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Apple Watch 7 preorders start October 8 and release date is October 15

Apple Watch 7 colors
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch 7 release date has officially been set. After the company said the next-generation smartwatch would arrive "later this year" at the most recent Apple event, it just shared an availability update to the Apple Newsroom.

Apple Watch 7 preorders will open this Friday, October 8 at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT. The smartwatch will be available in stores the following Friday, October 15. The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $399, with premiums for a larger case size and Cellular support.

To pre-order the Apple Watch 7, set an alarm on October 8. Apple's website and the mobile Apple Store app will update with options to choose Apple Watch 7 colors, Apple Watch 7 new sizes and the familiar connectivity options. You should also see an option to trade in your Apple Watch, so you can return your current model to Apple for credit towards the Series 7. 

The Apple Watch 7's key upgrades are a curvier chassis and a bigger display, which is supposed to offer up to 20% more real estate than the Apple Watch 6. Another Apple Watch 7 vs. Apple Watch 6 difference is a 70% brighter screen for the newest model. Apple's latest wearable is coming with a USB-C cord for faster charging, too.

In addition to a rather subtle redesign, the Apple Watch 7 comes with watchOS 8. If you know how to download watchOS 8, you could use it on an Apple Watch 3 or newer now to test out all the underrated watchOS 8 features.

Rumored production issues may have prevented the Apple Watch 7 from shipping alongside the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro series starting in September. Still, the company revealed its latest wearable at the California Streaming keynote.

Over the weekend, we got what could be the first real-life glimpse of the Apple Watch 7 via screenshots shared by MacRumors. As promised, the pictured smartwatch has spacious screens. We also see the new QWERTY keyboard, one of the features we're especially excited to see Apple copy from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Speaking of the Galaxy Watch 4, with the arrival of the Apple Watch 7 the title for this year's best smartwatch is up for contention. Samsung's newest wearable is the best Samsung watch, and the Series 7 will likely become the best Apple Watch, but the overall category winner is any company's game.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.