Apple Watch Series 8 – superficially the same with some tweaks under the hood

Apple Watch Series 8 – superficially the same with some tweaks under the hood

Mostly unchanged from last year’s model, the Apple Watch is still a good entryway into wearable tech

ON the surface, not much has changed between this year’s Apple Watch Series 8 and last year’s Series 7. It’s in the same dimensions, weighs the same, looks exactly the same, and has a similar battery life. And indeed, under the surface, beyond a few additions, it’s largely the same device.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is pretty much the embodiment of the idea of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That being said, it is a very intuitive smartwatch, certainly a good option for someone looking to get a new device that will hector you into at least attempting a more active lifestyle.

What’s new

A two-sensor design enables this Apple Watch to accurately capture wrist temperature while reducing bias from the outside environment and the user’s body. – Pic courtesy of Apple

Essentially, what differentiates this year’s model of Apple Watch from last year are the new temperature sensors, the Crash Detection feature that recently made its debut in the iPhone 14 lineup, more ways to assess your sleep patterns, an improved compass, and expanded features in the Workout app.

That’s about it, don’t expect a revolutionary jump. It seems a lot of the advancement went into the new Apple Watch Ultra, while the mainline Apple Watch held steady.

Now, the temperature sensor isn’t the kind you’d use to find out if you have a fever. It’s a bit more niche than that, only recording your body temperature while you sleep to analyse how your body functions.

By finding out your baseline wrist temperature, it will know if something is amiss if there’s a fluctuation.

For women, when the temperature sensor works alongside Cycle Tracking, the device can assist with period predictions and ovulation assessments.

The new temperature-related features are especially salient for women as it allows period predictions and ovulation assessments. – Pic courtesy of Apple

Crash Detection has been heavily pushed by Apple in the last couple months, and it’s the ultimate feature that can’t really be tested, as well as being something you’d be happy never utilising. It uses a whole bunch of sensors, from the gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, GPS to find out if you’ve been in a car crash.

In addition to keeping track of your sleep schedule, the Sleep app shows you how much time you spent in the different levels of sleep, such as REM, Core, Deep sleep, and when you wake up.

The Workout app has been fleshed out a bit more, going granular with things like heart rate zones, customisable workouts, as well as a whole bunch of new metrics for runners, which is probably the common exercise Apple Watch users do. Stuff like stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation.

watchOS 9

Some of the new additions from watchOS 9 include an improved compass and a more in depth Sleep app. – Haikal Fernandez pic

The thing is, those last couple of features are from the recently released watchOS 9. Which means those updates are also available for the last two generations of Apple Watches, which means upgrading to this new one isn’t necessary if you have one of those.

If you have an older, earlier-generation watch, then sure, an upgrade is an easier thought to stomach.

There’s also an improved compass app, something that was probably developed for the Ultra but that trickled down to the Series 8. With Backtrack and Compass Waypoints it should be harder to get lost if you’re of the hiking persuasion.

Same old, still good

Just some of the new watch faces available for download on Apple Watches, with quick and easy access to information with a flick of the wrist. – Haikal Fernandez pic

At the end of the day, the Apple Watch Series 8 is an extension of the Apple ecosystem you wear on your wrist. With the dozens of watch faces available, and just as many watch bands (both official and 3rd party), it’s just as much a fashion statement as anything else.

The 45mm (or the 41mm) watch has the same pleasing Always-On OLED display as last year’s, with a curved edge that maximises the screen size available. It ‘turns on’ when you bring it up to your face, but in its passive state is bright enough to tell the time from the corner of your eye.

The build of the device is just as sturdy and light as before, and though there is now a low-power mode, don’t expect to get that much more time in between charges. On a full charge, it can last for a day and a half.

Available in starlight, midnight, silver, and (PRODUCT)RED, with the (pricier) stainless steel cases in silver, graphite, and gold, the Apple Watch Series 8 starts at RM1,899, and comes with one band.

For comparison, last year’s Series 7 started at RM1,749, just another reminder of inflation.

source – The Vibes

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