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Apple Watch Series 7 vs 6 (2021): Is It Really Time To Upgrade?

When the Apple Watch Series 6 first came out, it blew us away with its fast processor, bright display, and ability to measure blood oxygen level. But now that the new Apple Watch Series 7 is here, the time has come to decide whether we should leave the Series 6 behind. Apple seems to have given the Series 7 a curvier silhouette, thinner bezels, and a bigger screen but are there more substantial improvements that can really justify an upgrade? To help you answer this question, here’s an in-depth comparison of the two Apple Watch models, covering their design, display, features, and battery life.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs 6 Comparison Chart

ModelApple Watch Series 7Apple Watch Series 6
 Apple Watch Series 7 GPS + Cellular, 45mm Midnight Aluminum Case with Midnight Sport Band - RegularApple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Sizes41mm and 45mm40mm and 44mm
DisplayAlways-on OLED displayAlways-on OLED display
MaterialsAluminum, stainless steel, and
titanium
Aluminum, stainless steel, and
titanium
ColorsAluminum: green, blue, Product RED, starlight, and midnight
Stainless steel: gold, graphite, and silver
Titanium: space black and silver
Aluminum: gold, blue, Product RED, silver, and space gray
Stainless steel: gold, graphite, and silver
Titanium: space black and silver
Durability50m water-resistance, IP6X dust-resistance50m water-resistance
ProcessorS6S6
SensorsOptical heart rate sensor, ECG, and blood oxygen sensorOptical heart rate sensor, ECG, and blood oxygen sensor
Software Ships with watchOS 8Compatible with watchOS 8
Battery Life18 hours18 hours

Design

The Apple Watch Series 7 is curvier and more durable than the Apple Watch Series 6.

Apple Watch 7 vs 6 design
The Apple Watch Series 7 (left) comes in 41mm and 45mm while the Apple Watch Series 6 (right) is offered in 40mm and 44mm.

While all of the past Apple Watch models have the same shape and are pretty indistinguishable from one another, the Apple Watch Series 7 is slightly different. Sporting a rounder frame compared to its predecessors, this subtle change gives the Series 7 a softer look. Aside from the added curves, the Series 7 also comes in new sizes. It’s available in 41mm and 45mm instead of the 40mm and 44mm options of the Series 6. In addition, Apple has given the Series 7’s aluminum version a brand new line up of colors, namely green, blue, Product RED, starlight, and midnight. The same colors are retained for the stainless steel and high-end versions.

The biggest change in the Series 7, however, would have to be its durability. It’s the very first Apple Watch Model to have been given an IP6X rating which means it’s dust-resistant. It’s also more shatter-proof because the crystal that protects its screen is 50% thicker than the Series 6’s. This is good news for those who have taken a liking to outdoor sports and activities. As for water-resistance, the Series 7 can survive up to 50 meters of water just like its predecessor.

Display

The Apple Watch Series 7 has a bigger and brighter display than the Apple Watch Series 6.

Apple Watch 7 vs 6 display
The Apple Watch Series 7’s (left) display is 20% bigger than the Apple Watch Series 6’s (right).

The Apple Watch’s screen size has remained the same size ever since the launch of the Series 4 but the Series 7 is here to change that. According to Apple, the Series 7’s display is 20% and 50% bigger than the Series 6 and Series 3’s respectively. The Series 7 itself hasn’t gotten that much larger though so the bump in screen size was made possible by reducing the size of the bezels by 40%. Aside from size, another commendable improvement in terms of display is brightness. The Series 7 is said to be 70% brighter than the Series 6 but this only applies when you’re indoors and in always-on mode.

To fully maximize the bigger and better display on the Series 7, Apple has made upgrades to the user interface as well. This includes the new full QWERTY keyboard which alloys you type out messages similar to how you would on a smartphone. Many have been hoping that Apple would steal this idea from Samsung and it has finally happened. In addition, the popular Modular Duo and Contour watch faces have also gotten makeovers to better suit the Series 7’s larger screen.

Features

The Apple Watch Series 7’s only new features are the ones that come with the new watchOS 8.

Apple Watch 7 vs 6 features
Both the Apple Watch Series 7 and 6 have ECG, blood oxygen tracking, and sleep monitoring.

There was a lot of buzz surrounding the Apple Watch Series 6 when it first launched because of its brand new blood oxygen sensor and always-on altimeter. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many things to get excited about when it comes to the Series 7 as its features are very similar to its predecessor’s. Just like the Series 6, the Series 7 comes with ECG, a blood oxygen sensor, as well as Apple’s staple health and safety features like workout tracking, sleep monitoring, emergency SOS, and noise monitoring. No new features have been added except for the ones that come with the new watchOS 8.

With this software update, users get to enjoy new tai chi and pilates workout modes as well as track their respiratory rate while they’re sleeping. The Breathe app also got a makeover and is now known as the Mindfulness app. Designed with a Reflect mode, it gets you to take a breather and focus on positive thoughts. The new watchOS also comes with an improved fall detection feature that’s able to identify different kinds of falls. That said, these features aren’t exclusive to the Series 7. Series 6 users can enjoy them too simply by downloading and installing the software update.

Battery Life

The Apple Watch Series 7 has the same battery life as the Apple Watch Series 6 but has faster charging.

Apple Watch 7 vs 6 battery life
The Apple Watch Series 7 charges 33% faster than the Apple Watch Series 6.

If you’re hoping for longer battery life, you’ll be sorely disappointed because Apple deprived the Apple Watch Series 7 of that upgrade. Like its predecessor, the Series 7 still can’t go beyond 24 hours like many other smartwatches out there and can only manage 18 hours per charge. But not all is lost because at least the Series 7 can charge 33% faster than the Series 6, thanks to the magnetic fast-charging USB cable that ships with it. This improvement should come as good news to those who like to track their sleep because you only need to charge it for a couple of minutes to enjoy 8 hours of monitoring.

Verdict

You can skip the Apple Watch Series 7 if you’re currently using the Apple Watch Series 6.

Compared to much older models, the Apple Watch Series 7 definitely seems like a major upgrade. But if you’re currently using the Apple Watch Series 6, feel free to pass up on Apple’s latest smartwatch release. The Series 7 ‘s sensors, features, and even battery life are all borrowed from its predecessor and it didn’t get any significant upgrades that are exclusive to it. While it is more durable and has a bigger screen, a full keyboard, and faster charging time, these incremental improvements don’t seem enough to justify an upgrade from the Series 6.

FAQs

📌 When is the release date of the Apple Watch Series 7?

The Apple Watch Series 7 was released on October 15, 2021.

📌 How much is the Apple Watch Series 7?

Like the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch Series 7 has a starting price of $399.

📌 How long is the battery life of the Apple Watch Series 7?

Like its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 7 still can’t go beyond 24 hours like many other smartwatches out there and can only manage 18 hours per charge. However, it’s able to charge 33% faster than the Apple Watch Series 6.

📌 Should you upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 7?

If you’re currently using the Apple Watch Series 6, feel free to pass up on Apple’s latest smartwatch release. The Apple Watch Series 7 ‘s sensors, features, and even battery life are all borrowed from its predecessor and it didn’t get any significant upgrades that are exclusive to it.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Denise Jose

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Researcher and yoga teacher passionate about article writing, photography, wellness, and mindfulness.