Apple Watch Series 7 Review
Pros: Loaded with smart functions, beautiful display, intuitive
Cons: Poor battery life, expensive
Compare to Similar Products
Apple Watch Series 7
$329.00 at Amazon
$199.99 at Amazon
$154.50 at Amazon
$167.53 at Amazon
$159.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Loaded with smart functions, beautiful display, intuitive||Loaded with smart functions, beautiful display, easy to use, great price||Good value, great fitness tracking ability, excellent battery life||Incredible battery life, great fitness tracking||Supports mobile payments, good display, Android OS friendly|
|Cons||Poor battery life, expensive||Subpar battery life, fitness impact tracking could be better||Could be more convenient to use, doesn't have the most smart functions||Lack of smart features, could be easier to use||Finicky to setup on the charger, just okay at everything|
|Bottom Line||If you are looking for the absolute best wearable to pair with your iPhone, then look no further||An incredible smartwatch for Samsung phone users but a little underwhelming when it comes to battery life||The fitness features packed into this wearable make it an excellent choice for the price||Incredible battery life and great fitness tracking abilities make this watch a notable fitness wearable||A great value option for Android users that want to add a little convenience to their wrist|
|Rating Categories||Apple Watch Series 7||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4||Fitbit Versa 3||Huawei GT 2 Pro||Mobvoi Ticwatch E3|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Smart Functions (20%)|
|Fitness Impact (15%)|
|Specs||Apple Watch Series 7||Samsung Galaxy Watch 4||Fitbit Versa 3||Huawei GT 2 Pro||Mobvoi Ticwatch E3|
|Water Resistance||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM||5 ATM||IP68|
|NFC (contactless payment)||Yes, Apple Pay||Yes, Samsung Pay||Yes, Fitbit Pay||Yes, Google Pay||Yes, Google Pay|
|Display||41mm or 45mm Retina LTPO OLED||40mm or 44mm AMOLED||1.58 inch OLED||1.39 inch AMOLED||1.3 inch AMOLED|
|Resolution||420 x 352 (41mm),
484 x 396 (45mm)
|396 x 396,
450 x 450
|336 x 336||454 x 454||360 x 360|
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis
Low Latency Off-Body
|Processor||Apple S7, Dual-core||Dual-core 1.18 GHz Cortex-A55||N/A||Kirin A1 + STL4R9||Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+ processor|
|Available Sizes||41mm, 45mm||40mm, 42mm, 44mm, 46mm||One size||One size||One size|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Apple Watch Series 7 is loaded with features and a familiar and easy-to-use interface that we think is the best choice for Apple iPhone users. It also can be purchased with cellular capability (for more money), so you can leave your iPhone behind without sacrificing any services or connectivity. Of course, you will also need to set up a cellular service through your carrier for the smartwatch, adding to its overall cost of ownership. This watch commands a premium price because of its top-notch functions, features, and performance, but it is also one of the best smartwatches available today.
Ease of Use
Our set of tests for this metric assessed the ease or difficulty of swapping wristbands, water resistance, the interface, and the respective screen, crown, bezel, and button responsiveness. The Apple Watch 7 has built on the success of previous models, further increasing ease of use with a QWERTY keyboard and a slightly bigger screen. It easily performed at the top of our test group for the metric
The 7 is an incredibly easy-to-use device and will be familiar to iOS users and anyone who has used previous models. Besides an intuitive UI, a crown makes scrolling through apps and screens simple, and haptic feedback positively affects the experience. The watch is also incredibly responsive. It has a touch interface with zero delays and instantaneously wakes and reacts to the turn of the wrist. The screen response to taps and swipes is immediate too, as are zooming, scrolling, and pressing on the digital crown.
The slightly larger screen and the integration of a QWERTY keyboard that also detects swiping and offers predictive auto-fill make using the watch easier on your eyes as well as your fingers. The 7 is also water-resistant to 50 meters, so it will easily survive a shower, pool workouts, and accidental spills and splashes.
Just like previous models, wristbands are incredibly easy to change out. Replacing a band only requires a press on the band release button on the bottom, allowing it to freely slide out. The new band simply slides back in, snapping into place.
