Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Series 6: Comparing Apple's latest smartwatches

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Series 6: Comparing Apple's latest smartwatches

The Apple Watch Series 7 is a modest but worthwhile upgrade from the Series 6. With enlarged displays, softer materials, and new color options, the Apple watch Series7 is an obvious choice. It will be available on Oct. 15 for $399 (369, AU$599), and pre-orders have already begun.

Apple unveiled the Series 7 at its iPhone 13 launch event, but several crucial details about the watch remain a mystery. It's clear the Series 7 will have more than a few similarities to the series 6 it replaces, according to what we've seen. Here's a closer look at how the two stack up, and you can check out the table below for revealing the key differences.

Design: A bigger screen with a stronger build.

Since the Series 4 debuted in 2018, the Apple Watch hasn't experienced a screen size increase, but that's likely to change in 2021. According to Apple, the Apple Watch Series 7 has a screen that's nearly 20% bigger than the Series 6 and more than 50% larger than those of the series 3.

On the Series 7, the border that frame the watch's display are 40% smaller than those on the series 6, allowing it to have a larger screen while still remaining small. It's similar to the way smartphone screens have grown in size, now that most major phone makers have eliminated the bezels that once housed the device'' corresponding home buttons and cameras.

Read more: How to choose between Apple Watch SE vs Series 6 versus Series 3?

Apple is also improving the screen's brightness in another way: by increasing its brightness. The company claims the new smartwatch's display should be 70% brighter than its predecessor, but only in always-on mode when the wrist is down.

The new 41-millimeter and 45mm versions of the Apple Watch Series 7 are also available thanks to the larger screen. That replaces the 40mm and 44mm size options for the Series 6. Apple is also making some tweaks to the Apple Watch's user interface to make use of that larger display.

Now playing: Watch this: Should you upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 7?
4:27

The Apple Watch Series 7 will be the first to receive a new QWERTY keyboard that allows you to type on the watch more similarly to how you would on your phone. The Contour and Modular Duo watch faces will be redesigned to better match the Series 7's larger display.

The other big way Apple has changed the Series 7's design is in its durability. Apple's newest wearable is its first smartwatch to have IP6X dust resistance, and it claims that the crystal that covers the front screen is 50% thicker than that of the Series 6. The crystal on the rear screen, on Apple Watch, is 50 percent thick. As with the Series 6, you'll continue to get water resistance of up to 50 meters.

Read more: The latest Apple Watch Series 7 features, and how you'll use them.

Battery life is the same as the Series 6, but with a longer charge time.

The Apple Watch Series 7 has no longer battery life, but it does get faster charging. Apple claims that the Series 7 will last up to 18 hours on a single charge like the previous Series 6. But when used with a magnetic fast charging USB-C cable, it will charge up to 33 percent faster than its predecessor.

It'll be easier to charge off the watch's battery when you have a few extra minutes in your day, which should make it easier for you to use the Series 7 as slumber monitor. Still, rival smartwatches such as those made by Fitbit may last for several days on a single charge.

New finishes for the aluminum model: New colors for this model.

Apple is also recoloring its smartwatch's design by giving it a fresh coat of paint in addition to its bigger display. The aluminum version, which is typically the least expensive in Apple's lineup, will be available in five new finishes: midnight, starlight, green, blue, and Product Red.

The starlight model appears to have a white gold finish that appears comparable to the silver model, while the midnight finish appears as if it's merely brushed black in contrasting to space gray. To truly understand what these colors look like and how they compare to the Series 6, we'll have to wait until we see the series 7 in person.

Green is an entirely new color option for the Apple Watch, while the Series 7's blue appears to be lighter than the navy blue-like shade Apple introduced for its Series 6. The red model doesn't seem to differ much from Apple's renders, but we'll have to wait until we see the watch to determine for sure.

Apple is keeping the same silver, graphite, and gold options for the stainless steel variants, while the high-end Apple Watch Edition version of the Series 7 will be available in the identical titanium and space black hues.

Performance and health features: Probably the same as the Apple Watch Series 6 (remember, it isn't as good as Apple's Watch series 6).

It seems like the Apple Watch Series 7 will share a lot of the characteristics of AppleWatch Series 6 when it comes to performance and health tracking. Apple didn't mention the Series 7's processor during its launch event, which indicates that it will likely offer similar performance to its predecessor.

We also know that the Series 7 will have an electrical heart sensor with the ECG app, as well as the ability to measure blood oxygen levels, like the series 6. You'll also get Apple's other health features like sleep monitoring, exercise tracking, and Apple Fitness Plus compatibility. Since the Series 7 is Apple's premium smartwatch, it''r possible to assume that it will inherit many of Apples earlier innovations, such as emergency SOS, international emergency calling, noise monitoring, compass, and an always-on altimeter.

Read more: Forget the iPhone 13 -- here's why the iPad 11 is still a great buy in 2021.

And of course, the Apple Watch Series 7 will support the new health and wellness features introduced with Apple's new WatchOS 8 software update, which is also available for the Series 6 and other older models. Such enhancements include improved fall detection that can recognize specific types of falls caused by cycling and other workout types, new Pilates and tai chi workout modes, and the ability to track respiratory rate during sleep. The Breathe app has also been upgraded to a new Mindfulness app that includes pause mode -- which encourages you to think about something positive -- and guided meditations for Fitness Plus users.

Based on what we know about the Series 7, it should feel like a significant upgrade for those replacing an older watch like the series 3 and earlier. However, since Apple makes many of its new watch capabilities available through software updates, those who own a Series 5 or Series 6 can probably skip this one. We'll know more when we've had the chance to try the Apple Watch Series 7.

You may also like: