Apple Watch Series 7 may seem like it offers minimal updates at first glance, but depending on what version you’re upgrading from, it can offer some big improvements. Read on for Apple Watch 7 vs Apple Watch 6 and earlier to help you decide which one to pick in 2022.

Since Apple Watch isn’t necessarily an every year upgrade for customers, we’ve included everything from Series 6 all the way down to Series 3 to give the best perspective on the differences between all the recent models.

While Apple Watch Series 8 is in the works, it likely won’t arrive until late 2022 alongside the iPhone 14.

Apple Watch 7 vs Apple Watch 6 and earlier

Processor and storage

Interestingly, it looks like Apple is using the same 64-bit dual-core processor in the Series 7 that launched in the Series 6. It is calling the SiP the “S7” but the processor is the same.

Apple Watch 7 vs S6 SiP

While you shouldn’t expect a speed bump from Series 6 to 7, if you’re coming from an earlier Apple Watch model you almost certainly will notice a faster, more responsive watch.

Another benefit, if you’re coming from a Series 3 or 4 to 7, is a jump in storage to 32GB.

Series 7 6 SE 5 4 3
SiP/Processor S7 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S6 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S5 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S5 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S4 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S3 SiP dual-core processor
U1 (ultra wideband)
Storage 32GB 32GB 32GB 32GB 16GB 8GB

Case and display

Apple Watch 7 vs Series 6, earlier - case and display

Two of the main changes with the Apple Watch Series 7 are a slightly larger case at 45 and 41mm and a larger display. It’s 20% bigger than Series 4-6/SE and 50% larger than the Series 3 display.

And no worries on bands, all previous Apple Watch bands fit the Series 7.

Series 7 6 SE 5 4 3
Case size 45/41mm 44/40mm 44/40mm 44/40mm 44/40mm 42/38mm
Display size 50% larger than Series 3 (20% bigger than Series 6 etc.) 30% larger than Series 3 30% larger than Series 3 30% larger than Series 3 30% larger than Series 3 563 sq mm
Always-on display

Another consideration is you’ll be getting the always-on display if you’re coming from Series 3, 4, or the SE.

Battery and charging

Another improvement with Apple Watch 7 vs its predecessors is 33% faster charging. That means going from 0-80% in 45 instead of around 60 minutes for the other models.

If you’re interested in using Apple Watch Series 7 for sleep tracking, you also get 8 hours worth of use from an 8-minute charge.

However, no improvement to the overall battery life, it’s still the same, up to 18 hours.

Series 7 6 SE 5 4 3
Battery life Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours Up to 18 hours
Charging 0-80% in 45 minutes + 8 min charge = 8 hours sleep tracking 0-80% in ~60 minutes 0-80% in ~60 minutes 0-80% in ~60 minutes 0-80% in ~60 minutes 0-80% in ~60 minutes

Key features

Here’s a look at some of the core features you’re getting with Apple Watch Series 7 vs the previous models.

Series 7 6 SE 5 4 3
ECG app
Blood Oxygen app
High/low heart rate notifications
Water resistant to 50m
Sleep tracking
Fall detection
Emergency SOS

Price

Apple Watch Series 7 comes in with a starting price of $399, the same as Series 6. Apple Watch SE from $279 remains in the lineup, with Series 3 holding on for another season at the entry price of $199.

Apple Watch 7 vs Series 6 and earlier wrap-up

Apple Watch 7 vs Series 6 and earlier - wrap-up

While Apple Watch Series 7 may feel more like Series 6S overall, if you’re thinking of upgrading from Series 3, 4, or SE, you get a larger than ever display, always-on screen, faster charging, and all of the available health features.

For more details, check out our guide on color comparisons, bands, and more.

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.