The latest generation of the Apple Watch is here! The Watch Series 8 now has a temperature sensor and detects crashes. Under the hood, we've seen a system-on-a-chip (SoC) upgrade—and, according to Apple, the battery life reaches up to 36 hours in low-power mode. But are these few increments worth the upgrade from the Apple Watch Series 7 to the new model? Let's find out!
With the Watch Series 8, Apple has also announced the Watch Ultra, an option "for athletes and adventurers of all kinds." With this, the generation 8 is no longer the most advanced option in the Cupertino giant's smartwatch series. However, of course, this will not impact the relevance of what is the best-selling smartwatch series in the world.
Whether you are considering to upgrade from the Series 7 to the Series 8 or are just in doubt which of the two models to buy: Keep reading this comparison to understand which device best suits your needs.
|The 2022 model||The 2021 model|
|To the offer*|
- Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Prices and availability
- Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Design and screen
- Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: SoC and performance
- Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Sensors
- Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Features
- Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Battery and fast charging
- Conclusion: Is it worth the upgrade?
Both the Series 8 and the Series 7 are available in 41- or 45-millimeter versions. While there was a titanium option last year, only stainless steel and aluminum are available for the Series 8, Titanium is reserved for the Apple Watch Ultra now. All in all, you can choose between Midnight, Polaris, Gold, Graphite, Silver, Space Black and (PRODUCT)RED. The prices start at $399.
|Model||Apple Watch Series 8||Apple Watch Series 7|
|41 mm||45 mm||41 mm||45 mm|
|Aluminum case||$399 or $499 (4G)||$429 or $529 (4G)||$399 or $499 (4G)||$429 or $529 (4G)|
|Stainless steel case||$749||$799||$749||$799|
|Titanium case (Apple Watch Edition)||-||-||849||$899|
It's important to note that Apple has removed the Series 7 from its store, and it is only possible to buy the previous generation via resellers like Amazon, for example. This means that the final price of the Series 7 may vary more or less depending on the time of year you buy the smartwatch.
Right now, for instance, some Series 7 models are available on Amazon's store that are more expensive than the new generation due to the manufacturer's sales strategy and/or retailers.
In terms of design, the two generations are very similar. We have the same 45 mm or 41 mm case sizes and an edge-to-edge display. The fact that Apple has chosen to keep the size and design is not a surprise given that last year we had a 20% jump in display size.
Added to that, we have the same screen resolution and the same 1,000 nits of maximum brightness as the previous generation. Just like last year, in 2022 the 41 mm case bands are compatible with the 38 mm and 40 mm cases, and the 45 mm case bands are compatible with the 42 mm and 44 mm cases. Also, if you already own a generation 7 model, you will be able to use most wristbands on the generation 8.
When it comes to durability, the Apple Watch Series 7 and Watch Series 8 are WR50 certified and IP6X certified for dust resistance. WR50 means that the Watch should be fine for swimming and snorkeling, but not high-speed watersports or diving.
As mentioned in the beginning, one of the big differences between these two models is under the hood, where we've seen the upgrade to the S8 chipset. In addition, just like the Watch Series 7, the new generation is also equipped with the U1 ultra-wideband (UWB) chip.
Both models run on the watchOS 9 operating system which, among other things, brings a new low-power battery mode to last year's generation—more on that below.
When it comes to sensors, the Watch Series 8 has the edge, as it brings two new temperature sensors: one is located close to the skin, and the other is inside the display. Aimed especially at tracking the menstrual cycle and ovulation, these sensors monitor body temperature throughout the day and night, providing more accurate data about the time of ovulation or the next menstrual period.
This is a really relevant addition to help with family planning or simply to avoid health concerns in the future.
Another addition is "Crash Detection" which now also recognizes car accidents, making it possible to alert emergency services in case of serious accidents, as well as your emergency contacts.
For this, Apple has upgraded the gyroscope and accelerometer in the new model, and added two new motion sensors. According to the company, this means 4x better motion detection than before, making fall detection, for example, even more accurate.
Starting September 16, both models will have support for Apple's latest smartwatch software, watchOS 9. With that, features like exercise profiles and performance metrics for the Workout app will be available, as well as the feature to accurately track sleep stages.
But thanks to the new temperature sensor, the Watch Series 8 can track your menstrual cycle and ovulation period even more accurately, as mentioned above. Another unique feature is the Collision Detection, which will not be present in the model announced last year.
Functions such as fall detection, atrial fibrillation detection detection (Afib), and medication monitoring can be found in both Series 8 and Series 7, right in the Health app.
On the battery front, we didn't have a big difference when it comes to the battery life of each generation of smartwatches, which remains 18 hours for both models. What changes here is the device's usage time in low-power mode, which offers up to 36 hours for the Watch Series 8 according to Apple.
As mentioned above, watchOS 9 also brings the low-power mode to the older models of Apple's smartwatch line, namely the Watch Series 4 and later. With this, we're supposedly seeing a battery gain in the Series 7 that should bring this model closer to the autonomy offered by this year's models.
Just keep in mind that the Low Power Mode stretches the battery life of the watch by restricting certain features, such as sensors or even apps working in the background, such as heart rate tracking.
When it comes to recharging the battery, both series use a magnetic charger with a USB-C plug compatible with the company's 20W adapter. According to Apple, the time to reach an 80% charge on the smartwatch is 45 minutes.
According to the latest report from Counterpoint Research, Apple leads the global smartwatch market with 29.3% of shipments in Q2 2022, so it's no surprise that the Apple Watch Series 8 doesn't bring much change from last year's model. Added to that, the Watch Ultra is the current premium smartwatch from the Cupertino giant-and it does indeed differ quite a bit from the Series 8.
So should you upgrade to ne Watch Series 8 if you already own a Series 7 model? Considering the few differences to the previous generation, my suggestion is to wait for Series 9, which should bring considerable increments to the line.
Now, if you own an Apple Watch Series 6 or lower, and are in doubt about which variant to buy in 2022, my suggestion is to get the newer models. The price gap is rather small, and you're getting the latest system-on-a-chip plus some new or improved sensors. This also goes for those who want to buy an Apple Watch for the first time.
However, if you are in doubt between last year's Apple Watch Edition and the Apple Watch Ultra, I suggest you to stay with the latter model, because the differences are many, as you can see in our Apple Watch buying guide.
Finally, if you are looking for an alternative to Apple Watches, models like Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Fitbit Sense 2 or Garmin Instinct 2 might be good options. Also don't miss our guide on the differences between the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra.