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The new Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 looks great. But there’s a catch

Two Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 smartwatches laying next to each other on a table.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

This is a big year for Samsung’s smartwatches — specifically because of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra. It’s a brand new type of smartwatch for the company, has a truly wild design, and is bound to be a controversial release due to its striking resemblances to the Apple Watch Ultra. But that’s not the only smartwatch Samsung’s launching this year.

Alongside its Ultra wearable, Samsung has also announced the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7. It’s not nearly as flashy as its Ultra sibling, but it’s likely the Galaxy Watch most people will actually buy. It has a more approachable design, many of the same new features as the Galaxy Watch Ultra, and is hundreds of dollars cheaper, too.

I had a chance to use and wear the Galaxy Watch 7 ahead of its release, and while it seems like a perfectly fine wearable, it’s also one I feel completely indifferent about.

The Galaxy Watch 7 looks like a great smartwatch

The display turned on on the Galaxy Watch 7.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Let me make something clear: The Galaxy Watch 7 doesn’t look like a bad smartwatch at all. In fact, it looks like a darn good one. The design is virtually unchanged from that of the Galaxy Watch 6, which means you get a nearly bezel-less display, two sizes (40mm and 44mm), and a standard 20mm connector for watch bands. The fit and finish are excellent in person, and it feels every bit as polished as the Galaxy Watch 6 does — which is to say, very.

There’s also a significant under-the-hood upgrade. Powering the Galaxy Watch 7 is the same chip inside the Galaxy Watch Ultra: Samsung’s new 3nm Exynos W1000. Paired with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, it’s a promising step up from the 5nm chip and 16GB of storage inside the Galaxy Watch 6.

The Energy Score feature on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

You’ve also got some new health features to check out this year. The most interesting is Energy Score, which uses “on-device AI” to analyze numerous health metrics (including your average sleep time, daily activity, heart rate, and more) to give you a score of 1 to 100 telling you how ready you are to take on the day ahead. It’s a very similar concept to the Readiness score on the Oura Ring, and it’s a feature I’m rather excited to use. One of my main complaints about Samsung Health is that it tracks a lot of data without clearly explaining what it means, and Energy Score looks like a great way to do something useful with that data.

Wellness Tips is the other new feature. Similar to Energy Score, it takes all of the health data from your Galaxy Watch and tries to do something productive with it. In this case, it offers wellness tips (hence the name) and suggestions based on your body. For example, if you haven’t been sleeping well, the Galaxy Watch 7 may recommend you go to bed sooner.

So, what’s the catch?

Three Galaxy Watch 7 smartwatches next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Honestly, I have very little to complain about with the Galaxy Watch 7. It looks good, the display is excellent, it’s very fast, the health features are better than ever, and it should deliver excellent battery life just like its predecessor. If everything’s so peachy, what’s the catch?

It all comes down to the fact that the Galaxy Watch 7 really isn’t very different from the Galaxy Watch 6. The new chipset is nice, but the Galaxy Watch 6 is already plenty fast. The new health features are promising, but there’s always the chance they may come to older Galaxy Watch models down the road. Other aspects that make the Galaxy Watch 7 great — like its display and design — are no different than last year’s watch.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 laying on a table.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

If you’re in the market for a new Samsung smartwatch and haven’t bought one in a while, the Galaxy Watch 7 will probably be the one to buy. But if you already have the Galaxy Watch 6, and possibly even the Galaxy Watch 5, it’ll be a lot harder to justify spending another $300 on this year’s model. It’s bound to be a very good smartwatch, but it’s also far from an exciting one.

Preorders for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 are open now.

Joe Maring
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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