by Jerry ElengicalOct 20, 2021
In a live digital event streamed from their Foster + Partners-designed headquarters in Cupertino, California, which saw the debut of the iPhone 13, Apple unveiled the design of the new Apple Watch Series 7. While no fixed release date for the Apple Watch Series 7 has been confirmed, the latest edition of the company’s flagship timepiece offers predictable yet noteworthy improvements to the product, including a larger display, advanced fitness tracking, and a host of finishes and watch bands for customisation. In an official release, Jeff Williams, Apple’s COO comments on the announcement, stating, “Apple Watch Series 7 delivers significant improvements - from our largest and most advanced display, to enhanced durability and faster charging - making the world’s best smartwatch better than ever before.”
The new Always-On Retina display has 1.7mm borders - 40 percent narrower than the Series 6, as well as featuring 20 percent more screen area than before, boasting the largest and most cutting-edge display seen on an Apple Watch. Available in 41mm and 45mm sizes, Apple Watch Series 7 has softer, rounded corners and a refractive edge, to augment the new product design’s refined, sleeker profile. The display is also 70 percent brighter indoors in comparison to the one equipped on the Series 6 - allowing users to check the watch face without lifting their wrist or waking the device. According to Apple, this version is also the most durable smartwatch in the company’s current catalogue, possessing a front crystal that has been redesigned with a sturdier geometry, to be 50 percent thicker and more crack-resistant than preceding versions. The device has also been revamped for greater dust and water resistance.
Five new aluminium finish cases have been introduced as part of the new version’s lineup, namely: midnight, starlight, green, a new blue, and (PRODUCT) RED. Other features incorporated as part of the revamped display include two additional bigger font sizes, larger menu titles, and a new QWERTY keyboard with swipe features and on-device machine learning for quick typing prompts. According to Apple, the device also charges 33 percent faster than the Series 6, with 18-hour all day usage on a single charge.
Apple is also introducing watchOS 8 along with Apple Watch Series 7, set to be available from September 20, 2021, to users of Apple Watch Series 3 and later models. Among the system’s new capabilities are three redesigned clock face options for the larger display. Contour, the first of the three, has a layout resembling an analogue timepiece, albeit, enlivened by fluid animation that emphasises the current hour over the duration of each day. Alternatively, the Modular Duo option saturates the larger display to its limit, by means of small data rich-centre complications while the classic World Time face - based on heritage watches - has a double dial interface that tracks the time in 24 different time zones.
In addition, watchOS 8 also brings a host of new additions to the smartwatch, most notably in terms of its fitness tracking features. Jeff Williams explains, “Powered by watchOS 8, Apple Watch brings useful new capabilities to help customers stay connected, track activity and workouts, and better understand their overall health and wellness.” For starters, Apple Watch Series 7 is armed with a new mindfulness app, as well as sleep respiratory tracking, to aid in improving a wearer’s all-round wellness. Catering to users that partake in cycling, the new device can also perform detailed analysis of the GPS, heart rate, accelerometer, and gyroscope data, with the aid of advanced algorithms and auto-pause mechanisms that provide accurate measurements of activity durations from the start of each ride. Moreover, fall detection algorithms and automatic emergency services call featuring in the device programming, aid in ensuring user safety.
To complement these features, Apple has also unveiled Apple Fitness+ - a service entirely built around the Apple Watch. Offering guided training by certified professionals, Fitness+ is slated to expand to 15 new countries, including Austria, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates, with a diverse team of instructors and subtitles in six languages.
Accompanying the standard version of the device, Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès have also revealed new bands and watch faces, set to release this fall. Nike’s contribution consists of a new Sport Loop, with the famous ‘Swoosh’ logo woven into the band, available in three colours. The design pairs smartly with the Nike watch ‘Bounce’ face, which animates the device screen each time the user’s wrist is moved, the display is tapped, or with every scroll of the Digital Crown.
Apple Watch Hermès has updated colour combinations across its Classic, Attelage, and Jumping styles, and further revealed two new styles for the upcoming release. Of them, Gourmette Double Tour pays homage to Hermès iconic chain-link motif as well as the company’s 1930s collars, reinterpreting them in Fauve Barénia leather that elegantly winds along the wrist in ornate links. The second style, Circuit H, features a graphic representation of the company’s signature anchor chain design, imprinted on Swift leather, with an accompanying watch face.
This latest addition to Apple’s smartwatch line is also said to be manufactured using more recycled materials than preceding versions - in line with the company’s sustainable design goals. It is using a case made entirely of recycled aluminium, 100 percent recycled rare earth metals in its magnets, and almost exclusively recycled tungsten. It also eschews the use of harmful chemicals like mercury, PVC, beryllium, and BFRs in its manufacturing, as mentioned by Apple in the press release.
With a noticeably more streamlined and compact design, alongside an array of new features, the device is an improvement on earlier models, albeit a fairly expected one in certain respects - checking off most of the necessary boxes aside from the lack of hardware performance upgrades. While it may not necessarily revolutionise the realm of wearable technology as we know it, brand loyalists will likely be more than satisfied by the new additions to an already well-marketed and packaged design, that will line the shelves at Apple stores across the world, later this year.