The new Apple Watch Series 8 is here with new sensors and features, but are they good enough reasons for you to buy one? Read on.
Apple surprised the world in its keynote last September with its announcement of not one, not two, but three new Apple Watches: the SE, the Series 8, and the brand-new Ultra. The SE is the budget-friendly watch while the Ultra is meant for serious outdoorsmen, and it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. The Series 8 is meant to be a good middle ground for those who have a limited budget but still want to experience what the Apple Watch has to offer. For the most part though, the Series 8 is “same same but different”.
The pros and cons of the Apple Watch Series 8
Like most of what Apple has released recently, the Series 8 doesn’t look different from its predecessors. But like other Apple recent Apple devices, the improvements are found under the hood. For example, the Series 8 comes with a set of new sensors that sense the user’s wrist temperature. While Apple didn’t claim it can help you determine whether you have a fever or not, it does help you track temperature changes when you’ve had a few drinks in you or after a workout.
Okay, I hear some of you saying that that isn’t exactly helpful. However, the temperature sensing feature does come in handy for women who are tracking their cycles. Because of it, the Series 8 can give women an estimate on when they’re ovulating or if they had any cycle deviations. This, like all of the health data on the Watch, is encrypted, and two-factor authentication can be applied to put you more at ease. For the user, though, it’s very easy to simply download the data or send it to your physician with just a click of a button.
The Series 8 also comes with Crash Detection, a feature I haven’t tested out and I pray I’ll never have to. The cellular model will be able to call emergency services by itself, but non-cellular ones will have to be connected to an iPhone for that. And if you have an iPhone 14, then you already have Crash Detection on your phone as well.
The new watchOS 9 also updates some of the usual apps used on the Watch like the Workout app. Some of the workout options have been redesigned with added metrics and easier visibility when you’re running or cycling. Sleep tracking now has more data and provides more insights. The Calendar app on the Watch has also been redesigned so that you’re able to see your day at a glance with much more ease. Finally, the new Medications app allows you to make a list of your meds and also set up alerts so that you won’t forget when to take them.
watchOS 9 also brings Low Power mode to the Watch. When on, it still keeps vital features like Crash Detection enabled but turns off others like the Always-On Display to preserve battery life. However, I haven’t found a need to use it since the Series 8’s 18-hour battery life is enough for me. As long as I charge it while I’m taking a shower in the evening and in the morning, it’s good to go when I go to sleep and go to work.
While the Watch itself doesn’t deviate from its predecessor’s design, there are a couple of new loops and bands available. The different matte finishes also give each Watch a slightly different flair. I shouldn’t also forget the fact that the watchOS 9 also gives you a couple of new watch faces to play around with.
The features exclusive to the Series 8 are the Temperature Sensor, Crash Detection, and… well, that’s it really. The watchOS 9 features are not exclusive to the Series 8, so the new apps and Low Power Mode are all available to Watches that are watchOS 9-compatible.
To buy or not to buy?
This depends on where you’re coming from. If this is going to be your first Apple Watch and you don’t want to break your bank with the Ultra, then by all means go for it. You’ll get the best the Apple Watch has to offer, Ultra aside. If you’re upgrading from a previous Watch, that depends on which model you’re upgrading from. Series 4 and lower? Might be time to change it up. But there might not be enough to tempt those with Series 5 and above to upgrade to the Series 8.
The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at a price of Rs 45,900. Visit the Apple website for more info or to buy online.