Apple recently announced the new Apple Watch series 8 at the Far Out event on September 7. The Apple Watch Ultra stole the spotlight but we believe the Apple Watch Series 8 is better suited for most users. And thankfully, the Series 8 gets a couple of new hardware and software features over the Watch Series 7.
This include a new temperature sensor and crash detection. But are these upgrades enough to warrant an upgrade? In this article we’ll hopefully answer that question. Here’s a look at the Apple Watch Series 7 vs Series 8.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Series 7: Design
The Apple Watch Series 7 design carries over to the Apple Watch Series 8 design. From what we can tell, it’s the exact same build and design, down to the dimensions and weight. The biggest difference between the two watches are the color options, with the Apple Watch Series 8 coming in Midnight, Starlight, Silver and Product Red. Apple dropped the Blue and Green colors present with the Series 7.
While both come in aluminum and stainless steel, the Series 8 misses out on the Titanium build available with the Series 7, Apple saved the premium material for the new Watch Ultra. Something to note is that the watch bands are backwards compatible, meaning you can use the same bands on both watches.
Like the Series 7, the Apple Watch Series 8 has a thick front crystal display that makes it more resistant to cracks. You’ll also get an IP6X rating for dust resistance and a WR50 water resistance rating, this should make the watch suitable for those swimming sessions.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Series 7: Features
The new skin temperature sensor and the new Apple S8 SoC are the only notable hardware additions to the Apple Watch Series 8. Both the Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8 come with blood oxygen monitoring and an ECG app. Apple is promoting the new sensor as a tool for cycle and fertility tracking.
Its primary purpose is to help with more accurate menstrual cycle tracking when combined with the heart rate data and logged period data. The other feature Apple talked about a lot is Crash Detection, which is coming to all new iPhones and Apple Watches this year.
Of course, as Apple said during the presentation, this is a feature you’ll hopefully never have to use. But if you are unfortunately ever in a severe car crash, the Apple Watch will automatically connect you with emergency services, provide them with your location, and notify your emergency contacts.
The Series 8 comes with watchOS 9 and all its new software features. You’ll now get better sleep tracking with information about sleep stages, AFib (atrial fibrillation) history, medication reminders, and prescription management. Fitness enthusiasts will enjoy improved run and swim tracking, a new multi-sport mode, and the availability of more on-screen metrics with the upgraded Fitness app.
And there’s also a new QWERTY keyboard, plenty of new watch faces, and improved Calendar and Reminders apps, to name a few of the many changes coming with the latest Apple Watch software. Of course, the Series 7 will also be updated to watchOS 9, so most of these features won’t be exclusive to the Series 8 for long.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Series 7: Battery life
Both the Apple Watch Series 8 and Series 7 are rated to have 18 hours of battery life with regular fitness tracking, sleep-tracking and the always on display enabled. The battery life on the Series 7 is nothing to write home about and it was disappointing to see the Series 8 rated to have similar battery life.
Luckily Apple announced a new low power mode will disable certain power-draining features while leaving the device still mostly usable. With low power mode, the Apple Watch can last up to 36 hours. This is nearly double the watch’s battery life. All Apple Watch models after the Apple Watch Series 4 will get this feature.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Series 7: Price and colors
The Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8 have the same launch price. Both start at $399 for the smaller version of the watch without cellular connectivity. Upgrading to the larger size adds $30 to the price, while data connectivity will set you back an additional $100.
There are more similarities when we look at the color options available. With the aluminum build, you’ll get Midnight, Starlight, and Product Red with both watches. The Series 7 has green and blue as extra options, while the Series 8 introduces a new silver colorway. You’ll get graphite, silver, and gold with the stainless steel version with both series. The Series 7 also has a titanium build option in silver and black.
Should you upgrade?
If you already have the Apple Watch Series 7, there’s no reason to upgrade to the Series 8. Unless the temperature sensor and crash detection features are a must have.
Both watches are so similar that you don’t really lose out by skipping the Series 8. You get the exact same design and build quality, and Apple’s S7 SoC found in the Series 7 is already plenty capable. The battery life should be the same, and the feature set is largely similar.
The Apple Series 7 will also get the upgrade to Watch OS 9, so even the software experience will be the same. If you happen to own an older generation Apple Watch or are jumping into Apple’s wearables ecosystem for the first time, it’s perfectly understandable to pick the Apple Series 8 over the Series 7.
Anyone that doesn’t have an iPhone will have want look elsewhere as both the Series 7 and Series 8 are incompatible with Android phones. There are many great Apple Watch alternatives out there to choose from.
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