You Can Finally Pre-Order The New Apple Watch Series 7, But Should You Get The Series 6 Instead?
Alright Apple fanatics, it's time to get your pre-order fingers warmed up. As of Friday morning, the latest Apple Watch Series 7 is available for pre-order and, if rumors are to be believed, it'll be in short supply. But while you're scrambling to get the latest hardware from Apple, maybe you'll want to flip over to the Clearance category and snag yourself a newly-discounted Series 6 instead.
So how does the Apple Watch Series 6 compare to the Apple Watch Series 7? Is it enough of an upgrade to justify the higher cost? Is the Series 6 a suitable substitute if the Series 7 sells out quickly? Let's take a look ahead of the October 15 release date!
The most obvious differentiator between the Series 6 and the Series 7 is the screen size. The Apple Watch Series 7 sports a screen that's 20% larger than its predecessor, resulting in a slightly larger device, overall (1mm larger for both models).
The new screen is brighter in Always On mode, making it easier to check the time at a glance without having to raise your wrist. Series 6 has this feature as well and, while I appreciate that the Series 7 is brighter, I can't say that I've ever found the Series 6 to be too dim when checking the time.
If you're tough on your watch, however, you'll want to take a closer look at the Series 7. It's 50% thicker glass results in a more crack-resistant screen. It takes a lot to hurt the Apple Watch, so much so that I've never felt the need to get Apple Care for it, and this certainly won't reverse that trend. Maybe not so great for Apple's bottom line, but better for your wallet.
Here's probably where you're expecting there to be a big jump from generation to generation, right? Sorry to disappoint, but despite a new name (now the S7) the Series 7 chip is the same as the Series 6. That said, I've not found the S6 chip in the Series 6 to lag at all and the device has been very responsive overall.
The Series 7 sports the same impressive array of sensors as the Series 6 as well—Apple's third-generation optical heart sensor, a Digital Crown with haptic feedback, a built-in compass, an always-on altimeter, and a second-generation speaker and mic which Apple Watch uses for things like Emergency Calling. Both the Series 7 and Series 6 have fall detection (with automatic emergency alerts) and noise detection (though it can be inconsistent in when it notifies you).
Both watches work with the latest version of watchOS, giving you access to more features in the Home app, new Focus modes, and the ability to scribble replies to messages with a tiny touchpad on your wrist. Especially in the case of the latter, the increased real estate of the Series 7 will be quite helpful.
Other Differences Between Series 7 and Series 6
If you're looking for a green Apple Watch, the Series 7 is the only place you'll find it. The 7's blue is a little lighter as well (I think it looks nicer but it's all in the eye of the beholder).
If you spend time in sandy or dusty environments, then the new IP6X dust-resistance of the Series 7 will be of interest. Both devices sport the same WR50 water resistance—meaning they're water resistant up to 50 meters. So no diving in your Apple Watch, but you're good to take a dip.
Apple Watch Series 7 vs Series 6: Which Should You Get?
If you've checked out the Series 6 and found it to be too small for your liking, then the Series 7 is a no-brainer. The slightly increased size is its biggest selling factor. The same goes for those who'll be using their Apple Watch in dusty or dirty environments. Dust resistance is available only on the Series 7.
That said, this year's Apple Watch isn't much of an upgrade over the previous generation. Unlike with the jump to the Series 6, there aren't new sensors or functionality. Unless one of the above factors is enough to sway you, or you really want a green Apple Watch, I'd get the Series 6. It's just as good of a device that'll save you some cash (that you can then use to get watch bands!).