Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley reviews the series 7 Apple Watch.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Apple's Series 7 Watch is here. It's available for pre-order right now. It's going to be in stores tomorrow, but is the latest generation of the world's most popular smartwatch really worth it? Thankfully, we have our tech editor Dan Howley here who's already tried it out and he's going to let us know. So Dan, should I run out and buy this as a Christmas gift?
DAN HOWLEY: Oof. It depends on if you have an older one or a newer one. I have right here the Series 7. I'm trying to line it up nice and easy there. On the right side-- or your left, I don't know how cameras work-- this is the Series 7. In the middle is the Series 6. You can see a slight size difference. And at the very end, you can see this is the Series 3 and how much smaller that is.
The big thing about the Series 7 is that size difference. Its screen is 20% larger than the Series 6 and 5 and 4 and 50% larger than the Series 3. So really, it comes down to screen size. If you have a 4 or 3, a 4's a little long in the tooth at this point. The 3 is, you know, frankly, if you're looking for a watch I wouldn't even buy the 3 anymore just because of how much older it is. But if you have any of those, then I think it's worth upgrading.
If you have a 5 or 6, well, there's really no reason. And let me just give you a rundown of what actually comes with this. So in addition to that screen size, Apple has also made the watch more durable. The screen is now more crack resistant, so that means that if you drop it or if you go running or if you're like me and you just knock your wrist into random railings and doorknobs, then it won't crack as much. Now, I never had a problem with my Series 5 or 6 and I bump into everything because I'm clumsy, so I don't think that's going to be a big issue, but the fact that it is more crack resistant is really important.
The other big change is dust resistance. Now, that's something that you may run into if you're at the beach or you go on a dusty trail or you just, I don't know, hang out in dusty rooms, I guess. That'll prevent the watch from really breaking if it has any dust kind of forced inside of it. Now, again, I had the Series 6, I dropped that at the beach, it got covered in sand, and I just rinsed it off and it was good to go. So I don't really think the prior generations were bad, it's just now that there's a peace of mind and actually a guarantee from Apple that it's able to handle that.
Beyond those, really the larger screen provides you with some tangible benefits. There's bigger text that makes things easier to read. So if you're going through text messages there's a lot more on-screen content. If you have vision problems you can increase the size of the font two extra times now and it makes it far easier to read than the prior generation watches. And inside when you have the always-on display active, the screen is going to be a little bit brighter than the prior generation. So if you just want to give a quick glance and you don't want to activate the full display you'll be able to see it much more than before. And there's also faster charging on this version.
So I do think overall, if you don't have an Apple Watch, definitely go with this one and if you're interested in one. If you have a prior generation of the 4 or earlier go with the 7. I think the older ones are just kind of getting long in the tooth at this point, not going to have the same kind of performance. But if you have the 5 or 6, hold out for another year, maybe two, and let's see what's coming out in the next generation.
- Hey Don, as you can see, I just have a regular watch. I think I'm the only one that doesn't have one of these Apple Watches. But talk to me, if I want it for Christmas, what's the inventory going to be like because we've already heard about Apple possibly having production cuts for its iPhone and its iPads based on chip shortages. Are we hearing anything on the watches?
DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, it'll be interesting. I mean, this also runs a version of Apple's custom ARM-based chip, so it's going to be the same style that they had in the Series 6. In fact, it's the same speed. It's just got a different name this time around. So I'm not sure if there will be any shortages as a result of that, but if there are we'll certainly hear about it in Apple's upcoming earnings report.
They're also, by the way, expecting to announce new MacBooks and Macs as well as potentially new AirPods on Monday at another event, and how much those are impacted by the chip shortage also remains to be seen because we haven't heard anything quite yet from any analyst or Apple itself, but perhaps we'll get more color on that during its next earnings call.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right. Thanks for a little insight there on the new Apple Watch, tech editor Dan Howley.