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Like many people looking for ways to stay active, I’ve experimented with my fair share of fitness trackers for motivation, from Fitbits to Apple Watches. I recently upgraded to the Apple Watch 7, and after a month of all-day, everyday use, I’ve realized it’s worth every penny.
Apple describes the Series 7 model as “the fitness partner that fits on your wrist.” It’s certainly a capable smartwatch, but it does more than track health metrics and fitness goals. For me, it added context to the data, and in turn, made me more self-aware and motivated to be active.
Here’s what it’s been like using Apple Watch 7 for the past month and why I’m recommending it to everyone I know.
What is Apple Watch 7?
Apple Watch 7 tracks essential health and fitness information, but instead of simply displaying data, it makes meaningful connections to provide valuable insights. According to Apple, “It’s always looking out for you,” and in many ways, it’s a true companion device that is more in sync with your body than other smartwatches.
How Apple Watch 7 works
Apple Watch 7 builds on the advanced functionality of the Series 6 model, precisely measuring blood-oxygen levels and heart rhythms. It has a slightly faster S7 processor, giving it the speed to deliver real-time insights to the wearer. For instance, it features colorful activity rings to explain not only how active I’ve been during the day, but how close I am to reaching my daily activity goals. The rings update with every movement, big or small.
What you need to know before purchasing Apple Watch 7
Most Apple users will be pleased to see how easily — and quickly — Apple Watch 7 integrates with the Apple ecosystem. Setup is simple and straightforward. With that said, I experienced a small learning curve with the new interface, but this wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.
Besides using it for fitness tracking, my next-favorite way to use Apple Watch 7 is as a GPS — in particular, as a navigation system in my car. It calls out clear, easy-to-understand directions while I’m driving and sends haptic feedback when it’s time to turn. It’s a viable alternative to smartphone navigation apps and standalone GPS units.
The Series 7 tracks activity and delivers insights no matter what you do, but for more accurate readings, you should utilize its pre-set programs for specialized activities. I received more reliable insights when I selected the running, swimming and weight training programs.
How Apple Watch 7 compares to other smartwatches
Apple Watch 7 is more durable than many smartwatches I’ve used, given its IPX6 dust resistance, 50m water resistance and thicker crystal. The large display and updated interface make it easy to access touchpoints without accidentally thumbing over the wrong ones. There’s a new QWERTY keyboard for composing messages, a discreet alternative to speaking into your wrist.
Where to buy Apple Watch 7
I’m using the Apple Watch 7 Series 41mm model, available at Amazon for $479.99. Other Series 7 models range in price from $399-$749. The price depends on band style, case type and whether it has cellular capabilities.
Other smartwatches and fitness trackers worth considering
The Apple Watch 6 tracks blood oxygen levels and checks heart rhythm with a built-in ECG app. It features an upgraded processor, which makes it nearly 20% faster than Series 5 models.
Sold by Amazon
Sleek and discreet, the Fitbit Luxe is a stylish spin on everyday smartwatches. It comes with a six-month Fitbit Premium trial that unlocks access to personalized health and fitness guidance.
The Garmin Venu 2 pairs with both Android and Apple smartphones and has a built-in PulseOx sensor. It has 25 preloaded activity programs and lets users download up to 650 songs.
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.