It’s big, and bold and really does stand out – that’s the screen on the new Apple Watch Series 7 and despite knowing what was coming after the announcement last month, it still took me by surprise on the wrist.

In reality, the look and design of the Apple Watch hasn’t changed since the original, it’s just grown up, maturing if you like. And while the Series 7 is a big change, it’s all incremental but well worth it.

Bigger Screen & Watch Size

When we talk about computer monitors, even phones there’s talk of size in inches, thickness, weight and all that.

But with watches, it’s a game of millimetres and in fact Apple doesn’t give much more than the case size in terms of specifications.

The Apple Watch started – for perspective, was available in 38mm and 42mm sizes. That jumped to 40 and 44mm in later models, and the Series 7 takes that to 41 and 45 mm case sizes.

That extra millimetre isn’t really noticeable at all on the wrist, sitting it side by side with the Series 6 it took a solid stare to even notice a difference.

Where the different comes in is when the screen turns on and you throw an image on screen or a full colour watch-face.

In the fame of inches, the Series 3 had a 1.54 inch display. Series 6 took that to 1.78inches. Series 7 has a 1.9 inch screen which while that doesn’t sound much bigger, it’s a huge jump.

50% more screen than the Series 3 – given I think Series 3 owners and older are the likely target for Series 7 – this is going to be a game changer.

Brighter always-on display

In addition to the screen being bigger, it’s also brighter when you’re using that “always on” display which launched first with the Series 5 – allowing you to glance at your watch rather than raise and twist your wrist to see what’s happening.

You can now type on a full keyboard with the Apple Watch Series 7

Crazy right?? This is so much more insane than a Casio Calculator watch. I think just to big-note and show off this new bigger screen on the Apple Watch Series 7 they have built into any area you can compose text a full keyboard.

You can tap and type every individual letter. As if to channel Homer Simpson, I just felt too fat fingered too often. Fortunately autocorrect got me through. A better approach is quick path or swipe typing where you drag your finger across all the letters of the word and it just appears – very cool.

Both though, are not really that useful. Personally, I’ll stick with the cannned responses the watch offers, or voice dictation.

New Apple Watch Series 7 Watch Faces

The new Contour watch face is funky. Apple designed this to capitalise and throw the new bigger screen in your face.

A bold colour, with numbers squeezed against the edge – the larger or bolder the number – that’s the current hour. It’s nice.

There’s a couple of more complex watch faces too which essentially put more info on the screen than you’d expect – again – showing just how much you can fit on the bigger screen.

For me though, the Portrait watch face is still the best to really showcase the big Apple Watch screen. Your photos show right to the edge of the screen, so if you’ve got a Series 3, this will freak you out.

New Colours

Check these out. The new Aluminium colours (Midnight, Starlight, Blue, Green, Red) look the goods.

The Blue is lighter than the Series 6 was, and the new green is quite dark, to the point where it seems black from a distance. I think that’s a good thing.

If you want Gold, Silver or the Graphite Stainless Steel models you’re paying a lot more, almost a $500 premium .

For most though, the coloured Aluminium will tick the boxes no doubt.

Crack resistant screen?

Not something I tested – I haven’t gotten that level of courage with Apple products frankly:). But Apple say this is the strongest front crystal on an Apple Watch.

When I asked what this related to, it was clearly about the CRACKING potential. I’ve seen very few cracked watch screens, but when they go they go. So that extra peace of mind will be great.

Faster Charging

Another big advantage of the Series 7 is charge time – up to 33% faster than the previous models. Just 8 minutes of charge gives you 8 hours of sleep tracking – Apple say this because they know that the big limitation of the great sleep tracking features is that’s the time I’m normally charging this device.

If you want to try tracking the day and night, you need to charge faster so the new USB-C charging cable does that, with 0-80% charge in 45 mins that’s really helpful.

And while I experienced absolute full-day life from the Apple Watch Series 7 (Today, 14 hours after putting it on, the battery is at 38%) – I’m still sticking with my charge and sleep routine. I just find myself forgetting if I was meant to charge when I’m getting ready in the morning and perhaps during dinner at night.

So – Should I buy the Apple Watch Series 7?

Anyone with an older model Apple Watch will love the improvements the Series 7 brings. A perfect upgrade frankly.

For those who’ve never had an Apple Watch there will be no disappointment owning the Series 7.

If you have a Series 5, 6 or even an SE – don’t get FOMO. That big screen is a stunner, but unless you’re doing very well, I wouldn’t rush out and upgrade.

It’s hard to imagine where they go next – but, for now it’s a cracker of a smartwatch.