The Apple Watch Series 8 may look relatively similar to last year’s Apple Watch 7 and, well, internally, it’s also quite similar.
The main focus will be on the new Apple Watch Ultrasure, but the Watch 8 offers the upgrade if you just want the base model.
Will it be that much different or is the ‘new’ Apple Watch 8 nothing more than a rebrand Watch Series 7? We put it on the wrist to find out.
Apple Watch 8 price and release date
You won’t be too shocked here (unless you live in the UK…thanks, inflation) – the Apple Watch Series 8 price is set at $399 for GPS and $499 for cellular in the US. In the UK it starts from £419 and £529 GPS with mobile, with no AU prices.
As for the Apple Watch 8 release date, you can pick one up starting September 16, with pre-orders open now.
The Apple Watch 8 doesn’t change much in design – the new colors are probably the most notable things in terms of how the new Watch compares to the Apple Watch 7.
If you need a refresher on what came last year: a bigger screen and push to 41mm/45mm chassis, yielding a slightly larger screen that could display more information, and that’s the shape we see on the Watch 8. .
The Watch 8 is available in two finishes, stainless steel and aluminum. The watch comes in four colors for the aluminum option: midnight, starlight, silver and product red, while silver, gold and graphite metal colorways are available for steel.
We definitely prefer the look of stainless steel, even though it’s a lot more expensive at $749 / £779. The Watch 8 also has the Digital Crown and the diamond-shaped app/power button on the right side of the device and the crystal-covered heart rate monitor on the back.
All this is the same as in previous years, and the only changes to come are completely under the hood. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad design at all – it fits nicely on the wrist, the screen (an OLED affair) is bright and clear as before, and spins easily under the finger.
We’ve only seen this in the Watch 7 before, so this is an iterative upgrade designed to attract Apple Watch users who are still using a Watch 4 or 5 and think it’s time to upgrade.
As for the screen, it has the handy always-on display that shows basic information when idle, before lighting up when the wrist is raised – in our early testing this was fast and accurate as usual, as the new S8 chipset inside drives business quickly and efficiently.
A new temperature sensor
As mentioned, the big changes to the Apple Watch 8 are inside, where there’s a new temperature sensor for measuring body heat and the new S8 chip that brings a few minor benefits.
Let’s take a look at the temperature sensor: When used overtime, it learns your body’s basal rate, and for those trying to conceive, it can tell when you started ovulating, which can help with your family planning.
Apple went to great lengths to point out that this was retroactive and wouldn’t be able to predict ovulation in the future, but rather give direction to those who want to track the movement in their bodies.
The brand also made it abundantly clear that this data can only ever be shared with anyone with explicit permission, so anyone concerned about their period data being disclosed or seen is in full control of themselves — not even Apple can see it.
The temperature changes are noticed using one sensor on the skin and another just below the screen on top of the Watch 8, meaning it can more accurately predict overnight how your body is responding to things like ovulation, illness, jet lag. and more.
It’s more of a tool to use than something that can provide specific guidance, but the Watch 8 temperature sensor seems to be quite accurate and can change fluctuations by up to 0.1 degree.
Car Accident Detection
Another new feature, but one that we can’t test at all, is the car accident detection feature. Using an improved gyroscope and accelerometer that can now detect G-force changes of up to 256G, Apple is pretty confident that the new Watch 8 will be able to tell when you’ve had a crash and immediately alert emergency services, so all the data should make you unconscious.
This only works when it’s on the move, so it uses GPS and connection to the iPhone to fully understand if the wearer is in a car – think of this feature as something that gives peace of mind, rather than a special reason to buy the new watch. buy 8.
It’s hard to sell if you can still get the Watch 7, or even the Watch 6 in some retailers, for much cheaper – buying the Watch 8 now feels like just investing in it For real comprehensive insurance just for peace of mind.
If every Apple Watch you can buy has a car crash detection, that’s a real reason to join Apple’s smartwatch camp, because it’s a brilliant feature. It’s just not enough to buy the Watch 8 on its own (especially if you also have it on the View SE 2 for a lot cheaper…)
In terms of health features, all those of the past are in place: detection of atrial fibrillation, blood oxygen, an EKG and more that can alert you to any anomalies.
Again, this is nothing new: given the plethora of older Apple Watch models still on sale, it’s hard to get excited about these new features as reasons to buy the new Watch 8.
Apple Watch 8 battery
The battery life of the Watch 8 is the same as normal: 18 hours, but can get through the night without too much worry.
Nothing to really talk about that, but there’s a power saving mode now, which can extend the battery life up to 30 hours. This new mode disables the always-on display, slows down some sensors that track your vital signs, and disables things like automatic exercise detection.
It is strange that this mode has not been added so far, but it is possible thanks to the new S8 chip that comes with the 2022 Watch models.
This is probably still too low for some people, especially if you want to track your body temperature at night. Apple recommends charging it before going to bed, or in the shower if you’re using the fast charger, but we’re not sure if this will be enough to prevent battery drain on most days.
The power-saving mode helps, but you can’t use it overnight to track the temperature when the sensors are turned off – so you’ll have to plan your usage a bit.
It’s really hard to get too excited about the new Watch 8, especially as the Watch Ultra shows just how much more can be gotten out of the device.
Apple’s habit of only slightly upgrading the device from the previous year is still evident here, playing with the fact that users simply go to the Apple Store to get the latest model rather than go with it. intent to buy a specific one.
That is, unless you’re currently into family planning and would love not to manually track your ovulation cycle, but let the watch on your wrist do the work for you.
Given that the Watch SE 2 has many of the new features of the Watch 8 and is a lot cheaper, that could see a spike in popularity for the entry-level model as there’s very little news about this latest device from Apple.