The bigger screen in the Apple Watch Series 7 means that new watch faces are on the way.
Previous reports have already revealed that Apple is increasing the size of the Apple Watch to 41mm and 45mm, respectively. As reported by Bloomberg, that will increase the screen size on the larger model from 1.78 inches to 1.9 inches.
The report also says that the 41mm Apple Watch Series 7 will feature a resolution of 396 by 484, a 16% increase over the current model.
The watches will be marketed as 41 millimeters and 45 millimeters, an increase from the current 40- and 44-millimeter versions, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the specifications aren’t yet public. But those sizes refer to the vertical dimension of the case. The new screen itself — measured diagonally — will be about 1.9 inches on the larger model, up from 1.78 inches.
The bigger model will have a resolution of 396 by 484, versus 368 by 448 on the model it’s replacing. That increase means the device will have about 16% more pixels, allowing it to show more so-called complications — an industry term for the bits of information that appear on watches. The smaller model will see a similar jump, but both watches will have thinner borders around the screens.
According to Mark Gurman, Apple is taking advantage of the larger screen size and pixel density with a series of new watch faces including Modular Max, Continuum, World Time, and special editions for its Hermes and Nike-branded watches:
- A new face, dubbed Modular Max, will show the time digitally alongside one small complication — showing information like the day of the week, outside temperature or quick access to an app — with larger complications that span the length of the screen stacked on top of each other below. That’s an upgrade from the current Infograph Modular, which can show only one large complication.
- A face dubbed Continuum will change based on the flow of time and the current hour.
- A world time watch face — called Atlas and World Timer internally — will let a user see all 24 time zones simultaneously. An external dial shows the time zones, while the inner dial shows the time in each location. Users will be able to choose to see the time in either digital or analog. This watch face is similar to ones popularized by Patek Philippe, Breitling and Vacheron Constantin.
- Apple is also working on new faces for its Hermes and Nike-branded Apple Watches. The Hermes version has numbers that change hour by hour, while a new Nike face features numbers that move based on a person’s motion.
This is only the second time in the history of the Apple Watch that the company has bumped up the screen size. The last increase was in 2018 with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 4. But Apple’s not alone in embracing a nearly 2-inch screen. Oppo put a 1.9-inch display last year on its namesake device, which looks similar to the Apple Watch.
A report from earlier this week speculated that Apple is running into production issues with the Apple Watch Series 7 that could lead to delays or inventory constraints. According to Bloomberg, the issue could be with a new lamination technique that Apple is using with its latest smartwatch.
The Apple Watch Series 7 will get other upgrades. The new models will feature a faster processor and a redesigned case with flatter edges. The new screen is designed with a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the cover glass. That, among other issues, has led to production hiccups that could either delay the ship date of the Series 7 or result in supply shortages at launch.
Apple is expected to announce the Apple Watch Series 7 as soon as this month. The company is expected to host a virtual iPhone 13 event on September 14, so it is possible that we could see the Apple Watch Series 7 at that event as well.