A few weeks ago, during its Far Out event, the Cupertino firm launched a wide variety of Apple Watch models. Interestingly, we got an all-new Ultra variant that caters to extreme athletes, in addition to a budget SE 2 model. While I’ve crowned the Apple Watch Series 8 as the best model for most users, I went ahead and bought the Series 7. Now, you must be wondering — why would a technophile who likes getting his hands on the latest and greatest Apple products consciously purchase an older product when a newer model exists? Let’s unpack!
Story Time: The first tick on my wrist
Shall we go all the way back to Christmas 2018? We shall! At the time, Apple had just released the Series 4 model. Back then, I was still a student struggling financially. So getting an Apple Watch to pair with my iPhone 6S was out of the question. That was until I casually participated in a nationwide giveaway. I was one of three lucky Apple Watch Series 4 Nike Edition winners.
I fell in love with it the moment I started the pairing process. It was seamless. Two products designed to perfectly support each other. After a few days of use, the Series 4 quickly grew on me — despite me typically preferring to keep my wrists clear. The Apple Watch turned into the pineapple topping my bland pizza. A savory addition that makes all the difference. But alas, most happy moments eventually come to an end. After a month of use, I had to bid the little fella farewell — as I needed some cash. It’s true that I only used that unit for a month before selling it. However, it did leave a semi-permanent mark on the heart it used to monitor at all times.
Apple Watch SE: The second set of hands on my arm
Around two years later, in 2020, I graduated from university and decided to treat myself. Coincidentally, the Cupertino overlord had just released the first affordable Apple Watch — the SE variant. As a fresh graduate, it made more sense to favor this model over the Series 6 it accompanied. While it lacked the ECG monitor I had on the Series 4 and AOD support, it did provide most of the features I’d expect from an Apple Watch. I got to take advantage of the tight ecosystem ties and track my fitness/activity.
A few weeks ago, the Apple Watch SE’s battery life started irritating me. After all, I had been using it every single day since its launch in 2020. So I decided to wait until the September event to buy the latest model with Always-On Display support. Apart from the battery, AOD was the biggest motivator for me to get a new model. Lo and behold, Apple releases the Series 8, and Mahmoud goes ahead and buys a Series 7 instead. Why?!
Apple Watch Series 7: Third time’s a charm
Let’s go back to last week. I’m sitting there in front of my MacBook contemplating which Apple Watch to buy. I had four options — the Series 7, Series 8, SE 2, and Ultra. The SE 2 was out of the question, as the whole point of me upgrading from the original SE is to get AOD support. Meanwhile, the Ultra is too large for my wrist. That’s not to mention that I am nowhere close to being an extreme athlete of any sorts, someone who needs the arguably-horrendous rugged design. This left me with two options — Apple Watch Series 7 vs Series 8.
Let me start with the pricing motivator because there’s a certain exception in my case. At this point, the Series 7 wouldn’t be a smart purchase if it shares the same price tag with the Series 8, obviously. Though, things are different in my particular case. I spotted a limited-time Series 7 deal on an authorized retailer’s website in my country. The price difference between the two models was around $100. So by settling for the year-old model, I’d save a decent amount of money. Had the Series 8 introduced notable changes, I would’ve been willing to pay the higher price tag. However, it does not. This brings me to the second argument.
Last year, I criticized the iPhone maker for depending on software exclusivities to market the Apple Watch Series 7. The company excluded certain new features on previous models, despite the offerings technically being compatible with them. This year, Apple ditched this strategy and didn’t include any Series 8 exclusives — apart from the new hardware, obviously. So by buying the Series 7 today, you only miss out on the new health monitors and sensors it has added to the 2022 model.
Arguably, the three biggest differences between the Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8 are crash detection, body temperature monitoring, and Bluetooth 5.3. Personally, I don’t drive and I prefer public transport — if I can’t just walk to my destination. So if I’m in a vehicle, it almost certainly is a crowded one. So in case of a crash, there are numerous people around to handle calling emergency services if I’m unable to, because of whatever reason. That’s not to mention that I plan to buy an iPhone 14 Pro, so I’ll have a crash-detecting device on me anyway.
As for the body temperature monitor, Apple is currently limiting it to track non-male reproductive health. As a male, this temperature monitor benefits me in no way. Lastly, it’s true that Bluetooth 5.3 is more efficient than 5.0. However, the difference likely won’t be noticeable to me and is certainly not worth $100 more.
Apart from the minor hardware upgrades, the Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8 look identical. You quite literally can’t tell them apart without reading the engraved model name. As someone who always goes for the darkest finish available, both watches offer the exact same Midnight shade. Neither of them offers exclusive watch faces, too. So for $100 less, I’m getting the exact same watch, minus the aforementioned, irrelevant (to me) sensors. The two models will likely remain supported for the same number of years, as well. That’s because both the S7 and S8 chips that power them respectively share the same CPU. Ultimately both models are fresh and future-proof. In fact, I’ll likely upgrade again before they lose watchOS support.
With the Apple Watch Series 7, I finally feel like I have the complete wearable experience. The thinner bezels, larger screen, and AOD support make my old SE look ancient. And now that I have ECG back, I can initiate scans every time my psychosomatic symptoms make it seem like I have a faulty heart. That’s not to mention the fast charging support that I had been missing out on.
At this point, I don’t see myself upgrading my Apple Watch again until the company introduces groundbreaking changes. These could be a complete chassis overhaul, some improved hardware functionalities, or notable health monitors. For now, I’m happy with my fresh Series 7, and I’m confident that in my particular case it was the wiser purchase decision.
Which Apple Watch model will you be buying, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.
The post Here’s why I upgraded to an Apple Watch Series 7 right after the Series 8 launch appeared first on XDA.
This post has been read 27 times!