And so it came to pass! As was rumoured, Apple not only dropped the new Apple Watch Series 8 at its recent press event, but also the more rugged (and expensive) Apple Watch Ultra. But is the update cause for celebration, or a minimal update cash grab? Let's get into it...
It always made sense that 2022 would be the year for a bit of a shake-up in the Apple Watch vertical. The Apple Watch Series 7 was a fairly iterative update compared to the Series 6, boasting a bigger screen but otherwise more or less the same features. Well, the Apple Watch Series 8 certainly promises a bigger leap forward, boasting a temperature sensor that can track your temperature every five seconds, and a new crash detection feature.
Read on to learn exactly what the new watch has to offer in terms of design, features and price. And if you're not that impressed with what you see, check out our guide to the best Apple Watch Series 7 deals.
Apple Watch Series 8: design
Rumours had persisted that the new Apple Watch would sport a flat-edged design, but that didn't happen – not even for the Apple Watch Ultra. The Watch Series 8 maintained its rounded edges that Apple Watch owners are already familiar with.
And we'd be lying if we said that the design of the Series 8 is particularly exciting in any respect. It's pretty much as per the recent models, and though we certainly don't dislike the 6 and 7, we think the latest iteration would have been a great opportunity to come out with a more distinct look – especially as the new SE and Ultra look very much of the same family. Design win delayed!
Elsewhere in the realm of design, the aluminium versions of the Series 8 comes in four colours: midnight (black), starlight (a warm, pinky silver), silver, and red. You can also get a stainless steel model that comes in silver, gold, and graphite.
Apple Watch Series 8: Features
This is where the Apple Watch Series 8 gets interesting. First up, as you'd expect, the Series 8 has an always-on display, is dust-proof beyond the needs of even the most slovenly user, is swim-proof, and has a crack-resistant display, which is also edge-to-edge. Elsewhere, the Series 8 has fall detection, sleep tracking, ECG monitoring, irregular heartbeat notification, and blood oxygen sensors.
New to the Series 8 is a skin temperature sensor that promises to provide more accurate information about users' sleep cycles. There is also a new crash detection feature that will automatically notify emergency services if it identifies that the user has been in a crash. How it does this is pretty impressive, and includes multiple sensors that can accurately identify all sorts of types of crashes.
Perhaps the most topical new focus of the Series 8 is how it uses its heart rate, temperature and sleep tracking to offer insights into women's health, specifically insights into women's menstrual cycles. Prolonged, delayed, or abnormal periods will be flagged up. That's all great, but what is Apple doing with this information? Well, Apple is at pains to say: nothing! This information will be end-to-end encrypted, and Apple will not have access to any of it.
Apple Watch Series 8: Price
To get straight to it, the Apple Watch Series 8 comes at two main prices. The starting price for the GPS-only 41mm version will be $399/£419.
Going for the GPS-only 45mm model? That will cost you $429/£449.
If you want the cellular, 41mm model, that will cost you $499/£529.
Want the bigger 45mm cellular model? That will be $529/£549.
Of course, there are more variations to choose from, including Nike, but the above are going to be the most popular options (as per previous iterations).
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