One of the big improvements of the Apple Watch 7 is that it charges 33% faster than its predecessor, meaning it can go from an empty battery to one that’s 80% full in just 45 minutes.
But for this speedy charging, it needs the right charger, as Gizmodo (opens in new tab) has discovered. If you attach the Apple Watch 7 to a previous generation charger, the wearable will top up at the kind of speed you’d expect from its slower predecessors.
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For reference, the Apple Watch 6 can fully charge in an hour and a half: not exactly sloth like, but not blazing fast if you need a top up in a hurry.
This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re careful. As Gizmodo noted, Apple has seen fit to include a fast charger in the box and has also gone ahead and replaced the slow charger with the newer, faster one on its website (opens in new tab) if you want to buy a spare for the office.
That said, the cables do look remarkably similar so it’s easy to pick up the wrong one if you’re in a hurry, or indeed to purchase the discontinued one from another vendor by mistake. The key is to look for the connector used: previous generations used USB-A, while the newer ones use the smaller, oval shaped USB-C connector.
Weirdly, you may already have one, even a week before the Apple Watch 7 hits shops. Back in September, MacRumors (opens in new tab) reported that the cheaper Apple Watch SE now comes with the USB-C fast charger in the box, even though it’s incapable of reaching the speeds that the puck supports. That’s a clear sign that when Apple says that the old charger is discontinued (opens in new tab), it really means it: it must just be more cost effective to build one charger, even if it is technologically more advanced.
Pre-orders for the Apple Watch 7 opened yesterday, and early adopters should have the new wearable on their wrists on October 15. Prices start at $399 for the 41mm model and rise to $429 for the 45mm version. If you want cellular connectivity, you’ll pay an extra premium, with prices starting at $499 and $529 respectively.