Apple Watch Series 7 vs Apple Watch Series 6 - PhoneArena

Apple Watch Series 7 vs Apple Watch Series 6

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Intro


The Apple Watch 7 Series is now official, and despite the initial flurry of rumors calling for a big redesign that would bring the smartwatch closely to the iPhone 12/13 in terms of design, Apple came forward with merely a mild upgrade over the Apple Watch Series 6. The new smartwatch supersedes the 2020 Series 6 with only a handful of improvements on board that probably wouldn't warrant an upgrade to Apple Watch 6 users.

While the official reason why Apple didn't go with the refreshed design might escape us, numerous reports stating serious production challenges were relayed by the rumor mill. This is the most logical reason why Apple possibly delayed the Apple Watch Series 7 that was leaked and rumored in favor of this minor refresh that we got at the California Streaming event on September 14, 2021.

In any case, devoted Apple Watch fans are now possibly wondering if they should upgrade from the Apple Watch Series 6 to the Apple Watch Series 7, and the answer to that question clear: if you want a larger display and have the cash to burn, then you should probably upgrade. Otherwise, you should wait for the next generation of Apple's popular smartwatch, which hopefully goes through with all the rumored features and updated design.

Update: Well, the Apple Watch Series 8 is already official and no, Apple did not go through with the rumored redesign—the Apple Watch 8 is mostly similar to the Apple Watch Series 7 in terms of design, but adds a few interesting features, like female cycle tracking aided by a temperature sensor, crash detection, and so on. Read more in our dedicated Apple Watch Series 8 vs Apple Watch Series 7 review.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs Apple Watch Series 6 in a nutshell:
  • 41mm and 45mm case (Apple Watch 7) vs 40mm and 44mm case (Apple Watch 6)
  • S7 system-on-chip vs S6 system-on-chip
  • Dust-proof (IP6X) vs none
  • Faster charge speed (Apple Watch Series 7)

Table of Contents:

Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm)

Apple Watch Series 7 (41mm)


View full specs
Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)
9.0

Apple Watch Series 6 (40mm)


The Good

  • Always-on-Display is very bright
  • Feels really fast
  • Quicker charging

The Bad

  • Sleep Tracking is limited
  • Blood Oxygen monitoring could be more useful
  • Battery life isn’t amazing


Design and Display Quality


Although the two smartwatches seem identical and the Apple Watch Series 7 follows closely the design cues laid out by the Watch Series 6 and only introduces minor but important enhancements. The corners of the case are more rounded than the ones on the Apple Watch Series 6, and the glass of the front creates a seamless wraparound effect with the smartwatch's case.

The display of the Apple Watch Series 7 is also noticeably bigger than the one on the Apple Watch Series 6. The jump in screen real estate is a staggering 20% greater, which allows for up to 50% more text to be displayed on the new smartwatch. To facilitate the larger display, the bezels of the screen have shrunk to be barely noticeable at just 1.7mm slim, or 40% slimmer than the Apple Watch 6, which creates a bezelless look for the Apple Watch.



Both wearables have always-on displays that let you check the time without waking up the smartwatch every time and wasting precious battery, but Apple has made the always-on display on the Apple Watch Series 7 up to 70% brighter, making it easier to check the time.



Aside from being larger, the screen has also become tougher, as it's now 50% thicker than the one on the Apple Watch Series 6. The front crystal has also been redesigned with a flat base, creating a sturdier shape that's more resistant to cracks, allowing the Apple Watch Series 7 to be less scratch-resistant than before. It's also the first Apple Watch to be IP6X-rated, which means that it's fully dustproof, whereas the Apple Watch Series 6 has to get by with mere water and dust resistance. The Apple Watch Series 7 is now also swimproof with WR50 water resistance.

From a size standpoint, the Apple Watch Series 7 is available in 41mm and 45mm, whereas the Apple Watch Series 6 can be bought in 40mm and 44mm versions.


When it comes to colors, the Watch Series 7 comes with five new colors for the aluminum version - Midnight, Starlight, Green, Blue, and Product Red. The stainless steel version of the smartwatch will be available in Silver, Graphite, and Gold. Meanwhile, the Series 6 is available in Silver (aluminum and stainless steel), Gold (aluminum and stainless steel), Space Gray (aluminum), Blue (aluminum), Product RED (aluminum), Graphite (stainless steel), Space Black (stainless steel and titanium), Titanium (titanium).

When it comes to the straps, long-time Apple Watch fans that have been invested in the ecosystem will be delighted to know that the Apple Watch Series 7 is compatible with all watch bands that were compatible with the Apple Watch Series 6, Series 5, and so on. No changes on the accessory front, which is great news.

Battery Life and Charging


Both wearables have the same 18-hour battery life. The difference here is the recharge speed, which is improved quite a lot on the new smartwatch. Apple says the new Watch Series 7 charges up to 33% faster than its predecessor thanks to a novel charging architecture, as well as a fast charging USB Type-C cable. According to Apple, the Watch Series 7 will take just 45 minutes to charge from 0% all the way to 80%, with an 8-minute rendezvous with the charger allegedly allowing for up to 8 hours of sleep tracking. That's a great improvement in comparison with the Watch Series 6, which has the same battery life but charges slower. Still, this might be a non-issue if you charge your smartwatch overnight anyway.

Software


In comparison with the Apple Watch 6, the Apple Watch Series 7 runs WatchOS 8 out of the box, and some of the operating system's features are specific for the Series 7 because of its larger screen. One such feature is the small keyboard that you can type or swipe-to-write on, and it generally recognizes swiped words with few to no errors. Of course, you can also use Siri to dictate your message. Furthermore, applications like Timer and Calculator now have larger buttons to take advantage of the larger screen and are very easy to use.

The Apple Watch Series 7 does not include any additional health sensors in comparison with the Apple Watch 6, therefore it continues to have a standard loadout: measuring your Blood Oxygen (SpO2), heart rate, elevation, sleep, and ECG. 

The Sleep app has improved with WatchOS 8, and it can now detect your respiratory rate while sleeping in addition to tracking your average sleep time. This functionality is not exclusive to this model and is available on all Apple Watch devices that support WatchOS 8. Once you've nailed the exact location of the watch on your wrist, the Blood Oxygen measuring works well.

Summary and Final Verdict


The Apple Watch Series 7 is the greatest smartwatch for iPhone users thanks to its larger screen and more comfortable size, as well as a slew of helpful health and fitness functions and smooth iOS connection. The Apple Watch Series 7 provides dependable, stutter-free performance, a wide range of watch faces and complexities for personalization, and encouraging reminders, making it a valuable and enjoyable addition to your Apple environment.

However, Apple Watch Series 6 shouldn't necessarily feel compelled to upgrade to the newer smartwatch. In fact, beside the larger display, the Apple Watch Series 6 is mostly similar to the Apple Watch Series 7. 

Yet again, if you're looking to get into the Apple ecosystem, then the Apple Watch Series 7 is the perfect way to do so. However, this one has already been superseded by the Apple Watch 8, so the same applies to it as well — the Apple Watch 8 is the go-to smartwatch recommendation. 
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