Midnight. Starlight. Green. Blue. Red. Aluminum. And Nike. Gold. Silver. Graphite. Steel. And Hermes. Brushed and Space Black Titanium. 20% larger display. 70% brighter always-on display. 40% smaller bezels. 1mm bigger cases. 41mm and 45mm cases. Not square but round. Rounder even. Bigger tap targets. Bigger text. Or more text. QuickPath Keyboard. New contour face. New Duo modular face. More crack resistant. IP6X dust resistant. Still WR50 water resistant. And 33% Faster charging.
The vast majority of iPhone owners still don’t have an Apple Watch. So, while I’m sure many of you high order bit Apple nerds are weighing whether or not to upgrade, I’m equally sure many, many more of you Apple casuals are debating whether or not to buy in for the first time.
So here’s the new deal:
The screens are bigger now. 20% bigger than the Apple Watches 4 to 6 and SE, and 50% bigger than the Apple Watches 0 to 3. Part of that comes from a very slight, like 1mm increase in case size, from 40 and 44mm to 41 and 44mm, but also a second Thanos snapping… a re-snapping… of the bezels by almost half again.
That, along with some layout tweaks, means more complications for some watch faces, like a new Modular Duo, but also more text for your mail and messages. Or, optionally, bigger text if your eyes prefer that. Bigger buttons and tap targets too in many apps, like 20-50% bigger in some cases.
Big enough for a QuickPath Keyboard, which were third-party only… intermittently… before now. Type or swipe, it’s up to you.
It’s not enough to make the Watch fully independent yet, no matter how much I see beseeching Amenadael, but it’s another tiny little step in that general direction.
The display is brighter now too. Well, not peak brightness for the regular display but regular brightness for the always-on display. 70% brighter for when you need to glance at your wrist all surreptitious like. It just makes the watch work even better as, you know, a watch.
The display itself is stronger now, not in terms of scratch resistance, but crack resistance. So it’s much less likely to break if you smash it into something. Also IP6X dust resistance and still rated up to 50mm for swim proofing. So if you hike or ride or work outside, your watch will be safer than ever.
There’s no 5G or even fully independent LTE yet with the cellular option. And while the system-in-package, or SIP, has gotten some improvements, especially in the display drivers and power management areas, the CPU is the same A13-derived dual core engine as last year.
Battery life is also the same as it has been for the last few years, because Apple continues to spend whatever efficiency budget they have on new and improved features. But there is a new USB-C to Watch charging system will let you power up 33% faster now. That’s like 8 minutes for 8 hours of sleep tracking, or 45 min for over 14 hours of regular activity. So whether you’re snoozing or using, you’ll get more quicker.
You can get the aluminum model in midnight, which is an Indigo black, Starlight, which is silver with a shot of gold, a deep green, tealish blue, or rosey red, starting at $400 for the 41mm Wi-Fi.
Or the Nike version in Midnight or Starlight, with exclusive faces a sport loops, for the same price.
If you don’t want to pay that much for an Apple Watch, you can still get the SE version, which doesn’t have the always on display or health sensors like ECG and Pulse Oxymeter, starting at $279, or if you just want to dip your toe… or wrist… into the Apple Watch waters, the Series 3 starting at $199. But, at that point, unless you really can’t justify the extra 80 bucks over the multi-year lifespan of the watch, get the SE… but really get the Series 7. It’s just so much more better useful, which isn’t grammar but is 100% facts.
If you want to go higher end, you can get the gold, silver, or space black stainless steel versions, typically for a few hundred bucks more, and brushed or space black titanium for typically another hundred bucks more on top of that. Depending on which exact band you pair it with.
If you’re ultra serious about your Apple Watches, you can get the silver or space black stainless steel versions with Hermes straps. Those typically start at over a grand.