Apple Watch Series 7 Review | Apple Fitness+ Review – Runner’s World

Apple Watch Series 7 Review | Apple Fitness+ Review  Runner’s World

The launches today (from $399) with more customization, a bigger screen, and voice feedback. We tested the watch, along with updates to Apple Fitness+, to find the best features for runners. Here’s what to know about the latest launches.

The major update to Apple Watch Series 7–and my favorite feature—is simply the watch face itself. Thanks to larger display (the biggest yet) and thinner borders (just 1.7mm), it’s easier to see your stats on screen and read text messages mid-run, especially if you increase the text size in your settings.

This increase in screen size is also helpful for the main watch feature. With faces like Modular Duo, you can see two of your favorite stats, such as activity or heart rate, in bigger display. Other faces also allow you to add apps like workout, music, or weather, to the screen so you can access those functions with just the click of an icon.

Voice updates also stand out as a solid addition to Apple Watch Series 7, though you’ll also get them on Watch Series 3 and later when you update to watchOS 8. Whether you’re wearing AirPods, other Bluetooth headphones, or you run sans earbuds, the watch will deliver audio updates on pace and distance every mile. It also announces when you close your rings or if you’re ahead or behind pace (as long as you set pace alerts) and where you’re at in your goal (if you set one for distance, calories, or time). I love this feature specifically when doing mile repeats or when I want to zone out on a longer run, but still hit a specific pace—it keeps me from constantly checking my wrist, knowing I’ll hear an update automatically.

Apple

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple amazon.com

$499.00

With the watchOS 8 update, Apple’s fall detection also now applies to all workouts, including running. The algorithm got an update to detect when you take a hard spill specifically during an exercise session. When it senses the fall, it’ll initiate an alert, which you can either dismiss or use it to enact a call to emergency services.

One more watchOS 8 update I love: the Focus feature. It allows you to decide what notifications you get on the run. I was constantly getting news updates while trying to nail my splits—not a welcome distraction. But by setting up what apps I get alerts from and even what contacts I allow calls to come through, it keeps the constant news buzz at bay. This also kicks in right when I start a workout, no extra step required.

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In the Gym

Apple

Or rather, in your living room or anywhere you want to bring ($10/month; those with Apple Watch Series 3 or later get to try three months free). The best thing about Apple products is, of course, the seamless connectivity with other Apple devices. So, as you’re working out with Fitness+, you see your progress toward closing your activity rings right on screen. And now you have even more options for how to close those rings, including a new addition to the workout line-up: Pilates.

Pilates is a perfect cross-training activity for runners, as it brings a focus to the breath and the core, which runners need for strong posture and solid form on the road. For a traditional approach to Pilates, you can follow Marimba Gold-Watts sessions. But if you’re still not convinced that Pilates will help your athletic performance, then press play on Darryl Whiting’s workouts. A former pro football player, he’s probably not the person you associate with Pilates, but his sessions are challenging, uplifting, and just make you feel good (and likely, a little soreness in the abs the next day).

The brand also added Guided Meditations—a great way to get in the right headspace for a workout or simply de-stress from the day so you’re ready to hit your stride. New to meditation? They have a full program for beginners, which I love for the accountability. It’s easy to follow the program day-to-day when you have a full list of sessions to check off, plus each meditation is only 5 minutes so it’s easy to squeeze into your schedule. I found it helped me show the mind a little love, after focusing so much on the body during workouts.

Other Perks of the Apple Watch Series 7

For general health tracking, the Series 7 also takes blood oxygen readings and electrocardiogram (or ECG) measurements, helping to detect irregular heart rhythms. I tried both and they seemed seamless (definitely easy!), but I can’t verify their accuracy.

While I didn’t actually test the durability of the watch, the crack- and dust-resistant crystal is said to be the toughest of all previous watches and the first to withstand this debris. And while the battery life is the same from the Series 6 to the Series 7—about 11 hours for an indoor workout, seven hours with GPS, and six hours with GPS and cellular—it does have faster charging capabilities (33 percent faster, according to the brand).

As for looks, you have five more colors to choose from including Midnight (a black with a hint of navy blue), Starlight (a sand/off-white), an army green (my favorite!), a brighter dusty blue, and red. So take your pick, based on your style.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to comparing the Series 6 to the Series 7, the biggest upgrade is the watch size (bigger) and face (more options). So, if that appeals to you, it’s certainly worth the upgrade. But many of my favorite features come with the watchOS 8 update, so you could still get the features with your older watch.

If you’re still deciding on what wearable to turn to in general, know that Apple makes everything very user-friendly (especially if you already have an iPhone), and offers plenty of ways to improve your fitness and overall health, whether you just want to track your run stats or get other forms of exercise on the weekly schedule.

Senior Health and Fitness Editor Mallory Creveling, an ACE-certified personal trainer and RRCA-certified run coach, joined the Runner’s World team in August 2021.

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