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Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 hands-on review: Smarter, faster and with twice the storage

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 doesn’t move the needle too far from its predecessor but promises improvements in a couple of key areas

Samsung has today expanded its Galaxy range with seven new AI-enhanced products, including the lifestyle and fitness-focused Samsung Galaxy Watch 7.

The follow-up to the Galaxy Watch 6 was revealed during a livestream that also saw the lid lifted on the Galaxy Watch Ultra, Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6 smartphones, Galaxy Buds3 and Buds3 Pro wireless earbuds and Galaxy Ring.

I attended a behind-closed-doors event at Samsung KX in London ahead of the livestream and spent some hands-on time with the manufacturer’s new wearables. While the Galaxy Watch 7 was slightly overshadowed by the reveal of the Galaxy Watch Ultra – Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch Ultra – it promises several improvements over its predecessor.

You can read about those upgrades below, along with my initial impressions of the latest iteration of Samsung’s popular smartwatch. I’ve also included a full breakdown of the specs for both the 44mm and 40mm options as well as information about its price and availability.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 7: Specifications, UK price and release date

  • Sizes: 44mm (44.4 x 44.4 x 9.7mm) or 40mm (40.4 x 40.4 x 9.7mm)
  • Weight: 44mm (33.8g) or 40mm (28.8g)
  • Colours: 44mm (green or silver), 40mm (green or cream)
  • Display: 44mm (1.5in 480 x 480 Super AMOLED) 40mm (1.3in 432 x 432 Super AMOLED)
  • Processor: Five-core Exynos W1000
  • Battery: 44mm (425mAH), 40mm (300mAH)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and LTE options
  • Dust and waterproof rating: IP68
  • Water depth rating: 5ATM (50m)
  • Memory and storage: 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage
  • Operating system: Wear OS 5
  • Price: 44mm BT (£319), 44mm LTE (£369), 40mm BT (£289), 40mm LTE (£339)
  • Available to preorder from 10 July, on sale 24 July

See the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 in action

I spent the day at Samsung KX in London for the launch of the new Galaxy Watch 7 – check out my footage of the event below.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 hands-on review: Key features

When it comes to size options and the touchscreen display, the Galaxy Watch 7 is unchanged from the model that came before it. There are 44mm and 40mm sizes to choose from, both of which use full-colour, always-on Super AMOLED displays. The larger model has a slightly higher resolution; 480 x 480 compared to its smaller sibling’s 432 x 432.

The first major upgrade comes to the processor. The Galaxy Watch 7 is powered by a brand new chip, the five-core Exynos W1000, which is Samsung’s first semiconductor to use a 3nm process. Samsung says this is three times faster than its predecessor and enables more seamless interaction with the watch’s Wear OS 5 interface, itself an upgrade on the Wear OS 4 found on last year’s models. Another welcome improvement sees storage upped from 16GB to 32GB on both sizes.

As you’d expect of a smart wearable designed for tracking your well-being, the Galaxy Watch 7 is crammed full of sensors. Samsung’s BioActive Sensor is effectively three sensors in one covering an optical bio-signal sensor, electrical heart signal and bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor. It’s been enhanced since last year and should now deliver more accurate results and more comprehensive readings. The watch’s GPS is said to be more precise this time around, too. 

You’ve also got a temperature sensor, accelerometer, barometer, gyro sensor, geomagnetic sensor and light sensor. All of this enables the watch to take readings of your heart rate, blood oxygen level, body composition and a whole lot more to provide insight into how well you sleep, your general health, and your fitness when exercising.

The Galaxy Watch 7 lacks the ocean swimming, operation temperature and altitude guarantee certifications of the Galaxy Watch Ultra but is still pretty durable. It’s dustproof and waterproof (IP68) and can withstand water pressure to a depth of 50m (5ATM).

Naturally, you’ll get the most out of the Galaxy Watch 7 when it’s used in conjunction with other Samsung devices harnessing the company’s Galaxy AI. Double pinch gestures on the watch enable you to execute various actions on a compatible smartphone, while wearing both the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Ring improves data accuracy (by combining data from the two devices) and extends the battery life of the Ring. Samsung also drew attention to a new AI-enabled feature: Suggested Replies. This does exactly what it says on the tin, proposing responses to messages based on previous conversations you’ve had with the person you’re in contact with. 

The final change is a relatively minor one and relates to the watch’s band. The Galaxy Watch 7 uses a new sport-stitch band in place of the smooth band found on the Watch 6.

Regarding battery life – a key concern for any potential smartwatch buyer – I wasn’t given a battery life estimate for the Galaxy Watch 7. Both sizes are likely to deliver similar results to their predecessors, however, as they run off the same 425mAh and 300mAh cells. To give you some idea of how that translates to real-world use, Samsung claimed the 44mm Galaxy Watch 6 was able to last up to 30 hours with the always-on display engaged. WPC-based wireless charging is supported on both models, as is fast charging.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 hands-on: Initial impressions

Samsung hasn’t tried to reinvent the wheel with the Galaxy Watch 7 but has incorporated upgrades in a couple of key areas, specifically to processing power and onboard storage. It’s also set to benefit from more advanced AI features and additional functionality when paired with other Galaxy ecosystem devices. 

I only got to spend a brief time wearing the watch – not nearly long enough to comment on its various health monitoring and tracking capabilities – but found it very comfortable to wear and pretty stylish, too. With countless ways to customise the clock face and easy navigation around the Wear OS, the user experience is a smooth and satisfying one. 

More pleasing still is that Samsung hasn’t raised the price. All four models available at launch cost the same as the Galaxy Watch 6 did when it was released last year. We can’t say whether they’re worth the money until they’ve undergone our rigorous testing process but we’ll be getting a review sample soon. 

We’ll also have reviews of the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6 in the coming weeks and should get the opportunity to put the Galaxy Ring, Galaxy Buds3 and Buds3 Pro through their paces, too. If you can’t wait until then, our best smartwatches, best smartphones and best wireless earbuds roundups will point you in the direction of some exceptional alternatives. 

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