The Apple Watch 7 release is inching closer, and despite the limited leaks concerning the upcoming smartwatch, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
As a follow-up to the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch 7 should come with a handful of upgrades that make the best smartwatch even better. We may see a new health sensor, enhanced display, longer battery life and more. There's even talk of an all-new, flat-edged design.
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Apple has debuted a new smartwatch every year since 2015 (in 2020, it actually released two) so we're confident an Apple Watch Series 7 is the pipeline. It could be accompanied by a new version, too, much like the Apple Watch SE released alongside the Apple Watch Series 6.
But what will be different? And which features are on our wishlist? Here's everything we know about the Apple Watch 7 so far.
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Apple Watch 7 release date
If we had to guess the Apple Watch 7 release date, we'd pinpoint mid-September 2021. For the last few years, without fail, Apple has debuted a new smartwatch via a Tuesday keynote in the Fall, with availability starting Friday of that week or the next.
Last year, Apple split the next-gen Apple Watch and iPhone events for the first time. The Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch SE debuted alongside a new iPad Air (2020), while the iPhone 12 lineup received a standalone reveal (all virtual, of course.)
It's possible that Apple will recombine its fall hardware announcements if a live, in-person keynote can happen in 2021. If that's the case, the Apple Watch 7 could arrive alongside the iPhone 13.
Apple Watch 7 price
Unless Apple opts to throw a financial curveball, we have a pretty good sense about what the Apple Watch 7 price will be. Traditionally, $399 is the company's entry-level price for its flagship smartwatch in the 40mm size with GPS.
The price goes up to $429 for the 44mm size, plus another $100 to either size for Cellular support. That said, changes to size options and connectivity could alter the Apple Watch cost.
This could be the year we see Apple drop the price of cellular, too. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 with LTE is only $50 more, as is cellular for the midrange Apple Watch SE.
Apple Watch 7 design
The Apple Watch design hasn't changed in several years. But it's possible the Apple Watch 7 design will be different, according to a leak from Jon Prosser. In May, Prosser teased Apple Watch 7 renders with a flat-edged chassis, as well as a slew of fun color options.
The mockup renders are a collaboration between Prosser and concept artist Ian Zelbo, who regularly produces designs based on Prosser's leaks.
Prosser said, "the display will likely stay the same as it has been for the past few generations, though, at least from what I've heard, they have tested prototypes with even smaller bezels and more screen."
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman similarly suggested the Apple Watch 7 will sport thinner bezels in a report detailing several upcoming features. According to Gurman's sources, the company is testing a "new lamination technique" that raises the watch's display closer to the top cover. The sources also said Apple Watch 7 could be "slightly thicker," but it shouldn't be noticeable.
According to a report from DigiTimes, the Apple Watch 7 will feature a double-sided System in Package (SiP) from Taiwan’s ASE Technology. This upgrade could finally give us the battery life we want.
Apple Watch 7 blood glucose monitoring and other health features
An earlier report said that the Apple Watch 7 will offer blood glucose monitoring through the skin, although newer intel suggests otherwise.
According to a report in ETNews in January, blood glucose monitoring would be one of the standout features of the Apple Watch 7. The publication reaffirmed this feature is coming in a subsequent report, stating the Apple Watch will monitor blood sugar levels through the skin.
That report gained further credence thanks to a survey sent out by Apple. The survey, as seen by 9to5Mac, asked several questions about users' health-tracking habits, including one about whether they use apps to monitor medications and blood sugar levels.
But according to a recent Bloomberg report, the Apple Watch 7 might skip on the blood glucose-reading sensor — and that could be a deal-breaker for some smartwatch shoppers in the next year.
CDC’s National Diabetes Statistics Report in 2020 found that 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. That’s a significant population that would immediately benefit from a smartwatch sensor designed to read blood sugar levels when traditional testing methods might not be available.
In addition to blood glucose monitoring, the Apple Watch 7 will likely get new health and fitness features. The next Apple Watch could get new swim-tracking features, according to Bloomberg. We know that with watchOS 8 the Apple Watch will be able to track pilates and Tai Chi.
Want to try watchOS 8 now? See how to download the watchOS 8 public beta.
Apple Watch 7 rumors: What we want to see
While we can make educated guesses about the Apple Watch 7 release date and price, the current Apple Watch 7 rumors are less precise. We're too far away from launch for credible leaks to surface, but for now we can highlight some features we'd like to see.
Better battery life: Patently Apple has found evidence of Apple researching a way to increase the battery life of its wearables. The "Battery Watch Band" could improve battery capacity without having to increase the size of the Watch itself.
We're accustomed to the 18-24 hour stamina of current models, but we'd welcome an Apple Watch that can last longer between charges.
Blood pressure monitoring: There are a few reasons why blood pressure monitoring could come to Apple Watch next year. First, it's a viable candidate for the company's informally annual health feature upgrade. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 has a sensor for blood pressure monitoring, so there's already a template that Apple can follow.
But it seems the company has a proprietary approach in mind. A patent filing recently won by Apple gives it a leg up in health tracking with built-in blood pressure monitoring that incorporates correction factors. For comparison, Samsung's blood pressure monitoring requires monthly calibration, which can be cumbersome.
Mental health tools: When the Fitbit Sense unveiled a slew of stress management tools, we hoped Apple would follow up with similar features for Apple Watch 6. They didn't come to fruition.
Apple may hold a steady lead in life-saving features, but mental health tools are life-saving in their own right. Luckily, two top leakers confirmed Apple is working on on way for your smartwatch to warn you about panic attacks and heightened stress.
MicroLED display: Apple Watch 7 could be ready to make the switch from an OLED display to a microLED screen, enabling a slimmer and more power-efficient Apple Watch. MicroLED displays offer better brightness and don't suffer from the luminance decay problems of traditional OLED panels.
In 2018 Bloomberg reported that the company is working out of a nondescript building in California to produce MicroLED displays. They didn't materialize for Apple Watch 6, but perhaps 2021's Apple Watch will get the new display treatment.
Apple Watch 7 outlook
Again, it's too early to make any judgements about the upcoming Apple Watch 7. We're just as excited as you to learn what Apple has up its sleeve for its next-generation wearable.
We hope Apple ups the ante. The competition is more convincing than ever: the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Fitbit Sense are just a few of the recent Apple Watch alternatives worth your consideration. Our smartwatch buying guide can help you asses your needs to determine which smartwatch is right for you.
Bookmark this page for the latest Apple Watch 7 updates. We'll be tracking rumors and leaks until the smartwatch is revealed.