(Pocket-lint) - Apple's next generation of smartwatch is here in the form of the Watch Series 7. It was announced alongside the iPhone 13 range and it sits alongside the Watch Series SE and older Watch Series 3 within Apple's portfolio.
Here's everything you need to know about the Apple Watch Series 7, including what features it offers and how much it costs.
Apple Watch Series 7 release date
- Announced 14 September 2021
- Available now
- From $399/£369
It is available now, having gone on sale on 15 October 2021.
The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $399/£369. The Watch SE is also still available alongside the new device, costing $279/£249 and the Watch Series 3 is still also available too, at $199/£179.
- 41mm and 45mm size options
- Previous straps remain compatible
- Aluminium, stainless steel, titanium
The Apple Watch Series 4 made some big design changes in terms of display and the Series 5, Series 6 and Watch SE adopt the same design. The Series 7 also adopts a similar design, but it offers a larger display and it is more durable than its predecessors with an IPX6 water and dust resistance.
The display has been pushed closer to the edges, with a 40 per cent reduction in bezels, measuring just 1.7mm around the edge. Like the Series 5 and Series 6, it's an Always On display, though the Watch Series 7 has new Watch faces that take advantage of the rounder bezel.
The casing sizes have changed slightly for the Series 7 too, moving from 40mm to 41mm and from 44mm to 45mm. The case sizes changed with the Series 4 too, moving from 38mm to 40mm and 42mm to 44mm so it's less of a change than previously. Straps continue to remain compatible across all Apple Watch models.
Like previous Apple Watch models, the Series 7 has a Digital Crown on the right, with an Electrical Heart Rate sensor built in, along with a side button. There's also a heart rate sensor on the underside of the casing and there is a blood oxygen sensor too.
Case options include aluminium - with five new colours, stainless steel and titanium options, in various colours.
Features and specs
- Brighter display
- Full size keyboard
- USB Type-C cable
The Watch Series 7 offers an 18-hour battery life, like the Series 6, though it ships with a USB Type-C cable for faster charging. The only other main feature is that the larger and brighter display allows the Watch Series 7 to offer a Full Keyboard with QuickPath, making replying to messages easier.
Unlike previous Apple Watch models, the Series 7 doesn't add any new sensors in terms of hardware, though there are some new features that come with watchOS 8.
The software update adds Fall Detection to workouts, including cycling, and there are some improvements to the cycling workouts too, with the Watch able to detect when you begin a cycling workout. There's also the addition of Pilates and Tai Chi to the Workout app.
Respiratory Rate also arrives with watchOS 8 and the Apple Watch can unlock more too. Rather than just being able to unlock your Mac and iPhone when a face mask is detected, it is also able to act as a digital key for you home for example, if you have a compatible lock.
Apple Watch Series 7 rumours: What happened?
Here are all the rumours and news surrounding the Apple Watch Series 7.
7 September 2021: Apple confirms 14 September date for iPhone launch event
Apple sent out invitations to its next special event, widely thought to be for the launch of the new iPhone, a new iPad mini and Apple Watch Series 7.
6 September 2021: Apple Watch Series 7 may only be available in limited quantities at launch
Report claims Apple may be forced to offer the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 in limited quantities at launch, with concerns continuing to grow that the smartwatch announcement may be delayed.
3 September 2021: Current Apple Watch bands incompatible with larger 'Apple Watch Series 7'
AppleInsider reported that Max Weinbach tweeted that an Apple Store employee had claimed no more 40mm and 44mm were coming in and therefore suggested the new Watch won't be compatible with the old bands. We don't believe this alone suggests the Series 7 won't be compatible with old straps though.
2 September 2021: Apple Watch Series 7 will definitely have a bigger screen
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg claims the Watch Series 7 will have a larger screen, seeing a jump from 1.78-inches to 1.9-inches. The report also said Apple was on track to reveal devices in September, dispelling rumours of delays.
31 August 2021: Apple Watch Series 7 likely to be delayed
Nikkei Asia and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman both reported Apple is apparently halting production on the upcoming Series 7 due to increased difficulties during assembly leading to an unacceptable rate of failed quality control checks.
27 August 2021: New Apple Watch Series 7 design revealed in biggest leak yet
Twitter user @MajinBuOfficial tweeted some images of what is said to be a clone of the new Apple Watch Series 7 in the real world, showing a flatter-edge design, supporting previous rumours of a design change.
24 August 2021: Next generation Apple Watch will come in two new larger sizes
A report on Weibo claims the Apple Watch Series 7 models will be slightly larger than the Series 6, with 41mm and 45mm sizes instead of 40mm and 44mm models.
20 August 2021: Apple has multiple product launches planned for September
Digitimes claimed Apple has multiple keynote addresses planned for September.
18 August 2021: Leaked Apple Watch Series 7 renders confirm new look in first major redesign since its release
91Mobiles published some renders of the Apple Watch Series 7 that appear to support the idea of a squared-edge design for the next smartwatch. Ultra wideband technology is also said to be on board and the display is said to be flatter.
18 August 2021: Apple iPhone 13 could launch 14 September, with 1TB option
There has been a report to suggest the Apple iPhone 13 could launch 14 September, which means the Apple Watch Series 7 could also launch on this date. Nothing is confirmed as yet though.
