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 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 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 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, 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.