Situated between the Apple Watch SE (2022) and Apple Watch Ultra is the Apple Watch Series 8. These three wearable devices were announced on 7 September 2022 during an Apple Special Event and they represent the newer generations of the Apple Watch product line for 2022.
Pros of Apple Watch Series 8: Notable Features and Advantages
The Series 8 is fundamentally a mid-range Apple Watch. It is a bit more expensive than the SE but is more affordable than the Ultra. Furthermore, it is bigger than the SE but a bit lighter than the Ultra. It is an ideal smartwatch for individuals upgrading from the previous generations of Apple Watch and even for first-time Apple Watch users.
Most of the features and improvements of the Apple Watch Series 8 are best understood by comparing it to the previous Apple Watch Series 7. This smartwatch features more precise accelerometers and gyroscopes, a new temperature sensor, a bigger OLED display, a smoother user interface and overall performance, and new color options.
Below are the major features of this smartwatch:
• Biometrics Sensors: This smartwatch from Apple retains the same biometrics sensors found in Series 7 and Series 6. These include sensors for monitoring blood oxygen, heart rate, sleep, electrocardiogram, and elevation. Note that the Watch Series product line is marketed as a health and fitness wearable device.
• Temperature Sensor: What sets the Apple Series 8 apart from the Apple Watch Series 7 and previous generations is the inclusion of a new temperature sensor. It provides two additional health monitoring features: collecting and tracking data about menstrual cycles, predicting fertility, and tracking wrist temperature during bedtime to provide additional data about the sleeping part of a particular user.
• Design and Durability: The overall look is similar to the Series 7. It comes in 41mm and 45mm case sizes. The device is also crack-resistant, IP6X dust-resistant, and WR50 water-resistant for up to 50 meters. However, it has a 20 percent larger Always-On OLED screen than the Series 7. The screen is also brighter than the Series 6.
• Key Fitness Tracking: This smartwatch is a physical activity companion. Its Workout app records several workouts or exercises such as running, squatting, swimming, and cycling, among others. The workouts are also customizable around actual activity and recovery periods. The Heart Rate Zones actively records the heart rate to track workout intensities and heart rates in between activity and rest.
• Crash Detection: It also has a crash detection feature that detects if a user is in a severe car crash or hard fall using all relevant sensors and automatically dials designated emergency numbers such as emergency responders and other pertinent contacts. Note that the iPhone 14 line also has a car-crash detection feature.
• Batter Performance: Apple has managed to develop smartwatches with excellent battery life. The newer watchOS 9 now has a Low Power mode for conserving the battery further. Note that this specific smartwatch can last between 18 to 36 hours on a single charge. It also has fast charging that provides a 50 percent charge for 30 minutes and a 100 percent charge for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
• Overall Smart Wearable: The Apple Watch Series 8 is an all-around smart device. It pairs with the iPhone and can be used as a standalone device. The large selection of watchOS apps makes it ideal for communication, scheduling and organizing, office productivity, and even electronic payments and digital access.
Cons of Apple Watch Series 8: Drawbacks and Major Issues
The features listed and described above make the Apple Watch Series 8 a true smartwatch and wearable device. It is a decent and competent piece of gadget that works well with an iPhone. However, it is not a perfect device. It has several shortcomings when compared with other smartwatches in the market.
Furthermore, its features will appear lacking when compared to other devices and other fitness-centric wearables. The Apple Watch Ultra remains a sport-oriented smartwatch. The Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5 from Samsung also have features and capabilities not available on the Series 8 despite falling under the same price points.
Below are the noted limitations of this smartwatch:
• Same Look and Feel: Users planning to upgrade from a Series 7 will definitely find the Series 8 too familiar. Remember that both devices look and feel the same albeit with minor but not readily noticeable differences. The new features are also not significant to warrant an upgrade from the previous generation.
• Temperature Sensor: This sensor is a welcome addition to the health-tracking capabilities of its smartwatch. However, it also provides a good argument against purchasing this device. The fact that it tracks ovulation cycles makes it more appealing to female users than male users. The added data for sleep tracking is also insignificant. Note that this sensor does not detect and record core body temperature.
• Limited Capabilities: Both the Ultra and other smartwatch brands have more features and capabilities. Note that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 can measure body composition while also having sensors for heart rate, blood oxygen, and temperature. It also has dedicated sleep monitoring features.
• Extra Ultra Features: Apple Watch Ultra has the same sensors as the Series 8 on top of its unique sensors and features. The Ultra has a dual-frequency GPS for precise location tracking. The exclusive Depth app is ideal for swimmers and divers because it tracks water temperature, depth, and underwater duration. The Oceanic+ app is another exclusive feature that makes the Ultra a dive computer.
• Pairs With iPhone: The major disadvantage of the Apple Watch Series 8 and other Apple Watches is that they work best when paired with an iPhone or other relevant Apple devices. Apple devices are created to work together. An Android smartphone user would not be able to maximize the full capabilities of an Apple Watch.