Apple Watch Series 7 vs Apple Watch Series 6: Should You Upgrade?
In many ways, this is an annual question; one that…
In many ways, this is an annual question; one that always provides enough fodder for endless articles and opinions like this one you’re reading. Whether it’s the iPhone or the Apple Watch, most consumers across the world are faced with making a choice around the festive season—yes, the best gifts are those that you give yourself. For many buyers who don’t understand sticker shock and have to live on the cutting edge, it’s a simple choice. They will upgrade, no matter what. And then some are resolute, never yielding to shopping urges, who upgrade every few years. This one is for the average consumer like me who keep their options open and change buying patterns depending on how compelling the upgrade is. So, should you stick with your Apple Watch 6 or 5 or ditch it for the 2021 Apple Watch Series 7?
The Apple Watch universe
We all know this—the Apple Watch user experience is streets ahead of its competition. There are rival brands that boast stellar hardware, vibrant displays and wellness apps but they can’t match the evolved Watch OS ecosystem when it comes to apps and functionality. I don’t need my iPhone when I’m out for a workout; I can answer calls, catch up on texts and podcasts with my Apple Watch. Of course, it only talks to an iPhone.
What’s new on Apple Watch Series 7?
Essentially three key upgrades. The big one is the screen size. Apple has stretched the screen, minimising the bezel to just 1.7mm. In effect, the 40mm and 44mm sizes are now 41mm and 45mm. The last time we saw a screen expansion was back in 2018 when the Apple Watch 4 expanded the screen size to 40mm and 44mm (from 38mm and 42mm). The Series 7 features a display that’s 20 per cent larger than last year’s Apple Watch 6. It has added a new on-screen keyboard (I’m still not sure if I’ll type texts on my watch) and a couple of exclusive watch faces that play up the expanded screen real estate. The other change is the charging solution. It’s now a USB-C-based cable that charges 33 per cent faster than its predecessor. This translates to 0 to 80 per cent in 45 minutes, compared to an hour for the Watch 6. The manufacturer has also made the new watch more durable with improvisations in the crack-resistant crystal and it is also IPX6-certified for dust resistance.
The key features are almost unchanged
Our favourite features remain the Always-on display (available from the Watch 5 onwards), the ECG and SpO2 features (that arrived last year) and the smooth performance. This year’s watch features similar processing power and has all these key features, except that the Always-on display is 70 per cent brighter. The latest iteration of Watch OS is eye candy and reinforces the buttery smooth Apple Watch experience. This is available for all Apple Watches from the 2017 Series 3.
So, should you take the plunge?
The answer is an emphatic yes if you have a Series 4 or older Apple Watch. If you’re a first-time buyer and don’t have a budget constraint, then go for it. If you’re looking for your first Apple Watch and don’t want to break the bank, consider the Apple Watch 3 or SE if you’re okay to give features like ECG or SpO2 tracking a miss. You will not get SpO2 tracking if you own a Series 5 and will miss out on the additional screen real estate if you’re sticking to your Apple Watch 6. The Apple Watch Series 7 is a great upgrade and probably the smartwatch to beat now, but you can hold off for the 2022 Apple Watch if you own a Series 6 though.
The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at Rs 41,900 and is available in a number of variants.