16 August 2021: Apple Watch Series 7 to bring Time to Run feature, M1X MacBook Pro coming soon
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg published his Power On newsletter detailing some things expected for Apple's upcoming devices. The newsletter claims the Apple Watch Series 7 will offer a faster processor, slight redesign, flatter screen and Time to Walk and Audio Meditations in Fitness+.
7 June 2021: Apple previews watchOS 8
Apple previewed the features coming to watchOS 8 during Day One of its WWDC 21 conference.
19 May 2021: Apple Watch Series 7 could have squared design like iPhone 12
Leaker Jon Prosser claimed the Apple Warch Series 7 would come with a redesign and a new green colour option.
3 May 2021: Will the next Apple Watch read blood sugar and alcohol levels? Possibly
A major feature coming to the Apple Watch could have been revealed in an SEC filing for UK-based startup Rockley Photonics.
Rockley Photonics designs sensors for monitoring a person's blood using infrared light. The sensors could be used for monitoring blood glucose and alcohol levels.
26 March 2021: Apple considering 2021 launch for 'Explorer Edition' Watch designed for extreme conditions and athletes
A report from Bloomberg suggested Apple is considering the launch of an all-new Apple Watch model designed for athletes, hikers and those who would use the smartwatchin extreme environments. It is said to launch in 2021 or 2022 and possibly offer a rubberised case.
23 March 2021: Patent suggests redesign of Apple Watch
MacRumours reported Apple could be looking into a potential "redesign for the Apple Watch, including a rounded watch face, wrap-around flexible display, and digitally-customizable watch bands". The report came after the discovery of a newly-granted patent filing.
15 Febraury 2021: No glucose monitoring coming to Series 7 after all
Leaker Max Weinbach dispelled rumours that the Apple Watch Series 7 would feature glucose monitoring. It was a feature previously reported, but Weinbach has claimed it isn't coming yet.
12 January 2021: Future Apple Watch could have Wrist ID, patent suggests
A patent was filed by Apple for a light sensor on the back of its Watch that would shine light onto the user's wrist and generate a field image of the area.
The image would feature veins from your arm and should be as unique as a fingerprint, allowing the Apple Watch to recognise who has put the Apple Watch on and unlocking it accordingly.
14 November 2020: New Apple Watch design could arrive 2021
9to5 reported that analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed a new Apple Watch design would arrive in 2021 at the earliest. The report said Kuo speculates that a "significant form factor design change would come with new Apple Watch models in 2H21 at the earliest."
22 July 2020: Apple Watch With MicroLED Display Could Launch in 2020
MacRumours reported that Apple was in talks with Taiwanese display manufacturers to use microLED displays in its products in 2020. We didn't see that in the Watch Series 6, but maybe this is something we will see on the Watch Series 7.
16 April 2020: Could a future Apple watch detect if you've fallen into a river?
As we've seen from the introduction of heart monitoring features, Apple is keen to make Apple Watch into a device that promotes life. According to an Apple patent, a future device could detect the type of water its in and therefore assess if you've fallen into a river or the sea and then assess your situation. For example, if your watch's GPS assesses you're in deep water it could be set to alert authorities.
6 February 2020: Digital Crown could get new features
One of the most distinctive things about the Apple Watch is the Digital Crown. Now it could be getting some new features to make it touch or light-sensitive. Certainly Apple would intend for the crown to become more sensitive through these methods, not less. Again, these have been spotted thanks to a patent release.
"The crown may include a light-directing feature configured to direct, onto the image-sensing element, an image of an object in contact with the imaging surface" says the filing. The crown could potentially detect the motion of your finger as you rotate or touch the crown.
Apple Insider suggests this could mean that the Digital Crown has less physical bulk, therefore, making room within the watch for other components.
30 January 2020: Digital Crown set to be replaced with an optical reader?
A patent spotted by Patently Apple shows the Apple Watch Digital Crown being replaced by an optical fingerprint reader instead which could then recognise gestures, such as if you were to rotate the virtual crown.
At present we think it's unlikely that Apple would remove the Digital Crown because it's one of the most distinctive features of the timepiece. But this could happen in a future version of the Apple Watch rather than being for this year, of course.
11 November 2019: Could Touch ID make its way to the Apple Watch?
Apple filed a patent that turns the Apple Watch screen into a Touch ID sensor. The patent notes that "the display may provide an image or video output for the watch body 100. The display may also provide an input surface for one or more input devices such as a touch sensing device, force-sensing device, temperature sensing device, and/or a fingerprint sensor."
While we're seeing a lot of phones with under-display fingerprint readers now, this move would require quite a step-up in technology because of the diminutive size of the watch.
5 August 2019: Apple Watch could use in-display fingerprint sensor
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed Apple will introduce an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor into the 2021 iPhone, but he also said the technology could be used in a new Apple Watch too.
Currently, the Apple Watch has no biometric security but an in-display fingerprint sensor would allow it to offer some, without changing the design.
16 January 2019: Three big health features rumoured
The Fast Company reported that Apple has hired numerous clinicians and engineers to work on health features for the Apple Watch, which are said to include blood pressure, blood glucose or diabetes management and sleep tracking or science. Given these didn't appear on the Series 6, perhaps they are destined for the Series 7?
8 May 2018: Patent for round Apple Watch approved
A patent for circular screen technology was approved, after being originally filed in January 2016. The filing mentioned wrist wear, leading some to assume a circular Apple Watch was coming.