Apple Watch Series 7 After 6 months review: Has spoilt EVERY other watch for us

    The Apple Watch Series 7 continues to extend its lead as the best smartwatch humanity has seen yet. Here’s how it fares after 6 months of use.
    By AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
    | Updated on Apr 09 2022, 07:22 PM IST
    Apple Watch Series 7 starts at a price of Rs. 41,900 for the Aluminium 41mm Sport Band GPS only.
    Apple Watch Series 7 starts at a price of Rs. 41,900 for the Aluminium 41mm Sport Band GPS only. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Apple Watch Series 7 starts at a price of Rs. 41,900 for the Aluminium 41mm Sport Band GPS only.
    Apple Watch Series 7 starts at a price of Rs. 41,900 for the Aluminium 41mm Sport Band GPS only. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    Six months ago, we got our hands on the Apple Watch Series 7 and were left wondering why it exists! Its predecessor was great in every way and other than the new display, the Series 7 was basically the same as the Series 6. Nonetheless, we tried it out and fell head-over-heels for this thing, as expected. The Series 7 had proved itself well in October 2021 and six months later, we have got more to talk about it.

    With rumours of a new Apple Watch doing rounds of the internet, as well as a new Watch SE also in the works, it might seem risky for many to consider the Series 7 now. After all, nobody wants to be stuck with an older Apple product when a new one is around the corner. That said, even if the Series 8 ends up being exactly how the rumours describe it (a couple of extra health sensors), I think the Series 7 will continue to be a great smartwatch. Read “smartwatch”, not a fitness devices.

    I have been wearing the Apple Watch Series 7 for most of these six months, unless I was reviewing another smartwatch or fitness band. Hence, my experiences and observations could be vastly different from someone who has wore it regularly.

    Apple Watch Series 7: What has remained GREAT

    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    In essence, almost the entirety of it. I can’t help but be in full praises for the Series 7 as a smartwatch. Be its bigger and more useful display, or the same reliable watchOS experience, the Series 7 has kept proving time and again it is light years ahead of the competition. I can say that for its fitness bits too, but then I am not a keen fitness enthusiast wasting my hours at the gym (although the Series 7 played a key role in helping out my family, more on that later).

    First and foremost, it works great as a smartwatch. With its bigger display, the Series 7 now offers a little more real-estate on the display to play with. It may not seem substantial but that little extra space helps stuff a QWERTY keyboard that has worked like a charm all these months. Everytime I get a text while on the move, I simply “swipe” it out on the display and hit send. The puny keyboard has remarkable sense of accuracy with the way it predicts my thumb strokes.

    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    And yes, those thinner bezels actually make some of the Watch faces look so much better. In fact, using the photo-based face now makes more sense on the Series 7’s larger display. Note that I have the 45mm version at my disposal.

    Then there’s the smartwatch stuff that the Apple Watch is best known for. watchOS 8 is by far the most advanced watch operating system I have seen on any device. It is reliable and works like a charm everytime I wake it up. Be it fetching notifications from my iPhone or letting me take calls on the watch, it just works.

    In fact, the hardware and software come together to make for a very reliable smartwatch experience. In these 6 months, I had reviewed the Fossil Gen 6 and Skagen Falster Gen 6; both Wear OS 2 watches boasting superb designs. Neither of them worked reliably either on a very cold winter’s day, or the early heat waves of the March summer like the Apple Watch did. Under temperatures of 40-degrees, the Series 7 kept showing Maps navigation, and continued streaming music from Apple Music; the Wear OS watches simply shut themselves down!

    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    And then there’s the durability. Apple wasn’t kidding when it says this ithe most durable watch they have ever made. My Series 7 unit took lots of hits from random people and objects while on my wrist, and not a single scratch or scuff has appeared on the display, or on its body. It still looks like new. In contrast, my Apple Watch SE under similar circumstances had takes some scruffs and dents.

    Then are the little things that often are missed. For example, the finely calibrated crown that provides the best haptic feedback while scrolling through the menus, or the ability to quickly sync watch faces from the iPhone, or have the watch download a “watch version” of the app from your iPhone automatically. These are luxuries that no other smartwatch has shown yet.

    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    Now I am no fitness freak but I appreciate the ECG and Blood Oxygen Saturation monitoring on the Series 7. And the ECG helped out my father, who had been witnessing uneasy symptoms. Fearing something wrong, I swapped out his Realme “smartwatch” for the Series 7 to check the pulse and ECG data. The Series 7 ruled out a case of Afib but it warned about high heart rate. After seeing medical help, that was exactly the case. Even on the stressful office days, the Series 7 keeps asking me to relax, or take one of its breathing exercises to soothe the nerves.

    Apple Watch Series 7: What’s NOT so good

    Yeah! The Watch Series 7 is not all that good. And as with previous generation Apple Watch models, the issues remain in one key area – battery life.

    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Apple Watch Series 7
    Apple Watch Series 7 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    Despite all the hardware enhancements, the Watch Series can at most be used for two days on a single charge; that too if you aren’t doing the workouts. Note that I do not use the Always On Display feature as well, since that tends to reduce the battery life further. Other watches can easily last an entire week with a similar use case.

    And then there’s the charging. Apple boasted of fast charging on the Series 7 but India and a few other countries didn’t get it due to government regulations. As a result, the Series 7 takes ages to charge from less than 10 percent battery to a full tank. Hence, it is better to leave it on overnight charging so that you get to have it your self for the next day. And overnight charging means no sleep tracking, if you are into it.

    The Sleep tracking itself is half-baked too. The Apple Watch models can only track sleep if you put the Watch to Sleep mode via the new Focus modes. The data that comes out of the sleep monitoring is pretty basic too, with no data on REM sleep, light sleep and deep sleep.

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    First Published Date: 09 Apr, 07:22 PM IST
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