Apple Watch Series 7 preorders open: Tough choices and long waits

The Apple Watch Series 7 is up for preorder, and you'd be forgiven for being a little confused – and more than a little impatient – if you're trying to get your order in today. With two sizes, four collections, three case materials, and ten different finishes, it's arguably the toughest decision to make out of everything in Apple's line-up, and that's before you get to bands and straps.

Announced in September, the Apple Watch Series 7 offers a few key improvements over its Series 6 predecessor. Most obvious is the new screen, with a larger Retina display that spills over the edges of the fascia. It has nearly 20-percent more screen area than the Apple Watch Series 6, the company claims.

It's also protected by a more crack-resistant front crystal cover glass. Battery life is the same as before, but the new Apple Watch can charge up to 33-percent faster than last year's model. Plus, it's IP6X dust resistant and has the now-familiar blood oxygen and ECG sensors.

The cheapest Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $399 for a 41mm aluminum WiFi model, with a Sport Loop band. The larger, 45mm version starts at $429. If you want cellular connectivity baked-in, those prices rise to $499 and $529 respectively. It's worth noting that you'll need to add the Apple Watch Series 7 to a carrier plan, too, which is going to cost you a little extra each month.

Aluminum models are available in five finishes: Midnight (aka black), Starlight (aka a golden-silver), Green, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED. There's no regular silver this year.

The Apple Watch Series 7 stainless steel starts at $699 for the 41mm, and $749 for the 45mm. Finally, the most expensive titanium versions start at $799 for the 41mm, and $849 for the 45mm. It's worth noting that Apple only sells the stainless steel and titanium models in GPS + Cellular form, though you don't need to activate the data connection if you don't want to.

Stainless steel models are offered in Silver, Gold, and Graphite. Titanium models come in a Titanium and a Space Black finish.

As for straps and bands, Apple has its usual array of Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, Sport Loop, Nylon, Leather, and Stainless Steel options. There are some new choices for 2021 and the Apple Watch Series 7, but it's also worth noting that your existing bands should be compatible, too. For some, you'll need to know your wist size, with Apple scaling them between 1 and 12.

For that, you can print out Apple's size guide, cut out the strip of paper, and wrap it around your wrist to figure out which number you're closest to. Just make sure to print it at 100-percent, so as to be accurate.

The downside to all this is that, since preorders for Apple Watch Series 7 opened earlier this morning, shipping times are already spiraling out through 2021. Officially, orders start shipping next Friday, October 15. If you want a regular 45mm aluminum watch, though, you're now looking at a ship time in early November.