Apple Watch 7 vs 6 and earlier: In-depth comparison

Apple Watch 7 vs 6 and earlier: In-depth comparison

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Apple Watch Series 7 may seem like it offers minimal updates at first glance, but depending on what version you’re upgrading from, it can offer some big improvements. Read on for Apple Watch 7 vs Apple Watch 6 and earlier to help you decide which one to pick in 2022.

Since Apple Watch isn’t necessarily an every year upgrade for customers, we’ve included everything from Series 6 all the way down to Series 3 to give the best perspective on the differences between all the recent models.

While Apple Watch Series 8 is in the works, it likely won’t arrive until late 2022 alongside the iPhone 14.

Apple Watch 7 vs Apple Watch 6 and earlier

Processor and storage

Interestingly, it looks like Apple is using the same 64-bit dual-core processor in the Series 7 that launched in the Series 6. It is calling the SiP the “S7” but the processor is the same.

While you shouldn’t expect a speed bump from Series 6 to 7, if you’re coming from an earlier Apple Watch model you almost certainly will notice a faster, more responsive watch.

Another benefit, if you’re coming from a Series 3 or 4 to 7, is a jump in storage to 32GB.

Series 7 6 SE 5 4 3
SiP/Processor S7 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S6 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S5 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S5 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S4 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S3 SiP dual-core processor
U1 (ultra wideband)
Storage 32GB 32GB 32GB 32GB 16GB 8GB

Case and display

Apple Watch 7 vs Series 6, earlier - case and display

Two of the main changes with the Apple Watch Series 7 are a slightly larger case at 45 and 41mm and a larger display. It’s 20% bigger than Series 4-6/SE and 50% larger than the Series 3 display.

And no worries on bands, all previous Apple Watch bands fit the Series 7.

Series 7 6 SE 5 4 3
Case size 45/41mm 44/40mm 44/40mm 44/40mm 44/40mm 42/38mm
Display size 50% larger than Series 3 (20% bigger than Series 6 etc.) 30% larger than Series 3 30% larger than Series 3 30% larger than Series 3 30% larger than Series 3 563 sq mm
Always-on display

Another consideration is you’ll be getting the always-on display if you’re coming from Series 3, 4, or the SE.

Battery and charging

Another improvement with Apple Watch 7 vs its predecessors is 33% faster charging. That means going from 0-80% in 45 instead of around 60 minutes for the other models.

If you’re interested in using Apple Watch Series 7 for sleep tracking, you also get 8 hours worth of use from an 8-minute charge.

However, no improvement to the overall battery life, it’s still the same, up to 18 hours.

Series 7 6 SE 5 4 3
Battery life Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours
Charging 0-80% in 45 minutes + 8 min charge = 8 hours sleep tracking 0-80% in ~60 minutes 0-80% in ~60 minutes 0-80% in ~60 minutes 0-80% in ~60 minutes 0-80% in ~60 minutes

Key features

Here’s a look at some of the core features you’re getting with Apple Watch Series 7 vs the previous models.

Series 7 6 SE 5 4 3
ECG app
Blood Oxygen app
High/low heart rate notifications
Water resistant to 50m
Sleep tracking
Fall detection
Emergency SOS

Price

Apple Watch Series 7 comes in with a starting price of $399, the same as Series 6. Apple Watch SE from $279 remains in the lineup, with Series 3 holding on for another season at the entry price of $199.

Apple Watch 7 vs Series 6 and earlier wrap-up

Apple Watch 7 vs Series 6 and earlier - wrap-up

While Apple Watch Series 7 may feel more like Series 6S overall, if you’re thinking of upgrading from Series 3, 4, or SE, you get a larger than ever display, always-on screen, faster charging, and all of the available health features.

For more details, check out our guide on color comparisons, bands, and more.

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