This time, Apple announced a record-breaking three new Watches. There’s the entry-level Apple Watch SE, the new main Watch, called Series 8, and therefore the high-end Apple Watch Ultra which is aimed mostly at devotees of extreme sports.
It’s clearly the foremost advanced Watch but if, like me, you’re proud of swimming and yoga rather than rock climbing or other advanced exertions, then maybe Series 8 is what you ought to be considering.
Testing Series 8 since just after it had been announced. Here’s all you would like to know.
While it’s true that Series 8 matches the new design that Series 7 introduced with a much bigger display, taller case (41 and 45mm), and greater durability, this design has been updated.
Or a start, there’s a replacement temperature sensor, two actually. One is within the back crystal and the other is buried under the display on the front. But don’t spend time trying to find them, they’re not visible.
There are seven different finishes available, that’s four colors on the aluminum model and three on stainless steel. Aluminum has Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and PRODUCT(RED). There was no silver last year, and PRODUCT(RED) is outstandingly more sunshine this year.
Stainless steel watches come in the identical colors as previously, Graphite, Gold, and Silver. My review unit, aluminum in Midnight, looks terrific. Mostly black, it catches the sunshine sometimes and shines a little bit bluer.
Basically, though there are incredibly subtle design changes, the large updates are on the inside.
These include a replacement accelerometer that is capable of doing something very cool (or morbid, counting on your point of view). It can measure impacts up to 256g. This suggests that if heaven forbid, you’re involved in a car crash, the Watch will recognize what’s happened and may contact emergency services.
If you’ve got a GPS + Cellular Watch then it will make the call directly, but if you’ve got a GPS-only version without its own network connection then it uses your companion iPhone. the newest iPhones have crash detection, too, but this feature on the Watch works with some earlier iPhones, too.
It’s the feature we all hope to possess but never need, but it’s a reasonably cool extra to add.
The new temperature sensor is there to live changes in your temperature at night, so you would like to wear it while you sleep. this is often used by the female cycle tracking app to provide an estimate, retrospectively, to point likely ovulation, which is useful for family planning. Additionally, tracking temperature overnight can afford general insights into one’s health, Apple says.
You have to wear the Series 8 for five nights before data gleaned by the temperature sensor shows up in the health app and after that, it becomes a beneficial metric to identify how your baseline temperature is changing.
This will be down to lots of reasons and Apple isn’t using the sensor to tell you that you have a fever, as an example.
One software update worth mentioning: Backtrack. It’s right down to the newly redesigned Compass app for watchOS 9 and it works on this Watch and others back as far as Series 6 and the first SE.
It helps you discover your way back if you’re outdoors and have got lost, The app records GPS data so you’ll retrace your steps. you’ll turn this feature on yourself but if you’re going somewhere where there’s no wifi or cellular connection, the Watch spots this and automatically starts recording. this is often very cool.
Apple Watch Series 8: Performance
Apple’s smartwatches are slick and effective pretty much since day one, so it’s no surprise that this is often a fast and responsive device.
Some have commented that the new processor that powers it, S8, isn’t hugely different from the last chip or two.
Which will be, but the purpose is that Apple will have built it to be potent enough to do everything it needs to.
And as proof of that, look to the Apple Watch Ultra, which is meant to do more and has the same processor inside.
In other words, this Watch never keeps you waiting and delivers the foremost complex of its capabilities, like taking an ECG or measuring blood oxygen levels, which is another useful health metric, quickly and efficiently.
As with former Apple Watch models, this one has 18 hours of battery life. In practice, I’ve got literally never taken the Watch off at night without at least 20% charge left, usually nearer to 45%. Sleep tracking needs a minimum of 30%, so a fast top-up before going to bed will be needed if the Watch is running low.
Note that Series 8, like Series 7 before it, is capable of fast charging, providing you employ the powerful charging cable and puck that is supplied.
But there’s something else. a replacement low-power mode means that you can double the battery life to 36 hours (useful if you forgot to charge it last night and have a busy day today).
What’s more, it doesn’t turn the Watch into a zombie which will only tell you the time. you’ll still record workouts and play music, as an example. The always-on display will close up, however.
Apple Watch Series 8: How about the SE?
A new Apple Watch SE is landing stage now, too. It still supported the same design as the first SE, that is, the planning of Series 4, 5, and 6. However, Apple has managed to scale back the price, from $279 to $249 and up. Since the $199 Apple Watch has retired, this is often now the most affordable Watch.
For comparison, the Series 8 starts at $399, as it did for Series 7. That’s the 41mm aluminum with GPS. Add $30 for the more case size and $100 for cellular connectivity.
I’ve been testing the new SE also and it’s a great and great value. But whenever I used it, I missed the advanced health monitoring, the larger screen, and—most of all by a rustic mile—the always-on display.
Apple Watch Series 8: Verdict
At first glance, this might seem like a gentle upgrade, given the very fact that the design is almost unchanged and the only new sensor is a temperature sensor.
But that sensor does quite just help with family planning and I look forward to increased understanding of my health from wearing the Watch while I sleep. this is often a habit I have fallen out of and the new sensor had guided me back to it.
And then there’s crash finding, which I hope never to use but propositions considerable peace of mind. Similarly, the new extended battery life is extremely useful, during a pinch, whether or not I will miss the always-on display.
Apple Watch Ultra is coming and features a lot to offer, but some will find it too big, and most folks don’t need the extras it provides.
Series 8 is the Goldilocks Apple Watch.
Apple’s smartwatches have continuously led the sector and to be honest, whether or not there were no upgrades here, they still would.
The very fact that there are useful, even life-saving, improvements means the Apple Watch Series 8 outpaces its competitors without breaking a sweat.