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Apple Watch gets bigger, curved display

The new smartwatch design has a display that curves at its corners, along with enhanced durability, faster charging, and new aluminium case colours.

At the California Streaming event last night, Apple revealed the Watch Series 7, featuring a re-engineered Always-On Retina display with significantly more screen area and thinner borders.

The narrower borders allow the display to maximise screen area, while minimally changing the dimensions of the watch itself. The design is refined with softer, more rounded corners, and the display has a refractive edge that makes full-screen watch faces and apps appear to connect with the curvature of the case. Apple Watch Series 7 also features a user interface optimised for the larger display, offering greater readability and ease of use, plus two new watch faces — Contour and Modular Duo — which are both information-heavy for the large screen.

The rounded display on the Apple Watch Series 7.

The watch face is stronger, with a more crack-resistant front crystal glass. It is the first Apple Watch to have an IP6X certification for resistance to dust, and maintains a WR50 water resistance rating. It still features the previous model’s health features, like an electrical heart sensor and ECG app, and a Blood Oxygen sensor and app.

The new watches are now available in larger 41mm and 45mm sizes. While the wrist is down, the Always-On Retina display is up to 70% brighter indoors than that of the Series 6, making it possible to see the watch face without having to lift the wrist or wake the display.

The user interface is optimised to take advantage of the shape and size of the new display. It offers two additional larger font sizes, and a new QWERTY keyboard that can be tapped or swiped with QuickPath — allowing users to slide a finger to type — and utilises on-device machine learning to anticipate the next word, based on the context.

Swipe typing via a QWERTY keyboard on the watch display.

Since its launch in 2018, fall detection on the Apple Watch has proven to be a valuable safety tool, recognising if a user is immobile for approximately one minute if a hard fall is detected, and initiating a call to emergency services from the wrist. With watchOS 8, fall detection algorithms are updated and optimised for detecting falls during workouts — including cycling — and have been tuned to recognise the motion and impact of falls from a bike and other workout types.

The Apple Watch Series 7 models will be available later in 2021, and start at $399.

This device was launched alongside the new iPhone 13 and iPad Mini.

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