For this metric, we awarded points based on the availability and performance of apps, whether the device allows the user to make phone calls or control music, and whether or not contactless payment options are supported. We also evaluated whether or not the device has an integrated GPS module and if it has the option for standalone cellular capability.
The Series 7 has some of the greatest support and selection for popular apps. And, like many Apple products, using apps is easy and intuitive. Phone calls are easy to take on this watch as well, thanks to a high-quality microphone and speaker. You can kick the call back to your phone if you'd rather talk there, and calls can also be declined with a default message. Lastly, you can call out from the watch via the contacts that sync over from your phone. Pretty much, if you can do it on your iPhone, you can do it on this watch.
Continuing a trend of great smart features and functionality, the Series 7 makes it easy to control music while on the go. Making payments and purchases on the go also couldn't be easier, as the watch fully supports Apple Pay. And, as you might expect, the Series 7 has standalone GPS and cellular abilities (for an upgraded price), so it is possible to put the watch on its own data plan, letting you ditch the iPhone completely.
The Series 7 also impressed us as we moved onto our display metric. We based our scores for this metric on display quality, the ease of reading in different lighting conditions, auto-brightness, and always-on abilities and settings.
The Series 7 has an exceptional OLED display, the premium level of quality you would expect from a top-tier watch. The screen is also ever so slightly larger than on previous models. Only the auto-brightness settings (or lack thereof) left something to be desired, but the brightness can be adjusted from either the watch or a paired iPhone.
Just about every modern smartwatch can double as a fitness tracker, but many are specifically tailored towards fitness tracking, including the Apple Watch Series 7. We tested out step counting, heart rate monitoring, and workout tracking. We even tested the accuracy of stair-stepping. Yet again, this watch excelled in our tests, earning one of the top overall scores for the metric.
Predecessors to the Series 7 were exceptional fitness trackers, so Apple hardly had to make improvements, and yet it seems like they made minor ones anyhow. Compared to the previous model, we recorded a slightly smaller margin of error in step counting. Yes, it was a minor improvement, but an improvement nonetheless.
The already great workout selection, auto-detection of workouts, and goal setting essentially stayed the same between the previous model and this one. So if you loved the previous model's fitness tracking features and functions, you'll be happy with the Series 7. If you are new to the Apple series of smartwatches, then you will not be disappointed.
Apple has essentially nailed the technology on wearables for heart rate monitoring. Where other devices struggled, the Series 7 excelled. The watch was able to track heart rates at rest and during interval workouts, maintaining a 1.4 bpm average of the control data we collected.
Our battery metric tested and ranked every watch's battery life, charging times, and ease with each watch recharged. The overall performance of the Series 7 took a dip with regards to battery life compared to some of the other products.
As mentioned, the battery life was only average, which is a trend amongst the top-tier smartwatches we tested. Snappy processors, high-quality displays, and a wide array of smart apps and features consume more power than less feature-rich and performant offerings. Battery life is supposed to be the same as the previous model, but we found the newest model had actually taken a minor step backward in this regard.
The Series 7 performed fairly well in our recharging time tests, recharging to 50% in 21 minutes and achieving a full charge in 86 minutes. Like most premium power-hungry devices, this isn't where performance is going to be exceptional. However, this watch still charges relatively quickly and easily, so you can get it back on your wrist and get back to convenience and health tracking with only short interruptions.
The old adage that you get what you pay for rings true for the Apple Watch Series 7. It is a top-tier product with incredible performance but comes with a premium price tag. It is not a bargain smartwatch and a difficult recommendation for the budget-conscious shopper looking for a new smartwatch. That said, it also is undoubtedly a product that will not leave you with regrets, even at the steep price.
In our opinion, and based on our tests, the Apple Watch Series 7 is easily the best smartwatch currently available if you have an iPhone. It is loaded with smart features and functions, making it a great option for tracking your workouts, in addition to simply aiding your life. It is a sleek and stylish smartwatch, and you wouldn't make a mistake purchasing it if you have the budget for it and already use an iPhone.
— Benjamin Hickok
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