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Should you wait for Apple Watch 7 or buy Apple Watch 6 now?

wait for apple watch 7 buy apple watch 6
(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)

The Apple Watch 7 is potentially days away from making a big debut — the next Apple Event is taking place on September 14, 2021.

Whether it holds individual launch events as it did last year or returns to an all-in-one device extravaganza, Apple will likely unleash a new wearable sometime this month. But what if you want to buy an Apple Watch before then?

As the best smartwatch overall right now, the Apple Watch 6 is still on display in Apple's stores and other tech retailers. However, it's likely that the nearly year-old model will be pulled once the Apple Watch 7 hits shelves. That's why you might find yourself wondering if you'll face buyer's remorse by purchasing the soon-to-be-discontinued model now. 

For most people, I'd wait to see what the Apple Watch 7 has in store. But I could also provide a few arguments for why your patience won't pay off. 

Here are three reasons you should wait for the Apple Watch 7, and two reasons you should get the Apple Watch 6 now. 

Wait for Apple Watch 7: You're ready for a redesign

Several signs point to the Apple Watch 7 looking different than the Apple Watch models we've seen in the past. The Apple Watch's appearance has remained virtually unchanged since the first model debuted in 2016, but the iconic squircle could be tweaked to better follow the design language of newer, flat-edged iPhones.

Rumors of a flat-sided Apple Watch gained momentum when leaker Jon Prosser shared a series of renders earlier this year. Although Prosser hedged the timeline of the major design change, saying his sources could've passed along intel for a different future Apple Watch — not necessarily the Apple Watch 7.

But another set of renders published this month reveal plans for a flat-edged redesign. The reportedly leaked CAD renders, shared by 91Mobiles tease an all-flat design, display included. If you're interested in others knowing you have the latest tech, or aren't fond of the existing Apple Watch's curved look, the rumored aesthetic alternations are worth the wait.

Wait for Apple Watch 7: You're an UWB believer

The Apple Watch's interior is also expected to change. According to Bloomberg, the Apple Watch will include “updated ultra-wideband (UWB) functionality." Apple only introduced its U1 chip to the Series 6 last year, but it could be planning to improve the chip or the chip's role in the Apple Watch radio communications.

Interest in the company's positioning tech gained momentum with the launch of Apple AirTag keyfinders. As we've seen with AirTags, UWB radios provide precise location and spatial awareness, letting compatible devices determine their exact positions in respect to other devices in the vicinity.

The watchOS 8 software shipping on Apple Watch 7 adds Find My app for locating your other Apple devices, as well as added support for digital keys, so people could get into cars, hotel rooms and more with a wrist-based virtual wallet. But with the pace of Apple's U1 chip improvements and new features, I believe the next-gen smartwatch will have exclusive benefits for those who believe in UWB technology.  

Wait for Apple Watch 7: You're hopeful for a battery life boost

One report suggests Apple will use System in Package (SiP) tech from its Taiwanese supplier ASE Technology to make a double-sided S7 processor for the Apple Watch 7. That move is expected to free up some space inside the upcoming smartwatch

What will Apple do with the extra real estate? No one outside of the company can say for sure. But if there's a chance it could be used for a larger battery, it's worth waiting to find out.

The Apple Watch's battery life has been rated for 18 hours for several years now. And while the company has added more taxing features like an always-on display, you can't bypass a daily charge. Maybe with a larger battery capacity and a more efficient processor, the Apple Watch 7's stamina will improve compared to previous-generation models.

Buy Apple Watch 6: You're not convinced by the rumored health upgrades

It's OK to admit it: the Apple Watch 7 leaks have been boring. While the above reasons to wait to wait could convince some shoppers, it's possible the next Apple Watch won’t offer anything particularly interesting compared to the current Apple Watch 6. 

Now that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has arrived with body composition analysis, letting users estimate your body fat percent, muscle mass and more from their wrists, all eyes are on Apple to match with a breakout health upgrade of its own.

Previous rumors pointed to the Apple Watch 7 getting blood glucose monitoring. Now, the smartwatch doesn't seems due for it, even though it would’ve been a game-changer for users with diabetes or who want to track their blood sugar levels. That leaves us rumor-hunters with little to work with.

One Bloomberg report suggests the Apple Watch 7 will refresh the wearable's swim tracking features. Unless you're aquatically inclined, there might not be much else by ways of fitness upgrades to convince you the Apple Watch 6 is a less capable activity tracker than the Apple Watch 7.

Buy Apple Watch 6: You're a bargain hunter

Perhaps the best reason to buy the Apple Watch 6 now is the best Apple Watch deals giving major discounts to last year's smartwatch. The last I checked, you can find the Apple Watch 6 for up to $100 off select models. When the Apple Watch 7 comes out, it'll a few months until we see the newer model on sale. 

Keep in mind you can find deals on the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch 3, too, though those smartwatches have older chips and no always-on display.

You can also check our guide to the Apple Watch 7 vs. Apple Watch 6 for everything we know about the incoming upgrades, if you're still not sure if buying now or waiting is right for you.

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.