Here’s your complete Apple Watch Series 7 sports & fitness-focused deep-dive, complete with real-world testing and data from running outdoors and indoor cycling. Including both optical heart rate and GPS accuracy comparisons against the Apple Watch SE, as well as the Garmin Forerunner 745, and Polar H10 chest strap, as well as the Whoop 3.0 band. I’ll first explain the new Apple Watch Series 7 hardware, then the WatchOS 8 sports-specific new features, followed by run and ride testing. After which I’ll look at the GPS data & heart rate data to see how it compares accuracy-wise.
0:00 Quick Overview
0:41 New Series 7 Hardware Changes
2:40 WatchOS 8 Sports Features
5:05 Run Testing
6:29 Indoor Bike Testing
7:06 GPS & Heart Rate Data Accuracy
10:19 Sports & Fitness Considerations
Full list of technical changes to the Series 7 vs the Series 6 and previous units:
– Expanded the display: The Series 7 has the largest display to date, some 20% larger than the Series 6, or 50% more screen area than the Series 3. This means the base model went from 40mm to 41mm, and the larger unit went from 44mm to 45mm.
– Reduced the bezel: Apple says the bezel (or borders, as they called them) are down to 1.7mm, or 40% thinner than the Series 6, the actual watch dimensions though remain nearly identical to before.
– Increased the brightness: Apple says it’s 70% brighter than before indoors, and called out specific scenarios such as glancing at your wrist without moving it to check the time.
– Increased durability: Apple says it’s the most durable Apple Watch to date, including a new crack-resistant front crystal that Apple says is 50% thicker than previous models – which they demonstrated twice using a mountain biker crashing directly onto the wrist/watch
– Added IP6X Dust Resistance: In the event you find yourself on the wrong end of a playground sandbox fight. It still has WR50 water resistance
– Larger user interface buttons: While the external buttons haven’t changed any, the buttons used within the menus have been increased to take advantage of the larger display. Apple noted areas such as the stopwatch, alarms, and activity menu as examples of this.
– More text on the screen: The larger screen means that in text messages, Series 7 can fit up to 50% more text than before
– New full keyboard: With the larger screen Apple has crammed in a full keyboard onto the display, including both tapping letter to letter as well as swiping between letters.
– New Watch Faces: Apple has included a few new watch faces, including one that’s larger and more data-driven for activity/fitness tracking
– Battery life remains 18 hours: Yup, still.
– New charger design: The new charging design results in 33% faster charging than Series 6
– Fast Charging: The new charging design can go from 0% to 80% in 45 minutes, or 8 hours of sleep tracking in 8 minutes. As one who has oft battled with late-night right before sleep charging, 8 minutes for 8 hours is a brilliant way of phrasing it.
– Charger comes with USB-C cable: As opposed to the previous USB-A charging cable.
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