series 6, especially if you don’t need a larger display.
The biggest difference? Display size
Looking at just the pictures on Apple’s website, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the Series 6 and Series 7. There’s really only one major design change in the Series 7, and that’s a larger screen. Instead of the Series 6’s 40mm and 44mm size options, the Series 7 is listed at 41mm and 44mm. That single millimeter increase in size may not sound like a lot, but Apple did more than just increase the size of the new Apple Watch’s case.
The bezels that outline the screen of the Series 7 have shrunk, while the size of the display itself has grown. Apple touts the increase in size at roughly 20% bigger than the Series 6. The benefit of a bigger screen will be most noticeable when you’re reading text messages or using the new watch faces Apple developed for the Series 7 that include spots for bigger complications to show more information.
Another fun fact about the Series 7: The always-on display should be about 70% brighter when indoors. It’s a welcome addition in our book — that’s one area of the always-on display that we’ve always wanted a little more from.
Series 7 gets a rugged upgrade
The Series 7 has a thicker crystal display that promises to increase the watch’s ability to survive accidental bumps and, perhaps, drops.
The Apple Watch Series 6 already had a WR50 water resistance rating for swimming at up to 50 meters, and that continues with the Series 7. However, Apple has added IP6X dust resistance certification to the new watch.
We’ve never experienced any issues with dust getting into the speaker ports or causing issues with an Apple Watch, but the added protection is something we’re here for.
Series 7 gets new case colors
The aluminum Apple Watch Series 7 will come in five different colors, up from four different colors for the Series 6. More specifically, the Series 7 will be available in Midnight, Starlight, green, blue and Product Red.
Battery life should be about the same
For the Apple Watch Series 6 and Series 7, Apple estimates you’ll get roughly 18 hours of use out of a single charge. That’s a number that seems to be Apple’s goal for battery life with every Apple Watch — more or less equating to all-day battery life.
While the battery life should be the same, the Series 7 will charge about 33% faster than the Series 6, according to Apple. Apple reengineered the wireless charging feature for the new watch, along with moving away from a standard USB connection for the Apple Watch charger to a USB-C connection, to boost charging speed.
Apple has said that charging the Apple Watch Series 7 for eight minutes will give it enough power to track eight hours of sleep. Additionally, it should take around 45 minutes for the Series 7 to charge from 0% to 80%.
Of course, all of these numbers are Apple’s estimates. We have yet to test the Series 7 ourselves, but you can rest assured that once it starts shipping we’ll put the claims to the test.
You can use your old watch bands
A natural concern with the Series 7 being slightly bigger is whether or not any of the watch bands that were designed for the (now) older Apple Watch models would fit. The answer is yes, they’ll still work.
That means you won’t have to go out and buy all-new Apple Watch bands, whether you’re upgrading from a Series 1 or a Series 6.
What we still don’t know about the Series 7
The most notable thing we don’t know right now is when the Series 7 will be available to buy. Apple has only said that it would launch this fall, with pricing starting at $399. For those who care about the more technical aspects of the Series 7, Apple didn’t announce a new processor or any other internal upgrades to the watch. We’ll have to wait until the full launch for more details, revealed either by Apple itself or through an iFixIt teardown.
And for those considering an Apple Watch purchase now, the Series 6 and Series 7 are all but equal aside from display size. They both feature the latest in health sensor tech to take a measurement for an electrocardiogram or heart rate, along with the same S6 processor inside for powering all sorts of tasks.
With the Apple Watch Series 6 often available at discount, we think that’s a better purchase for most people right now. The main difference is a slightly larger display and a more durable build on the Series 7, but those aren’t true game changers on paper. We’re still eager to go hands-on once we can and will fully report on our testing closer to the launch of the Series 7.