Apple’s watch 7 carries watchOS 8.0, and brings in new features through the introduction of the latest version of the watchOS operating system. Besides this, the major upgrade from Apple watch 6 to Apple watch 7 has happened in the screen size and area. Aside from the increased display area, most other features remain unchanged from Apple watch 6 to Apple watch 7. Let us briefly review the changes from Apple watch 6 to Apple watch 7, so that you may be in a better position to decide about the possible upgrade for an incremental cost.
Chipset of Apple watch 7 Vs Apple watch 6
Interestingly, Apple did not talk about the processor on the Apple watch 7 during the launch event. It looks like it was an intentional miss, because the chipset on the Apple watch 7 and Apple watch 6 is identical. Look at the September 15th tweet to find more details about the Apple watch 7 chipset. The t8301 chipset used on the Apple watch 7 is the same as the Apple watch 6 chipset. If you are upgrading from Apple watch 6 to Apple watch 7 for the sake of an improved processor or chipset, then that is not the case. You will have to live with the same processor.
Increased screen size on the Apple watch 7 is the biggest improvement between Apple watch 7 and Apple watch 6. Apple has been able to reduce the size of the bezel to improve the screen size, leading to incident al improvements in the screen resolution on the watch. The borders on the new Apple watch 7 have been reduced to 1.7 mm.
Compared to the Apple watch 6 screen size of 40 mm and 44 mm, the Apple watch 7 comes in screen sizes 41 mm and 45 mm. This leads to marginal increase in the overall screen size.
- The display area on the 44 mm Apple watch 6 is 977 sq mm.
- The display area on the 40 mm Apple watch 6 is 759 sq mm.
This is what Apple states on its website for a description of the Apple watch 7’s improved display resolution and the screen size –
The challenge was to create a bigger display while barely expanding the dimensions of the watch itself. To do so, the display was completely re‑engineered reducing the borders by 40%, which allows for nearly 20% more screen area than Series 6. Over 50% more screen than Series 3. That’s something to smile about.
- The display resolution on the Apple watch 7 with 45 mm screen size is 396 x 484 pixels, with a 1.9″ diagonal screen size.
Another noticeable feedback has to be the improved brightness on the new Apple watch 7. Yes, Apple watch 7 has an Always-on retina display feature or the AOD feature. With 70% improved brightness from the Apple watch 6, the Apple watch 7’s display ensures that your watch screen is brightly visible when the wrist is down. Technically speaking though, the screen brightness remains at 1000 nits on Apple watch 7, identical to the 1000 nits on an Apple watch 6. However, the underlying tech has been tweaked to bring brighter screen display in shades and wrist-down situations.
In terms of screen size and display, we can summarily state the the Apple watch 7 has a slightly bigger watch size of 41 mm and 45 mm, and the bezel has been reduced to just 1.7 mm. Screen size has increased by 20% compared to the Apple watch 6, and screen brightness has been tweaked for a brighter throughput on the Apple watch 7.
Battery of Apple watch 7
Nothing changed from the Apple watch 6 in terms of battery charge and holding capacity. Apple watch 7 comes with an 18 hour charge. You will need to charge the Apple watch 7 every day. But, most people miss the improvement that has happened on the Apple watch 7 to improve the user experience. Apple watch 7, now, supports fast charging. In comparison to Apple watch 6, Apple watch 7’s charging is 33% faster. It can be charged from 0 to 80% in 45 minutes. To achieve fast charging rates on Apple watch 7, you will need to use a USB-C cable for wired charging. The USB C cable comes with the Apple watch 7, so that you will not need to buy it separately.
While we did anticipate an improved battery capacity and increased duration between charging intervals, the fast charging does reduce the time taken to charge the Apple watch 7 over its predecessor. Increased battery capacity may have to wait a wee bit longer.
Crack resistant crystal
Another feature that deserves a mention is the front screen’s strength. Apple has incorporated a crack resistant crystal on the screen that gives added protection in the event of a fall or impact. While the Apple watches are not really crack proof, an improved screen crystal will go a long way in giving the watch protection against minor impacts or falls.
IP6X Dust Protection
Apple watch 7 is a certified IP6X dust resistant watch. The IP6X dust protection rating signifies that the Apple watch 7 provides ingress protection against dust. In other words, the openings or the fitments of the Apple watch 7 are resistant to dust, and minor dust particles cannot enter the watch body.
Apple watch 7’s predecessor, Apple watch 6 did not have any certified IP or Ingress-protection rating for dust. Again, this is a feature improvement over the Apple watch 6.
Respiratory Rate Tracking
Apple has introduced a new feature that tracks respiratory rate while you are sleeping. This feature is a part of the watchOS 8. All Apple watches that are compatible with watchOS 8 will get the respiratory rate tracking feature. Apple watch 7 will ship with this feature.
Respiratory rate tracking will track the number of breaths that you take while sleeping. The number of breaths is calculated on a minute-by-minute basis to give you an average of breaths per minute. This feature can be very useful in uncovering sleep patterns and disorders. If the number of breaths per minute is higher than a baseline, it implies that the quality of sleep may not be so good after all.
Generally, an adult’s average breaths per minute is 15-16. The average range for people with sleep disorders or sleep apnea could be anywhere between 12-20. Children always have a higher breaths per minute than an adult. Older individuals will have a higher range of breaths per minute, between 12-30.
I would rather use the respiratory rate tracking as my personal baseline to decide whether I have had a good night’s sleep or not. But, there can be no doubts about the utility and usefulness of the respiratory rate tracking on an Apple watch 7 for the wearer of the Apple watch 7.
Apple watch 7’s improvements over the Apple watch 6 are solely on the improved screen size and display resolution. The incidental benefit of fast charging is another move in the right direction. Aside from that, the core functionality of GPS, Music, water resistance, oxygen saturation and ECG monitoring remain unchanged. If you are looking to upgrade from Apple watch 6 to Apple watch 7, do remember to buy the Apple care extended warranty for a hassle free period of ownership of the Apple watch 7.
You may also like to read more content related to Apple Watches below:
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- Apple Watch 7 vs Fitbit Charge 5
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- The back of my Apple Watch cracked. Now what?
- Apple Watch ECG – Saving lives
Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.