The Apple Watch Series 8 has finally arrived and, as is tradition, the Apple Watch Series 7 shuffled off the tech giant’s store page and into the abyss.
This is perhaps an oversimplification, because the Apple Watch Series 7 (opens in new tab) remains one of the best fitness trackers out there (opens in new tab) you can buy in 2022 – even with the arrival of its smaller sibling and more durable Apple Watch Ultra.
The Apple Watch Series 7 remains light years ahead of what other fitness trackers can do and can run the latest watchOS, watchOS 9, without breaking a sweat.
So, is the Apple Watch Series 7 worth buying or should you go for the newer version? There’s a good chance the model will be heavily discounted in the upcoming Prime Early Access Sale — here’s everything you need to know about the watch before you commit to buying.
How much does the Apple Watch Series 7 cost?
The Apple Watch Series 7, like its younger sibling, has reached a starting price of $399 for the “Sport” configuration. It offers a 41 mm aluminum case, with a fluoroelastomer strap.
Now that it’s not available from Apple, we’ve seen it available for around $330 at the likes of Best Buy, but we’d expect it to be discounted further ahead of the holiday season.
It is worth noting that there are several variants of the Apple Watch Series 7, with a different case size (45 mm) and the possibility of changing the aluminum case with stainless steel or titanium. As you can imagine, this increases the price somewhat. The Stainless Steel option, for example, still sells in some stores for the full price of $749.
Some versions also offer a mobile connection (data plan required). This means you can buy them through mobile operators at an extra cost to your monthly data plan.
When was the Apple Watch Series 7 released?
The Apple Watch Series 7 was unveiled on September 14, 2021 and released on October 15 of the same year. Its successor, the Apple Watch Series 8, was released on September 16, 2022.
What features does the Apple Watch Series 7 have?
Unlike fitness trackers like Fitbit, the Apple Watch Series 7 has deep integration with the iPhone’s iOS operating system. This means that an iPhone is absolutely mandatory to get the most out of the Apple Watch.
While the Apple Watch Series 7 was originally predicted to offer a refresh to the overall design of the product line, it essentially offers a similar experience to the Series 6, but with a waterfall display at the edges. This, combined with a revamped watchOS interface, makes it easier to use than previous models, with larger, easier-to-read elements such as on-screen buttons and a touch-screen QWERTY keyboard. Simply put, it’s a bigger screen with an almost identical footprint.
In terms of sensors, the Apple Watch Series 7 offers a blood oxygen sensor, an ECG function for atrial fibrillation, and an improved heart sensor over its predecessors.
The Series 8, on the other hand, adds a host of additional sensors while maintaining the same form factor. It offers collision detection for drivers and can now also monitor body temperature, with a focus on tracking ovulation and fertility.
Should I buy the Apple Watch Series 7?
Unless collision detection and fertility monitoring are important features to you, it’s hard to recommend the Series 8 over the Series 7 – especially if it’s on sale.
Even the Apple Watch Series 8’s S8 chip, essentially the ‘brain’ of the device, is a rehashed version of previous chips dating back to the Series 6. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – the Apple Watch has led the wearable market for power and capability for years – but perhaps it shows that the company is struggling to innovate further.
Even the $799 Apple Watch Ultra, designed for intense exploration and harsh conditions, comes with the S8 chip, meaning it’s no more powerful than the Series 7 or even the Series 6 — though it offers a bigger, brighter screen, better durability battery life and more.
However, with the Apple Watch Series 7 going on sale in the coming weeks, it’s hard not to recommend it. As a smartwatch, it matches the Series 8 in almost every way, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference even if you had one on each wrist.